Over the years, the reality show competition has gone through their fair share of faces, but we’re totally loving the dynamic that is Tyra, Ashley Graham, Drew Elliott, and Law Roach. Get to know all about this season’s #NLF panel below!
After a brief hiatus, the 44-year-old revealed on Twitter in March 2017 that she would be coming back to the show she began in 2003. “I missed my ANTM baby so Mama’s back!” she wrote.
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) March 16, 2017
In an official statement, Tyra expanded on her reasons for deciding to return as host. “I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the ANTM fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart,” she said. “After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ANTM is woven into my DNA.”
When it comes to Rita, though, there’s no hard feelings! “Mizz @ritaora, you exemplify Business Boss Brand to the fullest! Thank you for all the amazingness you brought to ANTM,” she wrote at the time. To which the 26-year-old singer responded, “I love you!!!”
Ashley Graham‘s 2016 Sports Illustrated cover didn’t just make history — it also snagged her a seat on the judging panel of ANTM! The 30-year-old became the first-ever size-16 model to grace the swimsuit issue’s cover — 20 years after Tyra became the first-ever African American woman to nab the coveted spot.
“Tyra reached out to me at the beginning of the year when my SI cover came out [to congratulate me]. It was amazing!” Ashley said in a 2016 interview with People.
“I’ve been given a ton of criticism over the course of 16, 17 years and some of it’s been really hurtful and some of it’s been very helpful,” she continued. “Any criticism I’ve given the girls it’s been to help and to encourage them to get to a bigger and better place. I think if I would have just heard ‘Yes’ my whole life, then I wouldn’t be as strong-willed and as courageous as I am today, so that’s what I instilled in these girls who really felt like my little sisters.”
Drew is Chief Creative Officer at Paper magazine and has been responsible for some of the publication’s most iconic covers — including Kim Kardashian’s NSFW spread. “Basically what I do at Paper is I oversee the whole brand of Paper,” Drew told VH1 in 2016. NBD! “So all of our digital channels, we have an agency, and, of course, the magazine. So I oversee it from a creative perspective but also a business perspective.”
When asked to be a judge, Drew admitted he had reservations. “Approaching it, one of the worries I had is that ANTM had always portrayed a TV version of fashion, and that part to me made me a little bit nervous,” he told Mic. When I got done with the meetings and had an understanding of what VH1 and Tyra wanted, they wanted to show what the real fashion world was and find amazing people to help us on this journey.”
Law Roach said he grew up watching ANTM. He attended Harlan Community Academy on the South Side of Chicago and studied psychology at Chicago State University, but his passion was always fashion. He opened Deliciously Vintage, a clothing store that made headlines in 2009 when Kanye West dropped thousands of dollars there.
“[Tyra] just elevated everyone’s performance, and we all wanted to be better than last season because the queen mother had came home,” he said. “I think what she did and what she doesn’t get a lot of credit for is that she brought this industry into our homes every week.”
America’s Next Top Model airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on VH1.