‘Top Model’ Makeover: Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander Fired

Tyra Banks on America's Next Top Model (The CW)

America’s Next Top Model” is getting a fierce facelift.

The CW reality series has booted perennial favorites Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander.

Executive producers Tyra Banks and Ken Mok released the news in a joint statement on Friday. “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,” the statement reads. “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.”

Banks followed up with a Twitter shout out to the trio, who’ve been with long-running series since early on. “Fierce & love 2 my Nigel, Jay & Miss J. ANTM turned us in2 a family. Excited for what the future holds for us,” Tyra tweeted.

No replacements have been named yet for the upcoming 19th cycle of “Top Model,” which will feature college-aged participants. Current judge Kelly Cutrone, who took over for Andre Leon Talley this cycle, is expected to stay put.

What Happened:

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UPDATED: Jay Manuel and Nigel Barker have both responded to the news.

Writes Manuel on his blog: “Thank you all for your kind words. It’s true, after 18 cycles, I will not be returning to America’s Next Top Model. Most importantly, I must give a big thank you to all our fans!  It’s been extraordinary being a part of an such an amazing brand that we all worked hard to build.  From the first cycle you embraced us and nine years later, we still feel that love.  I’ve truly been blessed to work on a show that was recognized and loved around the world.  I’ll take with me memories and lessons that will last a lifetime. Nigel, Miss J and I had a great run, and now it’s time for us to move on.  But you know me… I’m already working on many interesting projects.  I look forward to sharing with you soon! Much love, -Jay XOXO.”
Barker tells E! News his firing was “not a shock,”adding “I’m friends with Tyra and the producers. There had been a discussion that ratings were down and that something like this would happen. There had been previous years where discussions about me being eliminated from the show had happened and I had actually survived the chopping block before.”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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