Pandemonium breaks out at America's Next Top Model audtions

Posted at 6:31 AM Mar 16, 2009

By Sharon Steel

When Tyra Banks announced that Cycle 13 of America's Next Top Model would be comprised almost solely of contestants who measured in at 5'7" and under, we were initially baffled. Then we realized that Banks is kind of like the fashion industry's token mad-scientist (except taller, with an impeccable weave, and an affinity for speaking with a faux British accent on occasion). She likes to churn out televised social experiments, and the shorties-only gimmick is her latest means of bringing out the crazy in individuals who were previously all but denied any kind of modeling aspirations. Crazy + Tyra + (shorties + long-term desperation) x the possibility of success = balls-out pandemonium.

The Daily News was on the scene at ANTM's open casting call in New York City over the weekend, and this is what they brought back. Note that they had three reporters on this 500-word feature, which was the first sign of trouble. And instead of a picture of petite young things lined up to be snap-judged on their walks, personality, and ability to please Tyra with their teary, "I want this more than anything in the world" speeches, we get a photograph of someone being taken away in a stretcher:

Screaming as they ran for their lives, hundreds of hotties in heels toppled over barricades along W. 55th St. after several people in the crowd started yelling, "There's a bomb!"

By the time the model madness ended, six women were injured and two women and one man were busted for inciting a riot, authorities said.

"The girls were running like it was 9/11 part two," said Jennifer Brown, 27, of Kensington, Brooklyn. "I feared for my life."

Yes, the ANTM auditions were just compared to 9/11. Here's what else happened:

* Several women fainted after being pressed up against a wall, unable to breathe.
* A fight broke out between two men on line; one of them threatened to leave and bring back a gun.
* If you wanted to pee while you were waiting, you had to do it in a cup. While waiting on line. Or be resigned to losing your spot.
*  Someone drove a BMW with smoke pouring out of it dangerously close to the crowd, forcing the women to scatter in their under-dressed finery. A stampede followed, injuring a total of six women.
* After the cops came, nobody else was allowed to audition. "I'm 5-foot-3. There's no way I can make it into a model agency," one aspiring super-shortie said. "They would turn me away at the door. We had an opportunity and it was taken away from us."

We truly fear for what might happen when the chosen contestants actually reach the point where they're forced to live in a house together. Surely, Tyra plans on giving each girl her own security guard. Right?


kris said:

"They would turn me away at the door. We had an opportunity and it was taken away from us."

So out of morbid curiosity, how many of the winning models actually have a career after their first contract? My girlfriend watches it relentlessly, and a lot of the times the woman making it to the end still don't understand that modeling is a job that requires networking and effort. I can just see them trying to get a second contract and just being blacklisted immediately.

Kat said:

I loved the video of all this craziness so much, I blogged about it too:

I'm really into the fact that it was the 5'7" crew as opposed to the usual amazons who went nuts. Those li'l ladies are scrappy!

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