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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: S6/E2

ANTM starts off this week by wasting everyone's time, showing us a set of credits containing five girls who have already been eliminated and were only on the show for a collective total of 3.5 minutes anyway. Did Sally even SAY anything last week? Who the hell is she, and why do I have to watch her open the show every bloody week?

Anyway, we open at Model HQ where all the girls are showing off by eating pretend breakfasts of almonds, sliced apple and air while they discuss last night's mega elimination.

“It's sad because of the impact on the house, there's five girls gone now, but it's also happy because there's five girls gone out of the competition,” says Sophie, who obviously is not just an Avon lady but a maths expert AND a zen master.

Suddenly – Sarah Mail.


It turns out to be a photograph of a pair of jeans.


What could this mean? Is it code? Perhaps it's some sort of Amazing Race style puzzle that the girls will have to crack before they can go to their next challenge, like make a pair of jeans out of whatever you can find in the third drawer of the kitchen, and then wear them in a catwalk show in the middle of Westfield.

"I made these out of some left over Glad Wrap and a colander.

“If my jeans could talk, would I be embarrassed? Brooke Shields,” reads one modelette dutifully from the Sarah Mail.

While the girls wonder amongst themselves who Brooke Shields is, I'm more concerned with what drugs Brooke was smoking when she said that quote. What embarrassing things could her jeans have said about her? Apart from reflecting on the state of her underwear and how often she liked to sit down, I can't imagine they'd have anything scandalous to say at all. Is that a real Brooke Shields quote? No wonder she went out with Michael Jackson, the girl was clearly mental.

“Is she the lady that spread her legs on that movie and you could see up her skirt?” says Kimberly, who I think is confusing Brooke Shields with Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, but may very well be referring to another movie altogether (she DOES work at Hooters).

The Sarah Mail goes on to tell the girls they're wanted at the Levi's store in Chatswood, so off they trot.

“We're all walking down the mall at Chatswood and I didn't know WHAT to expect,” slurs Jessica, who is probably going to be very disappointed when she turns up at the Levi's store and finds a shop that sells jeans.

“I thought maybe we'd be doing jean kind of poses, and that kind of thing, I had no idea,” she continues, cementing her spot in this year's MENSA nominations list.

Suddenly Erin McNaught turns up and starts crapping on about charity in a totally unrehearsed and natural way, and tells the girls they need to be “three dimensional”. This would seem to be a problem given that 75 per cent of the girls disappear into thin air when you turn them to the side.

Erin tells the modelettes they'll be shooting a “viral campaign” for Jeans for Genes day, ie: they'll be starring in a no budget short film that will get uploaded to Youtube and probably not be shared by anyone, ever. This seems even more certain when Erin tells them the film will consist of each model standing in front of the camera saying “I love my jeans because...”

“So for example, I might say 'I love my jeans because they give me confidence',” says Erin, clearly confusing her jeans for a sanitary pad.

While the girls get ready for the shoot, model mentor Josh Flinn is still battling to cover up his true identity as the lost fourth member of Bros, however his chambray shirt with pointy collar is giving it away.

When, will I, will I be famous?

In a nutshell:

  • The viral video shoot is lent some credibility after Ben Affleck is brought in as guest director

He's effing Matt Damon.

  • Pretty much every model says she loves her jeans because they're “comfortable”. Because everyone knows that fashion is about comfort, right?

  • “I love my jeans because mroan's the new colour this season,” says Brittney. Apart from the fact that I've never heard of “mroan”, MAROON WILL NEVER BE THE NEW COLOUR OF ANY SEASON EVER, IT IS HORRIBLE AND SHOULD BE BANNED. This has nothing to do with the fact that my school uniform was maroon.

  • Sophie stretches her entire face into a smile, stiffens her neck and blahs something about her “unique style” and “strutting her stuff”. Immediately, toy designers from Mattel burst through the door and hand her a script to record for the next talking Barbie.

