Taking a bad spill on the runway may be a model’s worst nightmare — and it’s only amplified when it might be broadcast to millions on TV.
Chinese model Ming Xi found herself in that scenario last week when she slipped and fell during the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which taped in Shanghai. On Tuesday night, CBS aired the telecast, and some thought the network might edit out Xi’s spill.
“Don’t expect to see this moment in the final cut of the fashion show when it airs on CBS,” People magazine cautioned last week. “Victoria’s Secret traditionally tapes two run-throughs of the show for this very reason, so the tumble will likely be removed from the final show.”
As it turns out — not so much! Why would they? For producers, a model falling down is TV gold. Although the annual lingerie show has edited out embarrassing moments before (such as Ariana Grande getting hit in the face by angel wings), CBS doubled down on the incident.
It all started innocently enough as Xi, thrilled to be in front of her hometown crowd with family in attendance, strolled down the runway and waved her hands in the air, encouraging the audience to get louder. Then, her heel caught in her skirt, and she tumbled to the ground.
Ming xi handled her fall so well and she still smiled through it
You go girl pic.twitter.com/Qn3YX1goVC
— K (@styleshiccups) November 20, 2017
HERE'S MING XI FALLING BUT STILL LOOKING GORGEOUS AS HELL THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT!!! pic.twitter.com/7y1UahKSQr
— ella (@seriouslyella) November 20, 2017
The crowd audibly gasped. For added drama, CBS spliced in backstage comments from producers:
“Ming is down!”
“Oh my goodness!”
“Can she get up? Is she okay?”
As Xi straightened her gigantic flowered costume and tried to recover, Brazilian model Gizele Oliveira offered her a hand. (“Gizele’s got her,” one producer said.) The audience roared as Xi got to her feet and walked to the end of the runway, where she struck a pose. Oliveira clapped and cheered, as did Karlie Kloss, who was right behind them.
— Rebecca Ramos (@BekeRamos) November 20, 2017
As Xi walked offstage, she started sobbing — the cameras followed her as the fellow models gave her hugs and offered reassurances: “It’s okay, don’t worry. You’re so beautiful, and you looked so beautiful at the end.”
“Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr., who was performing a medley of “Forever Young” and “Winter Song” when Xi’s fall took place, also offered his encouragement backstage. “Happens to the best of them. Sometimes you fall, you get back up. Fall down seven times, get up eight,” he said.
Viewers on social media, however, weren’t all pleased that CBS aired the moment.
Pretty uncool of Victoria's Secret to not only show Ming Xi fall, but then also show her crying backstage. #VictoriaSecretFashionShow
— Hillary Maglin (@HillaryMaglin) November 29, 2017
The vsfs is filmed twice. I’m disgusted that they showed Ming Xi fall, like honestly? Why did they do her like that? They embarrassed her in front of millions of people. I’m so disappointed in Victoria Secret right now. #VSFashionshow2017 #VSFashionShow
— Gabrielle (@Imaconspiracyy) November 29, 2017
how tf did y’all not edit out ming xi’s fall in the final show but never showed us the actual footage of when elsa hosk’s wing smacked miss ariana grande when she performed in 2014? i need answers https://t.co/xNafR57kBd
— angela (@wickedzarry) November 29, 2017
The fact that the VSFS producers not only aired Ming Xi's fall, but also her crying after…….idk man.
— Lan (@alanaarosee) November 29, 2017
In an Instagram post, Xi called her spill “one of the hardest moments I have ever had to go through in my career,” especially in front of a hometown crowd. However, she added, “the support I received from everyone yesterday was incredible and I am truly grateful to everyone who was there for me.”
As many of you may already know, I fell during my 5th year walking at the Victoria's Secret show yesterday. It was no doubt one of the hardest moments I have ever had to go through in my career, especially since the show was taking place in my hometown, in front of my mother's and my people's eyes. However, the support I received from everyone yesterday was incredible and I am truly grateful to everyone who was there for me. @ed_razek Thank you for your supportive words and your continuous support throughout these 7 years. @giizeleoliveira Thank you for helping me up after the fall, it was a very selfless and loving act from you. Thank you to all the girls who rushed to comfort me at backstage after what had happened, you are all family to me. Lastly thank you to everyone who sent and left me supportive messages. I will pick myself up from where I fell, and I will keep going in order to repay all the support you all have given me!! ❤️️#vsfashionshow @victoriassecret