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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.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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