Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel, Miss J. fired from Top Model

America’s Next Top Model‘s limp toward its death accelerated yesterday, as Nigel Barker, Miss J. Alexander, and Jay Manuel–were fired from The CW reality competition. They won’t be back for season 19 in the fall, but Tyra Banks and her ego are both staying.

Page Six reported that “the three mentors were informed yesterday morning that their contracts would not be renewed for the next season.” The reason: a “production decision” and “major changes planned for [season] 19.”

Those changes do not, apparently, involve cancelling the show, which is basically a walking corpse, creatively and in terms of its ratings. This “British Invasion” cycle debuted in February with fewer than 50 percent of the viewers its spring debut had last year. On Wednesday, just 1.31 million people watched.

Executive producer Ken Mok told the paper in a statement that the three men “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.”

Nigel confirmed on his blog that he “will not be returning,” but saying nice things such as, “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.”

Tyra also confirmed the three departures, tweeting “fierce & love” and said she’s “excited for what the future holds for us.” Yes, the future of not working together.

The Sing-Off loses its star

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NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.