The person behind an America's Next Top Model moment that rocked viewers to their core 12 years ago has some feelings about that particular scene. In a new interview with BuzzFeed News, legendary supermodel and incomparable reality TV show host Tyra Banks addressed the “We were all rooting for you!" speech that took place on ANTM. Her overall feelings on what has become an iconic moment in reality television history? If given the chance to do it again, she told BuzzFeed she would’ve approached the situation quite differently.
The model competition reality series gave fans a bunch of memorable moments over the years, and near the top of that list was something that happened during Cycle 4. In an episode titled "The Girl Who Pushes Tyra Over the Edge," Banks berated contestant Tiffany Richardson during an elimination ceremony. The world was never the same.
When Richardson found out she'd be going home that week, her reaction didn't sit well with the host of the series — and Banks let everyone know that the reaction didn't sit well with her. She told Richardson that she was "extremely disappointed" in her for joking and laughing with the other contestants after she was cut from the competition, and the two went back and forth for tens of seconds. And then, the conversation took a turn.
Banks is not Gordon Ramsay. She is not Abby Lee Miller. She is not Simon Cowell. Screaming at people on her show isn't exactly her thing. So, what happened next was legitimately shocking: Banks shouted an emotional monologue at Richardson. And that emotional monologue would not soon be forgotten.
The most memorable excerpt from this speech: "I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!" It is a moment that will forever live in GIF-famy.
When BuzzFeed News recently asked Banks if she would changed how she would handled that elimination ceremony today, she replied,
“Oh, my god, totally, I wouldn’t have done it. Actually, maybe I wouldn’t have aired it.”
She called it “such an emotional, visceral moment,” and then added, “I had so much love for this girl."
Earlier this year, BuzzFeed interviewed Richardson about the "I was rooting for you!" moment. When asked about Banks’s outburst, Richardson said she remembers wondering,
“Why are you yelling at me, because I’m grown as f*ck … It was just, like, bullsh*t. It was so over-the-top for no reason.”
Regarding Richardson's reaction, Banks told BuzzFeed News,
"A lot of the times, it’s easy to go either way. It’s easier to say, 'Oh my god, that was awful, I’m a victim,' or it’s the other way around, 'I’m awful,' and you kinda blame yourself. I felt like [Richardson] took ownership of some of the things she could’ve done better, but at the same time said, 'That was some crazy sh*t.'"
It really was some crazy, over-the-top sh*t.
Though she seems to wish that infamous scene was left on the cutting room floor, that won't stop Banks from reenacting the moment on request. She told BuzzFeed, "So people come up to me on the street and they're like, 'OK, Tyra, just say my name and just replace 'Tiffany,' but say my name.'"
So uh, that might be something to keep in mind. You know, just in case you run into Banks in while you're booty tooching in the cereal aisle at Target or practicing your smize as you wait in line at the post office. Learn something from this.