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‘America’s Got Talent’ Names Tyra Banks as New Host

NBC’s summer hit talent competition “America’s Got Talent” officially announced its new host Sunday (Mar. 12) as supermodel Tyra Banks.

Banks becomes the fourth host in the show’s history. Its most recent host Nick Cannon, who had been with AGT since 2009, left the program in February after he got censured for a racially-charged joke on his Showtime comedy special that referred to AGT’s network NBC.

Banks is no stranger to the unscripted genre being the creator of the popular modeling competition “America’s Next Top Model” on UPN, then the CW. she had hosted the series for 12 years, spanning 22 cycles. She still serves as its executive producer of the show when it moved to its new VH1 home late last year.

The announcement of Banks as new AGT host was made courtesy of AGT judge Howie Mandel.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible,” said Banks to Variety. “I love how ‘AGT’ brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true. I look forward to connecting with the dreamers, having fun and giving hugs and words of encouragement when needed. And maybe I’ll get one or two performers to smize for the audience!

The twelfth season of “America’s Got Talent” — the summer’s most-watched TV series throughout its run — commences filming on Monday, Mar. 13 in Pasadena, Calif. Banks’ fellow Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue co-cover girl partner Heidi Klum (back in 1997), Simon Cowell, Mel B, and the aforementioned Howie Mandel remain as the show’s judges. Cowell, who is also executive producer and creator of the “Got Talent” format, told Variety, “Welcome to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ family, Tyra! This is really exciting.