The truth about Top Model

America’s Next Top Model. I think its time I shed some light on what went down with me after that show..in an older and wiser shell of myself.

We were promised a Revlon contract on my season and a contract with wilhelmina. They did voice overs on the actual aired show and changed what was being said to us while filming. When I met with Revlon, they informed me they never planned on using the winner, whoever she may be, for any ads. They hired me for 15k to model makeup in a room with 10 execs in it to honor said contract. I was crushed, but still very grateful. 15k is amazing! Top Model then dropped wilhelmina, my agency, for another agency for season 2. As NO agency was willing to sign on for season one, wilhelmina claimed they were promised they’d be used again and again. They were furious. I was brought on season 2. Picked up in a limo from my apartment on ave. D in NYC (back then, a pretty damn rough area). I was told to brag and rave on my success. I did. I was still waiting for my prize, but had no issue helping out the show that made me!

Wilhelmina then informed me they didnt want me to be successful in any way to spite top model. They bragged how they’d push Elyse (also signed with them) and not me. I reached out to Tyra and Top model, desperate to get out of my contract and get advice as I was not being given any castings, etc by an agency that wanted me to fail. CRICKETS. Phone calls ignored. Then, my 15k for Revlon? Suddenly, I wasn’t being paid. I had did the job, but no paycheck was coming. Revlon blamed Wilhelmina, Wilhelmina blamed Top model. I demanded i get my paycheck for the 3 long days of work I did. Crickets. Wilhelmina said I had to take them to court, but I’d pay more for lawyers than what i was owed. I reached out to Tyra again, as Wilhelmina’s agents constantly let me know what was happening to me was because of her and the show. Crickets.

I was SO angry. I was sent to Africa to model. Wilhelmina still refused to pay me. I was broke and stuck in a third world country. My family had to wire me money for me to buy my ticket back home. A year or so goes by, I was struggling to go on castings and go sees by f
FOLLOWING other models around that I saw carrying their portfoliis since wilhelmina wouldnt send me. I was then offered a spot on The Surreal life.

Suddenly wilhelmina is very interested in me. Word is, Tyra and co. do NOT want me to go on this show. 51 minds, the producers of the Surreal Life let me know that top model has spoke to them and doesn’t want me to go on. Suddenly, I exist again. Then, anger. Pure betrayal and anger. I saw Tyra and the show as angels that had saved me and gave me a new life. The realization that they didnt give a fuck about me was crushing. I was so angry. Here, I was being given an opportunity to work a job and actually make money and they want me not to because it might make their show look bad. Yet, when I needed even advice, I got crickets.

I did the show. I purposely got wasted and skinny dipped. I took joy in knowing it would bother people. It was my Ode to FUCK YOU. I took every opportunity to let press know I was never paid or given my prize. Id talk shit about Tyra just to do it…Revenge was sweet. I talked mad shit that I wouldn’t do now, I was a kid. My anger was a thin mask for my broken heart. I poked and jabbed because i knew it drove them nuts. Then, I had a plan to sue wilhelmina and get out of my contract. I told elyse, someone I thought was my friend from my season, who then marched directly into Wilhelmina and told them every…single…detail….all of it…after writing a blog making fun of a night we had together in a pompous fashion… I never spoke to her again. My second heartbreak from that show.

Now, here I am…35 years old. I AM beyond grateful I won the show. However, I was a kid. I didnt know the game of hollywood…that they really do not care about you. I had a big heart and I really looked to the show as my saviors and Tyra my angel. When I was desperate for help and being punished by my agency for being from the show after they dropped Wilhelmina…I just wanted some guidance…some…something.

That was my first great life betrayal. Nothing had hurt more than the realization that those people didnt really care about me. Now, in my wisdom, I know they werent capable of it. I was a non hollywood kid with a big heart….but to them, I was ratings and a potential boost to personal agendas…nothing more. It wouldnt hurt me today like it did then. In fact, I’d have expected as much. I just didnt know how soulless and impersonal our industry was. I wouldnt be so extreme in my behavior on tv which reflects on me more than them. I would have just eloquently expressed how heart broken I was. I certainly wouldnt have done playboy, let alone twice. That too, was my huge fuck you.

