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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: Episode Ten

OH MOY GOURD what a week it's been in fashion land, BCites, what a WEEK it's been.

First everyone's favourite geezer gets hauled up on domestic assault charges (thank goodness it's not anything more Bill Henson-esque, right? THAT would have been embarrassing after his little ANTM tea party with Demelza and Alyce, wouldn't it?), then the lovely Jayson Brunsdon designs a frilly nightmare for Miss Australia and promptly gets cancer.

Then Givenchy declared thalidomide the new "must-have" accessory on the front page of its website (HINT: check the brunette model's limbs.)

And then a size 16 teenager from Perth hit the media and opened up an intelligent discourse about extra thin models and normal sized girls and weight issues and made us all think twice about our prejudices before setting us all back to square one again by saying "The big girls I know are really, really nice because you've got to have good personalities for people to like you." Because no one could possibly like a big girl otherwise, RIGHT? AM I RIGHT?

And of course, the ANTM modelettes hit the bright lights of the Big Apple and still manage to make the most boring episode ever. But more on that later.

First we have to endure the obligatory flashback to last week's eviction, when Jodhello cut the fat and told Caris she was the biggest loser. Or was it the weakest link?

"I was upset but it wasn't my time to be upset, it was all about Caris going home and I didn't want to take any of that away from her," says the always thoughtful Alex. So nice of her not to take anything away from Caris' potentially Oscar-winning moment of tragedy and woe.

"You're going... to... ... ... ... ..." (everyone checks their watches to see if it's still 2008) "... ... ... ... THE BIG APPLE!" shrieks Jodhello, and then realises Samantha is in the room and clarifies: "NEW YORK!"

This sends Alex, Samantha and Demelza into an impromptu group impression of Alex's photo shoot from last week:


I just wanted to use this picture again


before they all say a quick goodbye to the model mansion and emerge, via some handy montages, in New York.

"OH MY GOSH A YELLOW TAXI!" shrieks Demelza, pointing out the window.

"OH MY GOSH A BIG COW!" shrieks Alex, pointing at Demelza, just for old times' sake.

"OH MY GOSH THEY DRIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE HERE!" shrieks Samantha. Wait til she finds out they speak American.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING STATUE OF LIBERTY BROOKLYN BRIDGE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING STATUE OF LIBERTY SKYLINE SKYLINE SKYLINE. (The producers might have paid a lot of money to bring this show to New York, that doesn't mean they've got any left to actually DO anything while they're there, right? So they're going to show you establishing shots until you PUKE, GOD DAMMIT, and you're going to LIKE IT).

After approximately five and a half hours of driving around Brooklyn pointing out yellow taxis and how they're STILL driving on the right, the girls finally turn up at their hotel, THE ALEX. Tall, stony, hard and partially constructed of man made substances - yep, sounds rather aptly named to me.


One of these is lauded for its beautiful and unconventional design. Guess which one.


The next three minutes are filled with the girls standing on their penthouse balcony and expressing amazement that they can look down on the street ("AND LOOK! A YELLOW TAXI!") before Demelza gets her priorities straight and runs inside to put dibs on the only double bed. Sam's like, annoyed, because Demelza is like, a bit of a princess and that, but she doesn't really mind cos like, she's got dibs on the king sized bed in the other room and Alex has to sleep in the single bed, nyer nyer.

Tell me if this is getting boring, won't you? WE'RE IN NEW YORK, WOO! BEDS AND TAXIS, WOO!

"I like Sam, but I wouldn't want to share a room with her. I'm scared of her sometimes," says Demelza.


Is this why, Demelza? It's this, isn't it? Is it?


Some more boring crap happens and all of a sudden it's the crack of dawn and a gloved hand is opening the door to their apartment and OH MY GOD, THEY'RE BEING BROKEN INTO ALREADY. THEY'VE BEEN IN NEW YORK FOR LESS THAN 24 HOURS AND ALREADY THEIR APARTMENT IS BEING BROKEN INTO. My GOD the CRIME RATE in that city is just... oh wait, it's just Jodhello.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING YELLOW TAXI BUSTLING STREET SCENE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING SKYLINE SKYLINE SKYLINE.

Jodhello and the modelettes put on their thermal underwear, two pairs of jeans, three t shirts, five jumpers, two scarves, a few blankets and 62 pairs of socks each to go and sit in the freezing cold and have breakfast on their balcony with the Chrysler Building in the background. Did I mention they were in New York?

"This is serious, this is New York!" booms Jodhello, just in case you missed all the gratuitous shots of the Statue of Liberty earlier.

"You'll be going to see some agents today. AGENTS AGENTS AGENTS. NEW YORK. ALICE BURDEU NEW YORK, NEW YORK!"

All the girls rush off to get dressed, while Alex pays tribute to dearly eliminated Alamela by practising her best robot face to impress the New York agents.


AFFIRMATIVE.


BUSTLING CITY STREETS. NEW YORK. BUILDINGS - NOT EVEN ONES YOU KNOW! NEW YORK IS LIKE THAT, IT'S SO HUGE! NEW YORK NEW YORK. STREET SIGNS.

"I think I have the best portfolio," slags J'aime Demelza, as she looks over her photos from the past nine weeks while buffing her talons and sharpening her canines. Luckily she remembers to act coy and cute again straight away, by holding up a beauty shot and shrieking "HOW UGLY! GO AWAY YOU MINGER! Look how HIDEOUS that is!" in a completely sincere and believeable fashion. When she discovers the photo is actually of her, not Alex, she is devastated.

They all rock up at Marilyn agency, which is run by an ewok - no sorry, a guy called Kwok - and which they have no hope of ever getting into as they only take 10 girls a year. And because the ewok hates them all.

"The first time the girls came in I definitely noticed Demelle," blathers Ewok, who may or may not be talking about a completely different group of girls.

Apparently this "Demelle" is tall and cute with great skin (hmm, maybe the producers should grab her, she sounds heaps better than the three we've been stuck with) but on the down side she's a bit young with boring photographs.

