Name: CariDee English
How You Know Her: She’s America’s Next Top Model…as decided by Tyra Banks and friends on the seventh cycle of the reality modeling competition show. The Fargo, North Dakota native beat out rival Melrose Bickerstaff to take home the title of “Top Model” in December 2007, winning a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl Cosmetics, a modeling contract with Elite Models, and an editorial spread and cover with Seventeen Magazine. “Oh my god… where’s my alarm clock, I need to wake up,” she sobbed after Tyra announced her win in the finale. “I won, I did it, I’m a Cover Girl model [and] I’m going to be on the cover of Seventeen magazine — I’m so excited, my dream was always to always be a model… and having Psoriasis always prohibited me. I’m America’s Next Top Model baby, yeah!”
Claim to Fame: English famously suffered from the skin condition Psoriasis for most of her life before finally finding a successful treatment in 2005, allowing her to pursue her modeling dreams and audition for the show. She was outspoken of this past ailment during the show and subsequently became the spokeswoman for the National Psoriasis Foundation. “I had it on 70 percent of my body, and I actually went to a new dermatologist and they recommended this medication called Reptiva and it’s an injection that I give myself once a week and it’s definitely changed my life,” she has said.
Memorable Moments: CariDee caused some controversy on the show for a crude joke to fashion photographer and ANTM judge Nigel Barker during a bullfighting photo shoot in Barcelona, when she asked him, in regards to a large stick he was holding, “Did you just remove that from your ass from the last panel?” However, CariDee later said, “he actually joked back, but of course they edited it and then they said something to get in my head, which definitely worked. It was just more of warning to me not to act like that in the future I guess.” She later apologized to Barker. Her overall popularity also took a hit when it appeared she cheated on her boyfriend with a hot male model while the group was on assignment in Barcelona. Though she later cleared the air, confirming they were broken up at the time. “Actually, during the filming of the show we were apart.”
A Hair Raising Experience: “I wished I had brushed my hair a little more but I am glad that I went into it just being myself. There are a lot of people who become someone else when a camera is on and I am glad camera or no camera I am always the same old CariDee.”
On Tyra: “Oh yeah, we get along and it’s just awesome. I owe everything to her. I mean I wouldn’t even be talking to you if it wasn’t for her, and anyone who has a problem with it, it’s just because probably they didn’t like the outcome,” she said to Buddy TV of America’s Next Top Model host, Tyra Banks.
Top Model Life: “It’s like a dream come true! I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had because of “Top Model. [Life] It is pretty much the same but now I am branching into more than just modeling. Top-Model brought me to the line, but I had to get myself to the front of the line. There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs and ANTM took me up a couple of flights. My favorite perks are the obvious ones (parties, clothes, and different circles of people), but I also love being a spokesperson for Psoriasis. I have met so many people who have seen me struggle with the disease and its humbling to know that in some small way I’ve helped. I would do it all over again because it was one of the best times in my life, but I wouldn’t do anything differently. I live life without regrets.”
Where Is She Now? She’s racked up covers on the likes of Seventeen, Cover, and Social Life, in addition to runway and print credits for designers such as Jill Sander, Christian Siriano, and Richie Rich. “All runway shows are nerve racking, but its easier now because I know that I AM a Top-Model, not a contestant,” she said. She’s even made acting cameos on One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl. Now she can add hosting duties to her resume with the Oxygen reality show, Pretty Wicked, which puts together 10 spoiled divas live and compete together in a competition for inner beauty. “I’m not a very wicked person!,” she told us about the gig in March. “But I guess I’ve been a little wicked when it comes to ex boyfriends. All is fair in love in war though, right? [Now I’ve] just finished hosting “Pretty Wicked” and now I am focusing on a television career. My personality is too strong to just shut up and take a picture.”