I think I have rediscovered my love for Tyra. She was really great in season one. I keep remembering the scene where she was helping Adrienne get her makeup done for the hamburgler photo. Tyra started to lose me with the Shaka Ya body and me me me-ness of cycle 2. I liked her a little better last cycle, though I was turned off by her extreme drag-queenishness at panel. While watching the first episode of this cycle, I remembered why I like her. She seems very normal to me. I can't imagine having a conversation with Janice, Nigel, Jay, etc without one of us becoming violent. But Tyra is someone you could sit and talk to. She's intelligent, extremely talented as a model, and has a face that is incredibly beautiful but is also accessible. It doesn't mean that I don't see any of the negative stuff (e.g. eliminating Mary and then comforting her as if she wasn't the one who cut the poor girl from the conversation. It's not like she didn't know that Mary was going to fall apart when she got cut.) But I think she knows that if she wants to keep this show on tv, she is going to have to cater to the producers, who want drama and lots of it. And Tyra is also the star of the show, so she's got to participate in the crap too.
I don't believe Tyra created this show as an homage to herself. I think her heart really is in the right place. I don't see any other supermodels doing so much to help other people - helping younger girls get a leg up or starting a camp to help disadvantaged teenage girls gain self esteem, confidence, and leadership qualities. And I certainly don't see any other models as willing to show the world what they *really* look like sans makeup and artistic lighting. (Of course, I don't see many supermodels around in general, but I'm just saying. )
Tyra is both of these people