"America's Next Top Model" returns for its 19th installment with a new creative consultant, a new judge and a new elimination format. Speaking ahead of the new season kick-off, Tyra Banks admitted that she was nervous and panicking when she was told to "make some serious changes" to the show.
"I got a call from my boss ... who said we needed to make some serious changes," she recalled. "It was a phone call that left me nervous and shaking. I hung up the phone - I got pulled out of a class at Harvard [where she took executive education program and recently graduated from] to take the call - and went back into the class, but I couldn't focus on the professor. I was panicking."
The result, however, was quite relieving as the former Victoria's Secret Angel claimed, "Yesterday we had a debut party and did a screening of the first episode, and every single reporter in New York City was there ... and they were super excited, wanting to talk about all the changes." She went on crediting the boss, whom she refused to mention, for giving her "a big lesson about rejuvenation and making something that's been around a long time fresh and exciting again."
Banks then revealed that she took a break and went to Bali after she got the call. There, she watched the first season of "ANTM" and realized "it was the story of our girls" that made the show successful. Admitting that they got too much into teaching, challenges, photo shoots and eliminations, she promised that the new cycle would present more stories about the competing girls, "whether emotional or comedic."
Explaining how viewers' votes count for a contestant's elimination, the veteran model said, "The fans account for 25 percent of the vote. Now each judge votes from 1 to 10 and shows their score." She further detailed, "In the end, the girls get called up based on their combined score, including social media, so sometimes girls end up going home that I don't want to go home, based on social media."
"ANTM: College Edition" has just premiered Friday, August 24 on The CW. In the first episode, 30 girls were brought to a sorority house. They did a walk-off and a photo shoot, and were interviewed by the judges. 13 girls were then chosen to compete on the show, while the others were sent packing.