America’s Next Top Model Massacre, Who’s Left Standing?

I’ve watch “America’s Next Top Model” since the very first episode and seen it all. Out of all the stunts, gimmicks and shenanigans the show has thrown at us, nothing has shocked me more than this latest behind-the-scenes drama. Judging panel shakeups are nothing new. Janice Dickinson and Paulina Porizkova both left in a mysterious cloud of drama, while others left “amicably”. That said, ANTM Cycle 19 is going to look drastically different when it returns in the Fall. So, who’s leaving and joining the likes of Twiggy, Andre Leon Talley, Nole Marin, Kimora Lee Simmons, Beau Quillian and Eric Nicholson? Remember those last two? I didn’t and had to literally Google them to refresh my memory.

With Cycle 18 drastically dipping in the ratings, it’s not surprising producers are looking for a way to rejuvenate the veteran reality series. The season premiere for the “British Invasion” cycle was down an astonishing 45% in the coveted 18-49 demographic for the season premiere. Given those numbers, the powers-that-be are looking for a major makeover, or should I say TyOver, ShakeOver or what other Tyra feels like calling it next cycle. Have the producers finally realized that Tyra has dug her once-addictive series to the ground? Is she the one leaving? Find out below.

Sadly, Miss Banks isn’t handing over her franchise just yet, but one can hope it’s in the near future. Instead, everyone but Kelly Cutrone and herself are coming back. That’s right. Nigel Barker who’s been on the panel since Cycle 2 is leaving. I never thought I’d see the day. He’s not alone either. Joining him are Mr. and Miss Jay. I’m in utter shock that Jay Manuel is leaving. He’s the best thing on the show, IMHO. Banks confirmed the departures via her Twitter:

“Fierce & love 2 my Nigel, Jay & Miss J,” she wrote. “ANTM turned us in2 a family. Excited for what the future holds for us.”

Nigel has also taken to the web, to discuss his exit from the show. He wrote the following on his official website.

After many fun filled years with America’s Next Top Model, I will not be returning to the program for cycle 19.

Many of you have come to know me over the past eight years on the show, during which we have shared numerous amazing adventures. It has been an exciting chapter in my life and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to do the international version of Top Model for Canada, New Zealand, Finland, England, Mexico and even Russia. What a ride it has been!

I will miss the cast, the crew and ANTM will always have a special place in my heart, having made life-long friendships with countless fond memories.

This change will allow me to take on new projects and turn my attention to other business prospects in the worlds of fashion, beauty and entertainment. I also have a number of new ventures that have been in the works, and I look forward to sharing them with you very soon – Stay tuned!

Of course, as you might have expected, my efforts on behalf of Haiti, The HSUS, the Make A Wish Foundation, The United Nations Foundation and many more will continue with full force.

This next chapter promises to be even more thrilling with the sky’s the limit. I look forward to taking you with me.

Much love,

Nigel

Both Jay Alexander and Nigel Barker joined the show in Cycle 2, while Jay Manuel has been with the reality competition since the very beginning. He’s as synonymous with the show as Banks herself. I’m in utter shock with his departure. The New York Post first broke the story saying the trio’s contracts weren’t renewed. I wonder if there is some behind-the-scenes drama that we’re not privy to. I can’t wait to hear Mr. and Miss Jay’s official response to this ANTM bloody massacre. Hopefully they dish it all out real soon.

Are you shocked by any of the cast changes? Who will you miss the most? More importantly, who is Tyra going to hire to fill the vacated judging seats? Will they have fashion cred? Sound off below. I’m secretly hoping for Anna Wintour to come on board.

  • WHY-Angelawu

    cannot believe Mr and Mrs J are both leaving……

  • Matt

    OMG, OMG, OMG, BUT, I am not really suprised. I havent seen a single episode of cycle 18, but I may just tune in for 19, with the proposed changes. They should get rid of TYRA.

  • Damn, that sucks. Those 3 are some of my favorite parts of the whole show. I think Tyra is a bit much @ times, but still it wouldn’t be the same show w/o her. If they get rid of Tyra, they might as well take the show off the air.

  • Jake

    FINALLY Nigel is leaving!!! I waited for this moment all my life!!!

    I will miss Miss J tho! 🙁

    Tyra should get rid of Kelly Cutrone too!!!