I am glad I did the show. I am even more glad it happened the way it did. Every set back, every heart break I faced, i grew. It made me stronger. I was set on a path that led me where I am today. I would have never traveled the world. I’d have never had the opoortunitues I had. id have never known how cut throat and vicious Hollywood was. I’d have never met my guy and realized together how badly we needed away from LA, entertainment, etc. That show prepared me for how cut throat and non caring Hollywood is. I wish Tyra well in her life and have no hard feelings anymore. She is a woman looking out for herself in a world where no one else gives a shit about you. Being cut throat and numb to others in that industry is the only way to get ahead. I never had the off switch when it came to not caring about others. That is why entertainment ended up hurting my heart so much.

Still, would be nice to get my 15k, lol.

So, if you wonder why I have been erased from the show, never mentioned, etc…its because my hurt heart rained upon them the greatest show of FUCK YOU I had ever mustered. 15k is a lot of money, and being ripped off that much brought a monster out of me. I know even today, thats a number people will kill each other over… so my juvenile behavior isn’t so bad.

I loved my experience. the good, bad and ugly. I also loved that my season, our finale photo didnt get hogged by Tyra…lol She TOOK the pic instead of took over the pic. She should have stuck to that, she takes great shots.

 

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19 Comments

  1. Thank you for clearing that up. I knew that you were treated abysmally, but not to what extent. You are correct, you have grown from the experience and it has led you directly here. I love that you are happy and are letting go of the hurt.

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  2. Dang. I’m terribly sorry you were screwed so bad. What a racket. At least you wound up with a great guy. Oh by the way, I saw a promoted pic of you on Instagram yesterday even if facebooks been trying to censor you and list you as adult entertainment. I’m Retweeting this blog, hoping it opens the eyes of anyone who might see it. Wishing you the best, Adrianne! Thanks for helping me!

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      1. LA Weekly, Dec 2011, “For many fans, your last big news item was, unfortunately, your pending divorce from Christopher Knight. Anything new in your personal life?

        I am learning to live life without him. I spent seven years with that man, and I do not regret it.”

        I guess you are a bit bitter over the time spent in your 20’s with a 50-something man. Understandable, but hope you are over it. Don’t let it eat at you. Remember, “No REGERTS” 🙂

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  3. wow! thank you andso glad someone writes about this kind of thing. So many young people enter the industry all starry eyed, ending up broke and disappointed. Though to be fair, most industries are tough to break into – from law firms to design and advertising – its a tough old world out there.

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  4. AC you are THE #1 antm winner ever! I’ve followed and watched you ever since and how you’ve truly evolved even more so….somehow I knew antm & co. had wronged you and eventually you will tell your fans! You are a true ⭐️

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  5. A truly despicable act from such a fucked up industry. You’ve always been too real for the phony lip service and back stabs of the entertainment industry. Having been fans & admirers for nearly 15 years now, my wife, Kerri & I have enjoyed watching your journey. A journey with the crushing blows & heartache many of us experience, while keeping your integrity & dignity intact. That’s certainly not easy but much kudos to you Adrianne!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I knew it! I always wondered why you never saw any of the winners, including you, in any ads, commercials or spreads. I wanted to go on the show after continuously watching for 7 seasons but it all started to come together. IT WAS A SCAM! They gave you a gift and took it right back, completely pulling the rug out from under you. I stopped watching everything to do with Tyra, I knew she wasn’t all rainbows and fairy dust, not by a long shot. I watched you on the Surreal life, as well as your show with Chris, hating the fact that they did that to you. You have incredible talent and are absolutely beautiful inside and out. I have always looked up to you for your strength and honesty, we had very similar childhoods but I knew because of you, I didn’t have to let that define me.
    You deserve better doll, I’m so sorry they did that to you.
    I hope that you are happy and doing well, doing something you love.
    You deserve nothing but the best!
    -Meg

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  7. Damn. I had no idea they screwed you over so bad. I’m glad you saw the business for what it is & you & your man are making a happy life for yourselves away from all that crap.