"I can see potential with Demelle, but in photograph it was forgettable. I don't remember," continues Ewok, before adding "HOW UGLY, GO AWAY YOU MINGER!"

Samantha confuses her agency interview for an episode of Whose Line is it Anyway and conducts her entire interview in questions: "I'm 20 years old? And I'm a university student? I'm studying business and commerce?" Confident and happy, she settles back and waits for the hoe-down challenge.

"I thought Sam's photos were beautiful - I love the way people re-touch her," says Ewok in what could be QUOTE OF THE SEASON.


Kwok say: Photoshop fix everything. Even eyebrows.


Sadly, a girl with bushy eyebrows and bags under her eyes that can only speak in questions isn't exactly what Ewok's after. He moves on to The Alex Building, and despite looking like a cross between Labyrinth David Bowie and the new, fifth Denim Wiggle, she manages to be the only model to impress the Ewok by looking "fashion".

After five minutes of thrilling television they all move down the street to a government nursing home, where Jodhello has promised all the pensioners a catwalk show. They're not all happy about it, particularly not this man who hasn't had a cup of tea since 8am and didn't get any jelly at the lunch service:


"WHERE'S MY JELLY?"


Whoops, sorry, they're actually at MC2 modelling agency and this man is the director. He's also called Pink, so I'm not sure which story he'd prefer I stick to, actually.

"We're looking for strong, confident, beautiful women between the ages of 16 to 22," says Pink, which coincidentally is the exact same manifesto of 95% of men on adultmatchmaker.com.au (if you replace the words "strong" and "confident" with "easy" and "alive").

He introduces us to requisite sleazy French dude Jean Luc, who craps on about how he discovered Christy Turlington and Elle Macpherson and "Sara Ho Hare".


This be Sara Ho Hair, a-ight? Fo' shiznit.


"I don't like ze eyes, zere are nearly no eyelids," snaps Jean Luc, adding yet another dot point to the ever growing list of scary facial attributes Alex has.

Alex is told she'll never make it, and Sam is declared a "catalogue model", which basically means she can go live in a remote outback community and farm dirt for all the fashion world cares, but that's nothing compared to the ruckus kicked up when it is revealed that Demelza has 36 inch hips.

"Zat 36 is going to haunt you," snarls Jean Luc, with what looks like a slight smile. He couldn't be more French if he was eating a beret sandwich on the back of a bicycle.

"36? She's 36?" says Pink in amazement.

"DID YOU SAY 36?" gasps the receptionist as a shocked mailman trips over a box of parcels in the hall and random admin staff start throwing themselves out of the window shouting "THIRTYYYY SIIIIIIIX!"


"OH NO, NOT 36!!".


"I think that she has to lose weight - A LOT of weight. She has horrible, horrible legs," says Pink, who obviously is an oil painting himself and so allowed to say these things.

TIMES SQUARE YELLOW TAXIS MORE TAXIS WOW EVEN MORE TAXIS JEEZ THERE ARE A LOT OF TAXIS IN NEW YORK AREN'T THERE BUSTLING STREETS.

Then it's off to Elite, which apparently takes only "the cream" of models. Hey, Demelza EATS a lot of cream, will that be ok?


Elite in a can.


They love Alex, think Samantha has a body from heaven and Demelza has "fleshy arms" but is "achingly beautiful", which probably explains why she's been such a pain in the arse this whole series.

In the end they decide the best solution is to create a hybrid model of Alex's personality, Sam's body and Demelza's face, which would apparently be a supermodel force to be reckoned with, so it's off to the lab they go, scalpels in hand!


Meanwhile, a hybrid model of Samantha's mouth, Demelza's eyes and Alex's nose would be deemed a national tragedy.


YELLOW TAXIS STREET SCENES COOL NEW YORK KIDS WITH STUDS IN THEIR FACES YELLOW TAXI.

"One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art," reads Sam from the next morning's Jodhi mail.

"MAYBE WE'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ARTY?" she guesses. She's smart, is our Sam.

YELLOW TAXIS BUSTLING STREETS BROADWAY SOHO TAXIS TAXIS FUCKING TAXIS.

The modelettes pack off to a gallery in Soho and, sensing an impending eviction, grab a hostage along the way:


"EVICT US AND THE GIRL GETS IT."


There they meet Jodhello and an "incredible designer" she pretends to be best friends with called Malan Breton (not MILAN, Jodhello, take note...) which you may know as THAT GUY OFF PROJECT RUNWAY WOT LOOKS LIKE EDDIE MUNSTER AND HAS A FUNNY LAUGH AND THAT.


This is what's known in the trade as a "cross promotion".


He announces he's going to be showing a retrospective of his work, which should be exciting given his label was launched all of four years ago, and immediately slaps a giant chicken on Demelza's head while asking her to "feel the outfit".


What was that Dawson said last week about looking like you've come out of a chook's bum?


Malan in a museum challenge in a nutshell:

  • Samantha slinks out in a slanty fedora and a silk shirt and manages to look like Bogart AND Bacall at the same time.



  • Alex has some high heel "issues", which results in her limping down the catwalk looking like a vampire with bunions.



  • Australia's most fashionable Skeletor impersonator Alice Burdeu makes an appearance, disses Alex, looks a vision of skeletal gorgeousness.



  • Malan opts not to call Demelza fat, instead labelling her "a real woman" which, given she's 16 and has 36 inch hips is a) laughable and b) ridiculous.



  • The theory that Alex actually HAS bunions gathers weight as she throws on a blue velour dressing gown and limps down the runway like nanna on her way to feed the cat.



  • Demelza gets to dress up as a chicken, a Christmas tree and a pear - oh no wait, that's just a green dress. I THOUGHT she was supposed to be a pear, you know, BECAUSE OF HER 36 INCH HIPS.


After the show Alice graces the scrags with her presence once again, this time to drop some sort of advice like "Don't forget to brush your teeth" or "You can often find spare change in between the couch cushions if you look hard enough" or something like that, and Jodhello sends them all off to bed in preparation for their "first proper international photo shoot" the next day. So... Fiji's a part of Australia now, is it? Goody, Jetstar should be flying there soon.

