Though Tyra Banks retired from modeling in 2005, she is Entertainment Weekly’s newest cover girl. In the accompanying article, the “mogul in the making” talks about America’s Next Top Model, her daytime talk show, and her growing multi-media empire.

In 2003, when Tyra and ANTM executive producer Ken Mok were throwing around the idea of a reality modeling competition, the industry didn’t take her seriously. The show finally found a home on UPN, but Tyra wasn’t confident that it would catch on.

”I thought it was going to last for two seasons,” says Tyra. ”Around season 5, I said, ‘Ken, how far can we go — 8?’ He goes, ‘I’m thinking 10.’ Now we’re at 10 and not stopping.”

Cycle 10 of ANTM debuted last night and it managed to suck me in already. It’s the same show that we know and love, with a few minor twists. First, the show was moved back to New York City, New York, after being filmed in Los Angeles since Cycle 4. The number of contestants was also increased to 14, after Tyra deemed 13 to be “an unlucky number.” Finally, Twiggy has been replaced by Czech supermodel Paulina Porizkova…which is interesting, given the fact that one of the contestants is Porizkova’s doppelganger; I wonder if this will hurt or help her chances.

One hour really isn’t enough time to get to know this new group of wannabe’s – but I’ve got my eye on a few.

Fatima is an Iman look alike, with a painful past. Claire is a new mom who’s got that high-fashion, ugly/beautiful thing going on. Like Jaslene (winner of season 8), Dominique is striking – in a drag queen-ish kinda way. And Ivy League educated Katarzyna looks poised to take the cycle 10 title.

Did you watch last night’s eppy? Who do you think the front-runners will be?

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