Spot Inspection: 'The Tyra Banks Show'

144023__tyra_lGet that filthy dishrag off the kitchen counter, Tyra — PopWatch is here for a spot inspection!

Welcome to Tyra Trattoria. Before I take your order, let me tell you a few things about today’s menu, which is focusing entirely on the homeless epidemic. We’ve got a special on name-dropping, which comes as either an appetizer or a main course. (Did you know Tyra got the idea for this episode after seeing a screening of her friend Will Smith’s new flick, The Pursuit of Happyness? Well, she did.)

Anyhow, I’m sorry to report, Tyra’s all out of subtlety. As you’ll see, within the first 22 minutes, Tyra reminds us on six separate occasions that homelessness "can happen to you." IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU! Are you listening? I hope so, because it happened to Tyra. Well, only for a day, in an undercover kind of way. Tyra puts a tatty kerchief on her head, dons last season’s torn American Eagle flannel and a pair of thick boots ("where we’re going has a lot of needles," Tyra explains), and heads to…Skid Row. "No makeup, no lights, nothing but me… and the streets," she says. Oh, and also a camera crew. And a formerly homeless guide named Danielle, who shows Tyra how to beg for change (they score $3.50), shop for cheap snacks, and shower in a convenience-store bathroom.

And now, we get the truth. This issue is all about TYRA.(Naturally.) Because, you see, she’s the kind of person who passeshomeless people on the street without ever looking at them. So, thinktwice. It’s just another day for you and Tyra in paradise.

What’s that? You’d like to order some guilt, too? Indeed, it’spiping hot and delicious! But it’s not as delicious as spending thelast 15 minutes of the episode doling out help to a homeless mom and acouple of homeless kids. No room for that guilt anymore? It’s OK, wecan wrap it up for you in a to-go bag. You can give it to a homelessperson on your way home. Thanks, and please come again. And fortakeout, call 1-800-HOT-MESS.

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  • Will Holston

    Geesh….When did Jesus return as a washed up runway model with a talk show meant as nothing more then a companion to her runway model

  • Lora

    I’m developing a theory that Tyra sold her soul to the devil and must, in return, be completely narcisstic and make people, especially young women, feel really bad about themselves. I really think I’m on to something.

  • James

    “The Pursuit of Happyness?” Really?
    I’m glad she didn’t think up this idea because of “Where the Day takes You.”

  • daisyj

    I like to imagine the day when Tyra goes on one of her undercover missions and doesn’t end up confirming what everybody already knew:
    “Today, I spent three hours as a homeless person, and now I’m here to tell you what it’s like. Actually, it’s pretty awesome. You get to hang out on the street all day and people just give you money, even though you didn’t do anything. Plus, free soup! I don’t know what all these hobos are complaining about.”

  • Dork

    How do I take a shower in a 7-11 bathroom? For my long-planned trip to go slumming around the world, this information is much needed.

  • EM

    This seems to be a trend. My cable was out earlier (horror of horrors). When it came back on, ET was on and Vanessa was doing a story in a fat/ugly get-up. She was in tears. It seemed like: “Oh, it’s so awful being fat and ugly!! I don’t know how the rest of you little people manage to get out of bed each day!”

  • EP Sato

    This feels like bad tv deja vu. The newsguy from CBS news in Chicago was “homeless” for a few days in the late 1980’s, and I seem to recall Popwatch doing a story about how Pras was doing some homeless publicity stint.
    I guess it’s good to draw attention to the homeless problem, but how come no one (present company included, touché) seems to offer a workable solution?

  • Jakeem

    So when was the Panty Party?

  • Tish

    I think this is completely out of line. Tyra Banks is completely right to be raising awareness about the homeless situation in this country. I spent a few weeks in large city on the east coast working at a homeless shelter, and saw things that most U.S. citizens would not realize existed. Maybe one should look into the reasons that Tyra decided to showcase this problem. Maybe she thought it important for people to care a little more about others, rather than simply themselves.

  • marykate

    I’m surprised that Tyra can get “undercover” anything.
    She’s for sure not as svelte as she once was. I miss her rad body on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It was only then that she had any reason to bust on Anchal for her body issues. Current Tyra looks like a snausage.

  • fredric

    I can only imagine the movies that are going to spawn new Tyra ideas… maybe we can force her to watch Castaway so she disappears for a year.

  • Teena

    I find these “let’s dess up as a homeless/obese/etc. person” so patronizing. It’s just an excuse for these celebs to pretend they really care. Meanwhile they’re doing their own version of a nightclub act on TV. Do we really believe Tyra can feel what it’s like to be homeless? What about Vanessa M. as a “fat” person? Save me her crocodile tears.

  • t3hdow

    Tyra might have good intentions with her undercover missions, but the main problem is that going undercover for a day isn’t going to make you truly understand an overweight woman’s/homeless person’s daily struggles. She only did it for a day and at the end of said day, she can go back to her thin, curvy body/cozy home and not have to worry about those issues. It’s far different when you wake up everyday having to deal with it. This is why it’s so difficult to take her seriously with these undercover missions.
    That, and the questions/comments she raises on the issues are so banal, there’s no reason to do it. It’s just like when she ‘uncovered’ the harsh truth on how good looks benefit some people in our society. Yes, thin, beautiful women get more attention than fat, uglier ones overall. Yes it’s wrong, but that’s the way society is and it’s not going to change anytime soon. I don’t need Tyra to tell me this.
    She may have good intentions, but the effort to help prevent it is half-hearted at best, exploitive at worst.

  • troubledmind

    I chocked on my brown rice and tuna salad mix (hey, I’m bulkin’ up). I just called 1-800-HOT-MESS and lo & behold, Tyra answered. She told me that next week she is going to go undercover as a pitbull. Surprisingly, biting off the arms of helpless mailmen is A LOT harder than it looks.
    Seriously, we all need to send her a big, fat, sloppy, smokin’ cup of SHUT THE HAMHOCK UP!

  • troubledmind

    I just chocked on my brown rice and tuna salad mix (hey, I’m bulkin’ up). I just called 1-800-HOT-MESS and lo & behold, Tyra answered. She told me that next week she is going to go undercover as a pitbull. Surprisingly, biting off the arms of helpless mailmen is A LOT harder than it looks.
    Seriously, we all need to send her a big, fat, sloppy, smokin’ cup of SHUT THE HAMHOCK UP!

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