Below, Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch‘s Tiphani, talks about being portrayed as quiet, her romantic connection with Chad and the allegations that he’s just not into black women…
How was the show for you?
Overall, I think it was a great experience, something that doesn’t happen to a lot of people so I am thankful for the experience that I got. Meeting new people, all the girls, and Chad in production, so overall I think it was a great experience. It was kind of crazy and stressful at times, but overall it was really good.
What did you think of your portrayal?
I thought it was OK, but I think it could have been a little better because they show me a lot a times when I was really quiet and kind of to myself. Toward the end they showed more of my funny side and silly side, but I feel like I was funny and silly throughout the whole thing – that’s just my personality.
Even his brother called you quiet.
On that last episode, the girls were all fighting and I was kind of sitting back because I felt like it wasn’t my argument. All his guys are sitting right here so what would I look like arguing with a bunch of girls? Firs impressions are everything so I kind of just wanted to like not be involved in that.
Sometimes quiet is a nice alternative to screaming.
Exactly. I mean, they were doing enough screaming for all four of us.
I actually thought it was interesting that you weren’t involved in that conversation. What did you make of the whole Tara debate?
I was kind of on the fence with it. I understood Rubi and Brittany were really upset because they felt like Tara didn’t really want to be there. After getting to know Tara, I saw that she was really sarcastic and that’s just her personality. She would say things that people could misinterpret and take the wrong way, which a lot of girls did. I’m sarcastic too. But I wasn’t going to jump into that argument because I’m not worried about Tara. I feel like Brittany and Rubi were so consumed over Tara and so worried about Tara. My focus was Chad and I could care less if Tara really wanted to be there. Tara is Tara, I’m me, so I figured, “I’m gonna focus on me and I’m gonna focus on trying to build something with Chad that’s why I’m here. I’m not here to try and get Tara kicked off the show.” I knew Chad would see through her anyway — he is not a stupid guy.
Why do you think everyone else was so preoccupied with the matter? Are you just more focused than them?
That’s exactly what I was going to say. Also, I do think I was a little bit more mature. I think I made that comment um while we were in Miami. I was like, “I’m the youngest one here but I’m more mature than all you guys.” I just always felt like I was more mature then the rest of the girls ’cause they are always yelling at each other and going back and forth with each other, and I would just be sitting there like, “This is so pointless to me.”
And what did you think about your elimination overall?
I knew I was going home — I was up against Rubi. Rubi was his No. 1 from Day 1 and I knew I was going home. I knew anyone that went up against Rubi was gonna go home. I think I took it gracefully. I didn’t cuss him out. I didn’t yell and scream like a banshee. I didn’t jump off a pier. I think that I took it pretty well.
You seemed legitimately upset — you said that you were hurt.
I was upset. I get that Rubi’s really pretty. I can see that; anybody can see that. She’s Hispanic and she speaks in Spanish — I get it. But I think all around, I was a better fit for him as a whole package then Rubi was. I was hoping that he wouldn’t go with lust. I was hoping Russell the Love Muscle wouldn’t be making the decision, but I guess he did.
He said it was his heart though.
He can say that, but I honestly don’t believe that because of things that Rubi has told me and things that Britney’s told me. I was kind of glad that I left when I did because I was starting to get really stressed out. We were on edge like all the time. I did want to win, but still…
You mentioned Rubi being Hispanic. Do you think race played a part in Chad’s decision?
I know that he thinks that he is Mexican, which he’s clearly not Mexican. [Laughs] I feel like there is something deeply rooted within Chad that makes him want to be something that he is not. I kind of touched on that a little bit when during the conversation between Brittany, Chad and I on our date. I was a pysch major in school, and I kind of have that other sense or whatever. I can tell that there is something within him to make him want to be something else. Clearly something happened to him in the past that’s kind of deep. Of course I look at it a lot differently then most people do. Everybody is like, “Well he doesn’t like black women,” and this and that and other stuff. On the other hand, I don’t know if it’s just that. I think it’s something really deeply rooted within Chad.
Did you feel like you had chemistry with him? I know he said that you transitioned beyond the friendship level, but you seemed more into it than he did when you were in bed together at the Cincinnatian.
Honestly, he was so super tired. He had been on dates with three girls and it was 3 o’clock in the morning by the time we got to his room. He actually was even nodding off a little bit and that’s when we were like, “OK, we have to wrap this up.” He was always falling asleep: in planes and cars and stuff. I think that’s what it was, because the very next day at eliminations he was grabbing on me and pulling me and kissing on me in front of all the other girls.
Was Chad’s mom as intimidating as she seemed?
No, she was actually really sweet. Of course I knew who she was when she first came in the room. I don’t understand how Rubi didn’t. They look so alike. She was really cool. She was super sweet, very polite and intelligent. She wasn’t as spitfire as they made her seem on the show. I answered a lot of her questions, too. I was upset that they made me look immature and like I couldn’t handle a conversation with Chad’s mom. Like I said on Twitter, I went to a college prep school K-12, I was in the University of Houston’s honors college – do you mean to tell me that I can’t hold a conversation with Ochocinco’s mom, seriously? Come on now.
Any thoughts on throwing Jasmine under the bus?
That’s how it looked. I didn’t want to do it, but my hands were tied and I was kind of put in an awkward situation. A lot of people were so mad at me on Twitter, cussing me out on behalf of Jasmine. I had to call her and explain the situation to her, and she’s cool now. Then she was really mad at me.
Do you regret it?
I wish I wouldn’t have done it that way. I wish I’d say it in front of her to Chad. I’m not the kind of person who goes behind other people’s backs.
Any other regrets?
Not so much. I hate how some of the stuff was manipulated and edited, but I don’t have any regrets about the way I acted. I think I was pretty reserved and I represented African American women well. I wasn’t rude and obnoxious and loud and ghetto, like people typically say black women are, quote unquote. I think I did a good job.
Is there a story behind the unique spelling of your name?
It was “Tiffany,” but I changed it when I got into college. I just wanted to be different. I knew a lot of people whose names were Tiffany, all spelled that way and it was like, “I hate this.” When I was getting into the industry, I knew I had to change it up. My name came from my mom, who used to live in New York. She was walking on Fifth Ave., and passed the Tiffany & Co., and she really wanted something from the store, but at the time she was pregnant with me and she couldn’t afford it. She said she wanted a Tiffany of her own, so that’s what she named me.
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