Casting Shake-Up a Sign of Decline for America’s Next Top Model?

It was announced earlier in the week that America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) will be replacing Andre Leon Talley with Kelly Cutrone on the judges panel. A contributing editor for Vogue, Mr. Talley has been on the judges panel for the past four seasons after replacing model and actress Paulina Porizkova. When Mr. Talley was first introduced as the show’s newest judge and mentor he was heralded for bringing some serious fashion industry credibility to the Tyra Bank’s reality program that is currently finishing up its 17th season. In a statement he gave to Page Six Mr. Talley confirmed that his departure was amicable, saying:

“It’s all good in the neighborhood… I had a fabulous time. It was a mutual agreement. There is no unhappiness, at all.”

Less than half an hour after Andre Leon Talley’s departure was confirmed Kelly Cutrone took to twitter with the following message: “It’s True! I am joining America’s Next Top Model!”

While the show must be at least a little dismayed to see a marquee name such as Mr. Talley leave, Kelly Cutrone is being praised as a worthy replacement considering her brash, no nonsense personality and her reality TV experience with shows such as The Hills, The City and her own short lived project Kell on Earth.

However with the departure of a big fashion name like Andre Leon Talley and the recruitment of Kelly Cutrone who is more of a reality TV oriented name one can’t help but wonder if after 17 seasons American’s Next Top Model isn’t starting to show some signs of deterioration. This most recent season, dubbed America’s Next Top Model: All Stars has seen the return of previous winners and fan favorites, which is an oft used mechanism for shows that are beginning to see their popularity decline. On top of that this, the most recent season has also received luke-warm reviews from even the shows most supportive critics. Some in the industry speculate that Kelly is being brought into the mix to help balance out the more dramatic and over the top Tyra Banks who may be overstaying her welcome on the TV screens of her viewers.

After 17 season this wouldn’t be the first time that the prediction of ANTM‘s decline was proven premature, but nothing last forever and one day (we’re betting soon) talk of the show’s decline is finally going to be hitting the mark.


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