Jay Manuel, Nigel Barker, and Ken Mok (producer) were the ones taking the calls, and they were surprisingly all pretty tame.
Because I'm a dedicated ONTD mod (and have nothing better to do with my Tuesday night), I typed up most of the questions that people phoned in with, and the answers from Jay/Nigel/Ken.
Quote of the night:
Jay: Some of these web people are just RUTHLESS!
So has there been any discussion about America voting for the winner?
Jay: Do you want the real answer? I think it would be interesting, but I think the whole premise is really having professionals from the top of the business help groom this girl, and make her America's next top model.
Do the judges know anything about what's going on in the house?
Nigel: No, none at all.
Nigel, you started out as photographer, now you're a judge - did you think this was going to last as long as it did?
Nigel: The show is very interesting. The world was surprised by it, and the world is fascinated with celebrities - ANTM delivers all of that in one, and it's educational as well. You feel like you're not watching it as an indulgent, but you learn about the industry as well.
Jay: I think a lot of people who watch the show can relate to the girls.
Jay, how does it feel to schedule the shoots?
Jay: It's definitely collaborative - I discuss it with the producers, the general theme plays a major role. We think about how we keep it real, we don't just do things for the sake of television. We want to do things that Tyra has been a part of.
Nicole was more high fashion, so I'm assuming that was what you were looking for in the last season - what are you looking for this season?
Jay: I think every season you get a different batch of girls - we're trying to find the cream of the crop, we're trying to find the best set. We're always looking for a girl that can be a good spokesmodel, can perform in commercials and high-fashion.
Nigel: We're looking for walk, we're looking for talk.
Jay: Nicole is exactly that - she's doing SO well, she's working up a storm, traveling all over the place. I just talked to her last week, she said her dream is coming true, and that this was what she wanted the most.
Ken: When we first came up with the show, we basically took "what Tyra banks is" and used that as criteria for ANTM.
Plans to release the other seasons on DVD?
Ken: I am very hopeful that we will release a few seasons on DVD. We did release the first season, and I think the company that released it was not happy with the sales.
Nigel: I wasn't a judge then.
Ken: It comes on VH1 every once in a while - they run a marathon, and I don't know if that has a positive or negative effect on DVD sales.
Jay: Tyra and I, if we happen to be in a store and see them, pull a copy out a copy or two, sign them with a sharpie, and put them back.
Are the girls going to keep getting older and taller as the seasons go on?
Jay: Well, I HATE WORKING AROUND TALL WOMEN. I'm 6'1", and everyone thinks I'm 5'9" because I look so short around them - it's horrible.
Nigel: We're looking for the best possible, not who's the youngest, oldest, tallest, etc.
None of the girls are plus-sized this season, why is that?
Jay: What do you consider plus-sized?
Caller: I don't know, sixteen?
Jay: Tocarra stood out, going back to her - the situations that arose proved to be challenging for her, and she really didn't stand out. It's all about whether or not you have it, it's about how you present yourself.
Nigel: I think plus-sized girls are beautiful, but girls, have faith in yourselves - it's all about believing in yourself!
Jay: I do think that a plus-sized girl could win ANTM, and I believe in that 100%
Do you feel the show is successfully promoting the title "America's next top model," or is it just for the show?
Nigel: We have serious stars on this show.
Jay: Our show is a crowd of confidentiality - Covergirl doesn't even know who the winner is 'til it's announced. While we tell you that Nicole is out there working up a storm, fashion is 4 months behind, so you won't be seeing anything from her for a while, since just recently did she begin work.
Nigel: And it's not only the winners who do big, great things - Tocarra, for example, is out there doing amazing.
Nigel: I worked with Yaya the other day, but she was the best girl in NYC for the job I wanted, and I had no idea they were going to send her.
Dramatic makeovers this year?
Jay: Well, I guess the makeovers are always dramatic. These girls walk in as diamonds in the rough, and we really have to polish them up a bit.
WTF IS FAIRY TALES COME TRUE?
Jay: I know what you're thinking, and, no, the entire season isn't based on fairies. That's all you need to know.
Me: So I actually have the first dramatic question of the evening! I've heard a lot of Adrianne Curry's comments towards the show, and they seem really anti-Tyra, really negative about the show altogether - what do you guys think of her after hearing all this?
Ken: I think the first season of ANTM was a very difficult season, because it had not been on the air, not the big hit, did not have the amazing prize packages now for our winner. The first year, and Jay can access to this, we really flew under the radar. We had a really hard time, and at the end of the season it was hard for our winner to get work. I know personally that everyone from the show bent over backwards to really try and make Adrianne work, get her a working career. It's not just for consideration reasons, but for selfish reasons as well - if the winners have good careers, then it puts the show in a good light.
Nigel: Regardless of whether you come first, second, third, you become a celebrity. You have to work with the celebrity!
Ken: She seems to be doing fine, she has her own show, and come on, she's marrying a Brady.
Nigel: None of which she would have if she had not been on this show, thank you very much.
I typed all of this up, so yeah, there are probably going to be a few typos (forgive me.) Most of the questions are pretty word-for-word, but definitely not exact. I'm a fast typer, but not that fast.
Source: ME & UPN!