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
IT'S AUSTRALIA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, MOLLS.
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:
"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.
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:
"OYM JARST A GOLD COAST BOYGAN."
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”.
CRUSH. KILL. DESTROY.
- 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.
"OH MOY GOURD, A STAINLESS STEEL KITCHEN!"
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!