The prospect of appearing in the next cycle of America's Next Top Model attracted thousands of aspiring model/reality show personalities (the Post reports 10,000 showed up) to the Park Central Hotel on West 55th Street yesterday, where producers were holding an open casting call. Unfortunately, it turned into a chaotic scene as nerves ran high: The Daily News reports, "An overheating car triggered a stampede of catwalk-craving cuties," while the Post adds, "The situation spiraled further out of control when a man hurtled over a barricade and slapped one of the girls in line."
The overheating car made some people think it might explode—"The car is gonna blow!—while some yelled that the man who slapped a girl had a gun. A woman waiting for her chance told the News, "The girls were running like it was 9/11 part two. I feared for my life." Ultimately, three people were arrested for disorderly conduct and inciting a riot, six people were injured, and hundreds, if not thousands, had their dreams dashed of auditioning.
According to the NY Times, "would-be contestants for the 13th season of the popular program blamed a lack of organization" in addition to the women's anxieties—many of whom had been camping out because this cycle was open to women 5'7" and under—and the overheated car for causing the problems. An example of that lack of organization: One woman revealed to the News, "I had to pee in a cup and change my clothes in the street." The Daily News also had video:
The CW said it was cooperating with authorities; a casting manager suggested the network was not prepared for the thousands of women. Many of the hopefuls pointed out their short statures prevented them from getting work at regular modeling agencies; one mournfully said to the Times, "I lost my dream. I lost my chance." We can only hope for a very special Tyra Banks Show devoted to this.