Tyra Banks Talks Major Changes on 'Top Model'
By ROBERT PACE
August 22, 2012
After eighteen seasons, Tyra Banks and the America's Next Top Model crew decided to switch things up for its nineteenth season. ET caught up with Tyra to hear about the new changes, as well as a special guest star.
"Cycle 19 of 'America's Next Top Model' is beyond new," Banks said. "We have total new judges and we have another new judge--our fourth judge is the home audience. So many people complained to me...so we finally listened to the audience and we're letting them vote."
The new judges include fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone, British model Rob Evans, and fashion blogger Bryanboy. Although the home audience only has one-fourth of the say in eliminations, Banks holds that their influence spans beyond that.
"We're also taking video messages from the fans, and the ones that stand out and are interesting, we actually play in the judging room," she said. "It's really bringing that audience into that judging room...Sometimes, the girls actually cry not because what one of the judges said but because what one of the audience members said."
As Banks notes, bringing the general public into the judging room provides a more realistic situation for the models, as they are faced with their most important critics.
"The audience is voting on her pictures and her professional side of modeling. It's actually what the audience would see in real life with models," Banks asserted. "They're voting on the girls and their work. Now, sometimes you might find out that that model in real life that you love is not such a nice person, but you didn't necessarily know that when you were looking at her pictures...'Top Model' voting is similar to real modeling in the real world."
Cycle 19 will feature a guest appearance from Tyler Perry in which he mentors the models in an acting challenge for which they must remain in character in a real-life scenario.
"Everybody has to embody a character and then they're going to go out on the Promenade," Perry described the challenge. "They'll have earwigs and I'll be in a van telling them what they have to do, how they have to do it, what they need to say to people, and how they need to interact...I'm looking forward to making them do a lot of different things. It's going to be fun."
America's Next Model premieres its nineteenth season August 24 at 8 p.m. on the CW.