Tyra Banks’ “America’s Next Top Model” is losing three of the show’s longtime personalities.
“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 Ken Mok, Executive Producers of “ANTM,” said in a statement to Access Hollywood after news broke that the trio had been axed from the long-running reality competition.
Tyra also addressed the firing of Nigel (noted fashion photographer and judge), Jay (the show’s photo shoot director) and J. Alexander (known as Miss J. on the series, the show’s runway coach extraordinaire) on her Facebook account.
“To my Nigel Barker, Miss J, and Mr Jay: Thank you for all of our years together on America’s Next Top Model! Working with you is always an absolute pleasure. Excited for what the future holds for us. XOXO, TyTy,” she wrote.
According to the New York Post – who first broke the news – the trio was informed on Thursday that their contracts would not be renewed for the show’s upcoming Cycle 19.
A Post source said the decision was a “production decision” and “major changes planned for [Cycle] 19.” The show will reportedly incorporate a new social media element next season and has reportedly reached out to street-style blogger Bryan Boy.
Current judge Kelly Cutrone, who replaced Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley this season, is expected to remain on the series.