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The tea is piping hot today. Hours after going viral over Jay Manuel and Miss Jay spilling some behind-the-scenes tea about their experiences working on America’s Next Top Model, the show’s creative director Manuel is dropping some interesting jewels.

Variety is reporting that Jay Manuel is working on a novel that will give us an inside look into his experience working on the hit reality competition series America’s Next Top Model. The book, titled, “The Wig, The Bitch & The Meltdown,” published by Wordeee, is scheduled for release on Aug. 3. So think Star Jones when she wrote a fictional book based on working on The View.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, “America’s Next Top Model” has been trending on social media for over a week, with fans who’ve been re-watching the show on Hulu and Amazon Prime criticizing the series for a few of the challenges that they feel have been problematic. Fans have even called out the show for racial insensitivity and body shaming on social media. And let’s not forget the time Tyra had a black model kiss a male model who openly admitted that he wasn’t into black women, and told a gay model not to flaunt her sexuality.

To be fair Manuel has been working on the novel since 2014, but with the sudden interest in Top Model again due to everyone being in quarantine, this is the perfect time to strike while the iron is hot. Call it being an opportunist or clout chasing, but I call it a smart business move. You may not have had control over what went on with the show because you weren’t an executive producer, but you can control what you put in your book.

Manuel, who has done 18 cycles of Top Model said that the book is inspired by his own career path and time on “America’s Next Top Model,” and will take a satirical look at the behind-the-scenes culture at a modeling competition show. Described as a cautionary tale about the seduction of fame, the novel centers around a fictional reality show, “Model Muse,” hosted by supermodel Keisha Kash, and the story is told through the eyes of the protagonist, Pablo Michaels, a young man who sets out to discover himself in the world of fashion in New York City.

Manuel even said there is a chapter in the book called “The Meltdown,” which is based on the infamous ‘we were all rooting for you’ scene where Tyra went ballistic on a contestant.

“I wanted this book to entertain and that’s why I used satire, and had a lot of fun with it,” Manuel says. “All of the characters in the book took on a life of their own and were just inspired by people in my life, but we write what we know and, as they say, art imitates life — and is often larger than life.”

Jay also revealed to Variety the real reason he quit the long-running competition series, saying: When we parted ways, I had already completed my contract after Cycle 18 with no plans to return for Cycle 19, and that’s something that people don’t know. It was 100% my decision to leave the show, as I was ready to move my career in a different direction, but unfortunately at the time, my departure was misreported to the press, and contractually, I could not speak about leaving the show. Now, I can speak about it, so I can be clear that my departure from the show was one of choice.

So, to be clear, the show wanted you to stay on and renew your contract, but you made the decision to leave?

The show would negotiate four cycles at a time, and when they came to me for Cycles 17 and 18, they actually wanted Cycles 17 through 20, and we settled on 17 and 18, but that is something that the public was not aware of, and it was misreported.

On Tyra Telling an Openly Gay Contestant Not To Put a Spotlight On Her Sexuality: I was in the room, and I was sitting right next to her. I remember feeling a little uncomfortable with the statement. I could see Tyra trying to draw the parallel and what she was trying to illustrate, and I was confused by it because we ask these girls to come in the room and the producers remind the girls before they come in, “Tell them who you are. You’re not just a pretty face. You have to have a discussion about who you are.” These girls are coached to speak their truth and tell Tyra who they are, and then Tyra said that, so it seemed a bit unfair. You can see it on that model’s face, like, “Wait a minute, I was told to say everything about myself, and now you’re telling me to not say this?”

Do you recall thinking Tyra’s comment was inappropriate, during that moment?

It was confusing. That is my recollection. At the time, I had not done reality TV, and I was also learning as I went along, and I was guided by Tyra and Ken, and you have to trust your producers to follow their lead. It was a struggle to process some stuff at times.

I actually think a loosely-based, fictionalized version of Top Model is way more entertaining than knowing what really went down, especially since Jay and Miss Jay have a weekly show that they do in Instagram where they’ve been spilling all the behind-the scenes tea. I’m looking forward to reading this, as well as Andre Leon Talley’s tell-all when it comes out.

To check out the rest of the article, where Manuel opens up about the race swapping episode during Cycle 4, and a whole lot more, click on the following link

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