When America’s Next Top Model released in 2003, there was no other show like it. Similarly, the judges of the show became celebrities overnight. However, Jay Manuel left the show after 18 seasons and now he’s telling the reason why.
Although America’s Next Top Model has not aired a new episode since 2016, it made a comeback in quarantine
Created by Tyra Banks, it was one of a kind show when it released in 2003. America’s Next Top Model gave a chance of a lifetime to aspiring models and helped them start their careers. Including Tyra Banks, the judging panel consisted of Nigel Barker, Miss J, and Jay Manuel, who was also the creative director. After 18 seasons, Barker and Miss J did not return as their contracts were not renewed. Shortly after, Jay Manuel also quit the show. While the show introduced many interesting trends including Smize, it is also believed to have paved a path for other reality shows. Some argue that this show was the inspiration behind RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, it would not be right to compare the two shows.
Recently, Jay Manuel came forward with the real reason behind his exit from the show
When Manuel left the show in 2012, it was reported that Tyra Banks fired him. However, he has denied the news and says that it was his decision. Since 2014, he has been working on a book called The Wig, The Bi*** & The Meltdown which is inspired by his exit from the show. While talking about the decision, Jay Manuel said:
‘When we parted ways, I had already completed my contract after Cycle 18 with no plans to return for Cycle 19, and that’s something that people don’t know. It was 100% my decision to leave the show, as I was ready to move my career in a different direction, but unfortunately at the time, my departure was misreported to the press, and contractually, I could not speak about leaving the show.’
When asked about his friendship with Banks, he said:
‘Over the past few years, we’ve emailed. To be very honest, we really have no relationship to speak of, which is really sad. Our time together on ‘ANTM’ was amazingly productive and, at times, magical. We got to experience being part of a global phenomenon.’
If all goes well, his book, which is a satirical novel, will come out at the end of the summer.