The network confirmed in December 2011 it shot "new scenes" for the ending of the finale because Preston had been disqualified. The CW had declined comment on whether the new scenes altered the seventeenth Top Model edition's results or if D'Amato had originally been declared the competition's winner prior to the additional filming.
In addition, the network had declined to elaborate on the reasons for Preston's removal or make her available for media interviews alongside D'Amato and Allison Harvard, who was shown finishing as the competition's runner-up after the announcement of Preston's disqualification.
"What I will say for the millions of people who watch the show and clearly put their own assumptions together about me winning, the assumption is correct. I did indeed win Cycle 17. Listen honey, I'm trying to write a book about my whole life and that part of my life is definitely, I mean my life is already interesting even before Top Model, I guess if you want to say, made me who I am or gave me my platform but, I guess that's the part everybody wants to know. They want to know the real story," Preston told Siresays.com in a recent interview.
"At the end of the day, forget the money, forget the contract. I just want people to know that I won, and by the way they were talking about editing it, it was making it seem like no one was ever going to know I won, so that hurt me. Because I'm a winner and I came back and I won this and I want people to know. I don't care you can have the $100,000, you can have contracts. I'll hustle on my own to get that, but if people don't know that was originally mine, then I'm going to be upset and of course I'm going to be hurt. When people knew that I won [after the season concluded], I was just like, 'Okay yes, God, you looking out for me [because] I don't even have to say it. People, they know.'"
Upon Preston's departure from Top Model All-Stars, rumors began circulating that she had been disqualified because she was pregnant with her son Eric or had spoiled the season's results on social networking sites. Although the model did not disclose the exact reasons behind why she was not ultimately crowned the season's winner, she insisted she didn't ruin the ending for viewers.
"No, I did not blab on Facebook or Twitter... That would be something stupid. The prizes were so incredible for that one cycle. Are you kidding me? I would not mess that up by going on Twitter and going on Facebook, 'Yeah guys, I won.' Like no, that's just not me. I would never do that," she explained.
Preston also elaborated on how she felt at the time of her disqualification.
"What I will say about them taking it away from me... Basically, the reason why it was taken away from me is hypocrisy, because if you watch why Tyra said, 'Lisa won,' she said something like, 'You have a past but you're not a victim of your past,' [etc]. And I'm just kind of looking and saying, 'Okay the reason why you gave it to Lisa is the reason why you took it away from me -- that you're being a hypocrite. So that part, when I saw that, I was very offended and of course I was very hurt initially when they told me, 'Hey, we can't give this to you because of whatever, whatever," Preston told the website.
"But I found such peace... because the way they aired it, they could have played it so many different directions where people didn't even question what happened to me, because I got sick over in [the finale location] Greece. So they could have written me off. They were filming all of this, I went to the hospital and everything."
Added the former reality TV star, "They could have used that but I think they thought that doing it this way, they either wanted people to question it, or honestly, they didn't think people were going to question it [and were] just going to be like, 'Oh, okay, whatever. They're in LA, I guess Angelea's gone, okay.' But the fact that the viewers knew, 'Something ain't right,' and 'We know she won [because] this is just like some bullsh-t, like, this is just crazy how they're -- wow.' I was so happy, because that was the one thing that really upset me and hurt me. I was like, 'Wow.'"
Preston told Siresays.com the way the show handled her disqualification made her view the reality series differently, however, it didn't necessarily affect her relationship with Top Model creator and lead judge Tyra Banks.
"There was no relationship with Tyra other than a business relationship. It's not like after Cycles 12 and 14 she was calling me up and calling the other girls up like, 'Hey how are you doing?' It's a business, and for that, I respect Tyra as a businesswoman... But let's be clear and let's be real. The way they went about -- the way that everything happened, I don't think it should've went down like that," Preston explained.
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
"I did feel like I saw the show differently after that happened, because I said, 'Here are you guys saying girls from all walks of life can have a chance in the world. Everyone is beautiful no matter where you come from, no matter who you are, no matter what's in your past, present and future. Everyone has a chance.' And basically, the show's not doing that. What you guys said to me is saying, 'Well hey, we do say that all girls are beautiful and all girls are lovely... but Angelea, no. Because of your past and what you've done, you're the exception.' It's like your show is saying something and doing something totally different."
Added the model who gave birth to her son in September, "It's not what it says it is, and that's the opinion I got from it... I just viewed it different after that. I feel like if you were really out to help girls, then this definitely would've helped me so much more. At the end of the day, I'm very thankful that everything went its way because I wouldn't have my son. That's for sure. My life would've been different. I wouldn't have my son and my son is my biggest blessing. So I'm happy, I'm okay with it, how things went. But for awhile, I'm not going to lie, I was hurt and I was upset about it."
Preston also noted her relationship with D'Amato changed for the better as time passed following the incident.
"You know, there was a time where I was upset at Lisa because of the way she handled the situation with the questions that were being asked of her, but then I also understand it now because with a show like that, she has obligations. Of course they gave it you, you're not going to be the one to say, 'Well you know I really didn't win but since they gave it to me...' No, if you want your money, you gotta play by their rules. So I was upset at her, but we're cool now. She sent the baby some gifts for the baby shower and she sent me stuff as well in the Summer time. So I'm very thankful to her as well," Preston told the website.
As for life after Top Model, Preston said it's been mostly positive with some negative spots in between. In addition to welcoming her son into the world, she also got married. But according to the model, her marriage is currently "on the rocks." About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.