This has got to be the smartest move Tyra and Bankable Productions have made in the longest time. After a season of rotating guest judges, Vogue’s editor-at-large icon, Andre Leon Talley, is joining America’s Next Top Model for Cycle 14. Fashionistas and Vogue aficionados across the nation were probably wetting their designer panties when news broke out.

Personally, I am over-the-moon excited to see Leon Talley’s quips and critique at panel. I’ve been a huge fan of his ever since I started following fashion watching FashionTV. Besides Anna Wintour, Andre is fashion’s second biggest and most influential voice. He has been a front-row staple at all the major shows in Milan, New York, Paris and London for more than 25 years. In 2007, he was even ranked 45th in Out Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America”.

As excited as I am about Talley adding some actual fashion credibility to the farce ANTM has become, I’m a little worried about all the “testosterone” on the judging panel. Granted, both Jay Alexander and Andre Leon Talley aren’t the most masculine, but it would’ve been nice to hire a former or current supermodel to the mix. I guess Tyra is proving she’s the HBIC- Head Bitch In Charge- and not hiring a female judge. After both former ANTM judges, Janice Dickinson and Paulina Porizkova, publicly spoke out about Tyrant’s diva ways, she’s not risking another potential fallout with a fellow supermodel.


Another former judge, Kimora Lee Simmons, who was supposedly fired after Cycle 1, might be re-joining the judging panel for the upcoming cycle. Reports say Tyra, who is so worried about her public persona, is playing nice with her former frenemy to prove she can play well with others. While this is being denied by the production staff, other sources say Kimora is simply joining the panel as a guest judge for a weekly elimination.

With Leon Talley joining the squad full-time, insiders say Jay Alexander has been demoted and been regulated to solely training the wannabe models with their runway walks- OUCH. Honestly, this would be the best news ever. Just like Nolé Marin, Jay Alexander’s schtick got tired real fast once promoted to regular status. In small doses, these two bitches are a freakin’ riot, but in larger quantities… please gag me with a spoon.

So after Cycle 13’s low budget “international destination” of Hawaii, Cycle 14 is heading to another fashion mecca- NEW ZEALAND. Okay so New Zealand isn’t actually a hotbed of the latest fashion forward trends, but at least they have a fashion week. Seriously at this point, what other cities can ANTM head off to. My suggestion for next cycle… Saudi Arabia. I’d love to see how Tyra and company exploit Middle Eastern traditional attire.

So what’s your take on the aforementioned news and rumors? What’s got your panties in a bunch? Excited about the new blood coming in? Are you looking forward to Cycle 14? As usual, I’d love to hear all your thoughts and comments.