Tyra Banks made a triumphant return on Tuesday to hosting the America’s Next Top Model show that she created.
The 44-year-old former Victoria’s Secret Angel was back for cycle 24 of the VH1 show in a premiere episode titled The Boss Is Back.
The franchise creator returned as host after being replaced for one cycle by singer Rita Ora, 27.
She’s back: Tyra Banks returned to host America’s Next Top Model during the cycle 24 season premiere on Tuesday on VH1
‘Many people believe I created Top Model to show girls just how to become models. But, no, it was about much more than that. America’s Next Top Model has changed the definition of beauty and empowered women when they needed it the most,’ Tyra said in a voice-over at the start of the season premiere.
‘We celebrate beauty in all of us, all shapes, all sizes and all colors. …The fight continues to show you that you are beautiful, that’s why I’m back,’ Tyra added.
Tyra revealed the show had its most diverse group of contestants yet and she also had eliminated the 27-year-old age limit on participants.
‘It’s 18 to infinity,’ she proclaimed.
Timeless beauty: The 44-year-old show creator surprised Erin Green, 42, with a surprise 15th portrait and last spot in the Top Model House
The judges: Celebrity stylist Law Roach, Ashley Graham and Paper magazine chief creative officer Drew Elliot joined Tyra at the judging panel
Tyra was joined at the judging panel by plus-size model Ashley Graham, 30; Paper magazine chief creative officer Drew Elliott, 36, and celebrity stylist Law Roach.
Khrystyana Kazakova, 32, was one of the first to advance with the removal of the age limit after she showed her amateur photo to the judges.
‘You are next level fierce and you are moving on in this competition,’ Tyra told her.
New rules: Tyra eliminated the 27-year-old age limit from the show
New addition: Ashley Graham was a new judge on the reality show
After an initial culling the top 18 models participated in an avant-garde photoshoot and runway test before moving into the Top Model House.
Tyra arrived in a short purple dress at the house and informed them there were only 14 spaces for her finalists.
‘The final 14 that are next level fierce and will be competing for America’s Next Top Model are …,’ Tyra said as she pulled a sheet off a wall adorned with 14 portraits from the photoshoot.
English model: Jourdan Dunn will be a guest during the season
Former champ: Eva Marcille who won the third cycle of ANTM also will be a guest on the show
Erin Green, 42, who has five children and three grandchildren was crushed after not seeing her photo on the wall and started packing her bags.
‘My kids would’ve been proud. Mama went for it and didn’t make it. …If Tyra had given me enought time, I know I would have been able to impress her,’ Erin said holding back tears.
Tyra then showed up and offered a hug.
Feeling blue: Erin Green, 42, fought back tears after she failed to make the cut for the final 14
Getting emotional: Tyra approached Erin and said she was sorry she wasn’t among the finalists
‘I’m so so so sorry. I know this meant a lot to you and I wish you the best,’ Tyra told her.
Erin thanked her for giving older women an opportunity.
‘You’re welcome. You get a picture. There’s 15 girls,’ Tyra said surprising Erin with a photo.
Big hug: Erin and Tyra hugged before the host revealed that she was getting a surprise 15th spot in the Top Model House
‘Tyra stop,’ Erin told her.
‘Beauty knows no age and you deserve this,’ Tyra told her adding that ‘black girls have to work harder’ as she encouraged her to give her all during the show.
‘I believe you can do this,’ Tyra told her.
Too much: Tyra laughed as Erin reacted to learning she was still in the competition
Tyra later declared that she was back and only ‘the fiercest is going to the next level’.
America’s Next Top Model premiered in May 2003 on UPN and later moved to The CW before landing on VH1.
The series spawned the Top Model franchise with more than 30 versions of the series produced internationally and seen in more than 120 countries.
Lady in black: Tyra showed her taut tummy on Tuesday while promoting ANTM at the Build Series at the Build Studio in New York City
Fierce look: The former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model struck poses at the event
The judges: Ashley and Drew joined Tyra at the Build Series event
Popular franchise: Tyra, Drew and Ashley discussed the show at the Build Studio