RuPaul's Drag Race season 9 recaps

The shadiest Drag Race recaps on the web. Get ready to death drop, queens!

The Bachelorette Australia recaps

One woman, 14 desperate men, mucho LOLs. Oh, and Osher Gunsberg.

The Bachelor Australia recaps

Sequins, spray tans and sex - it's season 3 of the world's stupidest dating show.

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8 recaps

YASS, HUNTIES! Every episode of season eight recapped for your reading pleasure. Let's get sickening!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Property Ladder's Sarah Beeny a hero on the home front

Television has plenty of heroes: Bear Grylls can scale cliffs, divine water and turn anything that moves into dinner; Gil Grissom always gets the bad guy on CSI; and Doctor Who has been saving the universe every year since 1963 (not to mention Kerry O'Brien, who's basically been doing the same thing since he became a cadet in 1966.)

But these guys have got nothing on my favourite TV hero – Property Ladder host Sarah Beeny.

How many people look this good after reguttering a roof?

For the uninitiated, Property Ladder is an English real estate show which follows the exploits of would-be developers from property purchase to re-sale, documenting all their expensive renovation disasters along the way.

Every episode starts with a bright eyed young couple gloating over the “bargain” turn of the century townhouse they've just bought in Upper Snotnose or somewhere, and how they're going to landscape the garden, install a brand new designer kitchen for $25 and convert the loft into a home theatre to sell the place off again for three times the purchase price.

Inevitably they discover the floor is about three hours away from collapsing, the walls are being held together with sticky tape and the electrics haven't been looked at since Benjamin Franklin flew his kite, and we get to watch them suffer a nervous breakdown as they spend 18 hours a day digging things up and bashing things down while their budget grows bigger than Laurie Oakes' boxers.

"In hindsight guys, this place wasn't such a great investment."

Every episode concludes with three real estate agents parading through the finished house declaring how much they could sell it for, frequently with disastrous results for the developers who usually come nowhere near to making the profit they were hoping for.

All of this makes for great viewing, but it's Beeny that makes Property Ladder truly unmissable.

She may look like any other TV host – pretty, charming and blonde – but don't be fooled. A professional property developer of 14 years, Beeny is an expert in everything to do with home buying, renovation and selling.

As my own plans for home renovation have hit something of a brick wall recently (and I have no idea whether that's a load-bearing brick wall or one I can knock down), I consider Sarah Beeny to be something of a superhero.

She can single handedly rewire a house, refit the plumbing and plaster a ceiling, all of which she frequently does on the show while in various states of pregnancy (watch a few episodes, you'll see what I mean – judging by the footage I've seen I assume she has at least 27 children).

And she can certainly navigate her way around a hardware shop, something that usually sends me into fits of anxiety where I end up cowering in the only part of the store I understand – the sausage sizzle out the front.

Beeny knows her stuff. She's like a property developing ninja.

So when she tells you to put in a second bathroom to maximise resale value, YOU PUT IN A SECOND BATHROOM. When Sarah Beeny tells you buyers in your area want three bedrooms, PLAN FOR THREE BEDROOMS. And above all, when Sarah Beeny advises you to replace the plastic window frames in the living room with sash windows, you sure as hell better buy those sash windows.

Of course the best part is most people on Property Ladder don't listen to Sarah Beeny, because they're morons and don't realise what amazing superhuman abilities she has. People on Property Ladder usually spend the entire episode doing mental things like moving heritage fireplaces, installing giant aquariums in ceilings and putting coloured neon lights in the bathtub (yes, one person actually did this), while Beeny pleads with them not to put the toilet in the middle of the kitchen or something equally ludicrous. Which makes the whole thing even more fun to watch.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy a sash window.

This article was first published in the Adelaide Sunday Mail's TV Guide on December 19, 2010.

Monday, December 13, 2010

If you don't like Two and a Half Men, you're a lesbian

I wrote the below column for the Sunday Mail TV Guide a few weeks ago, and in doing so learned a very important lesson:

Don't piss off Two and a Half Men fans.

I received about 30 emails in response to the column from readers who accused me of lacking a sense of humour and basically being a joyless old biddy who probably has no friends - all obvious conclusions to draw about someone who doesn't like a sitcom starring Charlie Sheen.

They were also adamant about two other things - that if I didn't like the brand of dull, misogynistic humour employed by Two and a Half Men I must be either

A) A lesbian, or

B) Unmarried

"...that prevent them from enjoying the comedy stylings of Chuck Lorre!"

Technically being in a state of A prevents B anyway, but I don't expect TAAHM fans to be capable of social algebra.

I'm actually not a lesbian, which is probably why I wasn't aware that the show was off limits to gay people. Is the wider homosexual community aware of this? Channel 9 should really screen a warning notice before every episode, to give any gay people who are accidentally tuned in a chance to change channels, lest the Homosexual TV Police come over and arrest them.

At any rate, here's my column:


Ever since Charlie Sheen had an “allergic reaction to medication” at The Plaza hotel in New York, US ratings for his show Two and a Half Men have gone through the roof.

Perhaps this is due to allergy sufferers across America rallying to support their new hero in his time of need. I'd like to think it's because 70 per cent of America has also suffered an allergic reaction to medication, which would explain why so many of them seem to think Two and a Half Men is entertaining.

It seems nothing can harm this curiously unfunny sitcom, which has ranked in America's top 20 shows every year since it started in 2003 and which has won five Emmys.

