A popular reality talent show has dropped its controversial has-been female judge. But in a mildly surprising move, it's not embattled American Idol judge Paula Abdul -- instead it's America's Next Top Model judge Janice Dickinson.
UPN has announced that Dickinson, the self-described "world's first supermodel" will not return for Top Model's upcoming Fall 2005 fifth edition. Instead, Dickinson will be replaced by Twiggy (real name Lesley Hornby), who despite being four years older than Dickinson, is described by the network as the "first teenager to become a supermodel in the 1960's."
Also departing from Top Model 5's judging panel will be stylist Nolé Marin, who first joined the panel with last fall's Top Model 3. Marin will be replaced by J. Alexander, who had previously served as the reality show's "runway expert." Top Model hostess Tyra Banks and fashion photographer Nigel Barker will round out the four regular members of the judging panel, which, as in previous seasons, will also feature special guest judges.
"We are thrilled to have Twiggy as a part of this cycle's judging panel; the show and participants will benefit a great deal from her vast knowledge and expertise," said America's Next Top Model executive producer Ken Mok. "With Twiggy and the addition of runway expert J. Alexander as judges, we're guaranteed to have some lively judging sessions."
According to UPN, Dickinson is leaving for that classic PR reason -- "to pursue other projects." "We would like to thank Janice for bringing her talents to the show and for everything she did to help us build America's Next Top Model into its current success," said Mok. "We wish her well in all of her future endeavors."
Left unstated was any mention of that fact that Banks and the outspoken and offensive Dickinson frequently clashed during the series. Also unmentioned was that Banks had publicly voiced her unhappiness that original Top Model winner Adrianne Curry had participated in the recently concluded fourth edition of VH1's The Surreal Life -- making it likely that she was also less than thrilled to have learned of Dickinson's appearance in the fifth edition that VH1 will air this fall.
"Honestly, I was not very happy that she was going to be on The Surreal Life," Banks had told Zap2It.com about Curry's appearance back in February. Banks was concerned about the show's "has-beeny" reputation -- something she'd obviously prefer not to have associated with her show.