If you thought the addition of Kelly Cutrone to the ANTM team was a big shakeup, wait until you hear what cycle 19's cast might look like. Three of the show's biggest castmembers--in fact, the only three that have been on it as long as Tyra--may have just been fired, according to Page Six.
According to the gossip rag, Banks has "dismissed" judge Nigel Barker, creative director Jay Manuel and runway trainer J. Alexander, all of whom were told yesterday morning that their contracts would not be renewed for the 19th season. But what's almost more intriguing is who they're saying may replace the ANTM veterans: bloggers. Namely, Bryanboy. From Page Six:
We hear producers are looking to add a social media slant to the show, and they’ve already reached out to bloggers and fashion insiders with a strong Web presence, including street-style blogger Bryanboy.
We reached out to the fashion blogging phenom for comment and he was just as surprised as we were by the news. Though he's not opposed. "I love Tyra and ANTM--I think it would be amazing to make a cameo (hello Andre! hello Franca!) but no, nothing is in the works as of now," he told us from a train in Italy. "This is the first time I heard of this."
The only thing we know for sure about cycle 19 is that it will be shot in Los Angeles and Kelly Cutrone will reprise her role as a harsh judge. If the rumors are true (aside from the Bryanboy one), it might not be the worst thing to see some new life breathed into the almost 10-year-old show (sorry, Jay, J. and Nigel!).
Which bloggers or "fashion insiders with a strong Web presence" would you like to see on ANTM?
Update: It's true. Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander will not be returning to the show next season. Top Model executive producer Ken Mok confirmed the news to The Cut with the following statement:
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.
Tyra Banks and a couple of the cast members she fired used social media to say their goodbyes. Manuel wrote a heartfelt blog post titled "It's a Wrap Everybody..." Barker tweeted,
@tyrabanks best of luck with cycle 19, It has been a pleasure working with you the past 8 years. Much love Nigel
Tyra Banks took to Twitter as well, writing
Fierce & love 2 my @NigelBarker, @MrJayManuel & Miss J. #ANTM turned us in2 a family. Excited for what the future holds for us. XOXO TyTy
End of an era!