America’s Next Top Model returns with its 24th cycle on Tuesday night and ET’s Carly Steel was on set with host Tyra Banks to get the scoop on her return to the VH1 series after taking a season off.
“Mama's back and happy to be back!” Banks enthused. “I tend to retire and walk away in the sunset and go, ‘I'm done.’ With Victoria’s Secret, I had that scepter in my hand and said, ‘Bye!’ And I tried to do that here, but it didn't work. Social media was like, ‘B***h, you better bring your butt back.'"
“I came back first, because they were saying that, and then also [because] I'm a businessperson and want this brand to continue as long as it can, so if that means me coming back to keep it going, I'm there,” she added.
The 44-year-old supermodel’s return comes amid changes to the long-running show, with Banks sharing how viewers can expect a more diverse group of models. For the first time, contestants over the age of 27 will also be allowed to compete.
“We have girls in their 30s, girls in their 40s,” she said. “We have more curvy girls than ever, we have a girl that has alopecia -- she has no hair on her head. I also came back because I felt that there was a need to continue to push the barriers of beauty and to do it on a big scale.”
“And that's my mission and why I get up every single day -- to expand the definition,” she continued. “I was a very skinny young girl and then my booty expanded and being a black girl and [having] all these things I had to surmount … I wanted to bring that to Top Model and I think Top Model has really opened the door to show that beauty is not just a cookie-cutter, but there's still more work to be done, darling.”
One thing remains the same this season -- the presence of modeling phrases coined by Banks, which have become known as “Tyra-isms.” In fact, there’s a hip, new one in the mix in coming episodes!
“We have touching … isolating the body and only using the booty for movement,” Banks explained. “And smizing -- smize smize smize -- and H2T, which means head-to-toe. And we have our new one, #NLF -- next level fierce, honey.”