Tyra Banks Officially Names Rita Ora As Host Of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Revival
Former Sports Illustrated mainstay Tyra Banks only has one photo in her hands, and that photo represents who will be the new host of America’s Next Top Model.
Sorry, Inquisitr readers. We had to!
When Cycle 23 of the reality competition comes to VH1 later this year, singer and fashionista Rita Ora (“I Will Never Let You Down”) will be the new face leading the pack of model hopefuls, along with a trio of judges also making their introductions to the franchise: full-figured model Ashley Graham, celebrity stylist Law Roach, and chief creative officer of Paper magazine (the tome that once featured a nude Kim Kardashian in hopes of “breaking the internet”), Drew Elliott.
“[America’s Next Top Model is] no longer just about having the highest cheekbones and best pout and the best hair,” Banks explained to USA Today in an exclusive reveal regarding Ora’s takeover. “My goal is to really get into these girls’ heads that I’m not looking for some successful model and I’m not looking for some social-media star. I’m looking for both. I’m looking for a hybrid, because that’s where the world is.”
While Banks will no longer be holding the reins, she will still have a heavy hand in the show as she has taken on a role as an executive producer for the ANTM continuance, as well as one of an occasional featured player.
“[I will make a] couple of appearances,” Tyra admits.
Initially running for a groundbreaking 22 cycles, or seasons, America’s Next Top Model managed to survive two network changes (UPN and The CW), an ever-changing panel of judges (Janice Dickinson, Twiggy, Andre Leon Talley, and fashion runway expert “Miss J.” Alexander were some who gave their critiques on the show — no word if they’ll be popping up, however), and the addition of men to the once all-female competition for the series’ final three cycles (the show will go back to being “girls only” for the VH1 version) before being put out to pasture in December 2015.
Like most, Banks was more than fine with letting the sleeping dog lie, so to speak, before VH1 came calling.
“I thought we were done with the brand,” she conceded, “but the fact that the brand still has viability, and that VH1 really truly sees a strong future with it, how could I say no to that?”Along with the new faces and new network will come new challenges for the competitors, including one that tests their knowledge of the current pop culture scope. VH1 President Chris McCarthy explained that the addition of this facet is due to allowing models to have a upper hand in remaining relevant and busy in the world of modelling.
“While there never will be a Tyra replacement, what we wanted to do was really infuse that panel with style fashion and pop culture experts,” he stated, adding that “[Ora and the new judges] collectively have the power of what is driving fashion and pop culture today.”
Just as Banks was known for helping America’s Next Top Model contestants to create a brand for themselves, Ora also wants to be able to use her expertise of the entertainment industry to teach a similar lesson to the 14 contestants on the show.“The approach I wanted to have as a host and judge to the girls is what my career stands for at this moment in time,” the Fifty Shades Darker actress shared, “which is being a businesswoman and being able to do multiple things at the same time, whether it’s music or shooting [magazine covers or] being in movies and designing clothes.”
No set date has been given yet for the return of America’s Next Top Model, but is anyone excited to see it come back to television? Hit up the comments section and let us know what you think.
[Photos by Jason Merritt/Getty Images and Chris Jackson/Getty Images]