  • “I love my jeans because every time I wear them, I'm guaranteed a good time,” says Chantal.

Brooke Shields is NOT amused by denim innuendo.

  • Kelsey is told to wear heels. Because she's short. You hadn't forgotten, had you?

  • Kimberly declares her butt “grabbable”. She's probably right, although who would know given we haven't actually seen it yet, despite her going on about it in every episode. Producers, hello? Can we please see Kimberly's bum? I think she wants us to.

After this it's back to HQ, and there's the requisite montage of the girls making biscuits and muffins and eating ice cream and chocolate, juxtaposed with them sticking pictures of supermodels on their bedroom walls and perfecting their walk in the hallway. OH, THE CONTRASTS, AREN'T THEY SHOCKINGLY INTERESTING.

Back in the lime green cavalcade of the Apocalypse, and it's off to Foxtel headquarters where the girls are no doubt going to be asked to do some filing, answer the phones and make some coffee for the executives for the afternoon. Hello, this program doesn't just fund itself, you know!

“When we arrived at Foxtel I was so nervous,” Jessica says, before adding “because I listed them on my dole form last week.”

Suddenly Dawson looms into shot, looking utterly gorgeous and completely devoid of any comedic potential. Damn. She grabs the nearest Oompa Loompa, shoves them all onto the WonkaBoat and whisks them off to the Channel V studios down the hall.

“I was like oh my gosh we're doing something on TV this is so bad,” says Megan, who has only just realised that turning up for a challenge at a TV studio might involve doing something on TV.

As it turns out they have to do a spot as co-host on some music TV show called V Rater, or VJ Radar or maybe it's Bee Rater (the number one rated show among apiarists) – whatever it is they have to stand next to a bloke called Danny who looks like eliminated contestant Alison and talk about music.

Actually Danny looks more like Justin Bieber caught in a windstorm.

But first they must get acquainted with the joys of working in TV as anyone other than Tracey Grimshaw or Kerri-Anne – they have to do their own makeup.

You'd think the Avon lady, of all people, would be happy about this, but no.

"I almost crapped myself, because I am the most least fashionable person in this whole house,” says Amanda.

“I am 155,000 per cent more less fashionable than you!” shrieks Brittney.

“I did makeup at TAFE, so I wasn't too worried about doing that,” says Kimberly. Of course you did.

In a nutshell:

  • Megan fails within the first 10 seconds by almost reading out “Banter about weekend” from the autocue

  • Chantal is asked whether she likes any collaborations and impresses music fans everywhere by saying “A little bit, yeah, sometimes, here and there” and then listing her favourite musical collaboration as “rock”

  • Danny quizzes Brittney about musical collaborations, to which she responds with a look usually reserved for cheerleaders in American movies after the school nerd has just asked them to the prom.

"Are you serious? I'm going to prom with Chip, you geek."

  • Kelsey does a brilliant job at presenting, but stuffs it all up by dressing as Jane Eyre. And being short.

I seem to recall Mr Rochester being more handsome than that, funny...

  • Dawson describes Amanda's hair as looking like “a bungee rope that had been overused”, but I think we can all agree it's better than Danny's.

Just a reminder.

  • Jessica channels Tim Burton again, comes out looking like a collectible doll from The Corpse Bride toy range. However she does know what the word “collaboration” means, so it's a win for corpses everywhere.

"And so Johnny Depp is this over the top, gothic doctor right, who's fallen in love with the haunted girl he sees in the mirror, OK..."

  • “I'm very impressed that you know what the word 'collaboration' means – do you read good and do other things good too?” asks Danny, indicating that he'd very much like Jessica to punch him in his hairdo. Sadly she doesn't.

  • Sophie comes out with what appears to be a bale of hay stapled to her head. It turns out to be her hair. Dawson says it's absolutely awful and wonders if Sophie has confused Channel V with The Muppet Show. I wonder why NO ONE HAS SAID A THING ABOUT DANNY'S HAIR SO FAR.

