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America's Next Top Model (often shortened to Top Model or abbreviated as ANTM) is a reality television show in which a number of women compete for the title of America's Next Top Model and a chance to start their career in the modeling industry.

The show was created and is hosted by talk-show host and former model Tyra Banks, who also serves as the head judge and executive producer of the show. The first "cycle" premiered in May 2003 and was one of UPN's highest rated shows. The show's seventh cycle was the first of the shows among regular programming on UPN's successor network, The CW, and thus far is the network's highest rated series. The show will continue until at least the 2009-10 season. The opening theme is performed by Tyra Banks and is produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins. Banks co-produces the show with Ken Mok and Anthony Dominici for 10 by 10 Entertainment and Bankable Productions, syndicated internationally by KingWorld (and its successor CBS Television Distribution), and domestically as a "presentation" of VH1. For the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 television seasons, ANTM was the #1 show in average viewers on The CW.

Show format

Each season of America's Next Top Model has from 9-13 episodes and starts with 10-14 contestants. Each episode, one contestant is eliminated, though in rare cases a double elimination or no elimination was given by consensus of the judging panel. Makeovers are administered to contestants early in the season (usually after the first or second elimination in the finals), and a trip to an international destination is scheduled at about two-thirds of the way through the season (usually with five or six contestants remaining).

Each episode of Top Model covers the events of roughly a week of real time (however, while overseas, an episode roughly covers three to four days, totaling two weeks of filming abroad), and features a fashion challenge, photo shoot or commercial, a critique of each contestant and her performance by the judging panel led by Tyra Banks, and the elimination of one or more contestants. As of May 2009, the current judging panel includes runway coach J. Alexander and fashion photographer Nigel Barker. Previous judges included fashion icon Twiggy, models Janice Dickinson and Paulina Porizkova, fashion stylist Nolé Marin, designer Kimora Lee Simmons and fashion editors Beau Quillian and Eric Nicholson. Photo shoot director Jay Manuel, though not a permanent judge, is featured every episode. Usually, an additional guest judge will sit in on the panel every week. Each episode is usually associated with a theme in the world of modeling, such as dealing with the press in interviews, selling a commercial product, appearing in a runway show or going on "go sees."

An episode usually begins with the contestants receiving training in an area concurrent with the week's theme. For example, contestants may get coached in runway walking, improvisational acting, or applying make-up to suit various occasions. A related challenge soon follows, such as a mock runway show or interview, and a winner is chosen by a judge. She receives some prize, such as clothing, a night out, or an advantage at the next photo shoot, and she is usually allowed to share the benefits with a certain number of other contestants of her choice. In Cycle 1, 3, 4, 5, 10 and 12 the first week post casting did not feature a challenge, just like the third to last week in Cycle 1. In Cycle 5, 7 and 11 there have been episodes with multiple challenges. In Cycle 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 there have been team challenges. In Cycle 8 only the best girl of the winning team won the prize; in Cycle 9 each girl got a prize and one was chosen by random draw to win an extra one; Cycle 9 also had a challenge with two winners. The first from Cycle 10 had each girl winning a prize and the best one winning an extra prize. All team challenges since has had the contestants sharing the reward equally.

The next segment is a photo shoot, and each contestant's performance will reflect heavily on her judging for that week. Each cycle features photo shoots such as bikini or lingerie shots, beauty shots, posing nude or semi-nude, posing with a male model, and posing with animal(s). Usually one photo shoot per season is replaced with a commercial shoot (excluding Cycles 2, 5 and 9 where there were both a commercial and a photo shoot, and Cycle 4 where there was no commercial at all). In Cycles 2 and 9, a photo shoot was replaced by a music video for Tyra Banks and Enrique Iglesias respectively.

The final segment of each episode is judging. During judging, contestants are often given a challenge in some area such as posing, selling a product, runway walking, or choosing a representative outfit or make-up to satisfy a given prompt, known as a pre-evaluation task. This practice has been discontinued since Cycle 8. Each contestant's photo (or on occasion, their commercial) is then shown and evaluated by the judging panel. After all photos have been evaluated, the contestants leave the room as the judges deliberate. The elimination process is ceremonious, as Tyra reveals and hands out the photos of the contestants that have not been eliminated one-by-one, in order of merit, each time saying, "Congratulations. You are still in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model." The last two contestants who have not received their photos are brought up as "the bottom two," and Tyra critiques each one before revealing which of the two is continuing on in the competition (the other being eliminated). However, there have been three exceptions, as Cycle 4 had a double elimination, Cycle 5 had a non-elimination, and in Cycle 9, the original eliminee was saved by another contestant's decision to quit on the spot, just moments after Tyra had called her name for safety. Cycle 13 also had a "bottom three" when the contestants faced a double elimination in the final four episode.

