On April 5, Jay Manuel posted a photo to his Instagram account that has America’s Next Top Model fans in a frenzy, hinting that the family is back together again. This comes right on the heels of the announcement that Tyra Banks would be hosting the show once more.
The Big Announcement
On March 16, 2017, VH-1 announced that America’s Next Top Model would once again be hosted by Tyra Banks. In the official press release, Executive Producer Ken Mok, who has run the show since it began, noted that Top Model fans missed Tyra in her usual role.
“Tyra has always been the heart and soul of the franchise and her absence was deeply felt by our fiercely loyal fans who missed their Queen of the Smize.”
For her part, Tyra responded with the grace and class that is one of her hallmarks.
“I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the America’s Next Top Model fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart. After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ANTM is woven into my DNA.”
One cryptic part of the official announcement by VH-1 said simply that “additional panelists to be announced at a later date.”
While this leaves the fate of the other judges, Ashley Graham, Law Roach, and Drew Elliot, on the America’s Next Top Model panel, it also leaves an opening for Tyra to bring back the family.
The Instagram Post of Posts
That opening is why Jay Manuel’s Instagram post is exciting so many fans. Take a look.
A post shared by Jay Manuel (@mrjaymanuel) on
That’s Miss J, Nigel Barker, and Jay Manuel, all seated around a laptop, pointing at something with the caption that says, “Yup this happened…the family is back together!”
While it could just be that the three got together to hang out and have the most fabulous lunch ever, fans are replying to the Instagram photo with pleas of hopefulness. Comments ranged from “really? all come back with tyty?” to “This better mean they are all coming back.”
Whether or not the original family is going to join Tyra on the judges panel has yet to be announced, but that doesn’t mean that fans of America’s Next Top Model can’t get their hopes up, if only for a little while.
What Has the Family Been Doing?
Since the trio left America’s Next Top Model in 2012, they’ve been keeping busy doing what they do best.
Jay Manuel released a premier cosmetics line called Jay Manuel Beauty in 2014 under Impala, Inc. He’s been keeeping busy working with fashion photographers and as a makeup artist and stylist for multiple magazines.
J. Alexander, also known as Miss J., helps with casting and teaching models how to act during fashion shows. In 2014, he returned for Cycle 21 of America’s Next Top Model after Rob Evans was let go.
Nigel Barker continues to work as one of the world’s premier fashion photographers. In 2012, he shot a photobook of Taylor Swift titled 8 hours as she was just beginning her meteoric rise to fame. He was also a guest judge at Miss USA 2016 held in Las Vegas.
Whether or not the three will return to the judging panel for Cycle 24 of America’s Next Top Model remains to be seen. Until the official casting announcements are made, however, fans can always hope that they will be treated to Mr. and Mrs. Jay’s definitive brand of sass and wit on the next cycle.
[Featured Image by Craig Barritt/Getty Images]