  • Sophie proves she's had media training by invoking the number one rule of live television – if you cover your mouth, whisper or mutter under your breath, it doesn't go to air.

  • Danny proves conclusively what an arse he is by patronising and mocking every contestant, despite the fact that some of them are actually better than he is at presenting. DEATH TO DANNY DICK-HAIR.

  • Despite covering herself in 1980s blue eyeshadow and hot pink lipstick, Kimberly gets off to a good start but is let down by Danny, who mocks her turn of phrase and then leaves her to dangle, muttering something about “douchebags” before she eventually crumbles in a heap and yells “Fuck”. Kimberly FTW.

The escapee from the Tim Burton exhibition wins the challenge, which I think means she finally gets to become a real girl or something, and then it's back to Model HQ where Kimberly cracks open her big book of Daytime Drama Cliches for some stirring soul searching.

“I'm always alone, even when I've got people round me. I won't let anyone into my little bubble. Everyone I've ever trusted has broken that trust. I can't let my guard down, cos that's when I get hurt,” she warbles.

She seems to have forgotten that last week she told the world “I have no filter between my brain and my mouth”. Don't forget to keep that guard up though, Kimberly!

All the modelettes are packed off to the wharf where they're frogmarched through a yard full of shipping containers. I'm hoping this is going to be some sort of live export challenge, where they're all packed into a box with only a jar of peanut butter for sustenance and sent on a 12 week sea journey to China – whoever emerges from the container at the end is the winner.

Suddenly Bros appears out of nowhere to tell them all that denim is “very on trend at the moment”, as opposed to the past six decades when no one's really paid much attention to it at all.

He informs them all their next photo shoot involves them hanging off the side of some scaffolding in a pair of jeans, which elicits the standard “OH MY GOURD” response from everyone, and a comment about faeces from Amanda.

“I pretty much pooed my pants,” says Amanda for what feels like the fifth time this season. I don't think this girl should be put anywhere near a new pair of jeans, to be honest, let alone hung off the side of a steel frame.


Bros then introduces them to their photographer and stylist, which appears to be a couple of blokes he's lured from the subway with a packet of Winnie Blues.

"So, when are we getting our ciggies?"

They still look cooler than him though.


Jeans photoshoot in a nutshell:

  • Amanda manages to pull off some amazing shots, despite wearing extra absorbent Depends

  • Sophie gets the shoot confused with Dawson's upcoming 1980s fancy dress party, turns up as one of the members of Bananarama

"Cos I'm guiltyyyyy, guilty as a girl can be - of heinous fashion crimes."

  • Ashton surplants Claire as the girl most likely to haunt me in my nightmares, thanks to this face:

"Ahhh Monkey, but I am just a humble water spirit!"

  • “I grew up on a sheep station, so I should be alright with this,” says Kimberly, whose family obviously ran one of those new-fangled scaffolding “sky-farms”

  • Kelsey is criticised for not being able to climb about the scaffolding like the other girls because she's short. DID YOU HEAR THAT, EVERYONE, KELSEY IS SHORT. JUST CHECKING THAT YOU'RE AWARE OF THAT.

  • Brittney conquers her fear of heights to climb to the top of the scaffolding. Meanwhile, all of Sydney turns to see what's just blocked out the sun.

And with that it's off to the elimination warehouse to meet the Shiralee, Judge Jezzy, Pezza and Dawson. I'd describe what they're all wearing but the combined glare from Alex Perry's head and Jez Smith's chest is too blinding to see. Joining them on the panel tonight is guest judge Bettina Liano, otherwise known as “the woman who gets a lot of media coverage for designing jeans for 'real women with real curves' but actually just sells size 28s with a bit of extra seam in the hip”.

Onto the picture bitch:

  • Despite her continual references to soiling herself, Amanda is clearly the most gorgeous girl in the competition and should be declared the winner immediately.

