“America’s Next Top Model” is back for its 18th cycle Wednesday night (Feb. 29) on the CW. Tyra Banks tells TV Guide it’s “the most competitive season” they’ve ever had.

“We’ve never had teams before. So it’s seven British girls versus seven American girls. And the British girls are from ‘Britain’s Next Top Model’ so they have a little bit of a leg up,” says Banks. She also shares some really interesting insight into past seasons.

“In Cycle 3 we had a plus-sized girl, Tocarra,
and I felt like she was a star and could win. And I was outvoted. And
that haunted me forever,” says Banks. “And Nigel confessed about a year ago that he
made a mistake by sending her home. He says it was probably one of his
biggest mistakes in ‘Top Model’ history.”

“When Tyson Beckford
was our guest judge, it went on and on and on. We had to call our
lawyers and legal because we were deadlocked and we didn’t know what to
do! Usually deliberation takes around 20 minutes, but this went on for
three hours. Nobody would give in … I can’t remember how we came to the conclusion, but we did,” says Banks.

So whet your appetite with the above preview video and get ready for the U.S. vs. Britain in the newest cycle of “America’s Next Top Model,” premiering Wednesday night (Feb. 29) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."