As much as we love Tyra Banks' model competition series, America's Next Top Model, we're a little surprised the show, which has been on the air for 23 cycles, has survived so long. The reality TV competition hasn't exactly produced any "top models." Former participant Angelea Preston has even said the modeling industry treated her as a "joke" after the show.
What it lacks in top models it makes up for in non-stop drama and off-the-wall hijinks that keep fans crawling back for more. However, what viewers might not know is what happens behind the scenes to create the entertaining modeling circus that appears on TV. Although past participants maintain the show is 100 percent real and unscripted, they say producers do some pretty cruel things to the models in order to create the drama fans love so much.
The video below takes you through four facts you didn't know about ANTM, but beware. Once you watch it, you might not see the franchise the same way again.
One former cast member who has been the most critical of the show is Angelea, who appeared on cycle 14 and again on the all-stars cycle. She initially won the all-stars season, but was stripped of her winnings when producers found out she used to be an escort. The finale ended up being reshot and Lisa D'Amato was crowned the winner instead. Needless to say, Angelea was not too pleased.
She lashed out at Tyra and the producers in a scathing tell-all interview where she called the show "Top Model prison."
"It was all about exploitation," she told The Daily Mail in 2015. "It was very hard. You have these 15 minutes of fame but you can't capitalize on them."
Angelea's words echo that of former America's Next Top Model winner, Caridee English, who pretty much said the same thing three years earlier.
“I love what I have made for myself since my win, but mentally, it’s horrific,” she said in the comments section of a Gawker post. “Any girl who has been on ANTM can back me up. No one wants to take us serious as models. I am sure the show lost its credibility in producing a top model somewhere between making 3 cycles a year and posing on roller coasters.”