  • Megan manages to look like a starving Celine Dion escaping from three years in a denim concentration camp

"And I know that my heart will go onnnnnn SOMEONE GET ME A SANDWICH FOR GOD'S SAKE!"

  • Chantal's slightly porno photo would never be used in a fashion magazine. It would, however, have a chance at getting a run in “Jeans Fanciers Monthly”, a specialist periodical for denim fetishists. So not all bad news, then.

  • Kelsey is told she must learn how to make her legs look longer. BECAUSE SHE'S SHORT.

  • Jessica the charisma free Tim Burton doll looks utterly amazing in her photo. I may have to review my policy in making Amanda the early winner. Damn.

  • Ashton is told she has to “find her face”. Maybe it's off down the pub with Alison's torso.

  • Kimberly is summed up rather succinctly by Pezza, who says: “She is so annoying, I actually just want to stab myself so it can all be over.” Things do not look good for a Kimberly win.

It comes down to Kimberly the Gold Coast bogan and Megan the... actually who is Megan? Not even the Shiralee seems to know. That's probably why she gets voted out.

“You've got a lot ahead of you,” says the Shiralee vaguely as Megan walks out the door, neglecting to finish her sentence with “just not in modelling”.

See you next week, molls!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

OH MOY GOURD, it's Australia's Next Top Model

If you've ever had the misfortune of being stuck on a public bus at about 3.45pm on a weekday, you'll have some idea of what watching the latest series of Australia's Next Top Model is like. It's basically an hour a week of teenage girls squealing, crying, hugging each other and shrieking “OH MOY GOURD” over and over again.

And unlike public transport, it's totally addictive.

Series six kicked off on Tuesday night and for the sixth year running, I found myself hooked. Yes, SIX YEARS. Basically, I've been in a relationship with ANTM longer than any bloke I've ever known. Believe me, I am aware how disturbing that is.

I wish I knew how to quit you.

I'm not sure what it is about this televised model search that makes it so enjoyable. I suspect schadenfreude has a lot to do with it – watching someone very thin and very beautiful fall over in six inch heels on a catwalk can be incredibly satisfying. Watching them take a terrible photograph in which they look like a slightly overweight drag queen is even more satisfying (and you'd be surprised how often that happens on this show).

This season's premise is the same as all the others – take a bunch of skinny white girls with names like Amba, Taylah and Bree, put them through a bunch of photographic and catwalk challenges, pick the one who can walk in a straight line without falling over, punching anyone or swearing, make her runner up and then give the crown to the biggest moll, before packing her off to star in a few chocolate commercials and gradually fading into obscurity.

This is the part where detractors of the show chime in saying things like “Australia's next TOP model! Pah! Name one of the winners! What have they ever done? What a stupid show.”

It's a fair point. Apart from junkies like me, no one CAN name any past winners of ANTM – it's not like they actually went on to become Elle McPhersons or Kristy Hinzes, as the title of the show would suggest. More than likely they went on to become page 23 girls of your local Centro catalogue. (Hey, it's a living, right?)

Only one past ANTM winner has gone on to have any major success – frail, pale redhead Alice Burdeu, who blitzed the competition a few years ago and landed herself on the cover of Vogue, has since gone on to big things here and overseas.

But this somehow doesn't detract at all from the show. Who cares what happens to these girls AFTER the credits close? I couldn't give a toss if they start a modelling career or not, I just want to watch them every week being forced to strut around in stilts masquerading as shoes, or being made to hang in a harness off the side of a building to advertise lipstick, or bursting into tears because they've been told their neck isn't long enough. What they do in their own time is their own business.

Sadly my early favourite, SA's own Valeria (admittedly only my favourite because her name reminded me of some sort of exotic disease) has already been booted off the show. But that still leaves us with Jessica, the unemployed country girl who lists her hobbies as “loitering around, wasting time and considering the meaning of life”; Kimberley the Gold Coast girl who gave up life as a meter maid to work at Hooters; Alison, who was criticised for having a body that “doesn't follow her feet” (must make getting around very difficult), Ashton, Kelsey and Brittney, who'd never heard of Grace Kelly but thought he might be a man.

