Tyra Banks Finally Speaks Up On Her Iconic “I Was Rooting For You” Meltdown

There are very few moments in television that stick in our memories more than the time Tyra Banks completely and utterly lost her shit at America’s Next Top Model hopeful Tiffany Richardson during a tense judging panel in Cycle 4.

Richardson, who had just been sent packing, did not seem to take her elimination all that seriously, joking and laughing with the other contestants, and prompting an “extremely disappointed” Tyra to escalate things to full angry mum mode.

“I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this!” Tyra shouted, as her temper reached a boiling point. “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!”

The iconic meltdown now holds a firm place in the GIF Hall of Fame, but reflecting on it years later, as she prepares to return to the show she created, Tyra Banks seems to be a little embarrassed by how she lost her temper. Speaking to Buzzfeed News about the incident, she recalled:

“A lot of the times, it’s easy to go either way. It’s easier to say, ‘Oh my god, that was awful, I’m a victim,’ or it’s the other way around, ‘I’m awful,’ and you kinda blame yourself. I felt like [Richardson] took ownership of some of the things she could’ve done better, but at the same time said, ‘That was some crazy shit.’”

She also said that she probably wouldn’t experience a similar meltdown today, but if she did, she’d likely cut it from the show. “Oh my god totally, I wouldn’t have done it [now],” she said. “Actually, maybe I wouldn’t have aired it.” That would be our loss, for sure.

Cycle 24 of America’s Next Top Model premieres on January 9 in the US, on VH1. Tyra Banks will return as full-time host, after briefly relinquishing the job to model and singer Rita Ora for Cycle 23, and will hopefully bless us with even more smizing and other bizarre nonsense words.