Thursday, May 17, 2007

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: Episode Eight

Clearly not content to have only four of the competition's five contestants hate her guts, Paloma kicks off this week's episode in fine form by telling everyone that Steph H (ie: the only person left in the model mansion that somehow DOESN'T want to strangle her) should have been in the bottom two last week instead of her.

Apparently she can't understand why she came so close to elimination. We can, Paloma. It's because lately you've stopped looking like THIS:

And started looking like THIS:

Which, let's face it, is just one step away from THIS:

And frankly, I don't think there's going to be any "pure condensed evil" themed challenges any time soon, so it might be time to lighten the hell up a bit. Instead though, she starts a fight with Steph and launches into an emotional tirade featuring my new favourite ANTM quote: "They don't know what my strong point is, because I'm good at EVERYTHING."

Especially whining like a bitch, Paloma. Hopefully this week's challenge will be to "look like a brat while bitching about your friends in an AMAZING GUCCI DRESS" - she'll have that one in the bag.

Paloma defiantly shifts her KMart kiddies' bunk bed three inches further away from Steph's, Steph declares herself "over her drama queen-ness", and we all move on knowing that, thanks to the unfailingly high standards of Australian editing, they will probably be best friends again after the first ad break, and Cassandra, Kara and Jane will be serving them sandwiches.

And move on the models do, to meet Jod-hello at the Sydney Dance Cafe (whatever that might be - do they do si do while they pour your capuccino or pirouette while they froth your milk?) who tells them they're all going to get in touch with their bodies. Teenage boys everywhere scramble frantically through their cupboards for a blank video tape but before they get a chance to fumble for the RECORD button on the remote Jod-hello ruins all the fun by explaining the girls are going to take a dance lesson with the Sydney Dance Company. Anika, who was secretly thinking about Sophie, is bitterly disappointed.

This one off lesson is supposed to teach the girls how to "move", worrying Alice who hasn't actually moved in years due to lack of muscle strength. Paloma, on the other hand, announces the challenge will be friggin easy peasy Japanesy lemon squeezy no returns, so clearly she's going to arse the whole thing up and be the worst of the bunch. I can't wait.

As it turns out, Alice is. She's quite uncoordinated. Actually, she's very uncoordinated. In fact, if you took a blind, seasick, one-legged narcoleptic and fed them a litre of cheap red and a few joints before spinning them round 20 times - they'd still have more coordination than Alice.

"She seemed retarded to me," says Paloma, which seems harsh, but...

Haw haw haw.

Although the word retarded springs to mind again when Paloma is charged with reading out the Jodhi Mail presented to them by Pease Porridge (who, just quietly, seems to have become a bit of an afterthought in this series lately. What's happened to him? Did he sleep with the wrong producer or something?)

"Once the game is over the king and PRAWN go back into the same box," she stumbles, continuing the hilarity with "A famous Italian...PRO verb?"

That's right, Paloma, it's a PRO verb, not one of those every day AMATEUR verbs. And I'm glad the prawn gets put back in the box after the game is over - very unhygienic to keep it lying about on the chessboard.

"The Jodhi mails are getting harder to pick, more cryptic," says Alice.

Yeah, especially when Paloma the moron reads them out. For all she knows the next challenge involves lying on a giant chessboard and covering herself in seafood. Actually, that would be a GREAT challenge, but as it turns out the girls have to put on a black bodysuit and "strike a dynamic pose" inside a small, white box. Everyone secretly hopes that once Paloma gets in they'll just weigh the lid down with a few encyclopedias, turn the lights out and walk away, but this seems unlikely.

Pease announces that their sixy Sith African slesh Swidish pirsonal trenner Andreas will be on set to help them limbre up for such a physically demaning shoot. Anika lets out an audible yelp of excitement. On the inside, Pease does the same.

"This is getting seriously competitive, and from now on even the smallest slip up is going to make a huge difference," barks Jod-hello.

Paloma studies her fingernails and yawns, cos she's good at everything and dancing is friggin easy.

"This place looked bigger on"

The Mystery of Chessboxin' shoot in a nutshell: Jordan rocks it, Steph is dull, athletic Anika somehow manages to do a backbend and not bust the top of the box with her breasts, and Paloma is told she's too sexy and has to tone it down for this shoot (shouldn't be too hard in that outfit). She then virtually gives up before she even climbs into the box (perhaps she got wind of their encyclopedia-dump-and-run plan) and pulls out the worst performance of the day. Everyone struggles to care, as clearly she'll be back in the bottom two later on. What little is left of Alice's personality seems to have been sucked into oblivion by her black spandex jumpsuit, as she fails to indicate any emotion on her face other than "slightly miffed". Even when Jod-hello suggests she visualise laserbeams shooting out of her eyeballs and killing a monster, Alice's emotional output never registers above "mildly depressed". So dull are her facial expressions, the crew practically explodes with excitement when she does a small pout, exclaiming "YES, LOVING THE POUT! THAT'S FANTASTIC!" Meanwhile, Anika is backstage massaging her lower back from the gymnastics she had to pull to get the same reaction.