The format varies slightly when only three contestants remain. With the exceptions of Cycles 1 and 2, (when CoverGirl wasn't a sponsor), and Cycle 3 where there was no commercial, the three remaining contestants compete in one last photo shoot and commercial for CoverGirl, followed by a judging session in which the judges eliminate the contestant they feel to be the weakest. The final two then compete in a runway show in front of the judges and a live audience, before both their performances there and during the entire competition is considered when the judges declare a winner. Also in Cycles 1 & 2, the finalists were chosen in large part by a go-see with the featured designer.

Since CoverGirl (post Cycle 3) has become a sponsor, on each episode, except for the premiere, Cycle 4's second episode and recap, Cycle 7's second to last episode and the recaps and finales from Cycle 6 onwards, a girl can be voted CoverGirl of the Week by the viewers. From Cycle 11 onwards, this has been replaced by a Top Model in Action segment, focusing on former contestants and their post-show accomplishments.

ANTM with The CW

It was announced on January 24, 2006, that Top Model would be part of the new The CW network, a merger between UPN and The WB, when the next cycle started in September airing on Wednesdays. Prior to the announcement of merging with The CW, UPN had committed to renewing the series through its ninth cycle on January 20, 2006, for which casting was conducted throughout mid-2006.

To celebrate its tenth cycle, ANTM aired a special installment called America's Next Top Model: Exposed in two parts on the CW on Wednesday, February 6 & 13, 2008. It reviewed the best cat fights, mishaps and most memorable photoshoots, personalities, defining moments and contained other segments about the show since Cycle 1 to Cycle 9, and featured a special opening fusing all three openings together. Camille McDonald (Cycle 2), Toccara Jones (Cycle 3), Eva Pigford (Cycle 3 winner), Bre Scullark (Cycle 5), Cassandra Whitehead (Cycle 5), Joanie Dodds (Cycle 6), Jael Strauss (Cycle 8), Dionne Walters (Cycle 8), Heather Kuzmich (Cycle 9), and Bianca Golden (Cycle 9) all returned to comment on events that happened in their or other cycles.

The Tyra Banks Show

America's Next Top Model is also very connected with Tyra Banks' talk show: several contestants have made appearances on it, most notably Natasha Galkina (Cycle 8) who worked as a correspondent for the show. The show's stage was also used for the Cycle 5 reunion show.

The Fiercee Awards had categories as follows. Bold names indicate the category winners.
  • Biggest Makeover Meltdown (presented by CariDee English (Cycle 7) and Saleisha Stowers (Cycle 9)):
    • Jade Cole (Cycle 6)
    • Jaeda Young (Cycle 7)
    • Bianca Golden (Cycle 9)
  • Craziest Phone Call (presented by Jaslene Gonzalez (Cycle 8) and Nicole Linkletter (Cycle 5)):
    • Shandi Sullivan (Cycle 2)
    • Natasha Galkina (Cycle 8)
  • Lifetime Achievement (presented by Tyra Banks):
  • Worst Walks & Wipe Outs (presented by April Wilkner (Cycle 2) and Heather Kuzmich (Cycle 9)):
    • Norelle Van Herk (Cycle 3)
    • Rebecca Epley (Cycle 4)
    • Jael Strauss (Cycle 8)
  • Most Dramatic Exit (presented by Camille McDonald (Cycle 2) and Diana Zalewski (Cycle 8)):
    • Jade Cole (Cycle 6)
    • Ebony Morgan (Cycle 9)
    • Kimberly Rydzewski (Cycle 10)
  • Ugliest Cry (presented by Jenah Doucette (Cycle 9) and Keenyah Hill (Cycle 4)):
    • Shandi Sullivan (Cycle 2)
    • Joanie Dodds (Cycle 6)
    • Jael Strauss (Cycle 8)
  • Biggest Change (presented by Tyra Banks):
    • Shandi Sullivan (Cycle 2)


This ceremony was preceded by red carpet interviews of Toccara Jones, CariDee English, Jaslene Gonzalez, Camille McDonald, Keenyah Hill, Carol Alt, Quiana Grant, Melissa Baker and Tyra Banks, followed by an online fashion review by Toccara Jones and Jay Manuel. Amongst Jay's favourites were Jones herself, together with McDonald, while Jones liked Gonzalez. They agreed that Saleisha Stowers, Norelle Van Herk and Banks were amongst the best dressed while English was amongst the worst.

