"Did you feel any big pressure... because I know you had big shoes to fill tonight?" Rachel asked the America's Next Top Model star, referring to her replacing Tom and co-host Erin Andrews, who were both let go earlier this year.
The twosome's firing was met with some serious backlash from fans, with many demanding the former hosts be reinstated.
"You know, it wasn't super pressure, but I was nervous," Tyra admitted.
"It wasn't necessarily pressure. I don't know if it was self-induced... but I never get nervous... [I] don't get nervous when the camera's on me at all. I was behind that wall, and they were like, 'Tyra, [we're] gonna roll the tape, then in 60 seconds we're coming to you' and I was like [hyperventilating] all of a sudden. I don't know what happened."But despite having a small wobble a few seconds before her debut, Tyra said that she was "happy" with the way things went and admitted she got comfortable with her new gig pretty quickly.
"First 20 minutes I [felt the nerves] — I felt it in my body. But after that, I kinda forgot we were live," she said.
The star also opened up about the contestants. She revealed that, although she can't play favorites, she was surprised by how relaxed Nelly was and thought Jane the Virgin actress Justina Machado "killed" her performance. Tyra also gave a shout-out to 18-year-old actress and YouTuber Skai Jackson for how seriously she took her dance.
The former America's Got Talent host added that it felt "natural" to be back on TV after seven months at home due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as she joked she'd spent much of that time in no makeup and with unkempt hair while she continued to work on her business ventures.
But while Tyra is happy with how things went in Week 1, her first episode of DWTS wasn't without a small hiccup.
The host suffered an awkward wardrobe mishap when she lost an earring while speaking to Nelly.
The long, dangling accessory dropped out of her ear before the rapper got his scores, which caused judge Carrie Ann Inaba to ask if she could give the supermodel a hand. Tyra made a joke of the blunder and teased that she'd throw it to her, in line with social distancing guidelines.