  • Rob

    Wow!
    I don’t know if I’m gonna be sad though, always thought Nigel would be there to eventually appear shirtless but that never happened

    Miss Jay is a sweet character as we’ve came to know him, and gonna miss him a bit, but they didn’t do much with him. He was the stravaganza and the fun moment of the episode in early seasons, but on these last ones he didn’t do much

    And I’m still gonna be watching out to see Mister J on a porn. He’s just like a dream porn waiting to happen. Not that I find him that cute or my type, but he looks cut for a pornstar haha

    Will Tyra get the boot? The format is great if it was her invention, but there are other models that did great like Elle Mcpherson on British Top Model (she was great) or Heidi on Germany’s

    Some producers should get the boot as well. The casting is worse each season. This season, the best girls are the brits and not the ones they’ve booked. And if you’ve seen the brits top model, you’ll see they don’t privilege the stories as much as the model quality. I’ve catched up with the latest seasons and they’ve had incredible looks
    Australia next top model is great as well, their casting is the best (please check season 7, the girls were amazing). And you can see the “mean” girls climbing up to the top, not like this where the guetto girls will always win in tears and some “mean” girl will be given the moral ride

    I’m an ANTM fan as you can see.. 🙂
    good news for the switch on the format!

  • Daley

    I’m probably on my own saying this, but I hate Jay Manuel. I’m actually glad to see him go. Same for Nigel. Nigel has just been a pile of useless for SO damn long. All he does is sit there and agree with Tyra, and Janice Dickinson (I WANT HER BACK) once said, she hoped Tyra and Nigel did get married, because that was the only reason she was still keeping him around.

    BUT MISS J </3 He was the best thing that ever happened to Top Model…at one point, he was the only reason I was even watching the show.

    And on top of it all, Tyra is still a judge. I can't. She's just been pathetic for so long, now. I'm so done with her, I really want to see her go. And Janice Dickinson should be the host, because she was just so, so amazing. Blunt, real and a little bit deranged. <3

  • Wow. First… the ratings drop. We all know why!!! I’ve said in every recap for the last 5 cycles… TYRANT. She turned the series into a bloated, gimmicky, pet project that was more focused on brands and characters than models and fashion.

    Second… the cuts. I’m cool with Miss J leaving. She was always more of a side show and all-too-willing participant in Tyrant’s stunts. She was fun on panels, but never held a candle to Nole Marin or Janice. As for Nigel… he’s hot, but I feel like he stood by and watched as Tyrant manipulated the series too many times. But Mr. J!!! That sucks. He was always so honest and real in the photo shoots. He never BS’d any of them. He was superb as host of Canada’s Next Top Model.

    If ANTM is going to survive this nosedive, Tyrant needs to go back to basics. The high fashion Cycle WORKED. Go back to a series about modelling and mentoring… girls with real shots at a career… not desperate wannabe pop stars and actresses. And please… Tyra… fire TYRANT.

  • zeze

    what’s gonna happened with antm without the jay’s??
    i’m quite happy nigel leave, but i’m more happy tyra leave..

  • Idk why anyone is happy Nigel left. I always found him to be a pretty fair judge + his accent + the fact that he was gorgeous to look at didn’t hurt, either.

    The show could use a reboot, yes, but I think that has less to do with getting rid of the familiar faces (Nigel, Tyra, + the Jays have all been on the show either from the very beginning or very close to it) + more to do with format/content of the show itself. I always liked Andre Leon Talley.

  • Bitter Lemon

    Have watched every cycle but really having to force myself out of loyalty to watch this one. It is so tired. Shocked about Miss J and Mr J going though, Nigel should have gone long ago. I would rather they just stop before it gets even worse.

  • Logan

    I’m not that surprised to see Miss Jay leaving,he was already a sporadic appearance rather than an actual crew member. But Mr.Jay and Nigel – they both should do a porn together by the way – leavig is just a turn off.

  • Jay terrifies me with that platinum blond 90s freakshow hair cut but i do appreciate that he’s the mentor to the girls and that will be some big lady-lookin’ shoes to fill.
    Miss Jay never impresses me and how impressed can someone be with themselves with their job title as “runway walk specialist” or whatever they title her as.
    I agree, Tyra is a complete mess on this show and no longer a relevant voice. No, you probably can’t have the show without her given she’s slammed her name into the title but the show must go on! Just pick the RIGHT replacement.

  • Monkey

    Aww, another addition to the unsolved mysteries of ANTM.

    Apparently casting is/has taking place, so I think we’ll find out who the replacements are soon. Let’s hope they’re good!

  • AVS

    The problem was NOT Ms/Mr J or Nigel… It’s the fact that this show has become less about modelling over the past years with gimmicky things like writing songs and booty-tooch/smizing lessons. Also, the show has become a platform to shamelessly plug her new book over and over again.

  • The biggest problem this season was it was less about modeling and more about the battle between US and UK… and nobody really cared. Especially since it was so forced and faked. Just get back to regular seasons, with good models and interesting photo shoots.

