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Fans of America's Top Model
have a big reason to smize. After sitting out as the host of cycle 23, Tyra Banks, who is also the show's creator and executive producer, is coming back for cycle 24. Model Ashley Graham, Paper
Magazine Chief Creative Officer Drew Elliot and stylist and "image architect" Law Roach will return to join Banks on the Judge's Panel, according to People
. Banks is guaranteed to impart her sage wisdom and dole out tough love to a new group of aspiring models as in cycles past, but that doesn't mean this season isn't full of surprises for the competitors and viewers alike.
Banks told E! she had no intention of returning to America's Next Top Model. But following her exit, fans took to social media with some very negative feedback. Banks wasn't about to risk the brand she turned into a world-wide phenomenon. "Top Model isn't what I say it is, it's what they (viewers) say it is. And they say I need to be here, so I made that decision," Banks explained.
With Banks back in, cycle 23 host Rita Ora is out. But the British actress and songstress doesn't appear to be harboring any hard feelings. Back in March, Ora gave Banks a shout out to Banks on Instagram:
"Words can't describe how much FUN I had hosting this show for you -- it was such an honour -- I grew up watching and loving the show, it was a dream come true and I can't wait for you to hear my new album! It's TIME PEOPLE!!! Love the whole ANTM cast and crew and good luck for the future!! Love you @tyrabanks."
Banks is all about breaking down barriers, and she continues that tradition during the upcoming season. Contestants used to have to be between the ages of 18-27, but this time around, the upper-age barrier is gone (the aspiring models still must be at least 18). Banks told E!, "Beauty knows no age. I feel that most models in the industry are lying about their age anyway. They're all lyin'." Banks feels like as long as a woman has a certain look and knows how to walk a runway -- or can at least learn -- she deserves a shot.
Banks expects this cycle's crop of aspiring models to take their fierceness to the next level, and in the teaser trailer, the host makes it clear she's all business, telling the women, "When you come in this room, you respect, you got that?"
Banks is integral to the continued success of the show, but so is all the drama, and it looks like there will be no shortage of tears or fighting. The road to the cover of Vogue
is a bumpy one. One competitor decrees, "This is deeply-rooted psychological warfare."The 8 Craziest Reality TV Feuds of 2017>>>
Are you excited about Tyra's return? Should Rita Ora have stayed on as a judge? Do older women have an advantage over younger competitors? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Cycle 24 of America's Next Top Model
premieres Tuesday, January 9 at 8/7c on VH1. Want more news? Visit our America's Next Top Model page on Facebook.(Image and videos courtesy of VH1 and E!)