Tyra Banks knows how to raise the stakes when it comes to TV.
First, after creating and hosting America’s Next Top Model for 22 cycles, she surprised fans by announcing that the long-running reality competition would end after Nyle DiMarco -- the show’s first deaf winner -- was crowned top model. Then, VH1 and Banks surprised us all, when they announced that the series would return for cycle 23 -- this time with Rita Ora as host alongside a new judges’ panel, which includes Paper magazine’s Drew Elliott, celebrity stylist Law Roach and model Ashley Graham.
While we knew Banks was stepping back from ANTM, she did surprise the new crop of contestants by welcoming them to the competition. While missed, her absence was filled by the cycle’s many A-list guest stars, including Chanel Iman, Amber Rose, Zendaya and others, as they packed the show (and judges’ panels) full of star power week to week.
But now, as the new cycle seeks to crown another winner in tonight’s finale, Banks is back -- and she comes bearing advice for the new judges. “I want you to think about who you want to dress,” Banks tells Roach, before turning to Elliott to ask: “Who do you want in the pages of Paper magazine and who do you think all of your competitors want to book?”
Of course, Banks’ advice is not limited to the two male judges. “Which of these two girls can put the word ‘super’ in front of ‘model’ nine months from now?” she asks Graham, while saving the toughest question of all for Ora: “I look at you to say, ‘Who do you think is more than just a model?’” After all, Ora said she wanted to crown an aspiring model who could become a “Triple B” -- that is a boss, a brand and a business, and something that Banks herself has become.
And it wouldn’t be America’s Next Top Model without a little bit of Banks’ ANTM mannerisms -- but you’ll have to watch ET’s exclusive clip above to appreciate all of her “Ty-Tys” before the finale airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.