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Top 10 America's Next Top Model Makeover Meltdowns

VO: Lisa Yang WRITTEN BY: Charlotte Clifton
The journey from so-and-so to supermodel isn’t always smooth. For this list, we’re taking a look at contestants whose makeovers brought on the tears, the rage, or both, whether due to unwanted hair extensions, drastic dye jobs or crazy cuts. Let’s dive in! Our list includes Jael Strauss, Molly O'Connell, Catie Anderson, Terra White, Tash Wells, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 America's Next Top Model Makeover Meltdowns.

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Top 10 America's Next Top Model Makeover Meltdowns

The journey from so-and-so to supermodel isn’t always smooth. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 America's Next Top Model Makeover Meltdowns.

For this list, we’re taking a look at contestants whose makeovers brought on the tears, the rage, or both, whether due to unwanted hair extensions, drastic dye jobs or crazy cuts. Let’s dive in!

#10: Brandy Rusher
Cycle 4 (2005)

Who could forget this sassy Cycle 4 contestant? Brandy came into the competition with a bad weave and a bad attitude, and unfortunately her makeover fixed neither. When Tyra told her that she’d be keeping her afro as it was, Brandy was far from impressed . . . But as it turns out, her hair was in too poor of a condition to keep anyway. So, they buzzed it off and bleached her brows, leaving her looking edgier, more polished and much more like a model. Brandy disagreed, asking how she could possibly face her boyfriend and annoying creative director Jay with her attitude, landing herself in the bottom two that episode.

#9: Jael Strauss
Cycle 8 (2007)

Although girls who cry during their makeovers usually get a bad rap, Jael’s breakdown was totally legit. Tyra wanted to elevate her look by giving her long brown extensions, leaving Jael worried that she’d look ‘too normal’ - and she was right. After EIGHT HOURS in the salon chair, Jay came over to break the news that the extensions weren’t working for her; they weren’t fitting right with her natural hair, they were dulling her shine and not taking her towards that model look. So, they took all of them out, straight after putting them in, leaving Jael broken and with barely any hair left.

#8: Molly O'Connell
Cycle 16 (2011)

Bold, blonde and … beautiful? That was the aim of Molly’s makeover, but what she ended up with was far from supermodel quality. Tyra’s vision for this makeover was ‘what if Diana Ross was a blonde?’ and so Molly spent six hours having a curly blonde weave sewn in, which ended up being executed so poorly that it looked like a cheap wig slipping off the back of her head. Molly, the other contestants and even the owner of the salon were all horrified with how the look turned out, and after three episodes and several meltdowns, Tyra finally agreed to have the extensions taken out and set Molly free from her weave from hell.

#7: Catie Anderson
Cycle 2 (2004)

Catie wasn’t afraid to show the tears throughout her cycle, and of course her makeover was no exception. She came into the competition saying the judges could do whatever they liked with her look, but this was clearly not the case when it was revealed to her that she’d be getting a Twiggy-inspired pixie cut. She complained about the cut as well as the pain of the bleach, irritating other contestants in the process. She then sobbed hysterically to Tyra, explaining that she hated her makeover and she looked like a boy, in a move that would probably get her kicked out of the competition by today’s standards.

#6: Fo Porter
Cycle 12 (2009)

Tyra wanted to give Fo a makeover that would take away from her cuteness, so stylists chopped it all off in a short and sleek cut that looked gorgeous with her bone structure. Unfortunately, Fo hated her new look, breaking down in the salon and refusing to take off her headscarf when she got home. She sobbed that she had to hide her hair to feel pretty, and that this is what was going to break her in the competition. She even had a breakdown at her photoshoot in front of Jay, putting her in Tyra’s bad books and in the bottom two that week, to teach her a lesson about embracing new styles.

#5: Jaeda Young
Cycle 7 (2006)

Tyra thought Jaeda’s strong jawline and ‘handsome’ features would suit a different hairstyle - so she decided to give her a Halle Berry-inspired short cut. Jaeda was in tears before anyone touched her hair, clearly nervous about losing her “prettiest girl in school” look and intimidated by having to change her modelling technique, as well as her personal style. The tears didn’t stop throughout the day, and Jaeda let her new look affect her confidence in her next photoshoot, landing her in the bottom two. Despite this, she eventually got used to the new style and made it to the top six.

#4: Terra White
Cycle 15 (2010)

Terra entered the competition with her sister Chris, and while Chris was chosen for a long curly weave, Terra had almost all of her hair cut off in a drastic Kelis-inspired chop. Sadly, Terra struggled with her new look and wasn’t afraid to show it in the makeover photoshoot, leading to a frustrated Jay saying he could find a better poser at the mall. Due to her attitude and bland photo, Terra was chosen to go home in a shock elimination that had never happened before in ANTM history, teaching future contestants that not embracing a makeover wasn’t just frowned upon anymore - it might get you sent straight home.

#3: Tash Wells
Cycle 23 (2016)

After so many years of Top Model, you’d think contestants would learn to keep makeover tears at bay - but even in the 23rd cycle Tash clearly didn’t get the memo. Tash’s tomboy twin sister ended up with a long and luscious weave, whilst girly girl Tash was due to get a very short cut to go with her strong bone structure. After her cut, Tash was jealous of her sister and felt super self-conscious about looking like a boy. She locked herself in the bathroom and started ranting out loud, yelling ‘let me be me’ in a behind-the-door emotional breakdown that left viewers shook.

#2: Bre Scullark
Cycle 17 (2011)

Cycle 5’s Bre re-entered the competition for the All Stars edition, and at first seemed fine when she found out she’d be getting a short back and sides hairdo for her makeover. However, after Jay promised her that the cut wouldn’t be too extreme, the stylist began buzzing her hair right down to the scalp, leaving Bre in tears. She asked to speak to a producer and threatened to leave the show, saying she wasn’t just upset, but “at rage”. After calming down, Bre eventually decided that leaving the show wouldn’t fit with her brand description of “Girlfriend”, so instead she picked herself up and learned how to rock her look.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Monique Calhoun
Cycle 7 (2006)

Louise Watts
Cycle 18 (2012)

Alexandria Everett
Cycle 16 (2011)

Cherish Waters
Cycle 23 (2016)

Lisa D’Amato
Cycle 17: All Stars (2011)

#1: Cassandra Jean
Cycle 5 (2005)

Cassandra chose her hair over her chances in the competition, and for this reason she makes the top of the list. This beauty pageant princess was assigned Tyra’s favourite ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ cut, meaning her hip-length brown hair would be chopped to an inch short and dyed blonde. Cassandra kissed goodbye to her beauty queen image and wept as her hair was cut clean off. However, in judging Tyra noticed that the haircut was not what she’d asked for, and that she’d need to get more hair cut off. Cassandra decided she didn’t want to lose any more of her hair, and instead decided to go home in one of the most memorable exits in Top Model history.

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