After four cycles, 45 judging panels, 54 different contestants, and many of his beautiful, signature capes, André Leon Talley bids farewell to the America’s Next Top Model judging panel. Tomorrow night, cycle 17’s finale, is his final episode (next season, Kelly Cutrone will take his seat). His addition to the panel last year for cycle 14 was heralded as a new, high-fashion direction for the show. Whether or not the photo shoots have improved in caliber is debatable at best, but since cycle 15, Top Model’s winners have been guaranteed spreads in Italian Vogue (now, they even get a blog post, too!)
Along with serious fashion credentials, Talley brought sass, made-up words, and a fascinating dynamic with Tyra to each episode. He also, of course, wore great hats, chunky jewelry, and disdainful expressions where needed; he once even waved a cane faux-threateningly, which was wonderful. But it seems all good things — even phenomenally good things — must come to an end, and Talley confirmed his departure from the show back in September: “It was a mutual agreement. I had a fabulous time.”
Well, we all had a fabulous time. See a video compilation of ALT’s best moments on the show in the video. Reality television’s best judge ever will most definitely be missed.