With the return of America’s Next Top Model, we are revisiting our favorite moments, including all the winning photo shoots, from the first 20 cycles of the series. While we ranked the cycles according to Tyra Banks’ hair, we didn’t take into account of all the judges that have served on the show’s panel. Since they’ve helped Tyra decide who would become America’s next great fashion hope, it’s important to examine all 13 of them.
Note: The number one judge is and always will be Tyra herself so she was not included in this list.
13. Bryanboy, Fashion blogger and social media correspondent
Representing the social media score, Bryan wasn’t so much of a judge as a judgey person at the panel who really had nothing to say.
12. Eric Nicholson, Senior Editor at Jane magazine
Sure, he fought with Janice — how could you not, really? — but he didn’t do much else. He was in and out and replaced by Nole in one cycle.
11. Beau Quillian, Fashion editor at Marie Claire
It’s easy to forget about Marie Claire’s fashion editor, who only served as a judge during the first cycle of the series. He did come back to guest judge a few episodes after that, and wasn’t the most intolerable judge of the series — see Bryanboy for that.
10. Kimora Lee Simmons, The owner and creative director of sexy women’s clothing line, Baby Phat
In what felt like “phone a friend,” Kimora was asked to participate in the first season of ANTM on behalf of Tyra. But it quickly became clear she did not have as much to offer as the rest of her panel.
9. Nole Marin, Prominent fashion editor and stylist
The queen of throwing shade, Nole liked to dish it out but never offered anything of use. He always seemed like a villain just waiting to pet his dog from the perch of his thrown, but lest he forget, Tyra is royalty (and there’s already one villain by the name of Janice).
8. Rob Evans, Male supermodel
Rob looked great on camera — and looked even better on Trya’s arms — but when it came to judging, he got wrapped up in the discussion over femininity when it came to judging the males. But in his defense, there’s not as much to offer men as there is to offer women. Next to Tyra, he seemed muted.
7. Twiggy, Legendary icon
When former British model Twiggy joined the series in Cycle 5, she was a breath of fresh air following four seasons of Janice’s terror. But her kindness often led to blandness; she didn’t offer the same pop or GIF-able appeal that normally delights ANTM fans. However, she was always composed and at least knew what she was talking about.
6. Kelly Cutrone, PR maven
Kelly is a bit polarizing. Not many people like her dead face and all-black persona, but she’s always been who she is. How else did she go from The Hills to The City, to her own, delicious one-season series, Kell on Earth, to a judge on ANTM? The woman understands how the business works, and is quick to make necessary business decisions.
5. Paulina Porizkova, Legendary supermodel
If there ever was one judge who wore her bitter heart on her sleeve, it was Paulina. A former Sports Illustrated cover model, Paulina replaced Twiggy and brought back the spice for her three cycles of judging.
4. Nigel Barker, Noted fashion photographer
Noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker became one of the many faces associated with ANTM. His shaved head and dimpled chin gave fans something hunky to stare at in the midst of all that estrogen. He was dreamy, had an accent, and offered a perspective from behind the lens. He was good at what he did… if only he didn’t seem so horny on the show. (The man loved to compliment the girls it seemed like he really wanted to sleep with.)
3. Andre Leon Talley, The Andre Leon Talley
When Andre joined the show in 2010, he added an element of pedigree to the judging panel thanks to his connection with Vogue. While at first he seemed like the obvious Pokemon evolution from Nole to Miss J, he proved that he was a judge not to be crossed. He channeled the best disdain of Michael Kors (Project Runway) and mixed it with his own fierce originality.
2. Janice Dickinson, One of the world’s first supermodels
It’s hard to top Janice. The self-dubbed world’s first supermodel, she joined the series hell-bent on making her own. Tyra was having none of it (and sent her packing after Cycle 4), but while Janice was on the show, she made sure you knew it was just that: the Janice Show. Spewing barb after barb from her collagen-injected lips, she was ANTM’s version of Simon Cowell. But that’s why she was so enjoyable: Gurl knew how to make good TV.
1. J. Alexander, Runway diva coach extraordinaire
Cycles 5-13, 21
Miss J’s role on the series has evolved from runway coach, to guest judge, main judge, and former judge. When Tyra cleaned house at the end of Cycle 18, he, Nigel, and Jay Manuel were all sent packing, which was a major shame. On the panel, Miss J shined as an outlandish, flamboyant judge who had a style for every season whether it was ruffled collars, glittered name tags, or afros. He knew how to read and how to coach the girls — a rarity on the show. It’s no wonder Tyra brought him back for Cycle 21.