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Jael Strauss finished fifth on Cycle 8 of America's Next Top Model, remaining in the competition despite a close friend dying of a drug overdose during filming.

Now, five years later, the former beauty has fallen prey to the world of illicit substances herself.

Strauss was featured on an episode of Dr. Phil yesterday, as the talk show attempted to stage an intervention for the troubled addict. Watch a dramatic promo for the appearance below and then check out what former ANTM champion Caridee English has to say about Strauss and Tyra Banks...

Speaking to Gawker, English puts some of the blame for Strauss' fall on Banks and other show producers.

"They should have evaluated her a lot more before letting her on the show," Caridee says. "All they saw was a personality good for television."

And after leaving the show? After helping to drive ratings to it and, of course, line Tyra's pockets with cash? English says contestants receive no guidance of any kind from Banks.

"Tyra won't do anything [for Jael]. She provided a wonderful platform for girls to have a chance at their dream, but after there is no "Tyra Mail." I had to guide myself, and even though I won a model competition I still had no idea what the modeling BUSINESS was like. I had no idea what the industry was really like. I was famous, but no one wanted to take my picture."

Look for the craziness to be ratcheted up even more next week on Dr. Phil when Dina Lohan stops by for an interview.

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CariDee English is a former America's Next Top Model champion, having taken home that show's top prize in December 2006.

So what better source to go to for scoop on the current All-Star cycle?

CariDee English Image

"It gives the former contestants a chance to win the title, which is amazing to watch because the girls really know now what it feels like to let the title slip through their hands," English told THG of the format. "So all of them are bringing their A game and it's exciting to watch the veterans at Top Model winner war again!"

Continue Reading...

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

She's no longer America Next Top Model.

Now, 21-year-old CariDee English is simply ready to be a model.

CariDee English Image

First, she sat down with Entertainment Weekly.

EW:So, a natural blonde finally won. About time, right?
CE: Yes! Absolutely. Ahhh! I don't even know how to explain it, you know? It's just euphoric. I love it.

EW: I loved how you declared, ''This is mine!'' after Eugena got eliminated. Hey, confidence!
CE: That was the first time it actually hit me that I could win, you know? What got me through the competition was not thinking about the ultimate outcome, just thinking about the next step. I didn't want to think too hard.

EW: Was it more motivating to compete against someone who wasn't your close friend in the final two?
CE: Eugena and I had made a pact at that time that we wanted someone who was down-to-earth to win, someone we'd gotten close to. I mean, if I was able to get close to Melrose, I would've, but we both knew we were such stiff competition with each other, so it was gonna be very, very hard for us to get along. I wanted to be myself, someone you could get a clear read on.

It's not that I wanted to win for the other girls, but I wanted to show that a girl who's been true to herself can come on top.

EW: Did you feel like you didn't get to know the ''real'' Melrose? Or was it that you did, and you all just weren't havin' it?
CE: She was very headstrong in the competition, which is very understandable. That's just her....I didn't want the win handed to me. I wanted to win knowing I was the best. I had no idea until the final picture got brought up. But she definitely was the best competitor, because she was good. She's very talented at what she does. I mean, we were good to each other. We weren't rude or hated each other by any means.

THG NOTE: The same cannot be said for Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Ratowski

EW: What happened with Melrose's dress? You didn't mean to tear that, and she freaked out hard.
CE: Oh, no, absolutely not. She freaked out because she's a fashion designer herself. So she was just really concerned about the clothes, which I thought was ridiculous. I was like ''Honey, this happens all the time.''

EW: What's it like not living in a house with floor-to-ceiling photos of [Tyra Banks]? She's so Bankable!
CE: I miss that. I love Tyra! She doesn't take herself too seriously, which is so refreshing in the modeling world. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't be talking to you. I'd be back in Fargo doing God knows what.

EW: What's up next for you?
CE: I'm moving to New York, and I'm gonna live in the Elite models' house. Because I'm an Elite model, which is awesome! I want to take [the title] America's Next Top Model to the next level. Commercials, high fashion, everything ... I'm going to try, try, try. I know Tyra believes in me.

CariDee English Biography

CariDee English Image CariDee English was named America's Next Top Model. She has the sort of unique look and name that ought to make her famous. More »
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CariDee English
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