The controversial reality show The Swan is set to return to the airwaves this summer with a special celebrity reboot. Just as with the original two seasons in 2004, it is receiving a lot of criticism — and, this time, former contestants are among those denouncing the show.
“I had the most surgeries of any Swan in the history of the show and it has all gone to absolute sh-t,” said Lorrie Arias, a former contestant who received more than $300,000 worth of cosmetic surgeries. “I am a 300-pound mess of a person who is afraid to go outside.”
^Arias’ “before” and “after” in 2004.
Arias blames her issues with depression, bipolar disorder and lupus on the lack of follow-up from doctors, therapists and trainers.
Another former contestant admits that the show didn’t do much to help participants transition into their new lives.
“Some of the girls have had problems with their surgeries, and I would have thought [the producers] would have helped a little more with that,” Season 1 winner Rachel Love told The New York Post. “But what can you expect from them?”
Tawnya Cooke, who wrote “The Swan Diaries: Dirt Behind the Scenes of Reality TV” after appearing on the show, said that Arias needs to take responsibility for her own life.
^From Arias’ Facebook page in 2012.
“You can’t keep blaming some particular event for the rest of your life,” she says. “I don’t know what happened to Lorrie. But for the rest of us, it was scary and the followup was sh-tty, but as far as making people freaky? I don’t think so.”
The original show featured “ugly ducklings” who underwent extreme makeovers before competing in a season-ending pageant for the chance to be titled “The Swan.” The winner also received a number of prizes, including “personal coaching.” Few details have been released about the celebrity special, but rumored cast members include former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and Happy Days actress Erin Moran.