Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos

Two knowledgeable judges stood before Tyra Banks, but she had only one contract in her hand. The person moving on in hopes of judging America’s Next Top Model will be… Kelly Cutrone. André Leon Talley, you must pack your capes and leave the panel immediately. At least that’s how I imagine the news being handed down yesterday at Bankable Productions… Today’s reports that Banks has decided to oust the Vogue Contributing Editor in favor of PR maven and reality headliner Cutrone poses a question: Is Banks hoping to usher in a Top Model renaissance? And will Cutrone be the woman to help her do it?

Since Janice Dickinson’s departure from the show in 2005, Banks has experimented with several former models (Twiggy, Paulina Porizkova), invited a rotating panel of questionable guest judges (Lauren Conrad, Nicki Minaj, Ashlee Simpson), and most recently added Talley. But none of these combinations have reproduced the magic of ANTM‘s glory years featuring Dickinson, Nigel Barker (currently on the panel), and stylist Nolé Marin. If Banks is hoping to capture the attitude Dickinson brought without the drama, Cutrone seems like a strong contender. Below, we present five reasons why Cutrone could bring about a ninth-inning comeback.

1. She can break a girl down. As she proved when infamously interviewing Stephanie Pratt on The Hills, you do not want to be on the other side of a table from Kelly Cutrone. Bad news for Models, but good news for viewers!

2. Despite her cutting demeanor, she has a self-professed mothering streak, prefers to focus on constructive criticism, and is unlikely to call stick-thin contestants fat as Dickinson often did.

3. Cutrone lives by an all-black dress code, so her clothes won’t be as distracting as former judge (and current runway coach) J. Alexander’s ever-expanding series of hats, bows, etc.

4. As a legitimate fashion publicist with 25 years of experience under her belt, Cutrone is familiar with running fashion shows, which serve as the climax of each Top Model cycle. She will certainly have excellent input and connections to spice up the runway events, which have become rather uneventful in recent years. (Then again, if she wants to bring back the zombie brides of cycle 7, no one’s stopping her.)

5. Cutrone admits, “I am a huge fan of America’s Next Top Model and have watched the show for years.” She added that she hopes to “bring a different perspective to the show.” If that perspective could have saved viewers from Top Model‘s most recent photo shoot involving inappropriate poses with chili-slathered hot dogs, then perhaps Cutrone should have signed on even earlier.

So what do you think, PopWatchers? Did you watch Cutrone on The Hills and/or Kell on Earth? Do you like the change, or will you miss your weekly injection of dreckitude and man capes? Do you think Cutrone will make a nice fit on the panel, or do you think it’s only a matter of time before she starts throwing side-eyes at Banks?

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Trya Banks
America's Next Top Model

Tyra Banks searches for the next great supermodel

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