Straight outta Brooklyn (as she liked to remind everyone), Tanisha Thomas bulldozed her way through the second season of Oxygen's The Bad Girls Club with a much-used catchphrase, an in-your-face attitude, fierce pride, sincere love of fruit juice and a stint in jail that turned the dynamics of the house upside down. She may have held her anger in check - barely - on the show, but in an interview with us before the May 13 season finale and May 20 cast reunion, Tanisha finally pulled no punches.
TWoP: So let's start with the burning question on every Bad Girls Club fan's mind: What exactly does "pop off" mean? Is popping off something that you do to someone you don't like, or is it something that you want someone you don't like to do?
TT: It's basically an invitation to the other person to hit me. Where I come from, I don't believe in hitting first, so if we're yelling at each other and it's reaching that point... I don't want to punch that person, I want you to hit me first. So I say "pop off." It's an invitation for you to start the fight.
TWoP: Is this a Brooklyn thing or is this a Tanisha thing?
TT: A mixture of both. "Pop off" has been around for a long time; I just brought it back to life. It's always been one of my favorites. Ever since high school, I'd tell people to pop off, so it's something that's been there for years.
TWoP: It's become a real catchphrase now. Are people constantly coming up to you and saying it?
TT: Oh yeah! Everybody. I've been stopped by the police with my dad, who was driving. He ran a couple of red lights. They knew who I was from The Soup. It's crazy. Everybody says "pop off."
TWoP: How sick of it are you at this point?
TT: A little bit, I'm not gonna lie. I am. But it's all love. It makes me really happy to know that I've brought back life to the words "pop off." And I've put Brooklyn on the map further so I'm happy about that.
TWoP: Filming on the second season of Bad Girls Club ended back in November. What's it been like for you to watch the show at the same time as the rest of us? Is it an accurate depiction of what really went on, or did major things get lost in the editing?
TT: A lot of things got lost in the editing -- a lot of funny moments. But what I really wanted them to show was how I forgave Andrea [for blogging about the housemates] and stood up for her in the end. I thought it was ridiculous how they were harping on her. I said, "It's just a frickin' blog. Let it go. It's not the end of the world. Whatever." Andrea was weak and they just kept using her as an easy target. I was like, "Enough punishment already." That was one of the things that I thought got lost in the editing. But they didn't lie. Everything that they said happened did happen. So, hey, what are you gonna do?