Sometimes I feel sort of bad for Rita Ora. It’s like she’s never really been able to find her niche, so she’s still hustling for increasingly random jobs. In addition to her singing career (she’s put out one full album), Rita has also picked up gigs on reality competitions. She’s been a coach on the British version of The Voice, she’s been a judge on the British X-Factor, and now she’s got a new reality show gig: she will be the new host of the revamped America’s Next Top Model. ANTM is being rebooted and it’s moving to VH1. Tyra Banks is still the executive producer, and I’m assuming Tyra had a big hand in naming her successor as host. But… Rita Ora? She’s not really a model. She’s not even known for a particularly strong “look” or her editorial work. It just seems like a random choice.
America’s Next Top Model’s VH1 revival is shaping up. Tyra Banks revealed the new judging panel for the show’s 23rd cycle, headed by new host Rita Ora. Banks will remain behind the scenes as executive producer for the new season, which will feature model Ashley Graham, stylist Law Roach, and Paper magazine chief creative officer Drew Elliott on the revamped judging panel.
Banks unveiled the new judging panel to USA Today and teased the new season, saying, “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.”
The 23rd cycle will return to its original format of featuring all female contestants after having co-ed contestants since cycle 20. Deaf male model Nyle DiMarco won cycle 22 (as well as season 22 of Dancing with the Stars), the last season to air on The CW before VH1 acquired the franchise. America’s Next Top Model’s new season debuts later this year on VH1.
Ashley Graham-as-ANTM-judge is a thing of beauty. I LOVE THAT. They should have let Ashley host the damn thing, because I truly fear that Rita is going to be A) a charisma vacuum, and B) ridiculous as host. As for what Tyra Banks wants from the reboot of ANTM… that is where the industry is, honestly. Models are expected to have a social media presence these days, and “Insta-modeling” is the thing. Ashley Graham will understand that. But will Rita Ora?
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.