Devastating news for fans of America’s Next Top Model today: The New York Post reports that three of Tyra Banks‘ most loyal co-stars– runway trainer J. Alexander, creative director Jay Manuel, and judge/photographer Nigel Barker–were given the axe by the diva herself.
While judge-turnover rate is pretty high on ANTM (which is about to start its 19th season…er…cycle), the departure of these three staples marks a bigger change in the direction of show then say, firing Janice Dickinson. Miss Jay and Mr. Barker have been on since the second cycle, while Mr. Manuel has been there since the first round.
Tyra tweeted about the turn of events:
“Fierce & love 2 my @NigelBarker, @MrJayManuel & Miss J. #ANTM turned us in2 a family. Excited for what the future holds for us. XOXO TyTy.”
Meanwhile Mr. Barker posted a lengthy swan-song on his own blog, which included vague references to new projects:
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!
As for Mister and Miss Jay? Well they can still do their spin-off, Canada’s Top Model, right?
One thing is for sure: This is going to make next Fashion Week really awkward.
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