In a last ditch effort to get Alice's face to do something other than look vacant, Jod-hello tells her to scream. Instead, Alice does this:

"OHHHHHH - I'm Henry the eighth I am, Henry the eigth I am, I am..."

Which makes everyone ELSE scream, in horror. She finally squeezes out a scream so weak and gaspy it sounds like a background effect in a D-Grade porno movie. If only she had Anika's norks she could possibly even make it in that industry, but oh well.

Jordan is judged the best of the bunch, and she and Steph share a prize of starring in some fashion show somewhere - probably at Westfield on a Thursday night. Everyone else goes back to the model mansion to play a spot of Balderdash, which should be a real intellectual pursuit given that Paloma doesn't even know what a proverb is and thinks seafood is an integral part of chess. Not surprisingly, Alice (who, as we remember from last week, is the only model with any semblance of a brain) is the winner, graciously accepting the title of "biggest liar in the house". Paloma contests her for it, before remembering that she is already the "craziest psycho in the house", and promptly launches into a Paloma Panic Attack.


"The thing is, the modelling side of this is so easy for me, and everything else is so hard," she blubbers.

"People don't understand how hard it is to have depression and wake up every day feeling like shit and have to pretend it's all ok, and I just...don't think...I...can DO IT ANYMORE!" she wails, which is normally a cue for the ANTM emotional guitar music. But clearly the producers have had enough of her whingeing too, as they throw on some peppy dance music and cut to a busy street scene - hooray!

Steph and Jordan do a Bonds parade at some pub, which is hardly special given that Jordan has probably paraded on the bar in her underwear at several pubs before now.

Then it's off to this week's photo shoot (hang on, haven't we already had one? Yes, but apparently that one doesn't count) which Pease describes as "an extreme fashion situation". I hope this means the models will be draped in stitched-together sirloin steaks and dropped in the African Savannah exhibit at Taronga Zoo, but as it turns out it means they'll be hung from the ceiling by a wire and pushed around a bit. Yawn.

Steph decides it's HER time for a panic attack and has a bit of a cry, stammering "I don't like heights". Pease attempts an impression of a concerned individual, but given that both he and the ENTIRE REST OF THE WORLD can see the girl will be hanging a sum total of four metres off the ground it's hard to raise any real sympathy.

Pease tells the girls they have to project "an out-there Mary Poppins" - because obviously a woman who flies with an umbrella and has a magic bag that you can carry a lampstand in and can talk to animals and jump into chalk drawings on the footpath ISN'T OUT THERE ENOUGH.

"Out There Mary Poppins" shoot in a nutshell: Steph gets over her fear of heights enough to do an average job, flailing her arms and legs everywhere as she dive bombs the photographer. She declares it "the funnest shoot I've ever done". Watching at home, her English teacher sheds a tear of shame. Everyone generally agrees that Jordan does the best job, while Alice is so stiff, thin and white she looks like a Halloween decoration spinning in the breeze. Anika uses her amazing Andreas-fuelled body strength to pull some hot poses, but we still spend most of her 30 seconds on screen looking right up her clacker - although we don't get quite as much of a close up as we do with Paloma, who seems to think that showing off her clacker is the whole POINT of the shoot.

Paloma - the incredible flying clacker.

Perhaps she's just channeling her future best friend, Paris Hilton. To quote Jordan: "Girlfriend, close those legs." Yeah right - like anyone's going to take modesty tips from Jordan.

And then it's off to elimination - who will stay? Who will go? And more importantly - why is Alice suddenly dressing like a sleek, sophisticated normal woman instead of a 1980s nerd or 1970s mum? Who came up with her gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS outfit of a brown leather skirt and floaty orange and green silk shirt? I DEMAND TO KNOW WHO SHE'S STOLEN HER NEW FOUND STYLE OFF. Clearly Anika has stolen HER style this week off of Jodhi from last week, as she too is now doing a very passable impression of Kevin Federline in a bad fedora. Unless K-Fed has taken copious amounts of female growth hormone recently, it's fair to say Jodhi is NOT doing another impression of him this week, as she's got her spray-tanned boosies back front and centre to distract us all from the 10 minutes of futility that lies between now and the credits.

