*This article is from a couple years ago when I produced a television show for MTSU.*
MTTV Channel 10 Brings You “MTSU’s Next Top Model”
By: Kristen Teffeteller 03/16/2006 – Sidelines/Exposure
Many people have heard of the reality shows “Runway” and “America’s Next Top Model.” Now, MTSU has its own reality television show on MTTV Channel 10: “MTSU’s Next Top Model.”
A year ago, executive producer Nicole Thompson, an electronic media communications major, was trying to think of a show for her MIDI Production class.
“I watched ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and thought it would be a good idea,” Thompson said. “It basically was a project to get me into MTTV.”
Thompson sent out a request for help on PipelineMT. Josh Robbins, head booker of the Wilhelmina-Dan Agency in Nashville, heard about her Thompson’s project and offered the agency’s help. The agency’s expertise and industry contacts lend a professional touch to the show and they also provide a $3000 prize package, including a one-year developmental modeling contract with Wilhelmina-Dan Agency.
The show has not gone without problems. Season one began airing on MTTV last semester and then was dropped from the channel’s line-up.
“The reason was that we had one editor and we couldn’t get the edits done in time,” Thompson said. “[Currently] we’re still editing to get it done in time to air. We need some knowledgeable, good editors.”
Production on season two began later than Thompson originally anticipated. She said “the most obvious problem” was lack of help and interest during Christmas break, when she was “actually trying to get it running.”
With the production experience of the first season under her belt, Thompson decided to make a few changes to the format, hence the tagline “The rules have changed!”
For example, the first season had 14 contestants, including two males. This year, nine female contestants were chosen from the application process and an open casting call. Thompson revealed that more female contestants will be added during this week’s filming for a “Wild Card” episode. The judging of the contestants will also be structured more like Bravo’s “Runway.”
The challenges are also undergoing a makeover. Thompson said some of last year’s challenges were simply fun, such as applying makeup without the aid of a mirror or a photo shoot with a ferret. Other challenges were similar to “America’s Next Top Model,” like a lingerie shoot held at Nashville’s Coyote Ugly Saloon.
“This year, Stephanie Williams [president of Dan Agency and a judge] wants it to be more professional,” Thompson said. “We’re using pro photographers, hair and makeup…it will be geared more towards the real ‘Top Model.'”
Filming of the second season has already begun for round one contestants. They have had three photo shoots in the Middle Tennessee area and will begin filming for round two this Saturday. With a more professional style and surprising twists and turns, “MTSU’s Next Top Model” may become a new guilty pleasure for students.
“It is the most awesome show on the station, pure and simple,” Thompson said.