Key Codes and conventions of Reality Television:
Real people, not actors. This provides the opportunity for viewers to observe how other people live and behave.
Ex: The models of ANTM are there because they want to become a better model and win a competition, the competition is using real people, not actresses. Before this show was introduced, models lived in an unseen world. ANTM provides a peek into the world of fashion from a certain perspective.
‘Real’ life situations. Even though though the storylines are ultimately controlled by directors. the situations are supposed to be based off of the characters genuine situations.
Ex: Models often times enter the competition for dramatic and personal reasons, such as trying to support a disabled child, or because they want to make their parents proud.
Largely Unscripted. This allows for the unpredictable to happen. It also provides real reactions.
Ex: Models are often genuinely shocked and excited when the competitions are announced, many aspects of the show are kept secret in order to provoke a genuine reaction from the models.
A story, journey, or a contest. Often times, reality television have some form of narratives to help organise the story.
Ex: Models are competing to become the top model, one or two models are eliminated each week. There are usually subtitles to tell viewers where the models are and the location everything is taking place.
A voiced over narrator, a host or a presenter. This provides a character for the viewers to rely on for key information.
Ex: Tyra Banks is the host and head judge of ANTM, she is present in every episode.
Participants had to volunteer, or be chosen to participate in the show.
Ex: In ANTM models must put in applications and modelling portfolios in order to be chosen to participate. Models then go through a second process in order to choose a lesser amount (There are usually hundreds of appliques).
An element of competition. The participants are usually interacting with each other or their environment for a large prize or reward. Prize could pertain to participants financial, career, popularity or love life.
Ex: There is always a grand prize for the winner of ANTM, usually including a modelling contract and a large sum of money. There are also smaller prizes along the way for winners of weekly competitions. Weekly competition prizes include things such as but not only pertaining to: spa trips, fancy meals, designer clothing and comfortable beds.
Potential of conflict. Participants will often have on screen confrontations and take sides. This is due to personality clashes or disagreements among themselves.
Ex: In almost every episode of ANTM, models are in a confrontation and are arguing with each other. There are often large personality clashes because the models are stressed and living in a small housing environment.
Entertainment. Viewers should be able to view and enjoy the participants rise to fame, and or their discomforts and successes.
Viewers of ANTM almost always have a favourite model who they would like to win.
Audience Interactivity. There are often opportunities for the viewers to influence the outcome of the show by voting. Even more common is the creation of fan sites, facebook pages, youtube reviews and forums.
Ex: In recent seasons, ANTM have integrated a social media score that allows viewers to vote and give opinions on the models performances.
Use Of Music: In ANTM, the chosen music pieces seamlessly reflect the actions occurring in the scene. For example, when the models are waiting in suspense for results, the music will portray the mood and be some sort of suspenseful track. It is found that the music used in the show are not well known songs but simple backing music that reflects the mood of the segment. There are cheap soundtracks that can be found on the internet that include tracks for basic reality television themes. These themes include: Suspense, competition,