America’s Next Top Model is moving to Fridays in the fall, as announced at today’s CW Upfronts. But that’s just one of the many changes coming to Tyra’s reality modeling show, which will wrap up its 18th cycle two Wednesdays from now.

Weeks after it was announced that longtime judge Nigel Barker, photo shoot director Jay Manuel and runway trainer J. Alexander would be leaving the show, the show has announced who will take their place: male model Rob Evans, celebrity stylist Johnny Wujek and … the viewer?

The CW’s press materials for cycle 19, which will be “college” themed, explains how the show will implement its first-ever voting system into the competition:

“Cycle 19 of the show will offer an interactive experience where, for the first time in America’s Next Top Model history, the public will be able to have a say in who stays and who goes in the competition. 

Beginning on May 24, fans will have two opportunities each week to vote online at and choose their favorite contestants based on photo shoots taken during production. These scores will be used by Tyra Banks and the judges to help determine who is eliminated each week. Viewers will also have the opportunity to have their comments and video messages featured in the show when the cycle airs in the fall.”

Why does voting start on May 24 if the current cycle has already completed filming, and the next cycle doesn’t start until the fall? Beats me! Guess we’ll have to wait a week and find out.

And how about those new judges? Let’s learn about them:

“In addition to Banks and returning judge, fashion PR maven Kelly Cutrone, international male model Rob Evans will join the judging panel as the third permanent judge. Johnny Wujek, stylist to the stars, including singer Katy Perry, rounds out the group as the new creative consultant, who will guide the models through their photo shoots.” 

So Rob — who also happens to be bald and British, but is much younger and more prone to shirtlessness — will be the new Nigel. Hard to imagine why Tyra would want such a young, handsome thing next to her every week. And our new Jay Manuel, Johnny Wujek, has survived the neon nightmare of being Katy Perry’s stylist, so he should be a natural fit for dealing with the model baby-divas and anything-but-ordinary wardrobes on those Top Model photoshoots.

What about that strange “college” theme for Cycle 19? If you’re cynical enough to believe that Tyra would craft an entire season of her show as an excuse for her to constantly brag about her own brand-new alma mater … well, you’re exactly right:

“Cycle 19 is also the first-ever college edition, inspired by Banks’ recent graduation from Harvard Business School, and will include students from all across the educational spectrum, from four-year colleges and universities to beauty school students. These women from all walks of life, all parts of the nation, and all types of continuing education, will be invited to show their school spirit — and their modeling chops– to Tyra and the judges. The girls will vie for a prize package that will launch their modeling careers, as well as help them continue to earn their degree.”

Hey, at least she might finally move on from the whole Modelland thing now.

America’s Next Top Model cycle 19 will air on Fridays, from 8 to 9pm, this fall on the CW. Here’s the latest recap of what’s happening on ANTM cycle 18, “British Invasion.”

(Image courtesy of CW)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.