America’s Next Top Model, the longest running fashion reality TV series in history, debuted a major makeover when it premiered on a new network (VH1) in late December 2016.
Fans were surprised to see that season 23 featured a new host (Rita Ora) and panel including: supermodel/body activist Ashley Graham, Paper magazine Chief Creative Officer Drew Elliott, and celebrity stylist and image architect Law Roach.
When the season came to an end, VH1 disclosed that Tyra Banks, who is also the creator and executive producer, would be returning to the show as the head judge.
Banks, who is gearing up for the production of season 24 set to begin this summer, announced at the top of April that there is no longer an age limit to apply for ANTM:
“There have been 23 cycles of America’s Next Top Model, and every single cycle we say you have to be 27 years old or younger. You know what I hear all the time? ‘Tyra, come on! Why have an age limit?’ So, you know what? I’m taking that age limit off. You want to audition for America’s Next Top Model? I don’t care how old you are, honey.”
Check out the video clip below:
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) April 1, 2017
In an interview with EW, Banks revealed that she almost quit the show 10 years ago:
“Many years ago, I was stressed with starting new businesses… I went to [my lawyer] and I was like, you know what, I’m ready to bring someone else in. I won’t say the name of that person, but I actually brought a different person to the network, met with them, and said, ‘This is the person I want to take the reins of this show.’ This was cycle 8. It was very early.”
Why she changed her mind:
“My lawyer held an intervention of sorts, and said, ‘What are you doing? You created this show. It’s starting to get traction around the entire world. I beg of you not to do this.’ But, I was so tired. I was like, fine, fine, I’ll just continue. I called [my potential replacement] and said, ‘We’re not going to have you do this for now.’”
On finally bringing in a new host:
“It’s something that’s been on the tip of my fingers for so long, so it wasn’t necessarily difficult [to let go]. It was actually exciting. I wanted the show to continue; I wanted to keep it new. With me creating and owning a significant portion of the show, it’s in my best interests to keep it going and to keep it fresh.”