'Top Model' Firing Frenzy!
Tyra Banks has pulled a Simon Cowell, firing three longtime faces from Americas Next Top Model this week.
As of next season, you will no longer see Judges Nigel Barker (prominent fashion photographer and judge since cycle 2 in 04'), Jay Manuel (Creative director since the show was created) or J. Alexander ( AKA - Miss J, served as a judge from Cycles 5-13, along with acting as the contestants runway coach).
Word is, Banks and producers were looking to shake up new seasons in a major way, after several seasons of bad ratings, and are looking to add a strong social component, reaching out to prolific fashion bloggers.
Tyra adressed her former co-workers in a tweet, Friday:
In a statement, the show's executive producer, Ken Mok said, “Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander have been an integral part of the ‘America’s Next Top Model’ brand and they helped turn this show into the household name it is today. They have been amazing assets to the show and will always be a part of the ‘Top Model’ family. We will continue to actively work with each of them on future projects.”
But the axing didn't come as a surprise... at least to Nigel.
"It wasn't a shock. I'm friends with Tyra [Banks] and the producers," The brit, 39, told E! News. "There had been a discussion that ratings were down and that something like this would happen."
He adds, "there had been previous years where discussions about me being eliminated from the show had happened and I had actually survived the chopping block before."
But he insists there's no bad blood, despite the firings. "We had an incredible run," he said. "This isn't a Tyra thing. This is a network thing. My contract was so exclusive that it was holding me back from other projects."
Will you watch ANTM without them??