Tyra Banks Final Show Review
The Final Tyra Banks TV Show was recorded in NYC on February 18th 2010 and finally aired on Friday May 28th 2010
The Tyra Banks Show:
Runway models can be irritatingly vapid, and Tyra Banks proved that after five years of producing and delivering her own highly successful TV talk show, The Tyra Banks Show. Surprisingly, Tyra can still sink to new depths that would even make Paris Hilton squirm, as she demonstrated when she phoned-in her last appearance on The Tyra Banks Show. Tyra has always said that she is dedicated to keeping it real and being honest, so we will do the same.
Tyra claims on the final show that her show is the number one talk show with women ages 18-34. However, Nielsen ratings do not support this claim unless she is referring to a geo-specific market in Nebraska, where she was number one for 23 weeks straight while Oprah was on re-runs.
Over her five years on the air, Tyra Banks's narcissistic traits kept viewers coming back for more. Tyra would do various projects under the guise of helping others or providing a service - but the reality was that they were designed to just be another way to promote Tyra, the brand Tyra, or the production company Tyra.
These projects included her final Victoria's Secret runway walk, and the 10 years later (20 pounds heavier) cover shoot for Sports Illustrated. Tyra also did various undercover roles purportedly to educate and break down stereotypes, but ultimately to titillate and appeal to the self-absorbed. These bizarre stunts included dressing up as an obese 350 pound woman in New York, pretending to be a homeless woman in L.A., posing as a bearded male rapper, playing Chanel the exotic dancer in an L.A. strip club, and being sent to women's prison for a day (some wished she would stay longer).
Tyra often shocked her audience with content that included the removal of her hair weave, falling down the studio steps, falling off the back of the chair, having a wind machine installed for her entrance, appearing on screen without any makeup, revealing her beauty secret of rubbing skin lotion on her breasts, the hair weave strip, her trips to Africa, demystifying the beauty truths, wearing the very "unsexy" Spanx body shapers on 80% of the shows, her floppy cleavage, the stuffed vagina, Tyra's cellulite crusade at Nordstrom's, her denial of having breast implants and doctor breast examination on her show, the "kiss my fat ass" crusade, the lady with two vaginas, and fake modeling scams.
Other times her guests provided memorable moments, including President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Gaddafi, as well as countless rappers, singers, and TV and movie actors. But Tyra loves to talk about herself all the time, steering talks with her guests back to her favorite subject ... Tyra. Dedicating most of her final show to showing pre-recorded segments, Tyra only spent 10 minutes with the audience. All those events happened months before they actually showed it on TV. Show highlights included showing her real hair, with the removal of the hair weave and falling down the audience steps.
The Tyra show was originally based in L.A. and moved to New York in 2006. The Tyra show was on television for five years, 810 episodes, and received two major Emmy Awards and many minor technical Emmys. Many people speculate that Tyra quit the show in advance of Oprah's last show in 2011, as if to sidestep playing second fiddle. It has been widely reported that she always felt inferior to Oprah Winfrey and Oprah's Harpo Productions powerhouse, something that Tyra has yet to successfully emulate.
Tyra Banks's final TV show was aired on Friday May 28th 2010, but quite fitting to her superficial personality, it was recorded months earlier and failed to disclose those details to the TV viewing public. Begging the question, is anything that Tyra does real?
Tyra tries to put on her best fake ebonics "street" accent, but often slips and lets her private-schooled, middle-class Inglewood, California upbringing show through. Many people described Tyra Banks as the East Coast Oprah or even "a poor-man's Oprah", but unlike Oprah, Tyra Banks has no high-profile charity work to demonstrate - but she does have many business concerns.
The Tyra Banks Final Show:
At the end of the final show Tyra performed a final Tyra Show "walk" on the "Tyra Show Runway" - which was a fittingly vapid gesture.
Her on-screen uncomfortable, touchy-feely nature on the show kept viewers interested and the show fresh through the five years of production..
Her hard-to-bear faux tears and hard-done-by stories about how she came to create the TV show through so much adversity lacked any real emotion. The rhetoric and delivery was similar to Mariah Carey's performance in Glitter : insincere and empty. Having said that, she genuinely does feel hard-done-by, but in the viewers' eyes it's pretty pathetic - like a rich girl crying about going to prison for DUI.
The audience, although supportive, responded in cold tones when the fake emotion was being piled on. Tyra claimed that journalists told her that the show would be canceled in two weeks, but she did not name the journalists. She also failed to mention that they may have been referring to the fickle nature of the TV executives, who cancel anything at the drop of a hat, regardless of how well it's doing in the ratings.
It seems that Tyra Banks is always trying to invent some adversity in her life to generate sympathy or as a way to justify her existence. It may also be her realization that she really doesn't have that much talent, but she makes up for it with oodles of chutzpa. Tyra talked about being the most proud of being able to transition from "just a model" to a TV personality. She compared herself to an athlete leaving at the top of her game, first when she was a model and now as a TV show host. It was confidence bordering on arrogance and the studio audience saw it. The final show was a lazily produced affair. It lacked any real theme or guests, so Tyra mostly used pre-taped reflective pieces. But it did include one interesting piece where she broke down the 10 parts of how to be a presenter on her talk show and what 10 things she has to remember in front of the camera:
Purple Cards (crib notes about her guests) - she keeps them on her lap
Focus on guest - look guest in face
8 Cameras in the studio
Studio audience - is the audience bored, how can you spice it up? Beat the cymbals.
Segment clock - clicks down backwards - how much time left in this segment
Cheat monitor, so she can see what the camera sees
This piece was interesting and will probably be studied by up-and-coming TV presenters for years to come. But it came off as Tyra yet again fishing for sympathy. "This is so hard" and "It's not easy" were common elements of her rhetoric.
An abashed self-promoter to the end, Tyra promoted her many businesses on her final show, and these included: Bankable Productions, which produces her TV show; Bankable Studios, which is shooting Tyra's fantasy genre movies; and Bankable Books, which is publishing (with Random House) her first novel, Modeland, which Tyra described as a magical, sexy, fantastical fantasy (sounds like she is concerned about lawsuits if she writes the truth about the narcissistic modeling industry). Tyra Banks also intends to continue her role with America's Next Top Model.