TAXIS TAXIS PRETZEL STAND STREET SIGN DO YOU THINK THEY GOT ALL OF THESE SHOTS IN ONE 15 MINUTE SHOOT YEP I THINK SO TOO TAXIS TAXIS HOT DOG STAND.

Nex thing you know they're in Napoleon Perdis' apartment, and no, it's not a dream. For some reason he's wearing a leather jacket with FREE TIBET emblazoned across the back and some horrific plastic track pants that were probably made in China. How very confusing. The top half says "I'm political and stylish, and I'm going to drink fair trade coffee while rocking out to Three Doors Down on my iPod" while the bottom half says "OI, I TOLD YOU NOT TO FUCK WIV MY GIRLFRIEND, MARIO - I'M GARN TO HANG AT KFC".

A big gay black stylist throws some clothes at them and they all prance about for a bit. Sam twirls around in a Balenciaga coat like she's recreating the opening sequence to the Mary Tyler Moore show, while Alex bitches about how she just "doesn't understand the Balenciaga woman" - not like you understood those high heels before, eh Alex?

"There's nothing that compares to wearing Gucci and Balenciaga and Lanvin," mews Demelza, who by the way is A 16 YEAR OLD SCHOOL STUDENT. Wear that stuff to PE, do you dear?

For the second year in a row Napoleon proves himself to be the human equivalent of truth serum by getting the girls to say outrageous things about each other by languidly waving the hint of a suggestion in their faces (not to mention a hint of lipstick). Forget the green pen, give Napoleon a blusher brush and he's a better interviewer than Kerry O'Brien.

NAPOLEON: "Do you think Sam is smart?"

DEMELZA: "Yeah..."

NAPOLEON: "Not as smart as Alex?"

DEMELZA: "Um... yes..."

NAPOLEON: "So you think Sam is a little bit more dumb?"

DEMELZA: "Sam still has confidence issues, I think..."

SAM: "NO I DON'T!"


Make-upped and haired, the girls hit the street and get to work. And after a few hours when they've raised enough money for the subway fare they ride to Chinatown for the photo shoot.

First proper international photo shoot in a nutshell:

  • Alex lopes out in an Abraham Lincoln hat and an off-the-shoulder frilly thing that looks like it may have been constructed using three-ply and Clag, and is still almost outshone by the BIG YELLOW TAXI she's forced to continously get in and out of. (Seriously, is the NYC taxi board a sponsor this week or something?)



  • Demelza's brief - leaning against a BIG YELLOW TAXI in a pair of be-pom-pommed platforms she's stolen from a passing muppet - proves too complex for her and she's taken off the job to swap outfits.



  • The question of which muppet Demelza may have stolen her shoes from is answered when Sam comes out looking like Sesame Street crossed with Bettina from 1970s Play School.



  • Sam is told to laugh and smile, and for the first time ever in a photo shoot, can't. Except when she's finished, and realises she did a bad job. Then she laughs. And smiles. And cries. Girl's got ISS-UES>


After the shoot the girls get a day to be tourists, which is about as exciting for the home viewer as it sounds. If you've ever looked through someone's happy snaps from their recent trip to New York, you've seen the next five minutes of television. To break it down for you:

SQUIRRELS MAN DRESSED UP AS STATUE OF LIBERTY SHOPS SHOPS SHOPS HOT DOGS HORSE AND CARRIAGE ROUND CENTRAL PARK TIMES SQUARE.

Clearly NYC cops haven't got much to do since 9-11, as one of them is waiting in Times Square to give the girls a Jodhi Mail. America's finest, don't you know. Sadly he doesn't hold out his badge and yell "FREEZE, MOTHER F*CKERS, ON THE GROUND!" first, but oh well.

Surprise, surprise, it's an elimination letter - next thing you know the girls are back in Sydney at the eliminaton warehouse, where there are no yellow taxis to speak of, hurrah!

"I have more of a chance of making it through than not making it through, based on how many girls there are," says Alex, who has obviously dropped the Kafka for Advanced Mathematics Vol 3.

"10 weeks ago 13 girls stood before me, but now there are three. Two of you will make it through, and only one of you will win, ee-i ee-i ee-i o," says Jodhello, who has just started Counting Fun with Old Macdonald.

Each of the three modelettes (that's two plus one) (or four take one, depending on what chapter you're up to) spouts off some crap about why they should be Australia's Next Top Model. Alex says she's independent and smart, Sam says she just wants it, and Demelza says she should win because she's done everything on her own. As opposed to all the other models who've had stand-ins up until now.

"At this stage of the competition I feel like I've already won. And that's why I should win," says Demelza. Hmm. I don't THINK that's how that "I feel like I've already won" phrase works, darling, want to try again?

Anyway, enough of this boring talkfest, let's on to the picture bitch:

  • Demelza's little face looks angry, angular and hard. In contrast, her shoes looks fluffy, pink and muppetlike!



  • Alex looks like Abraham Lincoln in drag trying to car jack a taxi driver. The judges call it "fashion" which, as we all know, means "stupid".



  • Sam is declared "easy to shoot" - especially when she wears those platform heels and she can't run away as fast.



  • The judges are torn on who to boot, so clearly the only way to decide who gets eliminated is to go by current outfits:




Nope, that's too hard as well. Although Alex is definitely a front runner.


Turns out Alex's 1982 stone wash denim mini skirt with triangle cut out hem and gigantic belt isn't enough to turn the judges off - she's the first one through to the final.

And so we're down to two: Demelza "36 inches" and Sam "Call me 'dark horse' one more f*cking time and I'll top you". Click clack goes the clipboard and the deed is done - it's goodbye and don't play it again, Sam. Well, that makes sense - she did have the best body in the competition.

Now don't cry too hard luvvies, but next week's wrap up will be late. Very late. In fact, I might not even get around to posting one at all. You see, I'm going to be hanging out with Dawson, Pezza, Porridge, Jodhello, scrags et al at the ANTM LIVE FINALE and will be too busy throwing back champers and canapes to get to a computer and write anything up. But I promise to give a full run down when I get back.

