Tyra loses it during Top Model judging.

Tyra loses it during Top Model judging.
During America’s Next Top Model 4‘s judging last night, the judges were so upset with the models’ performance that they sent two girls home. And after that announcement, Tyra exploded, spraying model pieces all over the place. First, deviating heavily from her elimination script, Tyra told Tiffany and Rebecca, “You’ve put me in a very difficult place.” Then she revealed a blank piece of paper instead of a photo; they were both heading home. While they were saying goodbye to the others, Tyra called them back over. For a moment, it seemed like she was going to tell them that neither had been eliminated, that it was just a wake-up call. Instead, well, this barely does it justice, but here’s the transcript:

Tyra: Rebecca, I admire your emotion right now. It shows to me that this was something that’s very important to you. Tiffany, I’m extremely disappointed in you. This is a joke to you. You’ve been through anger management, you’ve been through your grandmother getting her lights turned off to buy you a swimsuit for this competition, and you go over there and you joke and you laugh? This is serious to these girls, and this should be serious to you.

Tiffany: Looks can be deceiving. I’m hurt, I am. But I can’t change it, Tyra, I’ve been…

Tyra: You can’t change what?

Tiffany: I’m sick of crying about stuff that I cannot change. I’m sick of being disappointed, I’m sick of all of it. I’m not…

Tyra: You’re not sick of being disappointed, Tiffany…

Tiffany: Obviously I am…Tyra: No, you’re not. If you were sick of being disappointed, you would stand up and you would take control of your destiny. Did you know that you had a possibility to win? Did you know that all of America is rooting for you? Do you know that? And then you come here and treat that like a joke? You come and here and look at that and say, ‘I can’t read that’? You read 10 times better than half of those girls over there.

Two male judges trying desperately to assert their masculinity: You did. You did.

Tyra: And you come in here with a defeatist attitude.

Tiffany [finally looks and sounds upset]: I don’t have a bad attitude. Maybe I am angry inside, I’ve been through stuff, so I’m angry.

Tyra [screaming so loud that even we're scared]: Be quiet, Tiffany! Be quiet! [so loud the sound engineer can't compensate] Stop it! I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this. When my mother yells like this it’s because she loves me. I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you! How dare you! Learn something from this! When you go to bed at night, you lay there and you take responsibility for yourself, because nobody’s going to take responsibility for you. You rolling your eyes and you act like it’s because you’ve heard it all before–you’ve heard it all before–you don’t know where the hell I come from, you have no idea what I’ve been through. But I’m not a victim; I grow from it and I learn. Take responsibility for yourself.

And with that, Tiffany exited, and Tyra took a breath. In her exit interview, Tiffany told us, “Tyra really did care about me, her yelling at me. I have the utomost respect for her. … That showed me that she saw deeply into me and she cared about me and that’s cool knowing that, you know, Tyra cares about you.”
+ also: watch the video at TVgasm.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.