Here's Why America's Next Top Model Contestants Have Even Less Privacy Than You Think

Not everything about reality television is real; that much has been made abundantly clear in the years since its inception as participants speak out about manipulation, harsh treatment, and plenty more besides. Business Insider spoke to the producers behind some of our favorite shows and they revealed, among other things, that regular people embarrassing themselves on TV for our amusement are being paid a pittance, while moments are tweaked and recaptured to get the desired result. 


Elsewhere, footage is manipulated to make two conversations magically appear as one, contestants are nudged during interviews to think and act a certain way, and certain personalities are even changed completely to ensure the drama continues. Essentially, reality TV producers have more power than we could ever imagine. In the case of "America's Next Top Model," their pull extended to ensuring participants were never left alone long enough to feel at ease in the so-called model house. 

There's no break from filming while competing on America's Next Top Model

Former model Sarah Hartshorne, who competed on cycle 9 of the hit show (ultimately placing eighth overall), is using her TikTok account to entertainingly skewer many of the biggest misconceptions about "ANTM." Suffice to say, the show isn't nearly as glamorous (or profitable) as it seems. In one such video, Hartshorne revealed that, in keeping with reality TV setups where the participants live together while competing, the women were filmed 24/7 — quite literally, there were cameras on them while they slept. A control room was manned around the clock, just in case anything entertaining happened at some ungodly hour. 


This meant that, even if a contestant got up in the middle of the night to pee, a camera would follow her just to be sure nothing else was happeningHowever, once the model was inside the bathroom, she would finally get some respite from the cameras. Hartshorne notes the only places participants had any privacy whatsoever were the toilet and the shower, where filming was not allowed provided they were alone. However, if another model decided to join them, cameras could film freely and the door had to remain open throughout. Somewhat underplaying the whole experience, Hartshorne admitted, "It was so stressful."