In the meantime, head over to Jo Blogs and check out her etchings.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: Episode Nine

Before we go any further into tonight's episode recap, I feel I must give you a warning: THIS IS POSSIBLY THE BEST EPISODE OF AUSTRALIA'S NEXT TOP MODEL EVER, mainly due to the extremely weird photo shoot. Merely reading about it may cause your head to explode with delight at its supreme greatness.

And furthermore: This episode contains footage that could possibly overtake the time that kangaroo attacked Marty Monster, the time that dog did a crap on Graham Kennedy's studio floor and the time Bert Newton almost got punched out by Mohammed Ali at the Logies as the most exciting thing ever broadcast on Australian television.


Just a reminder: It's better than THIS.


But more on that later. For now, we must content ourselves with the exciting opening to the show, which is... guess! Nah, go on, guess! THAT'S RIGHT, A FLASHBACK TO LAST WEEK'S ELIMINATION. Gosh, you're smart.

"It was strange being in the bottom two, I didn't really feel upset," says Caris.


Caris ISN'T upset for once. I'll just let that sink in for a moment.


"Now Alyse is gone I've lost a really great friend," says Demelza, clearly feeling the pain of Alyse's sudden departure.


Parting is such sweet... Well, it's just sweet, actually.


Anyway, let's away to the model mansion where Alex is answering the question "Whatever happened to 90s fashion?" in the form of a floral mini dress and a stonking great pair of black boots.

"EEZ A LEETLE BEET TOO LEZBIAN!" slurs Fernando over the back fence.

All the girls are huddled around Samantha's mobile phone - they've received a video message! Sadly, there's clearly congestion on the network, as it all sounds very slow and disjointed and... Oh.


"I've... got... some... very... important... news... for you..."


The very important news is, apparently, that three of the girls will be heading to "one of the world's top fashion destinations" by the end of the week. Given that last year's season promised the same thing and delivered L.A. I don't know if we can put much faith in this plan.


"Hey y'all, we're off to Mudville, USA - fashion capital of the redneck world!"


Suddenly in bursts Dawson in an outfit that makes her look like she's just come from the set of HOT MILK, an adult film in which she plays a Swiss cheesemaking peasant girl with a fondness for S&M. Oh, and Ian Thorpe, the fashion designer slash Olympian. Again.

They're there to teach four girls who have had every second of their lives videotaped and broadcast to the nation for the past nine weeks how to deal with the media. A phrase using the words "gate", "horse" and "bolted" springs to mind, but let's plough on anyway.

Thorpey tells the girls he's going to give them some tips on how to make sure their image "is always pristine". Because he's very good at that, isn't he? He and Dawson get the modelettes to walk down a fake red carpet (which runs along the mansion's private jetty but sadly doesn't end at the water) while they pretend to be journalists asking them questions. Journalists on crack, clearly, as the questions they ask all seem to be about carbon emissions, Tibet and child slavery - which as we ALL know are very common questions asked of models at red carpet events.


"LINDSAY, LINDSAY! What's the chemical symbol for lead?"


Journalists on crack on the red carpet challenge in a nutshell:

  • Thorpey asks Demelza how she plans to reduce her carbon footprint, which prompts the gold-coated, diamond encrusted response "If I can care about my emissions, then I'm sure I can make other people care."



This would be a good place to start, I think.


  • According to Dawson, Demelza is "on fire". Thankfully not literally - with all those emissions it could have gotten nasty.



  • Dawson asks Demelza her thoughts on Tibet, provoking a delightfully ambiguous monologue that secures Demelza's spot in next year's Miss Teen USA contest.



  • Thorpey takes an exceptionally long hit on his crack pipe and asks Caris something about prices on Wall St affecting the Australian fashion market. Tumbleweeds roll past as she stares blankly into the black hole of absurdity standing before her. In my world, this is what's known as AN ENTIRELY NORMAL RESPONSE, but Thorpey and Dawson still tut-tut her for her ignorance.



  • Dawson puts on her Celebrity Pimp hat and asks Caris if she'd sleep with Ian Thorpe, before demanding to know which famous person she has a crush on. "GEOFFREY RUSH, cos he's FAN-TASTIC!" slurs Caris. I dust off my I LOVE CARIS badge and superglue it back on to my shirt.



  • Samantha is disqualified for lying by starting her answers with "I think" - clearly an activity she hasn't indulged in for quite some time.



  • Despite doing a remarkable impression of John Lennon, Alex still can't come up with a solution for the Tibet crisis.



Imagine there are no models, it's easy if you try...


Next up, Dawson puts on a false moustache and glasses and fools everybody by announcing she's "Penny Penworth" from Models Monthly, a magazine that, going by the title, probably gets a lot of advertising dollars from U Tampons.

She and Thorpey interview the modelettes, asking some really subtle, tricky questions designed to catch the models out like "Who's the biggest bitch in the house?" and "Who's the fattest cow in the house?" and "Who's the biggest, fattest bitch-cow in the house?" Alex misses the iron-clad subtlety altogether and treats the interview like a therapy session, blahing on and on about how Demelza is immature/fat/bitchy/mean/whatever-at-least-she's-smart-enough-to-work-this-challenge-out-you-dipshit.

Penworth and Co throw a few glib lines about the media at the girls, before throwing some ACTUAL media at them (a rolled up copy of The Australian that sadly misses Demelza's head), and rush off to meet deadline at their place of employment, Crackpipe Weekly.

Back at the model mansion and DING! DING! It's fight night - Demelza has gotten an advance copy of Crackpipe Weekly and isn't happy about Alex's quotes.

"I didn't say you were the fattest," spouts Alex, with half her finger jammed up her nose. (SERIOUSLY girl, you're on television! Keep your nose mining sessions for after dark, would you?)

"I said you had the most work to do, because of your thighs, and I'm pretty sure everyone has the same opinion."

"Well I don't have a bad thing to say about YOU," says Demelza, quickly covering her face with her hands so no one can see her nose growing.

This argument goes on for about six hours longer than it should, given that Demelza is 16 and caring about who likes you and why takes up 90% of your time when you're 16, and Alex is 20 and reads KAFKAAAA and drinks dollar beers at uni in between philosophy lectures and so doesn't give a shit.

