Good news for contestants on America's Next Top Model, though maybe not for the show's viewers: Janice Dickinson won't be around anymore to induce fainting spells in underfed hopefuls with her withering criticism. The self-proclaimed first supermodel, who served as ANTM's Simon Cowell, is leaving the show after four seasons, UPN announced Thursday. It's not clear whether Dickinson quit or was pushed; UPN said only that she was ''leaving 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 Ken Mok, the show's executive producer, in a statement. "We wish her well in all of her future endeavors.''
Among the ''other projects'' on Dickinson's plate: She has a TV production deal and a book contract, and she just followed in the footsteps of inaugural ANTM winner Adrienne Curry by filming a season of The Surreal Life for UPN sister channel VH1, to air this fall. Also busy with new projects is ANTM host and executive producer Tyra Banks, who's launching a daytime talk show this fall, though she'll still have time to rule the runway on ANTM.
Replacing Dickinson this fall on Season 5 will be a woman with a slightly stronger claim to being the first supermodel, '60s cover girl Twiggy. (Whether she can be as catty on the catwalk as Dickinson remains to be seen.) Joining the British blonde as a full-time judge will be frequent ANTM guest commentator J. Alexander. ''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,'' Mok said. ''With Twiggy and the addition of runway expert J. Alexander as judges, we're guaranteed to have some lively judging sessions.''