Replacing judges on Americas Next Top Model (ANTM) is nothing new. Aside from the show’s creator, Tyra Banks, who has appeared on every season, there has been a pretty steady turnover of judges during the show’s 17 (you read that right… 17) seasons – or as they say in ANTM-speak ‘cycles’.
With fan-favorites such as Miss J. Alexander and the bald and beautiful Nigel Barker on board to temper the hurricane of narcissism that is Tyra Banks, it seems that ANTM usually tries to bring on one judge that will be the “bad guy” (ie: the judge who will act in a more insane/detestable manner than Tyra – for a prime example, please see Season 1-4 judge, Janice Dickinson.)
In Season 14, we were introduced to Andre Leon Talley, former editor-at-large of Vogue, and connoisseur of caped garments.
A.L.T. swiftly gained a huge fan-base and brought out some ensembles that made Tyra’s couture-duds look like a ratty sweat suit. He was too over the top not to like. But alas, after his 4th season, he’ll be parting ways with ANTM. The word isn’t out as to exactly why A.L.T. is leaving Top Model, but my guess is he has better things to do… like discuss the merits of multi-toned furs with Anna Wintour.
However, it also may have something to do with the fact that he’s simply not villainous enough. Despite his coinage of the unforgettable term ‘dreckitude’, his over-the-top style and demeanor can’t seem to distract audiences from the unfortunate truth that Tyra Banks, for all her business acumen, is insufferable.
Enter Kelly Cutrone. We first met Kelly on “The Hills” and “The City” where she played the role of was Whitney and LC’s fashion-publicist boss/mentor at People’s Revolution. While most of the characters in these reality shows seem to have jobs that are more like hobbies, and incomes that are more like trust funds, it was nice to see a real business person with her head screwed on straight. She just didn’t take anyone’s shit. However, compared to everyone else on the Hills and the City, Kelly Cutrone also seemed like the single meanest person in LA and/or New York. But although she was scary as hell, she was also somehow very likable.
In addition her personal success, she also released her memoir in 2010, titled “If you have to cry go outside: And other things your mother never told you.” I think we can all agree that’s one of the best book titles ever. But I digress… based on what we’ve seen from Kelly already I can only imagine the absolute spectacle that we will be privy to when she is faced with the girls in the top model house on a regular basis. Tears will be shed, egos will be deflated, and Tyra may just end up looking likable. But hopefully, with Kelly on the judge’s panel, the viewers of ANTM (and not just the jaded 20-somethings, but also the impressionable young ones) will get a to hear that it’s not just about being pretty, but also having a work ethic and some brains in your head. So while I will absolutely lament the loss of Andre Leon Talley, I welcome the addition of Kelly Cutrone. And I won’t be crying about it.