Demelza runs off crying, Alex writes her an apology note and I set my alarm to wake me up when the show gets interesting again.

Suddenly the modelettes are all rocking up at a ritzy hotel ("Oh my gosh it was like, so exciting because this is like, where I stay with my parents when we come to Sydney!" says Demelza, while the rest of the world pulls up their ugg boots and yells "SHAAARD-AAAARP!") where Pease Porridge grabs them and throws them, one by one, into a room full of REAL JOURNALISTS who are going to ask them REAL QUESTIONS. LUCKY THEY HAD THAT MEDIA TRAINING, EH.

In a nutshell:

  • "I was excited, I wanted to see what could be written about me and how they would twist my words around," says Caris. As it turns out, the journos want to know too, as interviewing Caris is rather like talking to a stale piece of bread about the stock market.



  • The fickle nature of the media is revealed when Shane Sutton is introduced as the editor in chief of FAMOUS magazine. He's not famous anymore, loves.



  • With Penny Penworth's harsh "How not to be quoted" lesson still in the forefront of her mind, Alex decides not to risk displaying a sense of humour and dodges every question with tight-lipped answers dipped in dull and coated in boring that would make any politician proud.



  • Strangely enough, Samantha's low IQ proves an advantage when being interviewed by gossip columnists. Go figure.



  • Bobby Brady also turns up - clearly he has a cadetship at Crackpipe Weekly.



MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA!


  • Demelza changes her media image from "bully" to "victim" by revealing how she was bullied once at school and made to "leave a group". She neglects to tell the reporters it was the "Nice, decent teenagers who don't pour water over other people's heads" group.



Anyone else think this?


Due to her ability to smile and talk at the same time, Samantha wins the challenge, and gets to go with Demelza to the launch party for a new sneaker. Or the opening of an envelope, I can't remember which. When they get there Alex and Caris are already there, dressed up as Laverne and Shirley and handing out sushi. This Hunter S Thompson style freak out continues when the girls all troop along to a radio station to be interviewed by two "comedians" and a former soapie star. We can't stop here, this is bat country, so let's move on to our next location, Sydney Prop Specialists, where Caris is OH MY FLOCKING GAD:


Could this be any worse?


The modelettes are all there for a special photo shoot with their photographer, famous American comedian Steve Martin.


OKLA-HOMA OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA!*


Pease Porridge looms into shoot to inform the girls they'll be wearing "HORT KA-CHOOR" this week - the snob in me thinks he probably means haute couture. But then he says the outfits have been designed by Ultimo TAFE students, so actually, he probably DID mean hort ka-choor.

Seems old Stevey Martin has learned a lot about photography from his Hollywood days, as he conducts his shoots like an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway. This results in what is quite possibly THE BEST ANTM PHOTO SHOOT EVER.

Best ANTM photo shoot ever in a nutshell:

  • In a cross between a Ukranian folk dancing outfit and viking war armour, Demelza looks like she should be called Broomhilda and be strapped to the front of a ship somewhere. Instead, Steve gets her to pretend she's catching fairies. "What, with my hands?" she asks. Gold.



  • Steve decides Demelza looks too beautiful looking just a BIT stupid (damn that saucy sea wench) and so makes her look RATHER stupid by getting her to "conduct a mini orchestra", complete with sound effects. Then he gets her to look COMPLETELY stupid by getting her to stamp her feet and scream pathetically. In hindsight, he should have waited until after the shoot, when she stamps her feet and cries pathetically. Practically the same thing.




Did I ask if it could get any worse? The answer is yes. Yes, it could.


  • Sam dresses up as a half-skinned ostrich and shows everyone her chicken fillets. Foul. "I want you to feel like you're escaping!" sleazes Steve - clearly Sam's boobs already got that memo.



  • Not content to have Sam pretend to be a half skinned bird on a breakout, Steve has Sam to pretend to be a half skinned bird with artistic ambition - "painting a picture" and "playing air guitar". She expresses concern that the faces she has to pull make her look stupid.



Unlike the ones she pulls normally, which make her look intelligent and distinguished.


  • Then suddenly in wanders Helena Bonham Carter, who has obviously been attached by a band of glitter carrying ruffians on the way to a toga party... Oh no wait, it's Caris. Looking good, Caris.



  • Caris does a great impression of an after school special by imitating an ice addict trying to remove imaginary insects from her hair, followed by a Mardi Gras raver with a severe hangover. Backstage, 16 year old Demelza gasps "I am NEVER doing drugs."



  • Alex comes out looking something like MY NIGHTMARES. Apparently these costumes are somehow related to different countries - fuck knows what demented corner of the earth this thing comes from. Possibly an Austrian basement.



SEND IT BACK FROM WHENCE IT CAME!


  • Steve gets Alex to pretend to be a lion tamer but actually it's her boobs that need the taming - they've taken lessons from Sam's chicken fillets and are threatening to fly out at any minute. Looking at the outfit they're encased in I don't necessarily blame them.



  • And then, the best bit of the best ANTM photo shoot ever: Steve gets Alex to pretend to shoo away flies. While hopping on one leg. And blowing. (Seany B bounds onto set going "I'M FREE!") It is truly a masterpiece of theatre, and it looks a bit like this:


    So glamorous.


    "Keep that going, that's hot!" enthuses Steve Martin, while the rest of the crew excuse themselves to go die of laughter somewhere else.


After all this hilarity there's only one thing left to do - make mincemeat of some models in the elimination warehouse. Looks like it's another fancy dress event, as Alex has come in her 1984 Toowoomba primary school teacher outfit again (she OBVIOUSLY thinks these pants are incredibly hip - can SOMEONE please tell her they're THE WORST PANTS EVER CREATED? PLEASE?!!), Samantha has come as 1970s car wash Barbie, Caris has borrowed someone else's body that she found at the morgue and Demelza has come as a schoolgirl from a Japanese porn film.


Like Charlie's Angels, but crappier.


