Tyra Is Now Free To Play Favorites With America's Next Top Model

Photo: Picture Perfect/REX Shutterstock.
RIP America's Next Top Model. The show that spawned hundreds of reaction GIFs is rolling up the runway after 22 cycles, with its series finale airing tonight, December 4. And looking back, host Tyra Banks does have a handful of favorite contestants from the past 13 years.

The former supermodel explained to Entertainment Weekly that she's proud of having highlighted girls who faced physical struggles, which might have otherwise led them to believe they could never break into modeling.

When asked who her favorite contestant was, Banks explained, "One that comes to mind is Whitney Thompson from cycle 10. She was our first plus-size — or what I call 'fiercely real' — winner, so that was really special to me because we were, in hindsight, way ahead of the curve."
Perhaps an even more prestigious title than her overall fave is Tyra's pick for best smizer. (That's smiling with your eyes, for non-ANTM fans.) Banks chose Raina Hein, explaining, "She did a photo where we had water coming at the girls from the air like a storm, and they had fabric sticking to them, and I remember seeing her picture, and it gave me chills up and down my spine. I nicknamed her 'wolf.' You know how wolves’ eyes are so intense?"

Someone get Hein a "Best Smizer" T-shirt. That's something she's going to want to brag about.

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