And speaking of America’s Next Top Twaddle, er, Model, Ranty, er, Randy Barbato goes on a kind of Ty-rant. Earlier today, he’d said, “I’m busy writing a total rant about Tyra Banks – did you see ANTM last night – I could barely sleep it was so upsetting!” So here’s his rant, intact:
farrah. . .tyra. . .pharaohs
something odd happened last nite on tv. the innocuously innocent joy i get from watching silly shows like CHASING FARRAH and AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL ended. on chasing farrah – which is no doubt the most awful show on tv, and incidentally the reason i like it – we were treated to a touching visit to her parents house. throughout the entire episode it’s clear that the producers are stretching the material…which of course is its appeal. can they make an entire scene out of mic’ing the parents, or farrah getting a phone call. as i sat back, enjoying the NON-content, i wondered where it was heading. before long it became clear. the last act of the show, we discover that farrah’s mom died, four months after the taping. don’t get me wrong, i feel farrah’s pain, and her mom seemed as sweet as can be; in fact, too sweet to be a part of this trainwreck. oddly, there is an innocence to farrah, a sort of misguided egomania that makes the distastefulness of it all almost acceptable.
i cannot say the same thing about the tyraness. trya showed her true colors last nite when she berated the stunningly beautiful and clearly misplaced tiffany, the contestant whose struggle to overcome a life of poverty and hardship has been the very heart of this season’s ANTM. the interesting thing about ANTM, is that we all manage to explain away our attraction to it: it’s a guilty pleasure, it’s all innocent fun. we all pretend that it’s not what it really is – a superficial beauty contest that harkens back to the cruel high school popularity contest. and let’s be clear here, tyra is at the helm, successfully convincing us all that it’s not really about beauty, or looks, or bodies. tyra the host, the executive producer, the gorgeous connective tissues leading us down this path of superficial enlightment. it was tyra who encouraged tiffany to overcome her “fear”, who counseled tiffany not to be afraid because she doesn’t know what “foie gras” is. it is tyra who has sacrificed herself to try and help tiffany transition into a better life. increasingly i have had an uncomfortable feeling about tiffany’s role in the series, and tyra’s endlessly selfless attempts to better tiffany. tyra happily exploited this woman every single episode leading up to last night and then bitch-slapped her for all of america. and, somehow, tyra managed to do this in the name of love and compassion? she would have us believe that she was the offended party, that she was the one who suffered, that her tyrade was some expression of love. c’mon kids, this is called exploitation – blaxploitation to be precise. tyra would have us believe that she somehow had some connection with tiffany, that tiffany had “no idea” what sort of hell tyra faced in her formative years. cut me a break. it’s not enough to dash tiffany’s dreams, to milk every ounce of her ghetto story, and then kick her in the stomach to try to teach her a lesson with full-on humiliation. tyra is a bully, right up there with bush and condi rice. she embodies everything that is wrong with our culture! it’s official. TYRA is the one who should go back to the ghetto! or at least, switch over to A&E and sign up for an INTERVENTION!
– Randy Barbato
(See also: The Girl Who Pushes Tyra Over the Edge on televisionwithoutpity)