‘Real Housewives’ Star Defends Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks

ABC Tyra Banks on Dancing with the Stars.

Tyra Banks had her share of critics when she was cast as the host on “Dancing with the Stars,” but a “Real Housewives” star is giving her 10s all around.

Banks replaced Tom Bergeron as host of DWTS in 2020, but the former supermodel’s status on the ABC celebrity ballroom competition has been in limbo ever since it was announced that the show is moving to Disney+ for its 31st season later this year.

Before DWTS, Banks famously helmed “America’s Next Top Model,” where she helped discover future superstars—including Cycle 3 winner Eva Marcille in 2004.

In a May 2022 interview, Marcille raved about Banks – and even said the TV star has a special seat in heaven due to all of the good deeds she has done.

Eva Marcille Credited Tyra Banks for Her Career & Said ‘No One’ is Like Her

Eva Marcille

GettyEva Marcille in 2019

After winning “America’s Next Top Model” in 2004, Eva Marcille launched an acting career and later landed a starring role on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” per IMDb — and she owes it all to Banks. In a May 31, 2022 interview on the “Behind the Velvet Rope With David Yontef” podcast, Marcille gushed about her mentor and defended her against haters.

“First of all, let me just say leave Tyra alone,” Marcille said when asked about Banks. “Tyra Lynne Banks is my girl.”

“Tyra is the queen of effortlessness work,” Marcille added. “Like she’s the most diligent person I know. She has her ice cream she’s doing. She’s over there on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ She always has her hands in the cookie jar, but she makes it look so easy. It’s like, no one can do it like Tyra.”

The model added that on ANTM, Banks helped give “a platform” to people who would have never had opportunities in the modeling world, and she credited Banks for her own “very sustainable career.” “I have been making, thanks to Tyra, great money since I was a teenager,” Marcille said.

Marcille also said she doesn’t think Banks gets enough credit for being “revolutionary” in the entertainment business.

“You know what? There is a special wing in heaven with a lot of ice cream and tapas because Tyra is a sampler,” Marcille dished. “She orders a lot of stuff and just samples everything. There is a special wing in heaven right next to Oprah’s and Tyler Perry’s, and it’s going to say Tyra Lynn Banks, for the world that you created.”

“The world doesn’t have to give her claim,” Marcille added. “It is the fact that I can feed my kids every day. It’s the fact that I am amongst the three to five percent of Americans that do what I love to do for a living that birth inside of me, a craft that I didn’t even know that I had let alone love. So if she gets her acclaim here on earth or not, I mean, the fact that I’m existing in the way I am. Thank you, Tyra.”

There was once a rumor that Banks tried to ban “Real Housewives” stars from joining DWTS. Banks told Entertainment Tonight that the “dumb rumors” were coming from someone who was “mad there are changes on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’”

But as for whether she’d like to reunite with Banks in the ballroom should she return as host for DWTS, Marcille took a pause on that idea.

“Well, I have to learn how to dance first,” she told Yontef. “When it comes to dancing, I have like two left feet. They’re horrible. Oh my God. Have EMS on standby for sure. I’m a good chair dancer…but when I stand up, my legs don’t match my torso.”

Eva Marcille Has Long Called Tyra Banks Her Mentor

Tyra Banks Eva Marcille

BravoTyra Banks and Eva Marcille.

This isn’t the first time Marcille has publicly thanked Banks for her career. In February 2020, the two women were both guests on “Watch What Happens Live.” Following their joint appearance on the Bravo chatfest, Marcille paid tribute to Banks on Instagram as she looked back on “sharing the stage with my mentor, my motivation, my Muva!“

“Thank you for what you’ve done for me, hundreds of others and the entire industry,” Marcille wrote of Banks. “You have redefined what we know as beauty and created inclusion for us and our types of beauty.”

Banks is also extremely impressed with Marcille. According to Bravo.com, when Marcille joined the cast of RHOA in 2018, Banks praised her high-profile gig on the Bravo reality show.

“I’m insanely obsessed,” Banks said at the time. “I am so proud of her. I mean, from Cycle 3 of ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ she has held her own and is doing her thing. “

READ NEXT: Tom Bergeron Reacts to ABC Dropping DWTS

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