But you can't just blame it on dumb Americans – the show is so popular here it's on about 100 times a week. I'm not actually joking about this – by the time you read this on Sunday morning, Two and a Half Men will have screened 93 times across various Australian channels. On Tuesday alone it was on 19 times. NINETEEN TIMES. By my maths that's 47 and a half men per day.

Do some more quick maths and you'll discover Two and a Half Men is on for approximately NINE AND A HALF HOURS A DAY. That's 66 hours - or two and a half full days – every week. Do we REALLY need this much Charlie Sheen in our lives?

Looking at the show's ratings, it seems we do. People seem to genuinely LIKE this crap. This perplexes me, as I find Two and a Half Men about as funny as being stabbed repeatedly in the face with a bread knife.

For those fortunate enough to have avoided this televisual abomination for the last seven years (firstly, congratulations) the show revolves around a bachelor called Charlie whose hedonistic life is thrown into turmoil when his uptight brother Alan comes to stay with his young son Jake. I know it's hard to believe such a mind-blowingly original comedic concept could fail, and yet it does.

The script reads like it's been written by a software program, with characters shallower than a wading pool and jokes more obvious than Shaquille O'Neal at a midget convention.

Most of the jokes are also boringly misogynist – a chief part of the comedy revolves around “ladies man” Charlie having lots of one night stands with plastic-looking women with large boobs and small clothes. We're supposed to believe he is irresistable to women, despite the fact that he is a “jingle writer” who wears the same daggy shirt and shorts combo every day.

I've tried to like Two and a Half Men. I really have. Last Monday I taped three episodes and forced myself to watch them in the interests of writing a fair and balanced column about why I completely and utterly hate it with every fibre of my being. I didn't laugh once. (Actually I did have one giggle, but that was at that BankWest ad with the Asian sunflower talking about George Clooney, so it doesn't count.)

I know I'll get hate mail about this but I don't care - 66 hours a week of ANYTHING is too much, let alone 66 hours of bad jokes about boobs and belching. We have days for everything else – world wetlands day, salt awareness day, wound awareness day. Why not a No Men Day, when all the TV channels agree not to screen any Charlie Sheen related material for 24 hours? They could fill the scheduling gap with more entertaining material, like Parliamentary Question Time or footage of paint drying.

It's time for Two and a Half Men to go. And if you're one of the millions who apparently like it, can't you just spare us all and buy the DVDs? By my maths there's at least 9000 hours for you to watch.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Australia welcomes digital TV channels with stupid names

When Aussie TV networks started launching their new digital channels, it was clear they weren't quite sure what to call them. So they just bunged a “2” on the end: ABC2, SBS2, 7Two. It was a second channel, it made sense. Ditto for ABC3 and SBS3. Logical, sensible channel names.

Then Nine launched GO!, which despite being named after the cult 90s Katie Holmes film (right down to the redundant exclamation mark) had nothing to do with raves or ecstasy use. Probably for the best, that. Still, it made sense as a channel name – it was youthful, dynamic, punchy. OK, I'll pay that – and at least they didn't call it “OMG” or “LOL”.

And this one only tested well with seals.

But now it seems the networks have just given up. Just take a look at the names of our latest two digital channels – 7mate and Gem.

7mate? What the hell is that? Did they get the work experience kid to come up with that one? Call me cynical, but I reckon the planning meeting behind naming Seven's new channel went something like this:

Exec 1: We're just three months away from launching this thing, what the hell are we going to call it?

Exec 2: OK, let's think about this. This channel's going to be for men, right? So what do men like?

Exec 1: Beer?

Exec 2: That's good, that's good. But 7beer doesn't really work. And it might contravene alcohol advertising regulations.

Exec 1: Boobs? Could we call it 7boobs?

Exec 2: What about “7mate”? “Mate” sounds blokey, right?

Exec 1: ... I still like 7boobs.

When it comes to cool factor, “7mate” is the television equivalent of “iSnack 2.0”.

To be fair, I'm not the target audience for this new channel. Actually, looking at the program schedule – which features repeats of Scrubs, That 70s Show, Family Guy, American Dad, Punk'd and My Name is Earl – it's clear the target audience is “anyone who has managed to avoid television for the last 10 years and might think this crap is new”. (Although I do have to give 7mate points for screening Jersey Shore, the most important sociological experiment involving fake tan and hair gel ever conducted.)

As a 30 year old woman and “grocery buyer” however, I AM the target for Nine's new channel “Gem”. (Yes, apparently it's important that Gem watchers buy groceries, as opposed to growing all their food in a backyard farm operation.)

Apparently “Gem” is supposed to stand for “general entertainment and movies” which, if you cast your mind back, is what all TV channels used to screen back in the good old days. Remember that? When TV used to be generally entertaining? But Gem's not so general – you won't catch many men or kids tuning in for repeats of McLeod's Daughters, Friends and Random Acts of Kindness, unless they've accidentally done so while trying to get the set top box to pick up 7mate.

The channel is obviously aimed squarely at women – but while “Gem” is not as bad a name as “7mate”, it's certainly up there in the uncool stakes. What, couldn't they have come up with a more generically girly name for their new female channel? Were “Lipstick” and “Hair Straightener” already taken?

Sadly though, neither 7mate or Gem will ever make it into my living room, because the Foxtel I've just paid to have installed declines to screen either channel through its system. Which means instead of watching repeats of Friends and Scrubs for free, I'm actually paying $70 a month for them.

On second thoughts, they're not looking so uncool.

