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America's Next Top Model's Jay Manuel Reveals Why He Really Left the Show & Addresses Tyra Banks Backlash on Social Media

Jay Manuel is speaking out.

The 47-year-old former America’s Next Top Model judge, who left the show after Cycle 18, spoke out about the show and former co-star Tyra Banks in an interview with Variety on Wednesday (May 13).

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Jay Manuel

“When we parted ways, I had already completed my contract after Cycle 18 with no plans to return for Cycle 19, and that’s something that people don’t know. It was 100% my decision to leave the show, as I was ready to move my career in a different direction, but unfortunately at the time, my departure was misreported to the press, and contractually, I could not speak about leaving the show. Now, I can speak about it, so I can be clear that my departure from the show was one of choice,” Jay said of leaving the show.

“My primary focus was shifting my career. But, initially when the show started, creatively, it was just a conversation between Tyra and myself. As the show grew and big sponsors came on board, everyone felt the pressure now to build the ratings, so then everyone was adding layers to these shoots and taking it away from realistic fashion challenges, which became increasingly difficult for me because I had to juggle what the sponsor wanted and what production wanted for TV ratings and also create the creative, so it just became very difficult to manage. By the time I finished with Cycle 18, there was just so much more I needed to do with my career and I wasn’t offering anything new to the show, at that point.”

He also addressed the recent social media backlash that Tyra has faced about questionable plot points, challenges and her behavior throughout the series.

“I do think it’s a little unfair for people to persecute Tyra now, especially because she has already taken heat for her past executive decisions in past years. However, I can’t really defend her either because when ratings were high and things were great, she remained a clear figurehead, because it was her show. Consistently, when s–t hit the fan and people wanted to talk about some of the things that were said on the show, we would have another singular EP come forward to claim that all creative decisions were made as the team, and I really wish that were the case, but that just simply is not true.”

Here’s what Tyra Banks said about backlash for those insensitive ANTM moments…

Wilmer Valderrama & Darren Criss Show Their Support at Operation Smile Ski Trip

Wilmer Valderrama and Darren Criss pose for a photo as they attend the 2019 Operation Smile Ski Challenge on Saturday afternoon (March 23) at the St Regis Deer Valley & Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.

The 32-year-old American Crime Story actor was also joined by new bride Mia Swier as they showed their support at the event.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Darren Criss

Other stars hitting the slopes for the event included Taylor Kinney, Kate Walsh, Brooke Burke, Mike Doyle, and Jay Manuel.

Operation Smile is a a nonprofit medical service organization that helps provide corrective surgeries for children born with cleft lip.

15+ pictures inside of the stars at the event…More Here! »

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Jay Manuel Photo Gallery

Ashley Graham, Fergie, Rachel Platten Arrive at Miss Universe Pageant 2017

Ashley Graham, Fergie, and Rachel Platten hit the red carpet as they arrive at the 2017 Miss Universe pageant held at Planet Hollywood on Sunday (November 26) in Las Vegas.

The backstage host and performers were joined by judges Ross Matthews, Lele Pons, Jay Manuel, Megan Olivi, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, and Wendy Fitzwilliam.

The Miss Universe pageant will be hosted by Steve Harvey again this year, while Fergie and Rachel will take the stage to perform.

“Get your ball gowns ready!! #MissUniverse ”,” Ashley wrote on Instagram while getting ready. Check out her photo below!

Tune in to the 2017 Miss Universe pageant airing RIGHT NOW on Fox!

FYI: Rachel is wearing a J Mendel dress. Fergie is wearing Balmain. Ashley is wearing a Michael Costello dress with Bulgari jewelry. Lele is wearing Yousef Aljasmi.

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Solange Knowles Is Honoree at Glamour's Women of The Year Awards 2017!

Solange Knowles shows off her fierce style while posing backstage at Glamour’s 2017 Women of The Year Awards held at Kings Theatre on Monday (November 13) in Brooklyn, New York.

The 31-year-old entertainer was joined at the event by Tove Lo, Iman, Jay Manuel and singer Billie Eilish.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Solange Knowles

Solange was an honoree at the annual ceremony, along with Gigi Hadid, Nicole Kidman, Samantha Bee, Patty Jenkins, and more.

FYI: Solange is wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier dress with Y/Project shoes and Mateo earrings. Tove is wearing Gucci. Iman is wearing a Christian Siriano dress. Billie is wearing a Heart of Bone ring.

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Iman, Jay Manuel & Jillian Hervey Celebrate Jay Manuel Beauty Launch!

Iman is picture perfect as she strikes a pose alongside her business partner Jay Manuel and singer Jillian Hervey at their Jay Manuel Beauty x Simon Launch Celebration held at Highline Stages on Wednesday (October 25) in New York City.

The 62-year-old supermodel and 45-year-old makeup artist were joined at the launch by Alfre Woodard, J. Alexander, designers The BlondsDavid and Phillipe Blond – and DJ Jon ALi.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Iman

Iman and Jay have linked with Simon on a series of permanent retail concepts for the makeup line – called the Jay Manuel Beauty Retail Experience – that will be stationed within busy common areas inside Simon shopping centers.

“The first location will open on Nov. 16 at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y. Several more locations are slated to roll out to other Simon properties next year,” WWD reports.


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Kelly Rowland, Monique Coleman & Simone Biles Buddy Up at Beautycon LA!

Kelly Rowland strikes a pose alongside Monique Coleman while attending Day Two of the 5th Annual Beautycon Los Angeles on Sunday (August 13) in Los Angeles.

The 36-year-old actress and Monique, also 36, were joined at the event by Simone Biles, Gigi Gorgeous, Jay Manuel, Jordyn Woods, Debby Ryan, Laurie Hernandez, Amanda Steele, Nazanin Mandi, Skai Jackson and EJ Johnson.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Kelly Rowland

Gigi had fans screaming and chasing her across the venue to her meet and greet at the Revlon booth. “’🏼’🤴🏼’🏼 Couldn’t stop playing today🥂 @Revlon @Beautycon #ad,” Gigi captioned with one of her Instagram posts at Beautycon with girlfriend Nats Getty.


FYI: Debby is wearing a Vince Camuto jacket, pants, and clutch.

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Emilia Clarke & Sam Claflin Feel the Love at 'Me Before You' Premiere

Emilia Clarke hits the red carpet with Sam Claflin at the premiere of their new movie Me Before You on Monday (May 23) at AMC Loews Lincoln Square in New York City.

The 29-year-old stars of the film coupled up at the premiere as they celebrated their movie’s debut.

Also in attendance were Megan Hilty, Nolan Funk, Katie Lee, Ramona Singer, Cory Michael Smith, Kelly Bensimon, Billy Magnussen and Jay Manuel.

Earlier that day, Emilia had seen out and about in New York City promoting the movie while Sam stopped by AOL Build to chat about the film.

FYI: Emilia is wearing a Chloe dress and Forevermark Diamonds jewelry.

25+ pictures inside of Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin attending the premiere of their movie Me Before You
More Here! »

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