Top Model’s online voting spoils a result; Tyra talks about changes: “I was panicking”

America’s Next Top Model‘s revamped 19th season included viewer votes as the fourth judge, as Tyra Banks likes to say, with clips of viewers’ feedback being shown in the judging room. But the path to this format, which included firing the show’s other judges and mentors, wasn’t an easy one for Tyra. Also, it seems to have led to an unavoidable spoiler about tonight’s show.

All 11 weeks of photo shoots are online, and all the contestants have a photo every week, so that eliminations wouldn’t be spoiled as viewers voted. However, week two has a spoiler for the second episode (skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know): one photo says “withdrew from competition,” and she doesn’t appear, obviously, in the rest of the photos. Perhaps not coincidentally, the contestants are naked in week two’s photos.

Meanwhile, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Tyra is candid about this season’s changes. She was in class at Harvard when she got a call that “said we needed to make some serious changes. It was a phone call that left me nervous and shaking,” she said, adding, “I was panicking.”

That led her to retreat to Bali (really) where she watched season one again “to understand why we are successful and what got us there in the first place and what we did in terms of being creative and what we left on the table that we shouldn’t have. [I realized] it was the story of our girls. We got too much into teaching and challenges and photo shoots and eliminations.”

About their new Friday timeslot, Tyra said, “Who’s excited about that, right? But at the same time, we’re confident and we feel good.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.