This article was first published in the Adelaide Sunday Mail's TV Guide on October 10, 2010.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: THE LAST WORD

I've always found the best way to get your head around a tricky situation is to walk away from it and get to a Cypress Hill concert as soon as possible, which is what I did after tonight's EPIC ANTM finale fail.

And there, amid the swirling bong smoke, the matter became a lot clearer. Clearer than it was in my living room, at least, which at the exact time the Shiralee was staring into space thinking "Oh f---" was playing host to an overly excited Maltese Terrier and approximately 57 guests who had just turned up to say hello.

Consequently I think this video (via @clembastow) really sums it up better than I probably did at 9pm:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: FINALE!

Soyyyy I've got my Alex Pezza frock on, my extra shiny sunglasses surgically attached to my head, and my glass of Mo-eee in hand... I am SOY ready for the Australia's Next Top Model Finale. GAME ON, MOLLS!


1. Whenever anyone says "amazing" - DRINK. I don't care what, just do it.

2. If anyone gets a nose bleed - DRINK.

3. Whenever anyone says "expensive" - DRINK. Double points if someone other than Pezza says it.

4. Whenever anyone says "OH MOY GOURD" - DRINK.

5. Stay on this page and hit refresh on your browser every 60 seconds or so (or F5 on your keyboard, if you want to be really techy) - you'll see an update from me on this very blog post as soon as something funny happens.

This will be you by the end of the show.

The fun starts 7pm ACST... STAY TUNED!


7.00pm: So apparently it's been 77 days since the start of this competition. Seventy seven effing days. What have I been wasting my time on?

7.01: Oh goody, let's remember all the losers who weren't good enough to make it. Remember that one with the hair? And the other one with that jacket? Yeah, good times.


7.03: Forgot to add one more rule to the drinking game - if Amanda makes a reference to poo, DRINK A PINT OF WHATEVER YOU HAVE.


7.04: Rather sad to be seeing these opening credits for the last time. God, they were hideous.


7.07: Pezza, Jezza and Dawson in a dance routine? Oh... lord... IS THAT THEM DANCING?

7.07: No, it's... BROS? Is it?? And all the girls you've since forgotten. Ashlea, ffs?

7.08: Kimberlry looks like a delicious cross between Jessica Rabbit and Christina Hendricx... KIMBERLY FTW!

7.09: This whole dance sequence is very odd... I feel like I've tuned into Fashion TV at 3am to see the Peruvian Winter Collections...

7.11: Who ARE those girls? I recognise a few of them, but I swear they've just picked up some random girls from the Westfield car park to even out the numbers.

7.11: The SHiralee looks absolutely AMAZING (drink), but I can't help but feel black was rather a safe choice. No Australian flag mu-muu?

7.12: SOMEONE GET THE SHIRALEE A DRINK! She's been eating Alex Perry gowns backstage.

7.13: EXPENSIVE! DRINK!! And the SHiralee said it, so make it a double.

7.13: EXPENSIVE!! DRINK!!! (Time to go back to the bottle o yet?)

7.14: And tonight the role of Charlotte will be played by Botulinim Toxin...

7.15: Alex Perry keeps saying "hard". This is disturbing me. Maybe he's just referring to Jezza's pecs.

7.17: Report just in from the studio mole:


Sarah's earrings are jingling - they've had to change them. In other news, the light reflected off Alex Perry's head has already ruined one camera lens tonight. Foxtel will be up for THOUSANDS from this.

7.20: So how's everyone going out there? Amazing? Don't be shy, send me a comment...

7.21: And here's Amanda, dressed in a colourful throw from Ikea.

7.22: Dawson says Amanda is stiff. Pezza says she's hard. I think we should all take a cold shower. IN SEPARATE CUBICLES.

7.23: OK OK, so Amanda is beautiful. BUT WHAT OF THE PIG?

7.24: So I'm beginning to think Amanda will win. It'll be a sad day for shortarses and lesbian basketballers everywhere.

7.25: "You started out with a bang" says the Shiralee. So THAT'S how she got on the show...

7.25: A commenter just asked me who my pick is. I have to say Amanda was my pick from week one, but Sophie has steadily become a favourite... Although Amanda does have that wonderful propensity for poo jokes, which is an important characteristic in a model... Tough one.

7.27: "She had a rollercoaster ride? THEY SAID I WASN'T ALLOWED ON," shrieks Kimberly from the back lot at Luna Park.


7.28: AND AGAIN. Thanks, Amanda's parents.

7.28: AND AGAIN. Thanks, Shiralee.

7.29: Time for an Amanda poo reference medley. I'd like to think I had something to do with that.

7.30: "It wasn't my job to judge them," says Bros. "I just did, because it was fun. At home, behind their backs. With a glass of red wine."

7.31: JOKE FROM THE SIDELINES: Dawson: "It's not an easy thing to completely change your facial features..." Not cheap either, hey Dawson?? Thanks, anonymous!

7.31: And here's Sophie, wearing a nifty vest she constructed out of a backpack she bought at Oxfam in 1993.

7.32: Yes Sarah, that photo shows Sophie can do other looks - particularly "Bananarama".


7.35: I seriously hope they do a montage of Sophie's ridiculous stretched smile... oh please, oh please...

7.36: Sophie helpfully points out to the geographically challenged that Tokyo is "in Japan". Not sure where "Malbourne" is though.

7.37: Don't adjust your sets, people - that swishing noise is just the sound of the Botox steadily streaming out of Dawson's face.

7.39: According to ANTM, the difference between Paris Hilton and a model is a haircut. Also models know the difference between the cocaine in their handbag and chewing gum, because they ate the chewing gum for lunch.

