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Greek reality show pushes contestant to underwater challenge. Panic Attack!

A contestant of a Greek reality show for aspiring models suffered a panic attack after she was forced to an underwater challenge. The judge’s pressure triggered an outrage on social media.

Greece’s Next Top Model is a reality show broadcast by a private Greek television Star channel. A jury of four judges from the fashion world pick the best and the worst among 22 of young female contestants.

The young women thrive to be Greece’s Net Top Model, win 50,000 euros and fashion contracts including with a foreign model agency.

The Greek judges are strict and arrogant and mostly look grimy and sour. “Your hair were up!” a judge told a helpless contestant after an underwater photo-shoot in a swimming pool.  A second judge told another girl “your feet looked like paddles.”

Yep. Judges are filled with fantasy and paradox criticism when it comes to downgrade the girls and crush their self-confidence, while they demand them to be self-confident. But it is the old and anti-pedagogic patriarchal way: crush self-confidence to build self-confidence.

Anyway, the girls are above 18  – and up to 26,  I think – and have applied to the show on their own will thus taking the risk to be exposed to any critique and bad behavior with the sole target to be Top Model.

But, yesterday, Tuesday night, the reality show went too far, in fact it went out of control.

Challenge of the day was underwater photography in a swimming pool. Contestants had to wear an airy dress and open it underwater like a flower, a sea orchid or something like that,

Some girls did not know how to swim but one case was worse: one contestant had a true phobia after she was almost drowned in the sea a couple of years ago.

The judge did not gave up. The pressure she put on the young woman was immense. “Of, course, you can do it! The life guard is here! The water is not deep! You should have overcome the phobia years ago!Your friends should have helped you overcome the trauma!” the judge cheered again and again. The girl did not have the strength to tell the judge, the photographer and the production “F*** off! I go and Bye!”

The young woman was pale when she entered the pool, with slow, careful steps. She called the lifeguard to her and started to suffer a panic attack. She had breathing difficulties, the zoomed film shots showed how her fingers were trembling.

She was unable to move and unfold the marvelous airy dress into a sea flower, of course.

The show must go on! Or Not. The production company could have removed the recorded incident and respect the contestant’s vulnerable private moments. It did not.

The social media burst into flames, swears and condemnations against the show and the judge kept coming form all sides, majority of internet users were annoyed and some shocked and somebody called for the “prosecutor’s intervention.”

But the film shooting was recorded and kept running on TV screens for 4-5 minutes, some other contestants were close to tears.

The judges admitted that they knew of the contestant’s traumatic experience but ignorant as they are they seemed 100% convinced that such a trauma can be solved like learning bicycle or baking cookies.

“Not all girls can drown in a day,” judge and ex model Vicky Kaya shouted more or less at one point.

Boost courage the …Greek way: “Vicky encourages Sophia to give it another try!”

At the end of the challenge, after forcing the girl into reviving the traumatic experience and suffering a panic attack, the judges punished her.

They expelled her from the GNTM because she did not deliver.

The picture from the photo-shooting showed the girl with no flower dress, without the grace the judges expected.

On the picture there was just a girl’s body underwater, standing stiff on pool bottom and touching softly the lifeguards’ fingertips, like a modern Greek Ophelia with long red hair.

Did they do it just to grab a few hundreds more viewers? Or are they really so dumb to believe that panic attacks and psychological traumas are not serious?

In the trailer of what will follow next week, they show girls crying because the new challenge is “hair cutting.” Majority of the girls have long to very long hair.

Sophia Zachariadou and Jo Desylla speak about the GNTM experience. Sophia because she did not deliver, Jo because one of the judges most likely could not come along with the girl’s introvert personality.

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