You know you're in 2010 when names like Valeria, Ashton and Kelsey are considered commonplace for girls, and Grace is considered a bloke's name.

Game on, molls!

This article was first published in the Adelaide Sunday Mail's TV Guide on July 25, 2010.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: S6/E1

OH MOY GOURD, it's THAT time of the year again! That magical, mystical time of year when thin white girls come out of hibernation, clad themselves in skinny jeans and walk down planks to the sound of Charlotte Dawson sharpening her claws.

The time when Alex Perry uses an extra squirt of Mr Sheen on his shiny, polished dome in order to better reflect the flashbulbs of the paparazzi.

The time when Jo Blogs and I get our bitch on, flex our metaphorical muscles (I don't mean our muscles are metaphorical, I mean... oh never mind) and totally ruin our social lives all for the sake of a TV show


Yes it's back for a glorious sixth season (really? Have I been doing this for six years? Surely not... my life, my precious life, what have I done with it???) and as always I'll be here writing up every episode so you can spare yourselves the pain of actually watching it.

This season's premise is the same as all the others – take a bunch of skinny white girls, pick the one who can walk in a straight line without falling over, punching anyone or saying "fuck", make her runner up and then give the crown to the biggest moll, before packing her off to star in a few chocolate commercials and gradually fading into obscurity.

Demelza's latest Snuggie campaign.

The first impressions and most superficial judgements are always the most telling (well, they're not, but they're the funniest), so let's take a look at some of our contestants from the opening credits:

There's Ashton, who I suspect may actually be Ashton Kutcher in drag filming a segment for the next series of Punk'd.

Either that, or it's a very good Eddie Izzard impersonator.

Then there's Valeria, who sounds rather like a disease aid workers pick up in East Africa, and looks a bit like one too:

***2017 UPDATE: Valeria contacted me asking for photos of her to be removed from this blog as she no longer models and is sick of people Googling her and finding my stupid screenshots. Fair enough. So I've replaced her in all instances with a picture of Alex Perry. Please enjoy.***

"It's bad news I'm afraid – you've got Valeria."

Then there's Claire, who looks like SOMETHING OUT OF MY NIGHTMARES.

Maybe she's caught Valeria?

Continuing the medical marvels theme is Ashlea, who appears to have a giant orange tumour growing out of her chest.

"It's bad news I'm afraid – we're going to have to operate."

And then there's Sophie, who looks like a lesbian basketballer and is therefore immediately my favourite.

Go team!

We begin our quest on a summery night, where moonlight shines through the softly rustling gumleaves, and rats scamper across the telephone wires...

OK, so they're possums, just go with me here.

I like to think of this as a visual metaphor for what's to come – bony, underfed creatures trying desperately to walk along a thin strip without falling off or being eaten by a cat, ie: Charlotte Dawson.

It becomes apparent that all the models are being picked up from their homes to be taken to Model HQ, in some sort of creepy mass evacuation. I imagine this is what will happen when the apocalypse finally comes – lime green Ford Fiestas will turn up at the homes of good looking people all over the world and ferry them to an underground bio-dome in the dead of night to recreate the human race from scratch, while all us normal ugly people are left to weather the ravages of a nuclear winter.

Apart from the apocalyptic undertones, this part is mostly boring, as it's just a bunch of girls saying “My name's X, I'm X years old, I'm a student/waitress/unemployed school leaver and modelling is my LIFE” and other enlightened things like “I believe I know what it takes to be a model, even though I haven't had any experience”. Although notable is former Gold Coast meter maid and self-described bogan Kimberly, purely because she looks like this:


Also because she says “My best astro-bute would probably be my eyes” - as opposed to her masterful command of the English language.

Also because she describes her “backside” as “very round and squishy”.