7.40: News just in from the studio mole!


"The girl sitting next to me is playing with a Rubkis Cube. That's how bored she is."


7.44: Sooo. Anyone out there pissed yet?

7.45: And here's Bros, who has stopped into the studio on his way to a fancy dress party as Max Headroom.

7.46: "I'm ready to work my glove," says Kelsey. Coincidentally, this was exactly the same thing the police officer said to Paris Hilton when she arrested her for cocaine possession.

7.47: In answer to the commenter asking for the identity of my studio mole - no, it's not Alex Perry!

7.48: And now welcome the Tony Bartuccio dancers in their performance entitled "Friday Night at Josh Flinn's House".

7.49: Dressing Kelsey in an oversize jacket and sticking a pom pom on her head does not, surprisingly, elongate her body.

7.50: One foot wrong and the models will accidentally tumble into those holes full of semi naked men... "LEMME THROUGH!" shrieks Josh as he dives for the catwalk.

7.50: AMAZING! DRINK! (The Shiralee has been the worst offender tonight, I think she's trying to get us all pissed. Saint Sarah INDEED.)

7.51: So they've forced Kelsey to run off stage from a catwalk parade, throw on another outfit and AMAZING! DRINK! Cripes. Forget what I was saying now...


7.53: Anyone else think the show's got it in for Kelsey? They were full of nothing but praise for Sophie and Amanda, but suddenly it's "looks like a cover of a romance novel" and "shocking". Plus they've forced her to run out and do a breathless interview... oh wel, that's what you get when you're short.

7.55: "I'd eat my sunglasses if she made it as a top model," saysm Pezza about Kelsey. Promise? VOTE FOR KELSEY, EVERYONE!! And DRINK. Just because.

7.56: Gosh it's just so INTERESTING watching the three finalists talk about AMAZING - DRINK what it was like to be on the show, and what their favourite photo shoot was, and what the biggest challenge was...

Anyone got a Rubiks Cube?

7.59: Time for an update from the studio mole!


"Ricki Lee looks bored." Rubik's Cube?

8pm: Have they even TRIED to make Kelsey look good tonight? She looks like she's just stepped off the school bus.

8.01: In the most pointless segment since that interview with Kelsey, Matt Shirvington hits the streets of Delhi to ask locals who should win Australia's Next Top Model. Meanwhile , just outside the studio door, Vijay Singh is asking teenagers at Luna Park who should be voted Mayor at the local Gurgaon elections.

8.04: Brrring! It's the studio mole!


"Amanda's mum says old friends of hers have popped up and asked her out now that she's famous." In other news, old friends of Kimberly's now pretend not to know her when they see her in the street.

8.05: Am beginning to see the flaw in this whole liveblogging plan... namely, toilet breaks.

8.07: In an AMAZING (drink) coincidence, each judge has opted to support a different finalist! OH MOY GOURD!

8.08: JOKE FROM THE SIDELINES: Liked Kelsey's touching tribute to 9/11. Least that's what I assume those two big white towers on her feet were. Cheers, Anonymous!

8.09: I think someone said "amazing" just then, so you'd better drink. And if you could stop the room from spinning too, that'd be great. Thanks.


8.11: I actually can't get over how drab Kelsey looks tonight. I'd vote for that Rubiks Cube over her right now.

8.12: Poor Kathryn, being attacked by that hair crimper on the way into the studio like that.

8.13: Good to see Jessica win the $5000. That should tide her over until the next Tim Burton role comes up.

8.13: Pezza has taken pity on Kathryn, donating her $2000 worth of clothing from his stores. Which she will be able to wear to... the shops. And her friend's house. And Westfield Muffin Break, where she works.

8.14: OH MOY GOURD, IT'S AN OH MOY GOURD MEDLEY! You have to drink so much right now, it's just.. I mean... seriously, take that vodka bottle and just smash it over your head.

8.15: OK, I really have to take a toilet break now. It's going to be extra AMAZING and maybe even a little EXPENSIVE (but that's only because there's this homeless guy in there who demands money every time I go in... I wish he'd leave)

8.20: I'm back - just in time for an update from the studio mole:


"KLAWDIA!" - oh god, there hasn't been nearly enough dodgy accents on tonight's show. Unless you count Sophie's. Wurt the hal?

8.21: Bros has gone all out with his look tonight, shaving that zebra for his collar and stuffing his shoulders with its intestines and all.

8.22: Despite looking like Sophie's slightly less attractive sister, Bros votes for Amanda.

8.24: "We're talking top models, Klawdia," says Sarah. "Just like on that show Burke's Backyard, they talk about back yards. It's simple like that."

8.25: Does Klawdia actually work at Harpers Bazaar, or do they just trot her out at parties as a marketing instrument?

8.26: Studio mole update -


"Girl with Rubkis Cube just did the BIGGEST yawn." Whoever you are, girl, you are my new hero.

8.27: JOKE FROM THE SIDELINES: I'm really loving Bros at the moment, it takes a real man to be able to make Ita Buttrose's 80's businesswoman wardrobe somehow seem contempo-cool. Cheers, anonymous!

8.27: "Is that photo screaming high fashion to you guys?" asks the Shiralee to the audience, 85 per cent of which is made up of 13 year old girls on school holidays and their mums. GOOD IDEA, ASK THEM.

8.28: What the hell is Kelsey wearing in that cover shot? Does ANYONE remember that outfit from the cover shoot???

