She’s baaaack! Tyra Banks is returning to host America’s Next Top Model. Vh1 announced the news in a press release Thursday, March 16.
Banks, 43, left her reality series after 22 cycles, and Rita Ora took over for one season, which ended March 8.
“Tyra has always been the heart and soul of the franchise and her absence was deeply felt by our fiercely loyal fans who missed their Queen of the Smize,” coexecutive producer Ken Mok said in a statement. “We’d like to thank Rita Ora for being a great partner and total pro. She infused this new iteration of ANTM with passion and creativity, and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”
Banks, also an EP, tweeted that she missed her old stomping ground. “Mama’s back!” she wrote. In an Instagram video, she added: “Oh my God, I’m gonna do Top Model again! My God.”
The supermodel launched the series in 2003. “I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the ANTM fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart,” Banks said in a statement Thursday. “After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ANTM is woven into my DNA.”
Earlier this month, Banks told Entertainment Weekly that she almost quit the show 10 years ago. “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,” she recalled at the time. “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.'”
Banks, who welcomed son York last year with boyfriend Erik Asla, previously cohosted FABLife in 2015.
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