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“I have two beautiful girls standing before me, but I only have one photo in my hands...” These words have captured the attention of millions of viewers for the last ten years as Tyra Banks, host of the hit show CW’s America’s Next Top Model, makes and breaks the dreams of young would-be models. Each week, one contestant is eliminated  from the show, until the last gorgeous woman left standing is crowned America’s Next Top Model, for real. And believe it or not, folks, 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the show!

ANTM AnniversaryAfter ten years on the air, one might think that enough is enough, but not so in this case. Although ratings and viewer numbers have both decreased somewhat over the years, there are still thousands upon thousands of dedicated fans tuning in every week. With advertisers paying over $61,000 per 30-second slot during the 2011–12 television season, the highest rate of any series on The CW, you better believe that the show is going strong!

But the best is yet to come! According to the show’s producers, the upcoming 20th season of the show is going to be particularly original and intriguing! Because not only does it mark the show’s tenth year on the air, but dig this, the new season will include.....some GENTS!! That’s right, ladies, the guys are now also producing some heat!

The first ever “Guys and Girls” edition will have eight men and eight women between the ages of 18 and 27  living under the same roof, each fighting for the chance to win the prestigious title.
Cast for 2013
“Also in Cycle 20 (cycle means “season” in CW-speak), viewers will continue to have a direct impact on the competition results, by voting for their favorite models though social media, and helping decide who gets eliminated and who stays in the running to becoming America’s Next Top Model,” the network announced recently. Visit the official America’s Next Top Model Facebook page to see who will be competing in Cycle 20 and weigh in on what you think should be done during their makeovers!

So, what kind of changes will these hunks bring to the show? Will there be extra-tough competition? Hurt feelings? Distraction from the craft? Perhaps even a little romance? Tune-in on Friday, August 2 to find out!
Tyra BanksA Brief History of America’s Next Top Model
America’s Next Top Model premiered on May 20, 2003. Hosted by former supermodel (and Dish longtime favorite, Tyra Banks, the show takes a group of aspiring female (until now) models, gives them each a makeover and puts them through a series of challenges, including a photo shoot, testing their skills at posing and their strength as a personality. At the end of each show, the models face the judges for a sometimes positive and sometimes disheartening critique, and one girl is sent packing. In the final episode, the last two remaining contestants compete on the catwalk in a real fashion show for the title of “America’s Next Top Model”.

Some of amazing prizes have included a Seventeen Magazine cover shoot, a spread in Nylon Magazine, a contract with CoverGirl cosmetics, an ad campaign with Smashbox and Nine West, a $100,00 cash prize, a modeling contract with Elite Model Management, and much more.  It’s good to be gorgeous, don’t you think?

Behind the scenes: What’s it really like?
With the (can you call them high-strung?) models all living under one roof for the duration of the competition, conflict must undoubtedly arise- like cat fights over hogging the phone or one model maliciously sticking her or his fingers in someone else’s low-fat brownies. Apart from these trivial arguments, though, the show does touch on sometimes controversial and relevant  topics. Take, for instance, Isis King, the first trans-woman to compete on the show, who placed 10th out of fourteen finalists in the 11th cycle. Though she was invited to compete again in the 17th cycle, the very first “All Star” cycle,she was still eliminated by the third week. Though her time on the show was short lived, King brought attention to the issues involved with gender transitioning, even appearing on Larry King Live and The Tyra Banks Show. Happily, in 2012, she became the first transgender woman to model for American Apparel.  
Cast from season 1
Who’s to JUDGE?
ANTM also has a running list of current and former judges, including André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue; J. Alexander (also known as Miss J), a runway coach; fashion photographer Nigel Barker; supermodels Twiggy, Paulina Porizkova, Kimora Lee Simmons, and Janice Dickenson. Most recently, male supermodel Rob Evans and PR superstar Kelly Cutrone have been added to the roster. Keeping up with modern times, fashion blogger Bryan Boy served as social media correspondent in Cycle 19. (Check out our back issue on fashion blogging by clicking the following link:

The Ratings Game?
For as long as the show has been on the air, its ratings have steadily dropped. The show went from 6.13 million viewers in Cycle 2, to 1.72 million viewers by the most recent cycle, but perhaps the introduction of eight steamy male contestants in the new season will change that. The show has also faced some heavy criticism. Allure beauty magazine printed in its October 2006 issue that ANTM “hasn’t exactly produced any actual supermodels”, and other sites have bashed the show for degrading and humiliating women, and for giving an inaccurate depiction of what the world of modeling is actually like.

Still, America’s Next Top Model is currently under license in over 100 markets around the world and has 20 international versions in production. Every now and then the producers mix things up with a specially themed season, including a “shorty” Cycle 13, im which only contestants under 5’7” were cast, and Cycle 19 of ANTM: College Edition, in which all contestants were required to be enrolled in a school of higher education.  

ANTM Success Stories
As previously mentioned, ANTM has gotten a bad rap for not producing “actual supermodels”. There have been a few success stories that have stood out over the years though, some because of their wild personalities and others for their achievements and roles in other television shows.
Adrianne Curry
Adrianne Curry
The first and possibly  the most problematic winner of ANTM, Adrianne Curry, appeared on the cover and in a nude pictorial for Playboy in February 2006,  and again for a second cover and nude pictorial in the January 2008 issue. Curry made Playboy’s 2008 top 25 sexiest women, along with Playboy’s top 100 Playboy spreads 2008 edition. She also made the 2005 Maxim Top 100. Revlon also used her as a model in some low-profile public appearances at conventions, as well as in short instructional films about applying makeup. She went on to marry Christopher Knight, better known as NAME of The Brady Bunch.
Whitney Thompson
Whitney Thompson
In Cycle 10, Whitney Thompson was crowned as the first plus-sized winning contestant. It was a bit surprising considering she was in the dreaded “bottom two” for four episodes of the season. After coming out on top, Thompson received a contract with CoverGirl that included a US national television commercial, print advertising and billboard in Times Square, in addition to a commercial shot with music artist Rihanna. In the fall of 2010, she modeled for Faith 21, the plus-size line at Forever 21.

Lisa D'amantoLisa D’Amato
Lisa D’Amato won Cycle 17 at the ripe old age of 32, which is ancient by supermodel standards. She was known as one of the craziest contestants ever, never short on personality. She shared on ANTM that she had suffered from child abuse, blaming that experience as the reason for her blunt, sometimes harsh, personality. She also knew how to get others laughing, or at least be entertained by her various stunts, such as having a long conversation with a Pampas Grass bush which she named “Cousin It.” After winning the show, she appeared in numerous magazines, was in two Old Navy commercials, and walked the runway for Alice + Olivia’s Fall 2006 collection. Perhaps the most successful of all the contestants, D’Amato was also featured in an Italian Vogue April 2012 6- page spread and interview. D’Amato is married to entrepreneur Adam Friedman, and the couple is now expecting a baby boy.

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 20 premieres on Friday, August 2 at 8/7c. Visit for more information / Issue 149 - September 1842
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