“America’s Next Top Model” fans were shocked when news broke Friday (April 20) that judge and photographer Nigel Barker, creative director Jay Manuel, and runway coach and sometimes judge J. Alexander had been axed from the show. One person who wasn’t surprised, though, was Barker, who’s been with the show for 18 cycles.
“I’m friends with Tyra [Banks] and the producers,” Barker tells E! News. “It wasn’t a shock … 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.”
“We had an incredible run and there aren’t any hard feelings,” Barker continues, speaking for himself and “Mr. and Ms. Jay.” “This isn’t a Tyra thing. This is a network thing.”
Barker also reveals that leaving “Top Model” is allowing him to pursue a show of his own as well as a line of skin care products and cosmetics for men.
“My contract was so exclusive that it was holding me back from other projects,” Barker says. “I’m looking very much forward to creating my own show that focuses on some of my passions like photography.”
Will you watch “America’s Next Top Model” without Barker and the Jays?