Faced with this group fashion abortion, the judges thoughtfully make everyone strip off into bikinis and parade around a bit until they're cold. Samantha looks wild, Demelza looks wobbly, Caris looks white and Alex looks weird.

And onto the picture bitch:

  • Dawson applauds Samantha for not looking like her head is coming out of a chicken's arse. I'm pretty sure I could achieve that too - maybe I should become a top model.



  • Dawson describes Demelza as looking like Joan of Arc, which probably explains why she was "on fire" in that earlier challenge.



  • Caris looks like a ventriloquist's dummy that's been hung up in the wardrobe for too long, and still looks beautiful. AND she has braces.



  • The judges describe Alex as having a "blank canvas face", looking like "a gargoyle" and "not being exceptionally beautiful", and still end up liking her more than Demelza. Interesting, that.


Jodhello blah blah blahs with the clipboard a bit, calls out a few names, starts a sentence, I go and get myself a cup of tea, make some toast, spit roast a pig, paint the spare room, knit myself a trendy winter scarfe and come back, Jodhello finishes her sentence, and then we're down to TWO MODELETTES: Alex and Caris.

"Unfortunately there's only one seat left on the plane," says Jodhello.

Er, so what? Alyce isn't here anymore and Demelza's already in - one seat between two models isn't exactly advanced mathematics, is it? Nevertheless a decision has to be made, and this time it's Caris, which totally makes sense as all the judges were saying how she never takes a bad photo and she's completely gorgeous.

And as she stumbles off into the sunset, we can hear the strains of the Caris anthem gradually fading out: "I feel like I put so much effort in this week, and I don't think I could have put in any more, and I'm disappointed that my best effort isn't enough..."

SING ALONG EVERYBODY! And then head over to Jo Blogs. Why? BECAUSE I SAID SO.

*Anyone who gets this reference is allowed to be my best friend.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: Episode Eight

Just for something different, this week's episode starts with a flashback to last week's elimination. All the way back seven days. Back when the models were younger, prettier, and a little less world-weary. And shorter, apparently - is it any wonder Alyce has been in the bottom two already with stature like this?


Yo shawty, it's yer birthday...


Someone give the girl an award - she's possibly the only person in the world who could act her height instead of her age and come off younger.

But as we all know it wasn't Alyce the Madonna look alike who left us last week (tell me you see it too), it was our very own Beyonce wannabe, Reblacka. As Alyce explains:

"I was really shocked, really overwhelmed, really happy. Heaps."

Indeed.

Moving on to the first Jodhi mail of the week, which this time around has come in a box. No, really. I know, I could hardly contain my excitement either.

"I didn't want to open it, in case some kind of creature came out," yelps Caris, who obviously sees much more potential in the box than I do.

Clearly the producers have blown what little budget they had on that pointless trip to Fiji, as it turns out the contents of the box are far less exciting than even I could have imagined - a bunch of T shirts with words on them.


Not these words, though.


The Jodhi mail invites the girls to put them on and stand in a row to form a sentence, an activity that will no doubt be highly intellectually taxing given that there are only five girls left and thus, only five words to arrange. Caris proves her superior intelligence by only taking five minutes to work out that the words KNOW FASHION TO YOUR PREPARE can be rearranged to spell THIS IS A BASIC PUZZLE YOU MORON, DON'T GET EXCITED ABOUT SOLVING IT.

All of this is leading up to some sort of challenge (as if that one wasn't enough) in which the girls will have to show whether they know their "fringe" from their "high fashion". This should prove extra challenging for Caris, who hasn't been able to understand her fringe since the series began:


GET THE GIRL A GHD FOR GOD'S SAKE.


Suddenly Jodhello's feet appear on the stairs, closely followed by the rest of her (pity that - it would have given me no end of joy to hear the modelettes screaming at the sight of a pair of disembodied feet stalking down the staircase) and some bloke called Fernando, which means I get to make ABBA jokes for at least three paragraphs. Mamma Mia!

Apparently Fernando is an "all round guru" when it comes to fashion, which you can tell by the way he's dressed in a baggy Target T shirt and a vest he borrowed from the concierge on the way in. But let's face it, the girls have been sending out a fashion SOS ever since this show started so it was only a matter of time before the ANTM producers would get some money money money together and ring ring in an expert to clean them up. But has Fernando met his Waterloo in this motley crew?

(Thank you.)

"Whose iz ziss? VAT iz ziss?" snarls Fernando, holding up what looks like your nanna's shower curtain but is actually one of Demelza's dresses.

"And vat are zeez? Vy iz zey yours?" he spits, dangling a pair of high heels straight from the back of your crazy aunty's spare room wardrobe in Demelza's face.

The verdict is clear, according to Fernando - Demelza's mother has been stocking her wardrobe for her. Exhibits A and B would certainly seem to suggest that. Time to get the girl down to Supre and get her into some tight jeand and a GOOD GIRLS GO TO HEAVEN - BAD GIRLS GO DOWNUNDER T shirt. (You think I'm joking, don't you?)

Suddenly - a fashion challenge. A FERNANDO FASHION CHALLENGE. AND THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL!

(Thank you.)

This is best summed up in Fernando Quotes, or "Quotandos" as I like to call them. Apart from this pearler about Alex...

"I think the shoes iz a leeetle beet too lezbian. Choo know, choo need to be able to mix it up."


...all of the best Quotandos are about Caris who, it is agreed, has about as much fashion sense as Britney Spears on a Doritos and coke binge.

"Ohhh, Caris needs seriooos, seriooos mak-over. She doz-a NAT a have-a style."

"Ze bag iz wrowng. Ze singlet iz wrowng. Ze glasses iz wrowng. Absolutely everyfing iz wrowng."

"Her cloz zat she wears iz OFFAL. She has absolutely no style whatsoever."


After all this verbal abuse, he puts a different shirt on her, swaps her handbag and calls her Christmas, which is a damn sight more than he does for Jodhello, who appears to be wearing a dusty, second hand 1960s print from the garage sale up the road.


I'll give you 50c for it.


With all of five minutes intense fashion training under their size XS belts, the modelettes are packed off to the Vogue offices to meet Baroness Von Scaryface, otherwise known as Kirstie Clements, to prove how much they know about the industry.

