An IBBB Reader Meets Tyra Banks. Tyra. Oh, and Tyra. Tyra.


Happy Friggity-Friday!  I’ve been getting a ton of emails about “what ever happened to Jenny recapping America’s Next Top Model?”  Well, we’re in a recession and I had to let her go. No!  Jenny is expecting her second child so I thought I’d give her the season off because I’m nice…and she can’t stay up past 8:00.  In the meantime, IBBB reader, Steph, headed out to a taping of the Tyra Banks show.  Here’s her recap on how she said it all went down.  Enjoy!

So the backstory is that my room mate [also named Steph] and I faithfully watch the Tyra show as often as we can as well as all of the ANTM marathons that are on 24/7 on one channel or another. We find her self-involvement to be hilarious and get secondhand embarrassment everytime she opens her mouth. Also, her foreheads huge. On March 3rd we drove to NYC [or “The City” as the kids say, cue the cowbell, cowbell cowbell] to go to a taping of the Tyra Banks Show. My mission objectives were simple: ask Tyra to teach me how to smile with my eyes.

When we get there, there’s one sketchy man in a pea coat holding a stack of purple cards at the entrance to a tunnel.
We later realize they were actually purple index cards, with the Tyra logo printed on the other side. [Tyra, you’re cheap.]

We had to walk down this tunnel to get in and it was lined with, of course, pictures of Tyra. Once we saw the season premiere of ANTM, we noticed they were the same pictures they used to decorate the house, reused to decorate the creepy tunnel. [Tyra, you’re cheap.] Tyra.

The next stop is a sort of “green room” but it was more of a storage room/holding pen/tyra picture gallery #2. This time, though, the pictures were those ones that tyra takes with the ANTM winner once they’ve won.

We were crammed into the “waiting room” which we had to sit in rows comprised of hotel banquet room style chairs while we watched old episodes of the show. [Which I’m sure were just on the TVs to remind us that Tyra is ‘friends’ with people like Diddy and Beyonce, or that she just pays them enough to come on her show.

They were asking if anyone in the room was a single mother. I was tempted to raise my hand and instantly create stories about my fake family just in case this would be my only opportunity to get close enough to Tyra.

We wound up being lucky [unlucky?] enough to get front row seats. Tyra’s flamboyant producer then proceeded to dance to ‘All the Single Ladies’ , which was both hilarious and uncomfortable. Okay, mostly uncomfortable.

That’s when things took a turn for the worse. It turned into a shitshow. The producer then made people sing, embarrass themselves, and walk down the runway. What’d they get? A Tyra Show mug. I hope it was worth it to them. The logo was probably drawn on with a Sharpie. [Tyra, you’re cheap.

Then, out of nowhere, everyone just sprints off of the set and they start the show. There, in front of me, is Tyra Banks. Tyra “do it hoochie but make it fashion” Banks.

Let me just say “[Britney] For the Record”: We make jokes about Tyra being fat all the time. Especially because she’s so sensitive about her weight with all of that “Kiss my Fat Ass” crap but she looked so skinny. [I later found out it was mostly just because she was wearing Spanx, which I could see through her dress. [Classy.] Also, her forehead really is huge. I actually think TV makes it look smaller.

The whole time we had been waiting nobody would tell us what our show was about. We really were just hoping to get some free stuff, but knew that probably wouldn’t happen because Tyra is cheap. [Tyra, you’re cheap.] Then out comes that annoying girl from Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo who I guess was there to talk about relationships or something.

The best part about that segment was that they had audience members asking questions, except the producers fed the audience members the questions. I don’t know if Tyra and the M.Matchmaker girl knew this, or pretended not to know, but they kept asking the audience members to elaborate on these fake relationships they were asking questions about. This was hilarious because none of the audience members could come up with cohesive answers fast enough and they just looked scared and confused. Great TV right there.

During the commercial breaks, Tyra would sit on her couch while her hairstylist basically shellacked her hair. Her security would come out and surround her. You know Tyra thinks that everyone in the world wants to get at her for one reason or another and that’s why she has all of that security. News flash: no they don’t.

The next segment was an original cast member of American Gladiators. He talked about steroids. It was boring.

Tyra concluded the show and immediately the “All the Single Ladies” producer grabs a mic and starts walking through the audience. He told us it was our chance to ask Tyra a question and asked who had one for her. My hand was the first one up and I’ve never seen a greater look of embarrassment on Steph’s face.

Two girls got to ask questions that wound up wasting most of the precious question-asking time. “Tyra, you’re so beautiful…How do you have time to handle so many great shows?” BORING. “Tyra, you’re such an inspiration, what’s your favorite fashion trend?” NO THANK YOU.

I thought I was out of luck because the 2nd question came from a girl right behind me and I figured they would let the girl across the studio from me ask next so that they could spread the mic around. Instead, I got the mic for what would be the FINAL question. LUCKY.

I took the mic, stood up, and this conversation followed:

“Hi..Hi Tyra. I….was just wondering if you could help me learn to smile with my eyes.”

“Smile with your eyes, huh? Wellll let me see you do it on your own once.”

I then made the world’s most awkward facial expression, to which Tyra laughed and said:

“That was horrible. See…you’re smiling with your face…you need to smile with your eyes.”

Now, I don’t take crap from anyone, not even Tyra, so I sassed back at her:

“Look, I’m doing the best I can here.”

[Really Tyra? Why would I ask for your help if I already could perfectly smile with my eyes?]

So the instructing began:

“First, relax your shoulders and stick out your neck more, you’re kind of sucking it in. Now relax your face and pretend there’s an invisible string pulling up the back of your head.”

So I started squinting and all of a sudden Tyra starts yelling:


At that point, I was squinting so much that I couldn’t even see what was going on so I just kept my eyes like that as long as I could until I had to blink.

“Ohhh you lost it….”

I wanted to sneak a second question in and ask Tyra how much time each day SHE spends smiling with her eyes, but they took the mic from me and Tyra waved and walked off of the set.

The audience started clapping for me so I turned around and waved. On the way out a couple people told me that was the best question that could’ve possibly have been asked. It made me happy since I was pretty sure Tyra was going to get mad, but now that I think about it, that would’ve been pretty funny in itself. I probably could’ve started yelling “You don’t know me! You don’t know what I’ve been through! When my mother yells at me like this it’s because she loves me! I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!”

Oh well, there’s always next time.

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