  • Miss J appeared a few times in Cycle 01 (Elyse Sewell memorably cursed him and almost everyone else out in Episode 02).

  • Weldon Bell

    I think Nigel should start his own version of Top Model, the male version, since he was once a model. I think the men should get some recognition too.

  • Slade

    So glad to see ms.j go he was more annoying and gimmicky then tyra is and hes to much for my taste! I am so sad to see mr.j and nigel go they are both so valuable and soooooo sexy sexy sexy! I do wish for the return of janice

  • jiloca

    Jay Manuel was easily my favorite person in the show, and Miss Jay my 2nd favorite. Love Nigel as well. With Tyra getting more ridiculous and desperate every season, and the best cast members exiting, for the first time I don’t know whether I’ll be interested in watching anymore. Even now, watching previous seasons in reruns, it’s obvious that the quality and entertainment factor of this show has taken a nosedive, but I’ve hung in there. I think it’s time to let go now. 🙁

  • ANTMFan

    Correction on “Both Jay Alexander and Nigel Barker joined the show in Cycle 2” Mr. and Ms. Jay had been in the show since Cycle 1. Ms. Jay taught Cycle 1 ladies the catwalk. There was a disagreement between Elise on her runway clothes. Anyway, I will miss these pioneers who made the show a success. 🙂

  • Diana

    The reason ratings dropped last season was because it was just so boring. I’ve been watching ANTM for many seasons and this past one with the British Invasion seemed so uptight and boorishly boring. I couldn’t even understand those yanks accents and that just made me not want to watch it. All those ugly blonds that I didn’t care for made the show UN-watchable. This next season already looks better! There are gorgeous models of different kinds of nationalities. African American, Hispanic etc. People who I feel I can connect with. Sad that the judges left but I do feel excited about this next season!

  • jazze1

    The old saying applies here: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” After seeing the start of the new episodes, I REALLY miss Mr & Miss J. I DEFINITELY miss Nigel! I think the British Invasion brought the ratings down…just like the new Brit-model-judge! He’s eye-candy only (not all that, in my opinion)! His critiques are weak. I also do not like the audience participation..they only vote for whoever they like or don’t like based on cat-fights in the house, not fashion & photos! Hate to say it, but this probably will be it for ANTM…sad.

  • SoozieQ

    It seemed the show began to be more about Tyra and ‘branding’ Tyra than about modeling. I would say overall she has failed her Harvard Course because the ‘branding’ has become overdone and subsequently hollow and cheap. I see major sponsors/advertisers have dropped the show. However, this new season is just as much a sham…it seems Tyra conveniently makes a score to either up or down a model’s overall score, and I find it curious that the audience preferences are generally in complete opposite of the judges. I will miss Nigel, Mr and Miss Jay…they were so part of the fun.

  • Blackkbeauty

    I am so glad useless Nigel is leaving . No more listening to his silly comments. He said that Katarzyna Dolinska and Molly Sue would never make top models, well eat your heart out Nigel, they did!!!! . ANTM winner has never reached “top Model status and this is partly due to Nigel choices when it came to elimination . I loved Miss J, because he was unbias and gave constructive criticism to the girls whereas . Nigel comments were the opposite because he was more concerned in playing to the camera. Nigel could not take a good photo as painfully pointed out by André Leon Talley . I could not careless about Mr J, good riddance to him and Nigel!!

  • Amber

    Well, personally I won’t be watching after I catch up to cycle 19. Cycle 18 will be my last one. Having ANTM without the Jays and Nigel is like “House” without Cuddy, Lily without Marshall (season 2 of How I Met Your Mother), and Bones without Vincent Nigel Murray…it’s depressing and it just doesn’t work. The Jays and Nigel MADE that show. Typical. When you need to make changes to shake things up, get rid of the one thing or break up the ONE couple that most of your fanbase actually loves about your show..This sounds like something Ryan Murphy would do. Does he write this show too?

  • Sherie

    I find the new format to be boring and not very entertaining! What’s with this being voted off…BUT WAIT…psyche, not really because you can come back! It’s lame!

    I’ve watched ANTM since the get-go, and I LOVED Nigel. Ms. Jay and especially Mr. Jay!! The so-called “replacements” are pathetic, ESPECIALLY Bryan Boy! REALLY??

    I hope they can get back to the actual competition of MODELING! So far, I’m not very impressed with the new judges or the new format, and I think instead of firing the three people that made the show worth watching, they should have come up with a new, exciting format to get their ratings back up! P.S – that girl Victoria (that whiny girl) is the MOST ANNOYING contestant EVER!!!