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America's Next Top Model

Nigel Barker on The Face’s Departure From the ANTM Format and Seeing His Old Co-Workers — Exclusive

We're still sad that sexy noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker is gone for good from America's Next Top Model, but ANTM's loss is The Face's gain.

Nigel is the host of Oxygen's new modeling show, a The Voice-esque competition that features supermodels Naomi Campbell, Coco Rocha, and Karolina Kurkova as coaches, each mentoring a team of aspiring models gunning for the top prize — a gig as the face of ULTA Beauty.

Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Nigel at The Face premiere party in NYC on Tuesday, January 5. He filled us in on how his new show is different from ANTM, and whether or not he still talks with his old co-workers.

"They're radically different in many ways," Nigel explained when asked about the biggest difference between
ANTM and The Face. "Obviously, we don't have judges on The Face. The judges are the clients, and the clients decide every week who gets the job ... So whoever won one week could be absolutely wrong the next week, because it's a different job and a different client."

He also noted that The Face gives viewers a chance "to have a look, truly, at how a supermodel works and ticks — to not just have them guest judge, or guest appear and do a segment, but to be on there every segment, to be on full time."

"The Face really takes it back to how reality shows were first created," he added. "There's a huge authenticity that you see on The Face. It's not so produced, at this point at least. And maybe it's because it's Season 1. But I love that about it. For me, that made it very believable."

As for whether or not he still talks to his old ANTM co-workers — well, some of them (including Jay Manuel and J. Alexander) were at the event!

"I think everyone's going to think this is an ANTM reunion party." Nigel joked. "I invited them, to be honest. Yeah, we're all still friends. We still get on."

And no, he wasn't just talking about the people who got the boot along with him.

"Kelly Cutrone called me last night and wished me good luck. [ANTM executive producer] Ken Mok said, 'Good luck, but not too much luck, wink wink.' It's all fun and games. We're friends. We've worked together for years. I wish them the best, too.”

Although Nigel didn’t mention his former boss Tyra Banks, we’d like to think his smize said it all.

“We all want success, and there's plenty of room for many different variations of this incredible genre that we're all fascinated with!"

The Face premieres Tuesday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.

Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin

02.7.2013 / 11:17 PM EDT by Rebecca Martin
Related: America's Next Top Model, TV Stars, Nigel Barker

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