BNTM Episode Five…Goodbye!

BNTM Episode Five what an emotional roller coaster that was! As you now know, I have had to leave the competition after being taken to A&E and then Moorfields Eye Hospital. (It was easily the worst day of my life). My phone has been going mental with messages from all of you amazing people and it honestly means the world to me. I wasn’t going to post much about leaving, as it was such a devastating day, but I’ve just had sooooo many of you asking me what happened I have to write something, so here goes……

The day began as it always did –  being woken up at about 6:30am to get ready for the shoot. Normally I would get out of bed, have a shower and then do my makeup with the other girls, using one of the big mirrors in the main room. That morning I felt SO tired I decided to stay in bed and do my makeup there!  I quite literally couldn’t keep my eyes open, I honestly thought it was because of the lack of sleep. You don’t get much shut-eye in the house, we are normally late to bed and each morning it’s always an early start to prepare and get to the new location (I have to admit I do like my sleep!). That morning seemed different though, one of the cameramen began filming me and all I wanted was to be left alone, that was unusual for me, the cameramen are great and it’s their job to film you anytime, anywhere. I then tried and failed to put my contact lens in and at that point I began to think something wasn’t quite right. It was scary and I became very worried – your eyes are EVERYTHING.

Still… I thought it’s early morning, things will get better and so I boarded the bus without telling anyone of my troubles. I managed to have a bit of sleep during the long journey and woke in …. guess where …… ESSEX. I was so excited, I was home lol – unfortunately that lasted about 2 seconds. My eyes were much much worse and were now really painful. The most frightening thing was, I could barely see anything out of my right eye and my left one seemed to be going the same way. The producers immediately got a first aider who told me I needed to go to A&E as soon as possible. I was petrified, I thought she would just give me an eye wash or something and I would be good to go. I was in a mess (again). I knew I was in trouble but I couldn’t miss out on this shoot. I had a chat with Nicky Johnson who told me that my health comes way way before ANY competition. I was thinking No….. No…. it doesn’t, I can’t miss out, I’m going to be eliminated. But of course Nicky was right and he was absolutely amazing. I am sure if I hadn’t spoken to him, I would have told the producers that my eyes had made a miraculous recovery and I was fine to be filmed. I would have then been bouncing on a trampoline unable to see and probably broken my leg as well hahahaha!!

So we headed off to A&E where, after a long wait, I was seen by a doctor who started doing a range of BRAIN tests on me…BRAIN!!!! Yikes, I remember thinking it’s my eyes not my brain that’s the problem (although some cruel people may disagree!) However, he explained that he thought it might be something to do with my brain as everything in your head is connected. I was feeling VERY sick by then. I was scared and the pressure was getting to me…….WHY ME……. Grrrrrrr?? After about six million tests the Doctor advised me to go to Moorfields Eye Hospital. I knew this was one of the most famous eye hospitals in the world, so I thought something must be pretty wrong with me and I felt even more frightened. We waited at the hospital for what seemed like forever and I saw four different doctors until finally I got my diagnosis. I had an ulcer on my right eye and was developing another on my left. I had to put drops in EVERY HOUR, even at night time, for the next 48 hours and I couldn’t wear my contact lenses for a month (which would mean the rest of the show). I couldn’t help it, I just started to cry. I knew then it was over and my dreams were shattered.  I wouldn’t be able to do a fashion shoot without my contacts, I have really bad eyesight and wouldn’t be able to see the photographer, let alone where I was going. On top of this putting the drops in every hour would have been impossible in the house – we got little enough sleep as it was. Goodness, it was the hardest decision of my life, at the end of the day your health comes first but I had that nagging hope that maybe things will get better. But I couldn’t risk it. I was heartbroken.



After crying all day, I didn’t think it would be possible to cry anymore, but telling the girls was even WORSE. I think they all expected me to walk in and be fine and in actual fact I didn’t look too bad. I think it was almost as big a shock for them as it was for me. Everyone cried, which was so horrible to see, but it showed what a close group we had become and I had tears again at home, when I watched the show and heard some of the lovely comments the girls made behind the scenes.