8.29: I don't rate Amanda's cover shot at all. Sophie's looks amazing. Drink.

8.30: YES DAWSON, YOU'RE RIGHT! Amanda's cover is "dead". SHA-ZAM, LADY! CHARLOTTE FTW.

8.32: If Bros doesn't sing "When Will I Be Famous" some time in the next 15 minutes, I'll vote him off the show. YOu can do that with the Foxtel remote, can't you?

8.33: Clearly the producers have spent all their money on Dawson's Botox appointment, as they've been forced to kidnap an orphan busker from Wynyard station and make him sing on stage Poor little mite.

8.34: And here's... whoever she is, dressed as the clasp on Dawson's necklace. Lovely.

8.35: Cheer up Kelsey, you haven't lost yet. And you're not THAT short.

8.36: Even Kesley's dress is HORRID. It's like they're deliberately trying to make her look bad tonight. Sophie and Amanda look a million bucks; Kelsey looks like a cheap night in the Cross. Have they just made her the underdog? PS: EXPENSIVE. DRINK.



"Get ready for another floor show - there are ballerinas in the wings!" One of them better be Bros, in a stone wash denim tutu.

8.40: Soo... you come here often?

8.41: Let's cast the Bland Canyon vote - who will win? COMMENT HARD!!

8.42: "Vote for me and I'll do you proud Ostraya!" - yeah Amanda, I'd believe you if you didn't have lipstick on your teeth.

8.43: Meanwhile, the two losing contestants will be installed on the Foxtel studios roof after the close of tonight's show, with their oversized earrings acting as antennas for the Discovery channel.

8.44: Petstarr wonders if she's the only one who knows all the lyrics to the AUSNTM "emotional guitar music"... "She knowwwws what she waaaaants..." No? Just me? Ok.

8.45: "Sheeeee sees no beauty woo-ooo-oaahhhhh...."

8.45: Hang on, 8.45? Isn't this shit supposed to be over now?


8.46: OH. MOY. GOURD. SOPHIE NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


8.48: That leaves Amanda and Kelsey. If Amanda wins, I expect a shower of crap to rain from the ceiling in lieu of confetti as a tribute.

8.49: Am very sad Sophie has been kicked out. Avon ladies everywhere are crying into their wrinkle cream.


8.53: "The tension in the air right now is electric," says Sarah. "Because Kelsey's earrings keep getting caught in the overhead lighting cables."

8.53: Good to see Cheyenne Tozzi has been playing my drinking game tonight.

8.55: Is Amanda crying already?

8.56: Kelsey looks like she's off to her high school formal with her big sister Amanda as chaperone.

8.56: And the winner is...

8.57: ... Kelsey.

Sorry, PARDON?


8.58: "I just want to thank all the girls for keeping me on my toes," says Kelsey. "Otherwise I wouldn't have been tall enough to do any of the photo shoots!"




9.02: OK. I'm going to get to drunk now and toast Kelsey. I mean Amanda. I mean... LIVE TELEVISION.

9.03: And the last word goes to commenter Dale, who says: The Titanic just resurfaced and said "excuse me?" Because, this was a bigger disaster, see.

9.14: For those of you still confused - Amanda won! Her special prize is to have one of the live ANTM producers sacked!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: S6/E10

Well this it, folks. The penultimate chop. The episode where three become two, and one becomes nothing more than the kind of person people pass in the street, semi recognise, and then wonder if they met once at Gazza's party three years ago.

This week kicks off with Amanda telling us how sad everyone is at Jess's departure last week, saying how she's “left a big hole” because “her presence was quite large”.

Alright, alright, you don't have to go on about it.

Sophie is particularly sad, as you can see:

Sophie's tribute to Jess's big hole.

The modelettes receive a text message that says something about schoolgirls and immediately start freaking out – which is coincidentally exactly what happened to the bloke down my street last week 15 minutes before the cops rocked up and arrested him. Not quite sure what that was about.

“I knew that something really hard was approaching,” Kelsey says.

As if on cue, something really hard does approach – it's Pezza, looking buffer and shinier than ever. He's used a bit of extra Mr Sheen this morning in preparation for his big announcement – the girls will be modelling KA-CHOOR tonight at some fashion event pretending to be a charity fundraiser. I'm not sure what it is, but “awareness” is involved.

All three girls construct a few sentences using the phrases “lift”, “game”, “up”, “it” and “step” before being thrown into some designer gowns that look no more like couture than anything else they've worn for every other challenge.

Because no one has mentioned how short Kelsey is for at least an episode, Bros reminds us by dressing her in a gown with a two metre long fringe on the hem designed specifically to trip her up. But then this happens:

Is Kelsey taller than Sophie here? And who the hell is that on the right?

Some representative from whatever charity this event is pretending to support gives the girls a pep talk that is clearly so boring it never actually made it past the editing suite, save for the line “Just remember what you're out there walking for tonight”.

Yep, they remember.

The next segment is made up of five minutes of footage of them all walking down a plank of wood in expensive frocks, which is rather pretty to look at but sadly for me, not very funny. Although Amanda does do a touching homage to fallen contestant Jess and her infamous Japanese photo shoot by dressing as a football emerging from the back end of a sheep:

You can imagine your own sound effect to go with this picture.

“They all looked like true models and gave the professional girls a run for their money,” says Pezza, demonstrating just how gruelling and difficult it is to be a decent model – it takes at LEAST 10 weeks of training, y'all.