And also because she says “I'm loud, I'm LOUD. And I have no filter between my brain and my mouth.” Thanks Kimberley, look forward to working with you.

Also notable is the pride of South Australia, 16 year old Brittney, who claims that she wants to make it into the “top 155,000 per cent” - not realising that she's already in that percentile, as is half the western world. Sitting on her couch at home, Brittney's maths teacher slaps her forehead in disgust.

And I can't neglect 19 year old Sophie, aka the lesbian basketballer, who lists her occupation as “Avon lady”. For real. CAN YOU BELIEVE THERE ARE STILL AVON LADIES OUT THERE? And that they still CALL themselves that, rather than one of those wanky made up terms that people with crap jobs give themselves to look more important like “Facial transformation sales consultant” or something?

There's also 16 year old Alison, otherwise known as “that girl you know from the bus”:

"So like, Taylah was all 'I don't think so' and I was all like 'Are you serious? Whatever'..."

Can someone please explain where in the high school girl's book of rules it says you have to do your hair like this? BECAUSE THEY ALL DO IT, ALL OF THEM.

"I wouldn't die of a stress-related disease because I am the most chilled, relaxed person, nothing really gets me," she says, which as we all know means she will be the first in the house to go completely postal and have a breakdown in the bathroom after someone uses her hairbrush without asking.

The award for least interesting contestant so far goes to 19 year old unemployed country girl Jessica, who lists her hobbies as “loitering around,wasting time and considering the meaning of life”. We are yet to discover whether getting up in the morning, putting on clothes and walking 10 metres down a runway is too much effort for her.

This man shares Jessica's hobbies, along with "trying to find food" and "maintaining homeostasis". I bet they'd get along great.

Back to the mass evacuation, and as the cavalcade barrels through Sydney's streets a rumble of excitement starts through the girls as they realise that “AUSTRALIAN FASHION WEEK IS JUST DOWN THERE!” Yes, a whole week is literally down the street. There's a bit of “oh moy gourd-ing” and lots of “I knoyyyyyys” and even one “mind blowingest” from 18 year old fashion student Sally, as in “to roll up at Fashion Week was one of the most mind blowingest things for me”.

And then Sarah Murdoch arrives, her blonde mane glistening in the sunlight, gliding down the stairs with the Harbour Bridge and the Australian flag in the background like some sort of glorious Qantas advertisement directed by Baz Luhrmann, throwing out chunks of lamingtons and damper and singing Waltzing Matilda. It's a vision of Australiana so pure you couldn't even trump it with a kangaroo dipped in Vegemite playing the anthem on a gum leaf.

"Welcome to the promised land, girls!"

“You have just arrived at your first challenge – you will be walking in the Rosemount runway show,” explains the Shiralee to the squealing girls who had NOY IDEA they would have to do any sort of modelling related activity here at Fashion Week.

“Oh no, WALKING,” gasps one, as if this is the ONE challenge she didn't anticipate facing on Australia's Next Top Model.

The Shiralee reveals that because the producers accidentally overbooked the show, there are too many contestants and a number of them will need to be executed immediately. This cues lots of strained mental arithmetic from the girls, and they all start wandering around muttering “16... minus 12... that's four... but multiplied by pi equals...” until Brittney shouts “155,000 PER CENT OF US WILL BE ELIMINATED!” and shuts everyone up. Personally, I'm taking a WILD GUESS that the girls not featured in the opening credits may be the ones who get eliminated. LET'S SEE IF I'M RIGHT.

Enter model mentor Josh Flinn, otherwise known as Johnathon Pease's less sleazy replacement, otherwise known as the lost fourth Bros member.

“As soon as I saw Josh, I saw his pants, and I thought 'oh cool',” says 17 year old Megan, a sentiment Josh no doubt wishes was coming from someone a bit older and a bit more male, and with the word “pants” replaced by “bum”.

Bros tells the modelettes they're going to be dressed and shown how to walk by some other people, thereby making his role on the show completely redundant, and then palms them off to his helpers while he buggers off to put more hairspray on his coiff-hawk.

