Andre Leon Talley Departing Top Model

People is reporting that Vogue editor-in-chief and America’s Next Top Model judge Andre Leon Talley will not be returning for the show’s upcoming 18th cycle. He’ll be replaced by Kelly Cutrone, fashion publicist, former reality star, and founder of marketing firm People’s Revolution. Cutrone has previously appeared MTV’s The Hills and The City, as well as her own Bravo reality series Kell on Earth.

I don’t know how I feel about Andre leaving the show. I’ve never been a huge fan of his judging on the panel, but his presence on the show helped give Top Model some fashion credibility and he wasn’t as substantive as I would have liked. The show may not have produced a superstar since he first arrived in cycle 14 (aka the one that Krista won), but they went from Seventeen Magazine and shoots featuring the guys from Jackass to Italian Vogue and Galliano, which is pretty significant progress.

Cutrone is a good hire, as she’s been involved in multiple areas of the fashion industry and her reality TV experience will mean that there won’t be many growing pains when she debuts in cycle 18. (Her strong personality may bring the sorely missed dynamic to the show that hasn’t been seen since the days of Janice Dickinson.) She certainly won’t be the first judging change for Top Model, as Dickinson, Miss J, Paulina Porizkova, Twiggy, Nole Marin, Eric Nicholson, Kimora Lee Simmons, and Beau Quillian have all spent time on the panel in the show’s previous 17 cycles.

What do you think about the departure of Andre from the panel? How do you think this will effect the show going forward? Is it time for the J’s to join the panel permanently?

To check out Talley’s final cycle with Tyra and Nigel, tune in to America’s Next Top Model Wednesday at 9:00 on The CW.

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