Tyra Banks Says All 'America's Next Top Model' Contestants Must Take an IQ Test
Here's a little reality-TV reality check: The contestants on America's Next Top Model have to submit to an IQ test as part of the casting process, according to the show's creator and host, Tyra Banks.
Last night at the cycle 19 premiere party at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, we put this question to Tyra: "Since this cycle is the college edition, are the girls smarter than usual?" Her answer seriously surprised us:
"Their IQs are higher than ever. We test the IQs every year as part of our screening process. Yeah, I'm probably saying too much here. But yes their IQs are higher than ever. These are college girls."
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As soon as we picked our jaws up off the floor, we followed up by wondering if that meant they were better behaved or otherwise more savvy on set. Thankfully for lovers of good reality TV drama, the answer was:
"No. They may know a little calculus or statistics or whatever but they were still just girls fighting. There was one fight going on in the second episode about who's a real bitch. 'I'm a real bitch, no I'm a real bitch.' What? You guys are college girls! What is a real bitch anyway?"
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The executive producers of the show gave us the following statement, via the CW's press rep, about finding out if the models have brains in addition to beauty: "Testing basic intelligence is very common in reality shows, especially competition ones, and just one of several factors that are considered in the casting process."
What do you ladies make of Top Model IQ-testing its contestants? Surprised? Discuss!
"America's Next Top Model" cycle 19 premieres Friday, August 24 at 8/7c on the CW.
Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images Entertainment
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