Tyra Banks, executive producer, host, and mastermind of America's Next Top Model, the world's highest budget cable access show, has cycled through so many hosts, lackeys, and sidekicks that she is a wrongful termination suit waiting to happen. But there was a trio of regulars we thought would never leave the show: photo shoot manager Jay Manuel, runway diva coach Miss J. Alexander, and noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker. Guess what? They've all gotten the boot.
Their contracts have not been renewed for the next "cycle" of the CW show, which will be its 19th. The CW confirms to Hollywood.com that the trio of ANTM personalities will not return to the show.
The CW also delivered this statement from Ken Mok and Banks, who both serve as executive producers on the show: "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."
The current "British Invasion" edition of the show is doing horribly in the ratings, dropping nearly 50% in the 18-to-49 demographic that advertisers crave. I admit that even I stopped watching. Maybe Tyra thinks that the show's long-standing formula needs a shake up or she's trying to save herself some dough by getting rid of expensive long-time employees and bringing in some cheap new blood. (If that's the case, I'll say mean things about the girls pictures for pennies on the dollar!) Maybe Tyra has just finally given into her own ego and will be planning the shoots, doing the makeovers, taking the photos, judging the panel, yelling at the girls, writing the Tyra Mail which never quite rhymes, picking up the wet bikinis lying by the pool, and booking the limos to panel all on her own. Still the show will be nothing without Jay Manuel's florescent hair and condescention, Miss J.'s dismissive critiques, or Nigel's stern level-headedness (and rather handsome face). Sure, we've seen Janice Dickinson, Paulina Porizkova, Twiggy, Nole Marin, André Leon Talley, and plenty of others come and go, but the J's have been around since Season One and Nigel since Season Two. They were as much a part of the show as Tyra's fivehead. They will be missed. Because she is the best, or the most fabulous, here is a compilation of Miss J's most hilarious moments. How are you gonna replace this, Tyra?