Hmm. Somehow the following images come to mind:





I don't know why.


Put those images on a couple of T shirts and see if the models can work it out.

"I didn't even know you could just like, GO to Vogue," enthuses Caris, who obviously previously thought Vogue was produced by aliens in the outer reaches of the galaxy. Er, not so far wrong there, actually...

Pease Porridge meets them at the gate and beams them up to the mothership, where Captain Clements is holding court on the stardeck. Her office is doing a very good impression of Meryl Streep's office in The Devil Wears Prada, with various LV encrusted bags and PRADA shirts strewn around like so much confetti. What do you mean that film was just fiction? We ALL know that's how fashion editors work - stubbing their cigarettes out in stray Manolo Blahniks and wiping sushi from the corners of their mouths with last season's Versace shirts. AND DON'T TRY TO TELL US OTHERWISE.

"I'd like to know what you think high end fashion is," she snips.

The girls react as though she's just asked them all to explain the process of nuclear fission. If their faces could be explained in one, single picture, it would be this one:


Sam valiantly has a stab at it by burbling "Um, um um um, is it more a sort of couture kind of thing? Am I completely off? Ok I'm completely um.. um..." which, not surprisingly, doesn't have Clements bouncing off the walls with delight.

The Captain then tells them all that "high fashion" is the work of the best and most original minds in the business, which is quite different from MY definition - fashion that only makes sense if YOU are high:


Woah man, how do they get her hat to stay on like that>


She asks them to name their favourite designers - Alex namedrops about 10 while Demelza spews "GUCCI!", not realising that Gucci isn't actually a person (or at least, hasn't been for about 50 years).

On to the third question of the sudden death fashion quiz, which is to state what Vogue means in the world of fashion.

"Forefront?" ventures Alex, who is so nervous she's forgotten to include a verb and subject in her hastily constructed sentence of one word.

She then gears up a notch and throws out a few more words like "health", "beauty", "hot" and "cool" and somehow ends up impressing both Pease and Captain Clements, who appears to have gotten in her Tardis and relocated to inside Cirque Du Soleil's costume wardrobe.


So magical.


With that thrilling segment over, we head off to some company called Krites (the only reason I know this is because I received a press release last week screaming "KRITES IS ON TOP MODEL, DON'T MISS IT!" as if that was the most interesting part of the show)(although to be honest, at this point, they're actually a front runner) where Pease Porridge greets them in a natty referee's outfit. Ooh Pease, you've been playing dress ups again!

Also present are Captain Clements of the Vogueship Enterprise, Fernando Waterloo and Kate Waterhouse who apparently now identifies herself as David Jones' "racewear ambassador". No, seriously, that's her job title. I wonder if Australia's racewear ambassador could be employed in our peacekeeping missions in Iraq?


The perfect thing for those fine fillies of the armed forces. Comes with optional matching handbag.


And with a sudden and mysterious "I'm giving you four minutes on my whistle!" from Pease, we're off and running in tonight's next stupid challenge - showing how quickly you can get dressed for hypothetical B list events.

In a nutshell:

  • Caris hears "dress for the opening of a funky new bar" as "dress as an extra from Schindler's List". Or possibly "dress as though you are going to paint your house". Or maybe even "dress like you're being punished by fashion".



Whoever created this dress should resign immediately and become Amish.


  • Alyce dresses up as an Oscar, possibly for "Most Unflattering Outfit". Honestly, there are guys out there actually CALLED Oscar who would look better in this gold chainmail monstrosity.



  • Baroness Von Voguenberg points out Alyce's rather unsubtle weight gain, prompting Pease to bark "ALYCE NO LONGER MAKES CLOTHES LOOK GOOD!" Put THAT on a T shirt, why don't you.



  • Alyce hears "dress for the races" as "dress for a night at the opera as Tim Burton's drag queen half brother" and, unsurprisingly, doesn't impress the racewear ambassador. Or Von Voguenberg, who almost requires paramedic assistance at the sight of a pair of pants. ON RACE DAY. Pants. At the races. I mean, what the HELL, DUDE? What year is this, 2008?



  • QUOTANDO TIME: "For me everyone at the races failed, really. I didn't know that no one rilly won, but Demelza was the less bad one." You said it, meester.



  • The modelettes waste three more minutes of my precious time by running around a room hanging various outfits up on racks underneath names of... God, just typing that sentence bores me.



  • Pease declares Sam the "dumbest of them all" when she fails to correctly identify a bunch of models on magazine covers. Funny, in my world that's called COMPLETELY NORMAL.


Mirror, mirror on the wall...


Due to her ability to put on a dress without looking like a complete fuckwit, Demelza wins the challenge and ropes Alyce into the highly dubious prize of a weekend on a $5 million boat with Wayne Cooper.

"I don't look up to Wayne Cooper, and I've never bought something of his, but it's the winning versing losing thing for me," mews Alex. We're not quite sure what loss she's referring to - losing the fashion challenge to Demelza, or losing her command of the English language.

"I was given nothing to work with. I CAN'T EXCEL WHEN I'VE BEEN GIVEN BULLSHIT!" she cries.


Which is probably how this woman feels too.


The winning couple get on another Virgin Blue advertisement to the Gold Coast to meet Wayne Cooper (this is not him), who turns up to meet them in his mid life crisis fancy blue sports car. For the billionth time this series Alyce once again displays her tragic suck-up-to-eanyone-even-vaguely-famous reflex and nearly breaks down in hysterics when she sees him. It's about this time that I realise Alyce strongly resembles Demelza's half retarded little sister.


"Hi Wayne, this is my sister Alyce, she's 'special'."
"Ar-HUH HUH HUH!"


And so begins the creepiest segment of the episode, in which an ageing cockney fashion designer zooms aways with two teenage girls in the back of his sports car with plans to wine and dine them on his boat. Did NO ONE at Foxtel headquarters think this might come across, I dunno, A TOUCH INAPPROPRIATE?

Oh wait, now that I think about it...


Isn't Kristy Hinze hosting Australian Project Runway over on Arena? I guess it's ok then.