But nothing can distract us from the horror that is Alice dancing. Jod-hello challenges her to show off "her best dance moves", little realising that the girl doesn't have ANY, let alone any GOOD ones. She skips a bit, waves her arms a bit, and walks. THAT is how music makes Alice feel. Jordan does some crazy pelvic thrusts, Anika bounces her boosies, and then Paloma gets on the train to Crazy Town, stopping off at Stupid and Ridiculous on the way. Not to be outdone, Steph almost falls down the stairs before throwing herself on the judge's desk, waving her arms about and doing some Alice-style skipping, before finishing with what she obviously thinks is a dramatic flourish, but is actually more of a pissweak Rock 'n' Roll Eisteddfod type pose. She smiles inanely, trying to catch her breath. Everyone feels awkward. Best we move on to the photo judging, eh?

We first get to see the photo of Steph in a box (not a picture of Steph's box, which we got to see last week). She looks like a scuba diver stuck in a flotation tank. But it's better than her second photo, in which she looks like a flying corpse. This somehow impresses Jod-hello, which confuses me until I remember that Jodhi is also impressed by Alice. Speaking of Alice, she looks even more like a flying corpse than Steph does. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PHOTOS? She does, however, look exceptionally good stuffed into a small, white box, which is good in this situation but perhaps not the most useful trait in everyday life. In her photo, Anika looks just like Mary Poppins - IF MARY POPPINS HAD BEEN DEAD FOR A YEAR, DUG UP AND SUSPENDED FROM THE CEILING. Seriously, these photos are fucking tragic. Not to mention slightly creepy. God knows what she looked like in her other photo, because they only flashed it up on screen for about half a second. Because, like, who would want to look at the photos? IT'S NOT LIKE IT'S THE BEST BIT OF THE SHOW OR ANYTHING. On to Jordan, and...oh for fuck's sake. I mean seriously.

I'm going to have nightmares for months.

Looking back on it, Paloma might be up with a chance in this one...

Actually, Paloma stuns everyone with a beautiful flying corpse shot, and then ruins it all with an abominable scuba diver stuffed inside a white box shot. Oh well, we can't have it all.

Which is why she's given the boot. Bottom two co-star Steph H is given another chance, and Pyscholoma pretends to be happy for her while secretly plotting cunning ways to get back into the competition on a mental health technicality.

As all her old photos are flashed up on screen we are given the chance to reflect on the curious fact that she never actually had any GOOD ones, and we all start to wonder why she hadn't been kicked out earlier. Not Paloma though, who muses "I think the judges decided to eliminate me because I'm too GOOD for the competition."

"I think Alice will win, just because of what she looks like, which I really hope isn't true because then I'll know this competition wasn't really real in the first place," she says.

How true - how RIDICULOUS for someone to win a modelling competition because of what they look like. STICK IT TO THE MAN, PALOMA!

Aw, bye, Paloma. We'll miss your mood swings, panic attacks and general Palomania. Shine on, you crazy Spaniard.


  1. Oh dear. Poor Alice. She really shouldn't have done that sex doll thing with her mouth.

    I like the idea of the beef gown in Taronga Park, though. They could just save time and wrap them all in mince, thereby turning them into giant koftas >:)

  2. Bloody hilarious. Excellent recap. Too many good things in there to have a favourite one, but I quite liked the discussion on PRO verbs. English teachers everywhere sobbing into their tv guides, ahh fantastic!

    It instantly made me think of adverbs.. now we have more kinds of verbs!

    Pro-verb: used to denote an action performed professionally..?

    And the whole prawn thing.. gold!

  3. I love your reviews. Gold, every one of them.

  4. redcap - ooooh! Giant model souvlakis! Actually Alice could do with wearing a bit more meat on her bones in everyday life anyway.

    harry houdini - God knows what poor Paloma thinks of personal pronouns - probbaly thinks they're some kind of feminine hygiene product.

    jacques - Thanks for the kind words. Stay tuned for more model gold in coming weeks (that is, if the show can produce ANY gold now that Paloma's left)

  5. Top Shelf!!

    I believe Paloma announcing that she doesn't know her strong point because she's good at everything is possibily the most hysterically funny thing I've ever heard anyone say. I'd love to think that it's the editing that makes her come across as the most arrogant teenager in Australia but I fear it really is just her, which is fantastic.

    Alice should win because of what she looks like, she's the model-ey model that has ever been on any season of Top Model and they'd have to be touched in the head not to give her the Vogue shoot this minute!

    Alice for the win :D

  6. delightfuljen - Do you know what? After writing this recap and delighting in all of Paloma's ridiculous quotes, I checked out the Official ANTM site to look at her exit video in full, and guess what - I think she was actually being sarcastic. In other, disappointing and surprising words, there is a case for Paloma being not quite as mental as she seems. I think it's called EDITING. Have a look at this, click the third button that reads 'Paloma's phone conversation', and make up yourown mind. Maybe she's not quite as crazy as we all thought...and maybe...just maybe...I kinda like her a bit here.