Tyra Banks’ Return To ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Brings 'RuPaul's Drag Race' and Familiar Faces With Her
Nostalgia is never out of style, which is why Tyra Banks is returning to America's Next Top Model and pulling out all the stops for her glorious return. In a first look at the upcoming 24th cycle premiering Jan. 9, the co-creator and longtime host (returning after Rita Ora took over in 2015), is giving viewers what they want and surprise twists too. Staying rooted in its earlier days, ANTM will have its familiar faces with an addition of RuPaul’s Drag Race alums who know how to werk. With the return of fan favorites and new standout additions, the possibility of so many amazing new GIFs is on the horizon.
In an epic crossover, Drag Race's All Stars Katya (Season 7), Valentina (Season 9), and Manila Luzon (Season 3) will be paired with contestants this cycle. Banks is beyond ready for these queens to flaunt their talents and bring their flare to the table. "They’re so friggin’ gorgeous and can pose their asses off," she told EW. And of course, the queens are ready for Tyra (as is the rest of America). "I needed to come back to preserve the baby and to listen to these damn fans!" Banks said in her EW interview. Bless.
In addition to some of Drag Race's most fabulous stars, cycle 24 of ANTM will make history with another twist. For the first time since the show began in 2003, the age cap at 27 is banned and there are no age restrictions for models eligible to compete. According to EW, cycle 24's oldest competitor is in her 40's and there's also a grandparent in the group. "It kind of pisses me off that men aren’t running to dye their hair as fast as women are," the 44-year-old said. "As you get older and as your face and hair show signs of age, there’s beauty in that, too." Banks is case in point.
And with all of these kickass evolutions, fans better believe Tyra will be bringing it back to some oldie but goodies as well. Familiar ANTM faces, judges Nigel Barker, Drew Elliott, Ashley Graham, and Eva Marcille (cycle 3 winner) will also return. In 2012, Barker was fired from the show because of issues with former network The CW, yet he and Banks remained on great terms. Fans are ready to see him too.
Coming back to the show, Banks has made it clear she's listened carefully to the audience, and the audience wants some good, old throwbacks. "We were inspired by Throwback Thursday on Instagram and how popular that is," Banks told EW. According to the creator, a whole episode of cycle 24 will be throwback-themed and that's already an addition that's here to stay. (Some photos even suggest Marcille's tarantula shoot from Season 3 may make a comeback or influence the episode.) "That’s something I want to continue on the show in the future: to always have an episode that’s all about the throwback," she said.
The OG runway star is as fierce as ever, and the new contestants have some serious posing, smizing, and working to learn from. Overall, fans are having a hard time keeping their cool and it's no wonder why. The fashion world may or may not cause screens everywhere to explode because the fabulousness is just too much.
With all of these personalities and struts, ANTM is about to make contestants work it like they never have before (and will probably leave fans in awe). Leave it to Tyra Banks to always make an entrance.