AceShowbiz - Tyra Banks found a supporter in Toccara Jones. Toccara, who competed in season three of "America's Next Top Model", weighed in on the controversy surrounding the host after Sarah Hartshorne claimed that producers only paid the contestants $40 a day.
In an interview with TMZ, Toccara addressed the claims that Tyra exploited some of the young women on the show. Toccara believed that producers were not obliged to pay the contestants because it was a competition.
"It's a contest. So there's no payment. I mean, when do people pay to be in a contest or get paid to be in a contest. The whole purpose of a contest is to win a prize," she opined. "You know what I'm saying? It's for the exposure."
She continued, "The $40 was per diem. So you actually didn't get paid. Technically, no one got paid because then if someone got paid there could be legal issues about, you know, a winner or who got paid how much. It could have been a whole big drama if people getting paid to be on a contest."
The former plus-size model also shared that she definitely benefited from being on the show. "Because of 'Top Model', every job that I've received after that on television I collect residuals," she said.
Of the idea of canceling Tyra, Toccara said, "This is the modeling world. She didn't create this." She went on to say, "She just showed y'all… She just became the face on it, which is great."
Further gushing over the "Dancing with the Stars" host, Toccara added, "I love Tyra. She's still thriving. She still doing good and she's going to continue to be doing good and people are still talking about the franchise and here we are still speaking about it."
The new interview arrived after Tyra was under fire for allegedly paying contestants $40 a day. On November 29, Sarah, who competed on the show during 2007's cycle nine, reacted to a Twitter user who wrote, "The fact that girls on ANTM were getting paid $40 an episode and Tyra and them judges were making BANK, is kinda sick." Quote retweeting the post, Sarah claimed, "$40 a day, no residuals, and we had to pay for food."