As America's Next Top Model prepares for its move to VH1 this fall, the panel of judges is getting shaken up.
Tyra Banks will stay on as an executive producer, but is relinquishing her hosting duties, passing the torch to pop star Rita Ora. Ora seems excited about the new role, telling USA Today, "The approach I wanted to have as a host and judge to the girls is what my career stands for at this moment in time, which is being a businesswoman and being able to do multiple things at the same time, whether it’s music or shooting (magazine covers) and being in movies and designing clothes."
Joining Ora at the judges' table will be stylist Law Roach, who's worked with Zendaya, model Ashley Graham, and Paper magazine chief creative officer Drew Elliot.
For Banks, shaking things up was essential. The modeling world has changed and Banks isn't just looking for another pretty face. "It’s no longer just about having the highest cheekbones and best pout and the best hair. My goal is to really get into these girls' heads that I’m not looking for some successful model and I’m not looking for some social-media star. I’m looking for both. I’m looking for a hybrid, because that’s where the world is."
In December, the CW dropped the show after 22 seasons, some of which aired on the network's predecessor, UPN. Fortunately, VH1 saved the day. "I thought we were done with the brand. But the fact that the brand still has viability, and that VH1 really truly sees a strong future with it, how could I say no to that?" said Banks.
With a new host, a new focus, and VH1 behind it, the new season of America's Next Top Model will probably be one you won't want to miss.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.