Then Bros rocks up to tell the girls they'll all be doing a photo shoot for the cover of Harpers Bazaar, news which is received in the usual fashion:

You know what to do.

But underneath all the excitement and binge drinking it's an emotional moment – Bros's role as model mentor has come to an end, and he must leave the girls to fend for themselves. He waves his wand and climbs into a magic bubble to float away to the other side of the yellow brick road, where he is needed by other troubled little girls to tell them the difference between stone wash and acid wash.

“No don't leave us, you said you'd teach us the second verse of When Will I Be Famous!”

The next morning Amanda and Kelsey walk to Harpers Bazaar with their new bodyguard, Robocop:


Lucky they brought him as what greets them at the magazine's offices is a frightening sight – a talking Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


As it turns out it's actually KLOWDIA of the odd accent.

“Walcom,” she says.

“Wurt the hal?” says Sophie.

“I downt wawnt to intimiday tchoo at owl, bot the cawvers at Harpers Bozorr or yooshly reserrfd for the maowst beeyotiful women in tha warld,” Klowdia says.

My thoughts exactly.

HB editor Edwina McCann explains the cover shoot has got to evoke cruisewear, which I hope means the girls will be stood next to a geriatric old man holding a shuffleboard and forced to wear matching tracksuits. Failing that, it would be amusing to see them wear these shoes, which appear to have been self-assembled from Ikea:

SNUGGE - $49.95 (allen key included)

But before the shoot comes the fitting. In a nutshell:

  • Just in case you've forgotten that Kelsey's short, everyone makes a big point of how the clothes don't fit her. Again.

  • “Can I just be honest for a minute? I sort of feel this is it for Kelsey,” says Sophie, who is obviously having an out of body experience and astral projecting herself into Alex Perry's brain. “EXPENSIVE!” she yells, before running off set to get her chest waxed.

  • As it turns out Sophie is probably right, as the HB stylist admits she would “never” cast Kelsey in a fashion shoot, ever, ever, ever. Ever. Er, so, what about for a cover? Would a cover shoot be OK?

  • Not to be outdone by the Ikea shoes, Amanda glues some Hot Wheels Transformers to her feet.

You should see the Optimus Prime ones – HOT.

  • “Your eyes need to say 'come and buy me',” Edwina instructs Amanda. Petstarr's brain explodes with too many options for comedy.

  • Sophie is praised for being “hungry”. The remnants of Petstarr's brain scattered about the floor vibrate with comedic possibilities but are unable to come up with anything better than “Hungry... she's thin... models... HAMBURGER!” Apologies.

Next thing we know it's the mother of all photo shoots – in a nutshell:

  • Sadly Amanda couldn't make it at the last minute, so sent someone completely different to stand in for her:

Seriously, who the eff is that? AND WHAT HAS SHE DONE WITH AMANDA'S EYEBROWS?

  • Meanwhile, does this guy have the best job or what?

"So what'd you do today Wayno?” “Held up a piece of styrofoam behind a teenage girl for a few hours.” “Cool.”

  • Amanda sticks on a yellow frock and... that's about it. Or, in the words of the Harpers stylist: “Amanda didn't really bring anything as far as facial expressions, as far as personality, as far as movement, there's not much personality behind her face and her movements and what she does, she doesn't actually do very much so it's hard, she's hard to shoot. She's not a good model.” So... she did OK then?

  • Sophie ducks in to the shoot on her way to a fancy dress party, which she is attending as The Queen circa 1973:

"One has toytally noy idea what to expect.”

  • Coincidentally, that's exactly the same party Amanda is heading to – she's going as Cousin Ruprecht from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels:


  • In case you were under any misapprehension that Sophie was doing a good job, the Harpers stylist steps in with some carefully chosen words to let you know you're wrong: “She doesn't know her angles, she doesn't really give much as far as movement goes – facially she's OK but other than that it was really hard.”


  • The Harpers harpie continues to dish the diss, describing Amanda as a “plank of wood” and telling Sophie she looks like something from a men's magazine – fortunately Sophie interprets this as meaning that she is the “most bustiest” of the girls, so doesn't get offended

  • Meanwhile, despite being knee high to an Oompa Loompa, Kelsey is praised as the second coming or, in the words of the Harpers harpie: “Great. Just... fucken... great.”

And with that, it's off to the elimination warehouse, where unwanted models are shackled, lobotomised and hired out as coffee girls to Harpers Bazaar stylists.

Let's picture bitch:

  • Sophie stands in front of the judges, starts blubbering. “Why are you crying, Sophie? Is it because of what you've learned?” asks the Shiralee. Er... like what, Sarah? She's been on a modelling show, she hasn't been to 'Nam.

  • Everyone is glowing about Sophie's photo except for the harpie, who says unconvincingly “I think it is something we would run .............. Definitely.” The pause is where she thought the words “over with the nearest heavy vehicle”.

  • Amanda reveals why she's passionate about modelling – because she “tried school and tried sports” and wasn't any good at them. Tried working at McDonald's, Amanda?
    Just in case you've forgotten whether Kelsey is short or tall, Pezza reminds you: “When they were giving out height, she was standing behind the door.”

Meanwhile, when they were giving out hair, Pezza was standing in the sunglasses queue.

  • As for the photos: Sophie looked stiff but also the most bustiest, Kelsey looked short but also the most modelliest, and Amanda looked totally like a Harpers Bazaar covergirl, why are we even bothering to continue with this charade, clearly she's the best and has won the whole thing.

