Loyal America's Next Top Model fans might have a hard time processing this news: Tyra Banks has fired Nigel Barker, J. Alexander, and Jay Manuel.
All three cast members have been staples of the show since the series premiere in 2003: Nigel Barker sat with Tyra on judges panel, looked dreamy; Jay Manuel directed all the photoshoots, was in turns exasperated and inspired, but consistently orange; J. Alexander taught eighteen seasons worth of contestants how to walk the runway, was sassy.
I've tried and tried to imagine ANTM without Nigel and the Jays, and I can no sooner see a world in which Tyra Banks herself takes leave of the longtime modeling competition. Mostly, I'm beside myself over Nigel's imminent departure: what will America's Next Top Model do without America's Next Top Dreamhunk? And what will Nigel do without ANTM?
The changes will take effect next season, which will be the show's nineteenth. The New York Post reports that Tyra & co. are planning to better integrate social media with the series, and have already reached out to prominent blogger and man-about-Intertown Bryanboy. "Cool."
Image via PNP/WENN