Tyra Banks Is Back on Top as Host of America’s Next Top Model
By Yohana Desta. Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Twitter.
Tyra Banks is back on top, as the host of America’s Next Top Model, VH1 has announced. The supermodel will once again host the model competition series, replacing its current host Rita Ora. The singer was brought on to helm the show, which is currently in its 23rd season, after Banks decided to step down last year. But she couldn’t stay away for long.
“Tyra has always been the heart and soul of the franchise, and her absence was deeply felt by our fiercely loyal fans who missed their Queen of the Smize,” executive producer Ken Mok said in a statement. “We’d like to thank Rita Ora for being a great partner and total pro. She infused this new iteration of ANTM with passion and creativity and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors."
“I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the ANTM fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart,” Banks added. “After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ANTM is woven into my DNA.”
She also tweeted about the news, giving a special thanks to Ora for the “amazingness you brought to ANTM”
Perhaps Banks was also swayed by the show’s recent upswing: its most recent season premiere set a five-year ratings high, when 1.7 million people tuned in to watch ANTM on its new network (VH1) with its new host.
Ora subsequently responded to the news with a pair of tweets.
Banks created, hosted, and executive produced the show back in 2003. She served as the host for every single season (or “cycle,” in ANTM parlance) up until last year, when Ora was tapped to take over, though Banks stayed on as a producer. She also made a surprise guest judge appearance in the latest finale, which aired March 8. In the episode, Banks—ever the consummate host—“immediately pulls up a seat right in the middle of the table and begins conducting the show,” Vulture noted with glee.
Two beautiful hosts stand before us—but it looks like only Banks will continue in the running toward becoming America’s Next Top Host. Another feather in her cap: this summer, she’ll also make her debut on the America’s Got Talent panel.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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