‘ANTM:’ Jay Manuel and Miss J Alexander Reflect On Tyra Banks’ Yelling Match With Tiffany Richardson

Not all winners of America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) are fan favorites. In fact, some of the contestants who were sent home went on to have successful modeling careers, while others who were eliminated took a different route but left a lasting impression on viewers’ minds. One of the most memorable contestants was Tiffany Richardson.

Richardson had a rough upbringing and auditioned for the show as a way out escaping her troubled environment. She performed well for most of her time on the show before her performance began lacking. During the elimination round, Tyra Banks became livid after feeling Richardson was unappreciative of the experience and delivered a yelling session that went down in reality television history.

In a new social media chat, runway coach Miss J Alexander – and former ANTM creative director Jay Manuel gave their opinions on the iconic moment. 

A recap of Tyra Banks’ infamous screaming match with Tiffany Richardson

Richardson was selected to compete in the Top Model house during cycle 4 but had auditioned previously. She made it to the semi-finals the previous season but was eliminated after being in a bar brawl. She returned the following season insisting that she was a changed woman. Banks saw the potential and gave her a chance.

At first, Richardson thrived and judges were impressed with her photos and challenges. But as weeks progressed, her commitment to the competition seemed to diminish.

Things came to a head during an elimination round when the contestants were instructed to read a script off of a teleprompter. Richardson struggled and almost forfeited her place in the competition by refusing to participate. But after a push from Banks, she pulled through and succeeded in the end. 

It didn’t save her from being eliminated. The judges had grown tired of Richardson perceivably slacking off and voted her and another contestant, Rebecca Epley, out. While Epley was visibly distressed, Richardson shrugged it off, causing Banks to be infuriated. 

“Rebecca, I admire your emotion right now. It shows to me that this was something that’s very important to you,” Banks said, before turning her attention to Richardson. “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 responded. “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, becoming more and more irritated. As Richardson continued to interrupt Banks, Banks snapped. 

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…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?!

Banks then suggested that Richardson do some serious self-reflection before sending her home.

Jay Manuel and Miss J Alexander say Tyra Banks was frustrated with Tiffany Richardson over not seeing her full potential and lashed out

The two famous Jays gave their take on Banks’ outburst and had differing opinions on how they handled it. Manuel was caught off guard by Banks’ reaction because he had no issues with Richard’s response to being eliminated. However, he knew that Banks was pushing for Tiffany from the beginning and chalked it up to Banks being disappointed.

“I don’t think there was anything wrong with that. That was her [Richardson’s] honest reaction,” Jay said. “I cannot speak for Tyra, I don’t think either of us can, but I think Tyra actually, this is just my opinion, I think in that moment Tyra kind of put herself in Tiffany’s place and didn’t want her to feel that defeat. Therefore Tyra got upset. That’s what I think welled up the rage. I never heard Tyra yell like that.”

Miss J, however, expressed that he understood Banks being as upset as she was because she saw such potential in Richardson and ensured that she put a lot of effort into her becoming acclimated in the competition. Miss Jay revealed that Banks, production, and the judges felt that Richardson could have been crowned the winner but gave up prematurely and it was viewed as disrespectful in the manner in which she handled things.

“I did a pearl clutch when I saw it on TV, and then I gagged,” Miss J offered. “I think that was almost a slap in the face to production and to Tyra. All that we’re trying to do for you here and you’re looking at it like it’s no big deal, you throw shade and didn’t pay it no mind, I think that may have led Tyra to snap.”

Richardson did an interview with BuzzFeed in 2017 and reflected on the infamous moment. She revealed that there was much not shown on the show during their final conversation and alleged that Banks said many harsh things to her, which Jay, who was present during Richard’s elimination round, corroborated on the chat with Miss Jay. 

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