For die-hard fans of America’s Next Top Model, the vision of a fiery red-haired Tyra Banks yelling, “We were all rooting for you!” at contestant Tiffany Richardson marked a pivotal moment for the series. Now the famed supermodel and TV personality says it's a moment she regrets.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, the ANTM host explained that despite her best intentions for Richardson, a controversial contestant from the start, the footage would’ve been better off rotting away on a shelf somewhere.
"Oh my god totally, I wouldn't have done it," Banks told BuzzFeed News, when asked about the moment that launched a thousand memes. "Actually, maybe I wouldn’t have aired it. It was such an emotional, visceral moment for me. I had so much love for this girl."
The supermodel’s now iconic outburst aired in 2005, during cycle 4 of the series. It has remained one of the most popular moments in the series' history, which is set to roll out its 24th cycle in January.
Richardson was the target of Banks’ ire after responding to being cut from the competition stone-faced and seemingly full of apathy. Years later, Richardson explained later that despite her nonchalant nature on television, the criticism was tough to handle. As Banks explained it, Richardson was “her girl” and that criticism — the industry being overwhelmingly rough — simply came along with the package.
"The things I have heard — it makes you insecure about things that you weren’t even insecure about," Banks said, addressing Richardson’s comments. "A lot of girls see it on TV, but it’s not the same as when it’s happening to you. So Top Model is nothing new, you’ve seen it for ages and you see these girls crying and you're like, 'I'm gonna go on there and I'm gonna be amazing,' and then you get this feedback that maybe you’re not perfect and these are the areas that you need to improve being said to you in so many different ways from different judges and that can hurt.”
While Banks might prefer the moment to have never made it to television, or memes, it truly is the moment that keeps on giving.
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