Remember the girl who pushed Tyra Banks over the edge? It was more than a decade ago when Tiffany Richardson received the wrath of Banks on America’s Next Top Model and unexpectedly became a subject of numerous memes, but now the former model hopeful reveals how she really feels about Banks and what viewers didn’t see during the controversial moment.
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In case you need a refresher, Richardson was encouraged to audition for America’s Next Top Model by her grandmother in attempt to get away from stripping, doing drugs and partying. She first competed in Cycle 3 but was disqualified after she had an altercation with another contestant at a bar. “I needed a break. I needed to get away and try to do something better,” Richardson told BuzzFeed. “Top Model was my way out of what I was doing before I killed myself or did some crazy sh*t, or ended up in jail or dead.”
After taking anger management classes, Richardson returned in Cycle 4 but eventually faced elimination with fellow contestant Rebecca Epley after struggling to read a teleprompter properly in one of the challenges in the episode aptly called “The Girl Who Pushes Tyra Over the Edge.” While Epley was visibly emotional about the elimination, Richardson appeared to take her exit lightheartedly, causing the supermodel judge to blow up.
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“Rebecca, I admire your emotion right now. It shows to me that this was something that’s very important to you,” Banks said at the time. “Tiffany, I’m extremely disappointed in you. This is a joke to you. This is serious to these girls, and it should be serious to you.”
“Looks can be deceiving,” Richardson told Banks. “I’m hurt … I can’t change it, Tyra … I’m sick of crying about stuff that I cannot change. I’m sick of being disappointed.”
“You ain’t sick of being disappointed, Tiffany,” Banks replied. “If you were sick of being disappointed, you would stand up and you would take control of your destiny. Do you know that you had a possibility to win? Do you know that all of America is rooting for you?
“I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this,” Banks shouted. “When my mother yells like this, it’s because she loves me. I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!”
While that scene was awkward and painful to watch, Richardson says their confrontation was “1,000 times worse” in reality. The ANTM alum recalled Banks yelling at her, “You can go back to your house and sleep on your mattress on the floor with your baby,” in front of everyone. Richardson also claims that harsh comments from Banks, who also dropped personal details about Richardson’s not-so-pleasant life back home in Florida, stayed in the back of her mind.
Some would perceive Banks’ unusual reaction to Richardson as tough love but Richardson doesn’t see it that way. “Why are you yelling at me, because I’m grown as f*ck,” Richardson recalled thinking as Banks blew up, adding that it was all for the ratings. “It was just, like, bullsh*t. It was so over-the-top for no reason.”
“I didn’t think she cared,” Richardson added. “I don’t think she gave a f*ck about none of us, except for the ones who made it big. But hey, it is what it is.”
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These days Richardson is not complaining about her life. Her son Chaddrick is now 14 years old and she has a 9-year-old daughter named Chaz. Occasionally she does some modeling but she spends most of her time at a group home in Miami assisting people with mental disabilities.
“I’m a completely different person,” Richardson said. “She don’t owe me nothing, I’m good.”
Though Richardson has since moved on from all that drama, unfortunately not everyone can forget.
“It’s pretty cool, though, I’m not complaining about it,” she said. “Every f*cking day somebody is coming up to me about this show and how I could’ve won and Tyra said this and it’s like, really? It’s been 10 years. Could y’all not?”
What do you think of Richardson’s revelation and statement about Banks?
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(Image courtesy of UPN)
Staff Writer, BuddyTV