Top Model’s Tiffany Talks About Being Yelled at by Tyra Banks
Tiffany Richardson, a struggling young mom from Miami, was one of the women cut from “America’s Next Top Model” during Cycle 4. Her elimination may go down in history as the most dramatic elimination ceremony in the history of “America’s Next Top Model.” The usually cool and calm Tyra Banks screamed at Richardson for having a bad attitude and not appreciating the opportunity she had been given.
What was the best part of the experience for you?
The best and the worst part of the experience was me living with the girls. Me bonding with them, that was the best. Living with them and learning about different things…. But getting buck wild and sometimes having arguments and things like that—that was the worst part.
How has your life changed?
I can’t go anywhere. I go to McDonald’s or Burger King and people are like, “I know you. You’re Tiffany!” Some people love me and some people hate me. My life is totally different now. My attitude is much better. They thought I changed when I came back for the fourth season, but me watching myself on TV, I wanted to change a lot more. So, I’m a lot different in many ways. But I’m still crazy and kooky, though.
In what ways are you different?
My patience. I’m not impatient anymore…. Now, I’m patient. I’m humble.
Everybody talked about Tyra Banks going off on you during your elimination. Looking back at it now, what do you think about that night?
Me watching it…I see that Tyra cared a lot about me. It makes me feel bad watching it. I’m like, “I was hurting this lady bad.” Some people say she was acting. But some people say, “Tiffany, you were being mean.” But me and Tyra know. We’ve talked since. Tyra yelled at me because she loved some Tiffany. She wanted to see me just do so much better in the competition. She felt like I was giving up that week. And it hurt her because she couldn’t do anything about it. She felt like she was helpless.
In that moment when she was yelling, were you mad at her?
Oh my goodness. Was I mad at her? I wanted to hit her! I was so upset with her at that moment after she told me shut up. My mom doesn’t even tell me shut up because when she tells me shut up, I’m not going to hear anything after. I’m going to roll my eyes and suck my teeth. I’m not going to hear anything! So at the moment, I didn’t hear anything else that she said. I was just like Whatever, get out of my face. But when I came home and watched it and heard everything that she said, like when she said My mom yells at me like this because she loves me. At the moment, I was thinking But you ain’t my momma. But with me watching, I’m like this lady really cares about me. She loves me.
Do you still want to pursue modeling?
Yes. Tyra and her mom are my mentors. Tyra says that she’s going to make sure that I go out to the agencies and make sure that I work. She’s going to stay on me. She says she’s going to be tough with me because she knows that I’m stubborn. But she says she’s going to just push me. And I want to do it. I can’t wait to start! As long as I don’t have to do another reality show!
How did your son react to seeing you on TV?
He runs to the TV like ‘That’s Mommy right there. That’s Mommy.’ He loves it. But after thirty minutes of it, he’s like I wanna watch Spongebob. Like “It’s enough of you Mommy already.”
What about your other family members and friends? How have they reacted to you being on TV?
TV really makes you know who your family and friends are. My mom and my Grandma and my baby’s father are my number one fans. It’s a love-hate thing with my friends and other family. They wish it was them on [TV]. They’ll say like Why did you do this? Why did you do that? Then when I got cut, everybody seemed to be so happy. Nobody was supporting me. It’s a love-hate thing with my family.
What was the most memorable experience you had on the show?
The most memorable was us bothering Michelle about that face disease. It was mean, but it was hilarious! Michelle knew that we were not trying to make her feel bad and that it was all a joke
Who did you want to win the competition?
Who I think should win and who I want to win are two different things. I’m rooting for Michelle. Go Michelle! But that damn Keenyah might win. I don’t want Keenyah to win! I’m sorry to say it but me and Keenyah had our times. Everybody else but Keenyah could win.
Me and Keenyah had our times. But then I watched the show and saw all those things she said about me behind my back! When we were in the house, it was Oh, I love you Tiffany, but then on the show shes like doing her interviews and she’s like Tiffany is this or that. That made me hate her! I want Michelle to win or Naima.
Tell me what it was like working with Boris Kodjoe for your final challenge. That was funny!
I’m still not over that. What in the world? They made me have a missing tooth. And then they wanted me to speak with the Cockney accent in front of Boris. I humiliated myself. But it was fun. I got mad at Boris, because I was like ‘You know I forgot my line so just skip the line. You’re doing this all the time.’ He’s looking at me and I’m looking at him and he’s like ‘You’re beautiful.’ It was one of the best times of my life just being around him.