"I've never been on anything like that in my life!" blathers Demelza. We hope she's talking about the boat.

The next five minutes of my life are wasted watching Wayne Cooper apples-and-pearsing and frog-and-toading it up for the cameras, while Alyce and Demelza try to be his new best friends by making jokes he doesn't listen to and starting conversations he's not interested in. The highlight comes when they go back to their penthouse apartment on the 66th floor, and Demelza discovers what it's like to actually BE above everyone else, instead of just believing she is.

"The view was to DIE for," enthuses Demelza as she hangs out a window. For a second I think we may actually get to see some real high fashion as she plummets 66 floors down, but alas, she keeps her balance and runs back inside for the obligatory "we're crazy young girls living crazy young lives" jumping on the bed routine with Alyce. Oh well.

Cue tedious makeover montage, from which Demelza emerges as a 40 year old Vegas showgirl:


"I used to smoke Lucky Strike..."


Not to be outdone, Alyce decides on "serious head injury victim" as her persona for the night, and starts with randomly identifying parts of the hotel room.

"There's a TABLE, with lots of CHAIRS..." she says, while Demelza pats her head and says "Good girl, good girl," and wonders when her carers are coming to pick her up.

They go to some boring red carpet event, embarrass themselves at some boring dinner thing, and then it's off to some beach with the rest of the modelettes for some boring photo shoot. Yawn. Is this episode over yet?

Of course not! It's not over until Pease wears a pair of stupid sungla... oh wait.


Is it just me, or does the girl on the left look embarrassed to be seen with these two?


Hmm, it seems this stupid sunglasses disease is spreading - Pease has already claimed the girl on the right as his first victim. Fortunately it hasn't gotten to any of our models ye... OH NO!


Spot the difference.


Anyhoo, this is a shoot for some magazine called Cod or Prawn or Whitebait or something, which I assume is some sort of specialist sport fishing newsletter in which the girls will have to demonstrate the latest sinkers, lures and rods.

As it turns out, it's Oyster magazine, which has nothing to do with fishing OR eating fish, which is doubly disappointing. I'm not sure how much it actually has to do with fashion either, to be honest, judging by the outfits the modelettes have to wear and the resulting photos we see at the end of the show. But anyway, charging ahead...

Oyster photo shoot in a nutshell oystershell:

  • Pease praises Alex for her new "serene" look, which is exactly the same as her "angry" look, but with gauze over the camera lens.



  • Demelza is made to wear a yellow singlet, white ruffled skirt and tennis shoes and is forced to lie on the ground and only move her chin, which makes her look rather like a promotional mascot for a chicken shop that's been run over on a street corner. Somehow, this is fashion.



  • Caris wears a dress that has more facial expressions than she does:



IT HAS A FACE, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.


  • Sam does really well and stuff and is therefore boring.



  • Alyce teams a tiara with brogues and no underwear, and goes rock climbing. Somehow, this is fashion too.



  • Demelza asks Sam for advice on how to look more mean in her photos. Later, she looks up "irony" in the dictionary and finds a picture of herself.


Pease hands over $100 to each of the modelettes and sends them off ON YET ANOTHER FUCKING CHALLENGE. ARGH. How about each of US sends YOU $100, Pease, and we cut back on the god damn challenges? Don't these girls have any motivation to do anything on their own, without a script, EVER?

Anyhoo, this time, they must each buy an outfit for elimination that demonstrates "fringe" or "high fashion". Does anyone remember learning what "fringe fashion" actually was? No, I didn't think so. If I were them I'd buy this:


Well it's got fringes ON it.


Or something like this, and claim to be a Fringe performer:


SHE CAN TWIRL FIRE TOO. They can ALWAYS twirl fire.


Anyway, let's just thank the lord for small mercies and be happy that the editors chose not to include any footage of the girls ACTUALLY shopping, because LORD KNOWS how riveting that would have been ("See, I bought this pair of shoes in black, but Demelza bought them in maroon, and...")

So, how far does $100 go in the world of fashion these days? Not very far, as it turns out.


At least Samantha looks unhappy about it.


Alyce looks like a petri dish from a 1968 fashion experiment crossing paisley with LSD, Demelza looks like she was all set to run off on a camping trip before she forgot she actually had to go and work at the rodeo that day and got half changed to suit, while Alex and Caris look like they've stepped straight off the pages of WHOLESOME TEENAGER MONTHLY 1988. Samantha just looks unhappy, and so she should.

Onto the picture bitch:

  • Alex looks at her photo and says "I like it, but you can't really see my face." BECAUSE is the word you're looking for dear, BECAUSE you can't see my face.



  • Oyster girl says Alyce's photo shoot was more like an FHM shoot than a high fashion one. Maybe give her a bra next time, then.



  • Caris and her dress pull exactly the same face, freak out everyone within a five km radius.



  • Oyster girl says Demelza's body shape is weird, but neglects to mention how. Third leg? Webbed feet? Scales? COME ON, WE KNOW SHE'S AN ALIEN, JUST ADMIT IT.



  • Sam expresses concern that her vaguely ethnic looking hair, skin and eyes might hold her back from winning the competition, to which Dawson spouts off a whoile lot of crap about Naomi Campbell. Quelle the fuck? I must have missed the episode when Sam became a black woman.


And suddenly it's that time again: "The name of the girl I don't call out must leave the competition immediately," barks Jodhello. So... she has to give up her name? But SHE can stay, right? Or... hang on, this is all too confusing.

Let's just move right along to our final two, who this week is Always In The Bottom Two Alyce, and Can't Believe I've Lasted This Long Caris. Blah blah blah, clipboard clipboard clipboard, and it's Buh-Bye to our little starstruck, pyjama wearing donut muncher, Alyce. Everyone struggles to look upset, particularly Demelza who is already applying Sam's techniques on how to look more mean. For the first time ever, Caris doesn't cry. Although she might when she gets back to the mansion and sees the tasteful note Alyce has left on the wall:


So I guess a career in journalism isn't out of the question?


Now, get on over to Jo Blogs while the margaritas are still cold.