Finally, the big moment – Amanda is put through, giving her at least one more week of not having to attempt any school or sports, leaving Sophie the stiff and Kelsey the short to duke it out for the final place.

The nation holds its breath and grips the edge of its seat as millions of viewers, mouths agape, stop everything to hear the Shiralee read the final name. Even people not watching the show, including those who have never heard of it and didn't even know it was on, instinctively feel the collective vibe of anticipation sweeping the country and drop what they're doing to properly acknowledge this massive announcement. Dogs drop their bones, babies stop mid-cry and skinheads interrupt their regular Tuesday night bashing mid-kick to look to the sky, awaiting the puff of white smoke from the warehouse chimney to signify a second finalist has been chosen. Even Rob Oakeshott finally stops talking, realising he's been outdone in the “big announcement” stakes. And then – the answer:

“We couldn't decide, so youse are both through.”


So there you have it kids, after doing basically bugger all all season the judges have given up at the final hurdle and handed control of the Harpers Bazaar cover to we the people. Fantastic. Should be a doddle – after all, the Australian public always gets these sorts of things right, eh?

Except that time.

And that time.

And... hang on, who's that?


Except maybe this, after one too many "amazing"s.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: S6/E9

This week we enter what is known in the industry as the “pointy end” of the competition, with just four girls' torches left burning, all vying for the title of ULTIMATE SURVIVOR. Or master chef. Or something. One of them will win a prize, anyway.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Amanda puts on a different top for the first time in seven weeks:

I kind of miss the leopard print.

Back at Model HQ and the Shiralee has turned up to tell the modelettes they're all going to Tokyo, news which causes them all to spontaneously self combust. Sophie is the most excited, perhaps unsurprisingly given this was her reaction BEFORE hearing the news:

DRINK. (Out of interest, has anyone had to go to the emergency room in the past month?)

Amanda is toytally excited too, and... oh.

Spoke too soon.

They all bundle off in the cavalcade to the airport, where we get to watch a 30 second advertisement for Japan Airlines, before all the modelettes get on the plane and start making a nuisance of themselves. Amanda reveals she can speak a bit of Japanese, which would normally be helpful except her skills seem to be limited to phrases like “your outfit looks hideous” and “she pisses me off”, so she'll probably have to restrict herself to talking to or about Sophie.

And then they're in Tokyo – you can tell because there's plinky plonky music and lots of shots of Asian people in facemasks. Suddenly the modelettes are descended upon by a pack of camera-toting crazies, who are falling over themselves to photograph them despite having never seen any of them before in their lives. The girls flatter themselves by assuming it's because they're all high flying supermodels; no one has the heart to tell them it's a busload of students from Nagana Special School for the Brain Sick on their monthly excursion.

“Ah, most honourable tall lady, greetings to Japan! You have my medication?”

On the road to the city centre the girls take in all the wonders of Japan, like... lights. Red ones, all over the road!


They all say “OY MOY GOURD” about three dozen times, and then... oh hang on


OK so then they... oh, wait on


So then they all... OH FOR GOD'S SAKE.


After the excitement of seeing so many car tail lights in one place, the girls are hardly prepared for their next thrill – walking across the street.

“There are literally MILLIONS of people all around you, they say 100,000 people cross through here every hour,” says Amanda, while simultaneously signing her application form for the Australian Maths Geniuses Association.

Meanwhile, Kelsey is just happy to be in a country where she doesn't have to stand on tip toes to reach the pedestrian crossing button.

In their hotel room and it's Sarah Mail time, which... oh christ.


Fortunately Amanda is on hand to read the tricky non-English parts of the message and explain that they'll be going to “your outfit looks hideous” first thing in the morning. They spend the entire night doing boat races with sake and snorting wasabi and roll straight on to the photo challenge at the crack of dawn at a studio which lies, as Amanda puts it, “down a Japanese style street”.

Funny about that, them being in Japan and all. On another note, good to see the leopard top made it overseas.

They find themselves in a garden next to a stream, where it quickly becomes apparent they've all accidentally eaten acid with their breakfast cereal.

“This man kind of appeared on this rock and started speaking Japanese,” says Kelsey.

I have to admit, that is fairly trippy.

“I couldn't understand A WORD he was saying,” Kelsey continues, as if that's a stunning revelation.


“I'll be your photographer for today,” says the photographer in Japanese.

“Your outfit looks hideous,” replies Amanda.

As it turns out, that phrase will come in quite handy for this photo shoot.

In the words of Toby the photographer, “OK, let's shooting!”

  • In a stroke of pure genius, the ANTM producers have hired the worst interpreter in Japan to make sure the shoot goes as badly as possible. Thus the photographer's instruction to Kelsey “Make your feet and the clothes look good” magically transforms into “You're doing great!”

  • Sophie is instructed to “Look into the future” - she does, sees Charlotte Dawson, screams and runs off set

  • Toby asks Jess what she ate for breakfast before the shoot. She says “Japanese food”. A tumbleweed rolls past, silently.

  • Amanda is told to “look like a flower”. She finds this completely weird, seemingly forgetting that just a few weeks ago Alannah Hill asked her to look like “a sexy pink cupcake”. Which is weirder?

Back at the hotel and the girls are delivered a Sarah Mail – not by text message this time, but BY DVD! Those Japanese are SO technologically advanced, aren't they? Amazing.

Anyway, via the brain-bending magic of moving pictures on a screen, the Shiralee tells them they'll be filming a fashion segment for Kawaii TV, otherwise known as “one of those crazy Japanese TV shows where people dress up in crazy shit and weird shit happens”.

