Gosselin Kid Strikes Back at Her Mom With a Silent, Riveting Interview

Thursday morning on the Today show, 13-year-old recovering reality star Cara Gosselin established herself as the most powerfully silent teen on television. Behold:

Cara, her twin sister Mady, and her mother Kate (all of ...Plus 8 fame) were on Today promoting a where-are-they-now interview in the January 20 issue of People, in which Mady proudly declares that she and her siblings are not "damaged"—a "dope" thing for a non-damaged 13-year-old girl to promise a national magazine.

(In the same interview, she calls her mother "annoying." Veteran viewers of Jon & Kate Plus 8 will recall that Mady was always a bit of a bad girl.)

Throughout the Today chitchat, led by anchor Savannah Guthrie, Kate Gosselin appeared quietly furious. Her daughters, by contrast, appeared even more quietly furious.

Or maybe just paralyzingly shy. Or maybe just 13, symptoms of which include being quietly furious and paralyzingly shy.

Things got off to a bumpy start when Guthrie asked Mady what she would want to tell the world about how she and her family are doing.

Mady (very pleasantly!) responded "Umm." (Cara, who remained silent, looked miserable.)

In the hour-long four second pause that followed Guthrie's question, Kate Gosselin grew nervous. She leaned forward, as if to catch her daughter's eye. She clapped her hands two times.

"Mady." Clap clap. "Your words." (Cara, who remained silent, looked miserable.)

"Well," said Guthrie. "It's hard. It's a hard question." These words were drowned out by the ones Kate Gosselin said at the same time, while gesturing brightly toward the camera: "It's your chance. Spit it out."

Mady whispered something unintelligible to her mother. (Cara, who remained silent, looked miserable.)

Gosselin Kid Strikes Back at Her Mom With a Silent, Riveting Interview

"What about you, Cara?" asked Guthrie.

Cara, who remained silent, looked miserable.

"I don't want to speak for them," spoke Kate, for them, "but, Mady, go ahead. Sort of the things that you said in the magazine, that years later they're good, they're fine. Go for it, Mad. It's your chance."

Mady whipped her head around to face her mother.

"No, you just said it."

(Cara, who remained silent, looked miserable.)

Savannah asked Cara if she thought people had the wrong impression of the Gosselin family.

Cara, who remained silent, looked miserable.

This time, however, Cara's silence was allowed to ride. It stretched out, gloriously, for more 10 seconds, punctuated only by Mady's nervous laughter, Kate's whispered "My gosh!" and barked "Yes or no!" and the abrupt hush of a 38-year-old Pennsylvania woman's heart suddenly ceasing to beat.

Ten seconds doesn't sound like a long time when you consider that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. And yet: perform an experiment right now. Remain silent for a full ten seconds. Don't focus on anything but the silence. Feels like a lot of silence, right? And it's only been 5 seconds.

At no point during The Great Quiet did Cara appear to be even considering speaking.

When asked if she thought TV and magazine interviews might do more harm than good to the girls, Kate explained "I can't get them to do, at this age—at 13, anything they don't wanna do." Both girls frowned at the ground.

Finally, four minutes and thirteen seconds into the interview, when Guthrie wondered if the girls would like to participate in another TV show, Cara smiled and spoke her first and only word of the segment:

"Uh-huh."