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Nightmare Fuel / America's Next Top Model

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You're probably thinking "What?! That modeling show with Tyra and the girls (and guys) and the Jays and the photo shoots? How can THAT be scary?!" Believe it or not, there are some frightening factors about this popular Long Runner.

  • In Cycle 1, Adrianne Curry comes down with a severe case of food poisoning and had to be hospitalized. Tyra announced that the judges decided if Adrianne was not present for the judging panel, she would be automatically eliminated so poor Adrianne had to decide between listening to the doctor's orders or taking the chance to continue in the competition.note 
  • While on the go-see challenge in Cycle 1, a random Frenchman reaches up Adrianne's skirt and gropes her in the middle of the street and according to her Reddit Ask Me Anything, the Frenchman attempted to follow her before the camera crew stepped in.
  • Cycle 2 has a photoshoot where the contestants had to pose several feet in the air inside of an old building while being suspended by a safety harness. For those afraid of heights, it will scare you witless (like poor Catie Anderson was). Moreso, not only were there a couple of ambulances at the scene just in case something did happen, but while climbing up the high staircase to get to the shoot, both the models and the viewer are treated to lovely shots of some dead birds strewn throughout the place.
  • Cycle 2's Shandi Sullivan cheats on her boyfriend with an Italian model with the camera crew catching the model leaving her room after the two had sex. According to one of the Jay's Chats that Jay Manuel and J. Alexander recorded in April 2020 on Instagram Live, the original cut of the episode was more explicit and production only edited the footage to be more tame due to the backlash from the 2004 Superbowl's "Nipplegate" with Janet Jackson. Imagine being 21 years old and a reality TV production crew ready to broadcast your sex tape on national television. Even without the explicit version, Shandi reported in July 2020 on her Instagram that she still gets messages from people scolding her for cheating on her boyfriend--something she did almost twenty years ago!
    • She and other contestants also reported that they felt the situation was highly encouraged by producers; the hot tub in the Italian apartment hadn't been working since they showed up and only once the boys showed up did it mysteriously begin working again. The get-together with the boys had been suggested by producers in the first place, and the crew had no problem intervening when it came to making things easier to film (Shandi said she and the guy initially began making out in the shower before the crew pulled her out) but didn't intervene when it came to her having sex with someone while she was completely wasted. Although Shandi takes responsibility for the incident, she has also stated that because of how contrived the situation was, her consenting was not straightforward.
  • While appearing before the panel and being critiqued on her lack of presence, Cycle 4's Rebecca Epley suddenly faints in front of them and her fellow contestants, freaking them all out. Fortunately, she ended up being fine, explaining that it was a recurring, but non-fatal, neurological disorder she had and later even poked fun at the event in Cycle 8's "Most Outrageous Model Moments" photoshoot with Jael Strauss.
  • Cycle 4 also had the contestants dressed as the seven deadly sins...while posing inside of a coffin six feet below. In addition to the claustrophobia, poor Kahlen Rondot had to do the shoot after learning a close friend of hers recently died in a car accident. note 
  • A runway challenge in Cycle 6 involved the contestants posing with a cockroach while walking down the runway. Even with them being "glamorized" fashion pieces (which basically entailed covering the bugs with colorful sequins and the like), the cockroaches were much bigger than your average house bug. You can empathize with Gina Choe being horrified by them, especially when she was so freaked out that she held onto one of the designer's assistants, only for the assistant to snottily order, "Please don't grab my hand." There was a moment where Jade Cole actually kissed one of the roaches (and which named the episode itself), but if you watch it again, Jade actually kissed her finger instead of the bug.
  • In Cycle 6, Joanie Dodds was given free dental surgery and veneers to fix her crooked teeth...but had to spend almost 24 hours in the dentist's chair. At one point, she is seen walking through the empty dental office at 3 a.m. and bemoans to the confession cam about all of her pain—and then she has to go back at 6 a.m. to finish the procedures.
  • Dani Evans from Cycle 6 came down with severe food poisoning in Thailand and similar to Adrianne, she was told that if she did not participate in the photoshoot challenge, she would be automatically eliminated. So against doctor's orders, Dani checked herself out of the hospital and went to the photoshoot...where she was informed that they would be posing on elephant and needed to ride said elephants into a deeper part of the jungle for the shoot's location. It's a miracle Dani didn't collapse. note 
  • Cycle 8 had the infamous "Model Murders" where the women were supposed to pose as murder victims. As beautiful as some of the pictures were (from a "fashion" standpoint), it didn't make the pictures any less horrifying. Some of the causes of death where the model actually looked dead (versus just posing) included being poisoned, disemboweled, strangled, pushed down the stairs, shot (like Dionne, as seen above) and internally decapitated. note 
  • Cycle 9's "Smoking Models", which was done to portray a more positive role model for the show's young viewers and to stop the women from smoking, included the many effects of smoking, such as rotten teeth, secondhand smoke, cancer (including partial and total hair loss from chemotherapy), third degree burns and having a facial tumor or a stoma. Then there was Tyra's own picture of "glamorous" smoking where among the background smoke there was a skull sitting nearby.
  • Also in Cycle 9, Heather Kuzmich collapses during the filming of Enrique Iglesias's music video and had to be rushed out of the building in order to receive oxygen.
  • As beautiful as the theme of the photoshoot was, Cycle 10's Lauren Utter's "Fuerza Bruta" photo has been described as looking like "a corpse that had its arms and legs chopped off and dumped in a river". Made somewhat worse by how we don't get a good look at her face.
  • In Cycle 13, the contestants' photoshoot involves them posing underwater. Laura Kirkpatrick has a fear of drowning and dying by suffocation so when she is submerged underwater, she panics and immediately swims over to the scuba team for oxygen.