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  • Writer's picturezeyna tai

All About Americas Next Top Model

This week in A-Z Realitea, we are featuring the all time classic modeling show: America's Next Top Model, or ANTM. America's Next Top Model was hosted by Tyra Banks for all 24 cycles, or seasons. Overcoming racial barriers, Banks is an infamous supermodel who rose to fame at seventeen years old. Banks is well regarded and well connected in the modeling world, and utilized her connections to create ANTM in 2004.

Structure of the Show:

Each season of America's Next Top Model begins with about 10-16 contestants and has about 9-16 episodes. In a typical ANTM episode, contestants start by learning a specific skill that will serve them in the modeling world. Such skills include acting, having personal style, and runway walking. Halfway through the episode, the contestants are met with a challenge testing them on the skill they learned earlier that week, each contestant will participate in this challenge. These mini challenges are not necessarily photoshoots, in fact they usually are more creative, and the winner will get to choose a few friends to share the prize. The prize of these mini challenges often has to do with what the challenge is about, and can be anything from having dinner with an important person in the modeling world, to being given money for a full on shopping spree.

Following the mini challenge, is the big photoshoot for each episode. Each episode’s final photoshoot has a theme, and contestants must emerge with the best photograph. In order to do so, the models are expected to apply their newly acquired skills as well as all past corrections they have received. These photoshoots usually last all day, and are often very stressful for the contestants. Following the photoshoots, contestants are called to panel which is the judging segment of the show. Each contestant is shown their best picture from that week's photoshoot, and listens to their critiques and/or praises. Finally, each contestant is told they are safe one by one, until there is only one contestant left. This contestant receives the sought after grand prize: a contract with a top modeling agency and a feature in a popular magazine.

Within each episode, is, of course, the backbone of all reality television: snippets of catty drama and fights among the contestants. As the show went on, the later seasons became more focused on drama rather than showcasing the modeling aspect of the show. As reality television developed, and because all of the models lived together 24/7, there was no shortage of drama to keep the show running.

Notable People:

Some people that you may have heard of that were ANTM contestants are Eva Marcille, Winnie Harlow, Yaya DeCosta, Dani Evans, and Lisa D’Amato.

Jay Manuel was the artistic director for all the photoshoots for 18 years. Tyra Banks also brought in models such as Janice Dickinson and Twiggy.

Fun Facts:

  1. The judging portion could take up to eight long hours to shoot.

  2. Tyra Banks was so stressed out from the show that she wanted to quit in cycle 8.

  3. Until Cycle 23, you could only apply if you were 27 years old or younger.

  4. Once you lived in the house, you had to cut off all contact from the outside world.

  5. ANTM was not scripted

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