As the girls are put through their paces we discover that Claire apparently doesn't have “enough centimetres between her knee and her ankle”, which seems like a problem unlikely to be rectified in the coming weeks. But that's not as bad as Alison, whose “body doesn't follow her feet”. Presumably while they're walking the runway, her torso is off down the pub sinking a few pints and complaining about the state of the economy. Both are told they're not walking in the show, as is freckle faced Ashlea who is basically told she's too fat to fit into sample sizes. Cue lifelong self esteem problem.... NOW.

All the thin models with normal legs run off to hair and make up, with their bodies following their feet, leaving the rejects behind to wallow in a pit of misery for the rest of the night. Or to sit in the audience of the fashion show hanging out with industry insiders and guzzling French champagne, I guess it depends on how you look at it.

“I was really nervous because there was Lara Bingle and Michael Klim and all the judges, and I really wished I was up on the runway,” says Ashlea, completely missing the point that she is SITTING NEXT TO all these people and therefore in a much more enviable position. Although thinking about it, maybe it would be best to get as far away from Lara Bingle as possible.

The runway show kicks off and the ANTM contestants are virtually indistinguishable from the professional models, thereby proving just how difficult and finely honed a skill catwalk modelling really is. In a nutshell:

  • Valeria couldn't make it to the show, sending her Doppel-Bot 3000 down the runway instead. Thankfully, its laser eyes have not been set to “stun”.


  • Six foot tall Brittney is made to lurch down the catwalk on a pair of patent leather stilts pretending to be shoes, and almost twists her ankle when she catches sight of how ridiculous she looks.

  • It becomes clear that Kelsey would automatically win this competition if she wasn't a midget.

  • The applause at the end of the show is almost drowned out by the collective sigh of frustration of the ANTM producers after not a single model stuffs up. Seriously – you take 12 nobodies, put them on stilts and thrown them down a runway and NO ONE falls over? Bugger.

After the totally anticlimactic challenge it's back in the Fiestas and off to Model HQ, which “turns up” (as one modelette puts it) somewhere on the outskirts of Sydney. All the girls start “OH MOY GOURD-ING” the moment they step through the door - “WALLS! OH MOY GOURD! A FLOOR! OH MOY GOURD!” - but to be honest, they could have chucked them in a two bedroom apartment in Redfern with mattresses on the floor and they would have had the same reaction.


Then someone notices the house is on a cliff, and it's like Justin Bieber has just stepped out of the broom cupboard - “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! A CLIFF!”. Never has a group of teenage girls been so excited by geology.

We go to an adbreak, and when we return four minutes later the girls are still “eeeeing”, this time over a huge pile of advertisements that has turned up in their living room. The next five minutes is spent watching the girls squeal over the package of underwear, face cream, mobile phones, jeans, shoes and cameras they've just been given – or, if you're me, watching my dog scratch himself where his goolies used to be, which is infinitely more entertaining.

Suddenly a Sarah Mail rocks up to let the modelettes know of their next challenge, complete with a quote from Grace Kelly. Good to see the Little ANTM Book of Big Quotes is getting another workout this year.

“Who's Grace Kelly?” yells Brittney, who not only has never heard of the actress but apparently isn't even aware that Grace is a woman's name.

“Apparently she's... or he... I didn't ask that one...” she continues. Sweetie, I know you probably have friends with names like Amba and Tayla, but I challenge you to find a man named Grace.

Well... maybe his name is Grace?

All the girls put on aviator sunglasses and identical shoes to walk to their photo shoot, which turns out to have a 1950s-60s theme. Should be a doddle for Brittney, then.

In a nutshell:

  • The shoot is based on the TV show Mad Men, which none of the girls has even heard of let alone seen. I'm sure this will go brilliantly.