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  8. Wow, this was so insightful. So wish you had shared this story years ago! Like most ANTM fans, I knew the general gist that you felt gipped of the prize. In all honesty though, I assume most people thought the same thing as me – “it’s a he said, she said thing,” etc. But you laying it all out like this…I can only imagine someone young, coming off of the high of winning this huge new modeling show, feeling totally helpless. I don’t blame you for “acting out”…who wouldn’t do the same? They say revenge is a dish best served cold.

    I’m particularly shocked that despite the faulty prize, Tyra (nor the producers) never reached out to you personally to try to rectify things, even just from a selfish business and legal perspective. Fascinating how if this happened today, with the instant public voice social media offers, they would have felt forced to address it. It’s especially disappointing because to this day people LOVE that first season. In YouTube comment sections people always talk about how authentic it was because the show wasn’t shaped yet by Tyra & producers like in later seasons. People always talk about how you winning was one of the most vulnerable, visceral moments in reality tv history. Tyra even spoke recently about how season 1 has a really special meaning for her.

    I’m so curious what the other early winners feel about ANTM nowadays…you never hear Yoanna House talking about her experience. Do you have any idea how other contestants, winners or otherwise, feel about the show and if they had a similar experience post-ANTM? Do you keep in touch with anyone from that first season? Thank you for sharing your story! XOXO
    I’m particularly shocked that despite the faulty prize, Tyra (nor the producers) never reached out to you personally to try to rectify things, even just from a selfish business and legal perspective. Fascinating how if this happened today, with the instant public voice social media offers, they would have felt forced to address it. It’s especially disappointing because to this day people LOVE that first season. In YouTube comment sections people always talk about how authentic it was because the show wasn’t shaped yet by Tyra & producers like in later seasons. People always talk about how you winning was one of the most vulnerable, visceral moments in reality tv history. Tyra even spoke recently about how season 1 has a really special meaning for her.

    I’m so curious what the other early winners feel about ANTM nowadays…you never hear Yoanna House talking about her experience. Do you have any idea how other contestants, winners or otherwise, feel about the show and if they had a similar experience post-ANTM? Do you keep in touch with anyone from that first season? Thank you for sharing your story! XOXO

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  9. Reading what you went through makes me so upset, im so happy that you managed to have a happy life! I just finished to watch cycle 1 and i was excited to see how you were doing, but seriously, reading this makes me feel so dissapointed, i really thought they were better than that.
    Anyway, your words ”it made me stronger” really made me feel motivated, 🙂
    Also, your last paragraph, i didn’t understood that much, english is not my first language, im sure that’s why, but from what i understood Tyra didn’t took those shots?? Im sorry for such a dumb question.
    I hope you had a happy new year! 😀

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  10. Interesting note about Revlon… they held a charity challenge in 2016 and the top 15 charities were invited to their headquarters in NYC to pitch their idea for a fundraising event of sorts with REVLON. They ended up choosing none of the charities who pitched. Granted there was no promise anyone would be picked but that wasn’t the impression given whatsoever. Apparently they have some history of changing their minds!

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  11. Thank you for sharing this. It really explains a lot. Although, I think it’s pretty pathetic to erase the first ever ANTM winner from the shows history, however that is their (TB) problem. The first few cycles of ANTM were a lot of fun, but pretty quickly it became an incredibly, unwatchable, all about Tyra mess. Tyra clearly wasn’t really interested in finding or helping any of the thousands of young hopefuls. It was pretty obvious when she felt threatened with certain up and comers too. It’s a cut throat industry which is millions of miles away from being about women helping and building each other up. Just ask Tyra to tell you her Naomi Campbell stories!

    Thank you again for being open and honest. Congratulations on the new chapter in your life!

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  12. Thanks for sharing. I remember watching that show and always having this “connection” with you because you were from Joliet. (I grew up in Plainfield.) I’m so angry reading this. Just pure bullshit from Tyra and the producers. I’m glad you are where you are now and doing well.

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  13. At the end of the day, you were/are a huge inspiration to those who grew up like you. Thank you for telling everyone about your experience.

    Like

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