Nigel Barker

Eric Liebowitz/The CW

Business isn't always pretty.

On Friday, Tyra Banks confirmed the news on Twitter that J. Alexander, Jay Manuel and Nigel Barker had been fired from America's Next Top Model. But Barker saw the writing on the wall long before he got the ax.

"It wasn't a shock. I'm friends with Tyra and the producers," he exclusively tells E! News. "There had been a discussion that ratings were down and that something like this would happen.

"There had been previous years where discussions about me being eliminated from the show had happened and I had actually survived the chopping block before."

And although he won't be smizing with Tyra at the judges table anymore, he still considers her to be a great friend…

"We had an incredible run and there aren't any hard feelings," he adds. "This isn't a Tyra thing. This is a network thing. My contract was so exclusive that it was holding me back from other projects."

No need to worry, though. Barker tells us he's working on a cosmetics line and a skin care line for men.

Plus, he plans to make his way back to TV. "I'm looking very much forward to creating my own show that focuses no some of my passions like photography," he says.

"We're looking at producing and directing a number of projects," he continues. "There are several scripts we're looking at right now."

Fired? Yes. Fierce? Forever.

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