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.
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.