Surely, at some point, they will accept surprises as a given. Surely.

“Did anyone notice that whole thing was in Japanese?” says Jess after watching the clip of a Japanese TV show. JESS, LOOK AROUND. YOU ARE IN JAPAN.

They all pack off to a TV studio where the Japanese version of Minnie Mouse tells them they'll be teamed up with a helper and spend the whole day shopping in a SUPER HAPPY FUN RAINBOW KAWAII FASHION CHALLENGE!

“Please to meet very honourable clothes hangers from Australia!”

Jessica is assigned the theme of “school girl fashion” and is given an actual primary school child to help her shop:

Well there's a confidence booster.

Amanda is told to dress in Japanese style fashion, which should be a doddle for her as she can already identify Japanese style streets and tell people their outfits are hideous, Kelsey is assigned “Lolita fashion” and Sophie is told to dress like a fairy. And just when you thought things couldn't get more confusing:

You? Or me? Who's on first?

In a nutshell:

  • Amanda is driven mad by her helper who only ever says “Kawaii”. If only she'd comment on the hideousness of Amanda's outfit or how she pisses her off, they might be able to get a real conversation going.

  • Jess puts on a schoolgirl outfit but is declared “too genius” to pull it off. Clearly they forgot to specify “special school”.

  • Kelsey and her helper head to a shop filled with creepy pink, frilly baby doll dresses run by something from my nightmares

Before you die you see the CREEPY GIRL IN A LITTLE BO PEEP WIG.

  • Kelsey's helper sticks her in a frilly pink dress and has to make a tough decision about whether to stick a matching baby bonnet on her head, or fluffy white rabbit ears. “I'm so glad she chose the rabbit ears, because if I had towear that bonnet I would have felt like a bit of a fool,” Kelsey says.

Yeah, lucky about that.

  • Meanwhile, Sophie is obviously playing a fairy who has been attacked by blood sucking plush toys, and Jess's transformation into Harry Potter is finally complete:

PS: Drink. I know no one has their mouth agape, but this picture makes a lot more sense if you're drunk.

  • Despite looking like a Kings Cross drag queen, Amanda is voted the best dresser AND BRINGS GREAT HONOUR UPON HER MOST VENERABLE HELPER.

“To lose would bring shame on my family.”

Back at the hotel, and Jezza “Pecs” Smith has turned up, seemingly because his Jetstar flight to Bali got rerouted at the last minute.

“Jeez I'm crankin for a Bintang.”

Everyone is surprised, particularly Sophie who exclaims “WURT THE HAL?!” Again, if anyone speaks Sophie's language, please leave a translation in the comments, thanks.

He packs them off to a high fashion photo shoot in the busy Shibuya district – in a nutshell:

  • Sophie sticks her finger in a light socket and throws a dead poodle round her neck, looks like Cruella D'Evil in a cheap remake of 101 Dalmations:


  • Not to be outdone, Kelsey bobby pins a birds nest to her head and starts eating a cocker spaniel in her shoot:

Nom nom nom.

  • Staying with the theme, Jess does a passable impression of something emerging from the back end of a sheep:

What a dag.

  • Amanda's shoot is so boring Jez decides to photograph a piece of laminex instead

“Hold it, hold iiiiit – oh wait, I am holding it.”

Faced with one last night in Tokyo the girls decide to do what any young, hip, fancy free chicks would do – go to a park to look at bamboo trees. For real. OK so there's some festival on in which you make a wish and pin it to a tree and it comes true or something, whatever – they should still be slamming sakes at a karaoke bar. (For the record, one of them wishes for “the health of my family and friends” - yeah yeah, we know what you would have written if the cameras weren't on)

“When I was putting my wish on the tree I was looking around at all the wishes and I was just thinking 'oh my god, everyone has SO many wishes' and I felt a sense of 'woah',” says Sophie.

Seriously, the Kawaii TV crew made more sense than this girl.

Back in Oztraya the girls head to the elimination warehouse, where losers are dressed in frilly pink dresses and bunny ears and sold to Japanese schoolgirls as Tamagotchis.

This week the modelettes have decided to dress in Harajuku-inspired outfits, a plan which would have been quite amusing had the head of Elite models New York, Doll Wright, not stepped in for a meet and greet.

“No really, Australia isn't a fashion backwater, we have our own fashion week and everyth... Ms Wright? Where are you going, Ms Wright?”

Shall we picture bitch?

  • Jess is praised for looking like a different girl in her photo, which must make her confidence levels soar

  • Miss New York tells Amanda her face is “predictable”, while Dawson declares her “a bloated baby swathed in fur”. There's not much you can say to that.

  • Dawson declares Kelsey an “SSS” - “Sexy, sultry, shortarse”. NOT IN JAPAN, SHE'S NOT.

  • Everyone praises Sophie right up the ying yang, describing her as “extraordinarily beautiful” and “New York standard”, which rather removes any drama surrounding whether she'll be in the bottom two tonight. Hint: She won't be.

Got it in the bag, baby.

In the end it comes down to two – Jess the oversized special school girl and Amanda the bloated baby, but it's Jess who gets the boot. Clearly she left it too late in the competition to look like a completely different girl.

Join me next week, kids, when we sashay from the pointy end of the competition to the really quite sharp indeed end – the final three!

In the interests of looking like a total arse when I get it completely wrong, I'm going to predict a final two of Sophie and Amanda, with Sophie FTW. YOU GO, AVON LADY LESBIAN BASKETBALLER OF MY DREAMS!