Sunday, March 15, 2009

Trying Out For America's Next Top Model Is Tougher Than Previously Thought

Pandemonium erupted outside of an "America's Next Top Model" casting call at CW Studios in midtown Saturday when an overheating car triggered a stampede of catwalk-craving cuties. 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!"

Apparently a BMW overheated. Car overheating / bomb. Would you have known the difference?

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."

The audition for the show on The CW, which for the first time was open only to women under 5-feet-7, was doomed from the start, several said.

Scores of aspiring models slept overnight outside the Park Central Hotel, hoping to be the first to sashay before the hit shows casting agents.

But shortly after the sun rose, women began arriving and lining up indiscriminately.
Tensions quickly boiled over.

Things only got worse when the dolled-up ladies were told if they stepped out of the line, they couldn't come back in.

"I had to pee in a cup and change my clothes in the street," said Mona Knight, 18, of the Bronx, who arrived at 11:30 p.m. Friday night. "There was no organization whatsoever."

Cops arrived and placed barricades along the street. But by that point, there were already several thousand women lined up. A handful of women started fainting after getting pressed up against the wall, witnesses said.

"Everyone was so compressed, I don't think they could breathe," said Alex Saavedra, 23, who escorted his girlfriend to the audition. "Then they started passing out."

A fight broke out between two men who had been taunting each other for several hours, witnesses said.

Cops intervened and pulled the men off the line. One of them threatened to return with a gun, heightening tensions among the already-frazzled women.

Soon after, a black BMW with smoke pouring out of its hood pulled up in the street near the line, sending the sea of underdressed women scrambling to get away.

"The metal barricade fell down," said Kiara McCarthy, 19, of Levittown, L.I. "All of a sudden we heard this roar from behind us and we looked behind us and there's a wave of people falling on top of us."

Gabrielle Rose, 25, said several women started crying out in pain.

"We all fell on top of each other," said Rose, of Scranton, Pa. "People were squished against the wall, screaming, 'I can't breathe! I can't breathe!' "

A total of six women were injured, authorities said.

Two were transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell in stable condition, authorities said.

No more women were allowed to audition after the stampede, leaving many diminutive ladies devastated that they missed out on an opportunity to make it big.

"I'm 5-foot-3. There's no way I can make it into a model agency," McCarthy said. "They would turn me away at the door. We had an opportunity and it was taken away from us."

source and source


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