Modelville

Tyra Banks has decided to launch a new reality show, inside her Tyra Show, called Modelville which featured Renee Alway, Bianca Golden, Dominique Reighard, Fatima Siad and Lauren Utter vying for a $50,000 contract. Dominique won and received a contract from Carol's Daughter.

ANTM Writers' Labor Dispute

On July 21, 2006, the writers of America's Next Top Model went on strike while working on Cycle 7, set to premiere on the new CW Network in September 2006. The writers sought representation through the Writers Guild of America, west, which would allow them regulated wages, access to portable health insurance, and pension benefits. These benefits would be similar to those given to writers on scripted shows. The strike was the focus of a large rally of Hollywood writers coinciding with the premiere of the new network on September 20, 2006. The dispute was chronicled in a July 24 interview on the website Television Without Pity with Daniel J. Blau, a former TWoP recapper who covered the series, and at the time was an ANTM show producer. In November 2006, the writers on strike were taken off payroll.

Criticism

Yahoo's "Shine" lifestyle website blasted the show's cruelty and elements of humiliation, saying that some of the girls' critiques from the "cruel and unusual" judges are "really cruel and cringe-inducing," and that the show "humiliates and degrades young women." They created a list called "10 reasons why 'America's Next Top Model' is bad for women, humans," citing such things as giving an unrealistic vision to girls (both on the show, and watching) about what life as a model is like, and "always espousing empowerment and female strength and then forcing the contestants into embarrassing scenarios far outside the realm of real-life modeling." One such scenario highlighted was when two final contestants "were made to wear bikinis so skimpy that the producers had to blur out Allison's butt cheeks," and performed a "creepily sexual mud fight," after which the contestant Teyona Anderson was "commended for taking her weave in her hand and whipping it around on the runway like a sexy feather boa."

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, commenting on ANTM and Project Runway in the September 2006 issue of Harper's Bazaar, slammed it as "trash that is funny for five minutes if you're with other people. If you're alone, it's not funny. Those girls will never be the next Gemma Ward. There is no justice in the fashion business." Ward was discovered in the similarly-themed Australian reality show Search for a Supermodel, before ANTM aired in Australia in early 2003. Lagerfeld served as a photographer for the French version of ANTM.

Allure magazine criticized the show in its October 2006 issue, saying that ANTM "hasn't exactly produced any actual supermodels."

Ken Mok and Tyra Banks noticed that most of Cycle 8's girls were unusually heavy smokers. "Tyra and I understand the influence 'Top Model' has on a generation of young people, and we want to make sure we get the right message to our audience," Mok said, which then prompted the "green" theme of Cycle 9.

The winner of Cycle 9, Saleisha Stowers, was discovered to have been in a Wendy's commercial, on a catwalk in the Cycle 6 show and an episode of Tyra Banks Show prior to the Cycle 9 event. The CW network said she had revealed her role in the Wendy's commercial, and "after reviewing the commercial, it was determined that her appearance did not amount to 'modeling' experience, and therefore did not exclude her from participating in the show."

After filming Cycle 10, the producers of America's Next Top Model were served with a lawsuit from Michael Marvisi who owns the loft used as the Top Model house. The lawsuit claims that the contestants as well as the production crew caused an estimated $500,000 in damages to the loft. Marvisi claims the contestants engaged in food fights, made holes in the walls, caused water damage to the bathroom, damaged a $15,000 chandelier beyond repair, and caused $90,000 worth of damage to an electrical store. Also, the production crew has been accused of damaging the flooring and making holes in the ceiling for lighting equipment.

Walmart & America's Next Top Model

The America's Next Top Model franchise has released a new clothing and accessories line based on the top model show. The line is sold at most Walmart stores. The line ranges from cosmetic products to handbags.