I returned to Moorfields a few days later and a new doctor told me it was actually worse than they had originally thought…. great! I had developed TWO ulcers on my right eye and one on my left and this meant continuing with the drops, hourly, for another 72 hours – thank goodness Nicky had persuaded me to go to A&E. I tell you, by the end of those 72 hours, I could have easily got a part in the Walking Dead, no problem, I WAS a zombie. Looking back it’s awful to remember that day, but I made the right decision. Having spoken to people who know about these things, I could have actually gone blind if I had left it much longer – SCARY and BIG thanks to all the Doctors who looked after me.

You’ll be pleased to know I’m fine now – PRAISE THE LORD!!!

BNTM was the best experience of my life. It has always been a dream to take part in that show, ever since watching the American version when I was little. It still doesn’t seem real – was I really in BNTM and on the telly – I do keep pinching myself…. Yep…. still awake, I’m not dreaming, phew!! I will be watching the rest of the series of course and I have heard there is some more drama ahead, so don’t miss it and good luck to all the girls.

As for me …. this is just the beginning. I am gonna keep going, the future is so exiting and full of endless possibilities.

All my love, thanks for reading and for all your support it means the world.

Eleanor S xx


  1. Niki Sorensen
    18/04/2017 / 7:30 pm

    I am so sorry, Eleanor. I think you would have won the competition. But your eyes are much more important , and you are still gorgeous you. I have no doubt that you will become a supermodel.


    • Eleanor S
      20/04/2017 / 5:37 pm

      Thanks ever so much Nancy – that’s really kind of you. Yes, I am glad I went to the doctors, though at the time I just kept thinking they would get better and I should stick it out.

      I am going to keep on trying and I am enjoying my shoots and you never know what’s around the corner do you.

      Best of luck in all you do and I hope you find a dream or two of your own.

      Eleanor S x

  2. 21/04/2017 / 1:44 pm

    Just seen ep 5, where you leave BNTM (corneal eye ulcers). I have multiple eye problems and turns out inflammation cam be caused by staph aureus that lives on your skin if you are allergic to the acid staph bacteria excrete. I was told by Moorfields Eye Hospital not to leave makeup on for more than 2 hrs. Bacterial infections with contact lenses or preservatives in makeup can cause problems Take care if you model that makeup artists don’t use u sterilised brushes/pencils or use same brushes between models. Take care, bathe lids in boiled water cooled, take your own brushes to shoots or antiseptic wipes to clean anything that goes near eyes. And don’t resort to any over the counter drops. I ended up in A and E after using Optrex for tired eyes and Moorfields advised a lot of people are allergic to preservatives like Sodium Benzoate used in proper eye meds. Even kept in the fridge eye drops go off in 7 days if preservative free but it’s worth trying. Inflammation can ulcerate the cornea. In my case I stopped wearing make up daily, bathed lids regularly and wipe brow area with Tea Tree (everyone has microscopic eyebrow mites).

    I hope you’re continuing modelling, and looking after skin and eyes. Ulcers heal if not aggravated and I hope they dont scar. Luckily you caught them early and owned up to it. Some hiring would have tried to hide it to get on in the comp but you were sensible and very brave Best of luck Eleanor….

    • Eleanor S
      24/04/2017 / 5:38 pm

      Hi Erssie
      Sorry for my late reply and thanks for your advice – you are absolutely right – I will have to be more careful but sometimes it’s really hard at a shoot to see just what people are doing and you don’t want to appear awkward or un helpful – especially as I am starting out – but that experience gave me a fright it was horrible.
      I liked your website and the knitting for greyhounds – sorry to hear about Lily – I know how you felt – I lost my two dogs Star and Sparkle before I got Miss Boo!

      Best Wishes
      Eleanor S

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