Hosting, But Make It Fashion: Tyra Banks' Most Memorable TV Moments Ever
Birthday girl Tyra Banks is giving new meaning to “Renaissance woman.”
The supermodel-actress-entrepreneur, who celebrates her 47th birthday on Friday, Dec. 4, has been making her mark as the new host and executive producer of Dancing with the Stars since her role was announced in July, leading the way for the show’s new “creative direction” as it entered its 29th season.
Banks, who is the show’s first Black host, has been breaking barriers her entire career — from her first runway shows in the early ‘90s to covering Sports Illustrated Swimsuit in 1996, 1997 and again in 2019.
And as Banks has proven once again in her new gig, the former star of America’s Next Top Model, America’s Got Talent and The Tyra Banks Show is quite the compelling host. From Internet-breaking poses to groundbreaking interviews, look back at some of Tyra's most memorable hosting moments ever.
“We Were All Rooting for You!”
Perhaps Tyra’s most-memed moment took place on America’s Next Top Model alongside contestant Tiffany Richardson. Banks felt the former frontrunner had a lackluster response to being sent home, so she called her back up to the judges’ table and delivered the famous speech — which evolved into a yelling match.
“I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you! How dare you!” Banks yells at Richardson in the clip. “Learn something from this. When you go to bed at night, you lay there and you take responsibility for yourself, because nobody’s gonna take responsibility for you.”
Richardson spoke out about the moment in a 2017 interview with Buzzfeed, saying the actual argument was “1,000 times worse” than what aired in the episode.
Banks later addressed the outburst to Buzzfeed as well. When asked if she would have handled it differently, she admitted "Oh my god totally, I wouldn't have done it. Actually, maybe I wouldn’t have aired it."
“Make It Fashion”
The supermodel’s other best-known meme is based on her judging feedback that “most modeling is kind of acting like a hoe but making it fashion,” and then posing while reciting the adage “hoe, but make it fashion.”
“...But make it fashion” has since taken on a life of its own, with Banks even meme-ing herself on occasion.
When She Shut Down a Homophobic Contestant
When contestant Denzel Wells said he would be embarrassed to lose to a “dude who wears heels,” — i.e., his fellow contestant, Will Jardell — Tyra made it clear that that kind of ignorance would not fly on either ANTM or in the fashion industry as a whole.
However, critics and fans alike have also pointed out some of ANTM’s shortcomings: Banks came under fire as resurfaced clips made the rounds on social media, including one where she suggested contestant Danielle Evans wouldn’t get a cosmetics contract because of a gap in her teeth, and one in which contestants “swapped races” for a photoshoot.
“Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you,” Banks tweeted in May. “Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”
The Naomi Campbell Interview
Banks had a special closed-set episode of The Tyra Banks Show to hash out a long-rumored feud with Naomi Campbell.
“Back then, let’s say there were 10 top models. 10 of them,” an uncharacteristically nervous Banks explained in the show’s opener. “But there was an unwritten rule that only one of them could be Black … at that time, Naomi was that girl.”
The two spoke candidly about how people compared them in the early ‘90s, with Banks revealing that the rivalry nearly made her quit the industry. The supermodels eventually hugged it out, and when they were reunited in front of Banks’ audience, Campbell told her, “However I’ve affected you, or however you felt that I’ve affected you, I take responsibility. I just want you to know I’m very proud of you for being a powerful Black woman, sitting here and doing what you’re doing, and please continue.”
In a 2019 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Campbell said her relationship with Banks is still strong.
“We are in a good friendship,” Campbell told Cohen. “I really do feel, and it does bug me and irk me that [people] think that two women of the same ilk — and we’re women of color — have to be pitted against each other, and that’s something I always felt back then.”
The Swimsuit Reveal
After a photo of Banks in a strapless swimsuit made headlines in 2008, she decided to reclaim the narrative around her body on her talk show.
“The headlines claimed that I’ve gained 40 pounds since I stood on this very stage in my underwear for our panty party show that we did back in November,” Banks said as she walked out in the one-piece. “You guys, you cannot believe everything you read in the papers and on the Internet. And I wanted to do something so outrageous that I wanted to do something equally as outrageous by standing here, extremely vulnerable, in this same swimsuit, next to this photo.”
All of Her Entrances on America’s Got Talent
Banks had a brief but memorable stint as host of the show — which has had its own long history of cast shakeups — and always knew how to make an entrance.
Exhibit A: This video, which she appropriately captioned “How to fiercely enter a room!” Seen, and noted, Tyra.