Cycles

Cycle Premiere Winner Runner-up Other contestants in order of elimination Number of contestants Destination(s)
1 May 20, 2003 Adrianne Curry Shannon Stewart Tessa Carlson, Katie Cleary, Nicole Panattoni, Ebony Haith, Giselle Samson, Kesse Wallace, Robin Manning, Elyse Sewell 10
Parismarker
2 January 13, 2004 Yoanna House Mercedes Scelba-Shorte Anna Bradfield, Bethany Harrison, Heather Blumberg, Jenascia Chakos, Xiomara Frans, Catie Anderson, Sara Racey-Tabrizi, Camille McDonald, April Wilkner, Shandi Sullivan 12
Milanmarker
3 September 22, 2004 Eva Pigford Yaya DaCosta Magdalena Rivas, Leah Darrow, Julie Titus, Kristi Grommet, Jennipher Frost, Kelle Jacob, Cassie Grisham, Toccara Jones, Nicole Borud, Norelle Van Herk, Ann Markley, Amanda Swafford 14
Tokyomarker
4 March 2, 2005 Naima Mora Kahlen Rondot Brita Petersons, Sarah Dankleman, Brandy Rusher, Noelle Staggers, Lluvy Gomez, Rebecca Epley, Tiffany Richardson, Tatiana Dante, Michelle Deighton, Christina Murphy, Brittany Brower, Keenyah Hill 14
Cape Townmarker
5 September 21, 2005 Nicole Linkletter Nik Pace Ashley Black, Ebony Taylor, Cassandra Whitehead, Sarah Rhoades, Diane Hernández, Coryn Woitel, Kyle Kavanagh, Lisa D'Amato, Kim Stolz, Jayla Rubinelli, Bre Scullark 13
Londonmarker
6 March 8, 2006 Danielle Evans Joanie Dodds Kathy Hoxit, Wendy Wiltz, Kari Schmidt, Gina Choe, Mollie Sue Steenis-Gondi, Leslie Mancia, Brooke Staricha, Nnenna Agba, Furonda Brasfield, Sara Albert, Jade Cole 13
Bangkokmarker
7 September 20, 2006 CariDee English Melrose Bickerstaff Christian Evans, Megan Morris, Monique Calhoun, Megg Morales, AJ Stewart, Brooke Miller, Anchal Joseph, Jaeda Young, Michelle Babin, Amanda Babin, Eugena Washington 13
Barcelonamarker
8 February 28, 2007 Jaslene Gonzalez Natasha Galkina Kathleen DuJour, Samantha Francis, Cassandra Watson, Felicia Provost, Diana Zalewski, Sarah VonderHaar, Whitney Cunningham, Jael Strauss, Brittany Hatch, Dionne Walters, Renee Alway 13
Sydneymarker
9 September 19, 2007 Saleisha Stowers Chantal Jones Mila Bouzinova, Kimberly Leemans, Victoria Marshman, Janet Mills, Ebony Morgan, Sarah Hartshorne, Ambreal Williams, Lisa Jackson, Heather Kuzmich, Bianca Golden, Jenah Doucette 13
Shanghai & Beijing
10 February 20, 2008 Whitney Thompson Anya Kop Kimberly Rydzewski, Atalya Slater, Allison Kuehn, Amis Jenkins, Marvita Washington, Aimee Wright, Claire Unabia, Stacy Ann Fequiere, Lauren Utter, Katarzyna Dolinska, Dominique Reighard, Fatima Siad 14
Romemarker
11 September 3, 2008 McKey Sullivan Samantha Potter ShaRaun Brown, Nikeysha Clarke, Brittany Rubalcaba, Hannah White, Isis King, Clark Gilmer, Lauren Brie Harding, Joslyn Pennywell, Sheena Satana, Elina Ivanova, Marjorie Conrad, Analeigh Tipton 14
Amsterdammarker
12 March 4, 2009 Teyona Anderson Allison Harvard Isabella Falk, Jessica Santiago, Nijah Harris, Kortnie Coles, Sandra Nyanchoka, Tahlia Brookins, London Levi-Nance, Natalie Pack, Fo Porter, Celia Ammerman, Aminat Ayinde 13
São Paulomarker
13 September 9, 2009 Nicole Fox Laura Kirkpatrick Lisa Ramos, Rachel Echelberger, Courtney Davies, Lulu Braithwaite, Bianca Richardson, Ashley Howard, Kara Vincent, Rae Weisz, Brittany Markert, Sundai Love, Jennifer An, Erin Wagner 14
Mauimarker


Contestants

Crossover Appearances

  • In Cycle 3, Taye Diggs from Kevin Hill appeared in the acting challenge, which was won by Yaya DaCosta but it was the cycle's winner Eva Pigford who guest-starred on the show, she later starred on other UPN/CW show such as Smallville.
  • The winner of the following cycle Naima Mora also got to guest-star on a show, Veronica Mars.
  • Kim Stolz (Cycle 5) and Furonda Brasfield (Cycle 6) were given small guest-starring roles on episodes of Veronica Mars. Kim and Furonda's roles were cameos in the same series.
  • CariDee English (Cycle 7), who won the acting challenge in Episode 9, guest-starred in an episode of the series One Tree Hill. More recently, she had a cameo appearance in an episode of Gossip Girl.
  • For Cycle 8, the acting-themed episode had Tia Mowry of CW's The Game give the girls a crash course in acting, although the "crossover" was limited to Mowry's appearance, as the challenge winner was not given a guest role as a prize. Instead, Renee Alway, who won the challenge, got a surprise visit from her husband and son in which she shared with Dionne Walters, whose family also showed up for a surprise visit.
  • Also several contestants (winners or not) have landed roles in shows by UPN or the CW, such as Mercedes Scelba-Shorte, Ann Markley, Toccara Jones and Cassandra Whitehead.
  • Analeigh Tipton and Samantha Potter (both Cycle 11) were featured in an episode of The Big Bang Theory which featured the main characters locating the top model house.
  • At the E! News preshow for the 81st Academy Awards five contestants were featured modeling Oscar gowns: Ambreal Williams, and Saleisha Stowers (both Cycle 9), Samantha Potter (cycle 11), Nijah Harris and Natalie Pack (both Cycle 12)