  • Judge Jez “I'm not Nigel Barker” Smith decides he's not getting enough light in his shots, so unbuttons his shirt a bit more and uses his broad, newly-waxed chest as a portable reflector screen, proving why he is one of Australia's top photographers

  • Ashlea, who you may remember was TOO FAT to fit into the sample sizes, is now described as “curvy”, despite her doing a passable impression of a toothpick in a ballgown

  • Valeria sends her Modelbot on set for her again while she ducks down the servo for some chips, but sets it to “disappoint” by mistake and ends up disappointing Bros. “There are some girls who are just not meant to be models,” says Judge Jezzy, thereby cementing Valeria's future as “runner up” in this year's competition.

  • Meter maid Kimberley poses awkwardly with a giant liquorice allsort on her head, and complains it's too hard because “I'm not from the 50s”. She's right – however can they expect her to act like someone from THAT LONG AGO? Did they even WEAR clothes then, or were they still sitting around in caves trying to make fire?

  • In other news, I know the 80s are making a comeback, but I think we can draw the line at Brooke Shields' eyebrows:

And maybe lay off the rohypnol.

And with that, it's off to the elimination warehouse, where discarded models are put through a mincer and turned into styrofoam packaging for whitegoods.

Joining us is the Shiralee, who declares that not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE girls will be given the boot today, an announcement that sends shockwaves through the model pack and short circuits the Valeria-bot, tripping it into overdrive.

"I'm sorry Sarah, I can't do that."

Of course the other usual suspects are there too: Dawson, looking like the new villain from the latest Batman movie:

Behold! The Shoulder-Padinator!

Plus Pezza, who would actually really like to take those sunglasses off his head sometimes but can't because his head has started to grow around them, Judge Jezzy and Priscilla, Queen of the Desserts.

Time for the picture bitch:

  • Brittney looks like RuPaul

  • Chantal looks like Gwen Stefani

  • Valeria looks at her photo, cries, comes dangerously close to shorting a fuse

  • “That, to me, is Grace Kelly,” says Jez of Sophie's shot. “She looks like a man?” thinks Brittney.

  • Kelsey looks like Marlene Dietrich, makes me want to pour a very large martini and suck on a cigar while wheezing “Falling in love again” on top of a piano

  • Ashton poses in fur, satin and diamonds and still manages to be upstaged by a lamp

  • Pezza declares Claire to be less interesting than the couch she was photographed on

  • Dawson declares Claire to have “all the right proportions”, seemingly forgetting the all important bit between her knee and her ankle that has already been decided is too short.

  • We're all reminded that Kelsey is also too short. SHE'S SHORT, PEOPLE.

  • It becomes clear that Jessica may actually be a retarded six year old trapped in a 19 year old's body when she starts describing her experience at Fashion Week. “Just. As. I. Started. To. Walk. Out. I. Started. To. Shake. And. Freak. Out. Big. Time.” Somehow everyone is charmed by this, as well as by her photo, despite her looking like a Tim Burton animated character in it.

Now imagine Johnny Depp standing behind her, and you have the entire pitch for Tim Burton's next film.

  • “Kimberley looks like she works at Hooters or something,” says Pezza, to which the Shiralee replies “She does work at Hooters.” This may be the best exchange ever to air in an episode of ANTM.

It comes down to a handful – Kimberley is told she's got bad attitude (so I guess the rumours are true – nice girls DON'T work at Hooters), Alison is undisciplined, Claire's walk isn't amazing enough, neither is Ashlea's and and by virtue of the fact that she wears nice clothes, Sally is suspected of being a fashion designer wannabe instead of a model wannabe, one of the worst crimes recordable in the elimination warehouse.

Finally Valeria is told she lacks confidence, and curses herself for forgetting to install the “Confidence Service Pack v2.0” on her mainframe before she left home.

Five must go meaning one must stay – it proves to be Hooters lucky day, and the rest are sent packing, meaning my run of robot and skin disease inspired Valeria jokes has unfortunately come to an end. Bugger.

Join me next week for more model mayhem... It's only just begun!