At the premiere party for America's Next Top Model Cycle 19 on August 22 in New York City, we caught up with sophomore judge Kelly Cutrone. She was in excellent spirits and seemed to embody the new energy that the revamped ANTM has to offer.

Read on for Kelly’s insight into hottie judge Rob Evans’s “tough luck” background, and how impressed she was with the viewers’ input while filming.

Wetpaint Entertainment: What did Rob Evans bring to the judging panel?
Kelly Cutrone: Duh. D-U-H. [Laughs] He’s an amazing person. I’m 46, and I love Rob and I’m not into young guys. I’m not like a [Jennifer Lopez] kind of girl. He is someone who I kind of wanted to offer the torch of lineage, you know I’m really into tribal culture, and so when I moved here, there were really selfish people who were so nice to me. With him, I wanted to be a person who really supported him. He’s an African guy who was born to a white Irish mother, raised on his own without a dad, became a prize fighter, and then became a supermodel who’s on TV! So I was like, “Robbie, do you have a bank account? Do you have all these things?” So what he offers is this magic. He offers the magic. He’s the kid, he’s the tough luck— you know, he’s the Annie. He’s that kid. And two years ago, he was in the middle of nowhere, and two years later, he’s on America’s Next Top Model, he’s opening Givenchy, he shoots Calvin Klein, he was in Jeremy Scot’s show.

For the girls on the show, he was that touchpoint. You’re not gonna get a touchpoint with Tyra [Banks], she came from South Central, but that was awhile ago, I came from upstate New York, they’re not going to have that with me, they think I’m this queen of the blackness. So for Robbie, he represented something doable for them, their own transformation.

What was your reaction to the new viewer-based voting format?
The viewers were awesome! I kind of thought, it’s kind of like when you call the bank and you get the recorded message. I thought they were so good that they might un-employ us.

Did you find yourself agreeing with their picks?
Yeah, they were right on, they were spot-on. My favorite couple was this straight couple who ate popsicles while they gave the reviews, which you’ll see throughout the season. 

We’ll be watching!

Catch the premiere of America's Next Top Model Cycle 19: College Edition on Friday, August 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. 

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