Influence on pop culture

The show has been referred to in many series, such as ABC Family's GREEK and The Big Bang Theory and Fox's Family Guy. It also had its own E! True Hollywood Story episode, featuring past contestants Ebony Haith, Giselle Samson, Elyse Sewell, Adrianne Curry, Camille McDonald, April Wilkner, Mercedes Scelba - Shorte, Toccara Jones, Ann Markley, Amanda Swafford, Eva Pigford, Michelle Deighton, Brittany Brower, Naima Mora, Ebony Taylor, Lisa D'Amato, Kim Stolz and Bre Scullark as well as judges & personals Janice Dickinson, Tyra Banks, Nigel Barker, J. Alexander, Jay Manuel, Ken Mok and Michelle Mock-Falcon. It covered the first five cycles and recently reaired with a few added minutes of footage which cover cycles 6 to 10 and Stylista.

Oxygen Network, which has acquired the cable rights of ANTM, is going to air a series of documentary called Top Model Obsessed, featuring past contestants Lisa D'Amato, CariDee English and Bianca Golden.

ANTM was also alluded to in the 6th season of the Gilmore Girls when Sookie recounts Lorelai's drunken escapade at Lane's wedding to Lorelai the following morning. She mentions that Lorelai was in front of the camera making her film to send in for an America's Next Top Model audition.

International versions

International broadcasts

ANTM is currently shown on TV internationally in 170 countries and regions, namely: Australia, the United Kingdommarker, Japanmarker, Hong Kongmarker, Macaumarker, Taiwanmarker, and the whole Southeast Asia (except Myanmarmarker and Timor-Lestemarker). The following table shows countries and regions that have aired this show:

Country Channel First aired Last aired Cycle(s) Episodes
Latin America SET 2004 TBA 1-10 124
Southeast Asia Channel V 2005 April 05, 2009 3-11 78
Fox8 2004 TBA 1-12 TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
Citytv
CTV
2003 (Citytv)
2008 (CTV)
2008 (Citytv) All TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
VIVA 2007 TBA 1-5 TBA
Skai 2006 TBA 1-11 TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
Zee Cafe TBA TBA 3-6, 10-11 TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TV6 TBA TBA 1-11 TBA
8TV 2004 TBA 4-9 TBA
RTL5 2005 2009 1-10 124
TV3 2004 TBA 1-11 TBA
Studio 23
ETC
2004 (Studio 23)
2006 (ETC)
2005 (Studio 23) 1-10 TBA
WAPA-TVmarker
WAPA Américamarker
2009 TBA TBA TBA
Channel 5 TBA TBA 1-2,4-12 TBA
Channel V Taiwan TBA TBA TBA TBA
LIVING 2004 TBA 1-12 TBA
HTV2 May 16, 2008 Sept 05, 2008 6-7 26 +2
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA


See also



References

  1. http://honestlyantm.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/modelville/
  2. http://astrology.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/10-reasons-why-americas-next-top-model-is-bad-for-women-humans-462488/
  3. 10 reasons why 'America's Next Top Model' is bad for women, humans http://astrology.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/10-reasons-why-americas-next-top-model-is-bad-for-women-humans-462488/
  4. Harper's Bazaar, September 2006 retrieved August 24, 2006 Actress/Former Model Rebecca Romijn, comments how the show isn't realistic and "stuff like this doesn't happen in the fashion industry." Most ANTM contestants are referred to as 'mall rats'.
  5. 'Idol' looks like a better ticket to a dream career, Melanie McFarland, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 26, 2007
  6. Images continue to entice kids to smoke, Tara Parker-Pope, The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2007
  7. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20081203cbs03
  8. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20081202oxygen01
  9. http://www2.warnerbros.com/gilmoregirls/
  10. www.tyrabanks.com - Top Model around the World. Accessed: 2009-09-16.


External links




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