Created and produced by Tyra Banks, America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) is a reality show that has aired 24 seasons (commonly referred to as cycles) with 319 episodes so far. The reality show is a competition in which aspiring models compete for a chance to begin their career in the modeling industry with the title of America’s Next Top Model.
Without a doubt, the possibility of becoming America's next top model is a big deal, but there is nothing easy about it. Just like every other competition, the participants have to abide by strict rules and regulations, many of which make sense though others seem absurd. Here are 20 rules Tyra Banks and her team make the models follow that have shaped the show into what it is today:
20 Models Have To Cut Communication With The Outside World
It is no secret that the models do not have permission to access TVs, the Internet, or phones while filming the show. Being a contestant on ANTM means almost completely cutting yourself off from the world while you are in the show. According to thelist, they have no choice but to do this to reduce the possibility of spoilers before the show airs. Contestants are only allowed a few minutes or so a week to make calls from the house line.
19 Models Have To Take On Crazy Challenges
Taking on crazy challenges is usually part of the show and the models have to participate. According to poderoso, the idea behind these challenges is to test and improve their aptitude as models. For example, in cycle 20, the models had to stroll down a structure wearing extraordinary prohibitive clothing. Doing well in the challenges ensures a contestant a longer stay in the show.
18 The Models Cannot Leave After Elimination
When the show first aired, after elimination, models left immediately for their homes. However, with the rise of social media, the models do not have permission to leave even after elimination. According to thetalko, they are required to stay in a hotel for the duration of the show. This prevents the public from finding out the specific models that did not make it to the end.
17 Confessionals Are Mandatory
As part of the show, confessionals are mandatory and take up so much time. According to ninjajournalist, all the models are required to take out 20-30 minutes every single night to share their views and feelings on camera. After filming is over, the editors begin working on the many confessionals to edit for the show.
16 They Can Refuse To Participate In Any Challenges Or Even Quit
Obviously, the models are not detainees and they can refuse to participate in any challenge, however, there are serious consequences for choosing not to. According to poderoso, doing so earns the contestants some negative points on the side of the judges and this may result in the model facing elimination the next time around. Therefore, as much as they have a choice, most models prefer to persevere through them.
15 Models Do Not Have Much Input On The Makeovers Done On ANTM
An aspiring model's outward appearance can strengthen or weaken his or her chances of success, so as soon as the contestants join the show, they have no choice but to undergo a full makeover. According to thetalko, they can just refuse and say goodbye, but to be on the judges' good books, they must bear with what the situation is and soldier on, even if it means going completely bald.
14 No One Is Allowed To Speak Until A Camera Is Rolling
While watching the show, it might look like the models only film for a few hours then they are off to their luxurious apartment, but this is not the case. The cameras usually follow them around for the most part of the day; in fact, no one has the permission to speak until a camera is rolling as poderoso reveals.
13 The Models Have To Be Prepared To Be On Camera 24/7
While most reality shows are scripted, ANTM is not, and as a rule, the models have to be always presentable for the cameras. Buzzfeed reports that the cameras are usually rolling for approximately 20 to 22 hours every single day. The producers usually strive to catch all the drama they can on camera, all for the sake of ratings.
12 They Have No Choice But To Pay For Their Own Meals
Many people think that the life of the models on ANTM is nothing but glamorous. What they do not know is that they have no choice but to cook and pay for their own food. According to ninjajournalist, the models have to fill out a list of food items they want and give out money so that people get the food for them.
11 No Job Guarantee After The Show
Although this show plays a huge role in helping aspiring models achieve their dreams, the models cannot expect any further help after the show. As stated by thetalko, there is no guarantee of a ticket to stardom even for the winners of the competition. Fortunately, a good number of them find successful careers because of appearing on ANTM.
10 Models Do Not Have A Say On The Final Editing
Reality shows love to create drama for the sake of ratings and ANTM is no exception. Ninjajournalist reports that editors of the show sometimes exaggerate certain characteristics of the models to create villains and heroes even though they do not see themselves that way. The models, of course, do not have a say on the final editing.
9 They Must Undergo Psychiatric Evaluation
Before final acceptance on ANTM, there is a rule that the models have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. This enables the producers to know whether the models will be able to cope with being on ANTM. According to thetalko, the show is more stressful than viewers get to see, so getting the right contestants is very important.
8 There Is A Therapist On Call After Elimination
Being part of the show is usually a lot of stress. This is because most models live with strangers for weeks, even after the reason they came to the show is ripped away on camera. There is a therapist on standby to talk to them. This actually helps get them off the edge as screenrant reveals.
7 Everyone Has To Apply But Not Everyone Will Audition
Before being shortlisted as a contender, all applicants have to fill out a 10-page application. However, after applying not everyone will audition in front of the judges. If producers come across someone they want on ANTM, they can cast them directly even without auditioning as revealed by screenrant.
6 Models Should Have No Prior Experience
As a general rule, any model who wishes to be a cast member of ANTM must not have appeared in any national modeling campaign five years before signing up for the auditions. This is to discourage professional models for signing up. In addition, in the first 22 cycles, no model above the age of 27 could sign up for the auditions, as reported by Buzzfeed.
5 They Have No Choice But To Work Hard
It might seem all rosy for the ANTM contestants when we see them lounging in their luxurious apartment and hanging out with Tyra but this is far from the truth. According to thelist, the models are usually up by five in the morning and on busy days, they get back to the apartment at midnight.
4 The Models Do Not Get Enough Sleep, On Purpose
This might not be a clearly stated rule, but a means to an end. As revealed by thetalko, the models do not get enough hours of sleep, and this is sure to set them up for quick outbursts of emotions, which of course increases ratings. The lack of sleep adds more stress to their daily activities, which is good for TV.
3 Judges And The Models Are Not Allowed To Interact Often
As a rule, the judges and the models do not interact with each other much, unless it is part of the show. According to Buzzfeed, interactions with the models outside judging are at a minimal to prevent them from forming relationships that can lead to bias. This ensures free and fair selection of winners.
2 Models Cannot Leave Their Apartment Unless If It's About The Show
Contestants usually stay in an apartment rented out by the show, but as a rule, they should not leave for any reason, except matters related to the show and accompanied by the camera crew as Buzzfeed reveals. Therefore, they have no choice but to find creative ways to entertain themselves since they do not have access to anything that connects them to the world.
1 Be Natural
As a rule, the contestants should be all-natural, meaning they should not wear makeup during auditions. This creates an equal playing ground for everyone. According to EW, the models are even encouraged to come as natural as they can be with no added wigs or weaves but in decent attire.
Sources: thelist.com, poderoso.me, thetalko.com, ninjajournalist.com, buzzfeed.com, screenrant.com, EW.com