André Leon Talley has already finished filming the fourteenth season of America’s Next Top Model. He replaces J. Alexander on the judging panel. (Miss J will only be returning to fix the contestants’ busted runway walks.)
Tyra Banks first approached Andre Leon Talley to be on “America’s Next Top Model” eight years ago. “At that point,” he told WWD, “I said no because it was the beginning. I was thinking I wanted to see where it goes.” Fast forward to 2010 and cycle 14 of the show, which premieres March 10 on The CW, with Talley on the judging panel:
“I felt maybe I could contribute something to it that had not been on the show. I just felt that it was a way to step out of the box and associate myself with a very important American success story, a very important brand — Tyra Banks.”
He’d never watched the show when he said yes, but he had “no hesitations at all,” and has signed on for three cycles. He also has a show wardrobe of 13 custom-made Chado Ralph Rucci capes, varying only in color or fabric.
He also created a catchphrase for the show: “dreckitude,” from one of his “favorite” words, dreck, and “quackitude.” He explained: “‘Dreckitude’ was whipped out when I thought the challenge was not met or if [the contestants] showed up in perhaps an outfit that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around.”
Even Tyra Banks felt intimidated.
“This is the most clean you will ever see me in the history of ‘Top Model,’” she said. “I am wearing a chignon every single day. I went back to Yves Saint Laurent 1991, honey. I said, ‘This is André Leon Talley! No earrings, no nothing. Just me and the gahhment.’”