The “America’s Next Top Model” open-call auditions in New York on Saturday (March 14) brought a whole new meaning to the word “fierce” when the casting descended into chaos highlighted by bitter fights, a dangerous stampede and three arrests, reports The New York Times.

Thousands of hopefuls waiting in a line outside Midtown Manhattan’s Park Central Hotel were already grumpy and tired from standing in stilettos for hours on end when someone suddenly shouted that a nearby overheated and smoking car was on fire and about to explode.

Panic caused people to scream, push and trample each other. In the end, three people —  Michael Edwards, 24; Vanessa Quinones, 20; and Clem Clemmons, 40 — were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and inciting a riot. Two people were treated for minor injuries at a nearby medical center, and four more refused medical attention for their injuries.

To make matters worse, the auditions were eventually canceled, dashing the hopes of the model wannabes who were only able to try out for this 13th cycle because “Top Model” is specifically looking for shorter models — 5’7″ and under. These shorter women rarely measure up to their taller counterparts and find landing jobs difficult.

The CW network was “working and cooperating with local authorities.”

The 12th cycle of “America’s Next Top Model,” featuring taller contenders, currently airs on Wednesday nights on The CW. Check out their first two photo shoots — Fun and Games and Makeovers & Lighting.

Posted by:Hanh Nguyen