Every week as the opening credits roll the Shiralee asks “Who will be Australia's Next Top Model?”. And every week I find myself wondering who the LAST one was...
Oh that's right.
Predictably enough all the girls are having a whinge about how Chantal was kicked out instead of Kimberly, even though Chantal managed to look like her mother in every photograph and Kimberly looks like a hot little mod rocker.
Except here, where she looks like a primary school boy with an unfortunate bowl cut who's accidentally had a shower with his clothes on.
“I don't give two flying fruitcakes what the other girls think,” Kimberly says. Mm, flying fruitcake.
Meanwhile, back at Model HQ Amanda is learning about the life and times of Neanderthal man from an exhibit especially flown in from the National Science Museum in Canberra.
Me make fire with sticks.
But her educational interlude is interrupted by Bros who bursts into the house to tell the models they only have 20 MINUTES to get ready to meet “a very special guest”. OMG ONLY 20 MINUTES? HOW WILL THEY... hang on, 20 minutes is actually quite adequate time to get dressed in. Is this the lamest challenge ever?
“I was freaking out because I only had like, five minutes to get dressed,” Amanda says, unfortunately ruling out her corset, crinoline and bussell. Darn – it'll have to be jeans then.
“Well ladies, your guest has arrived, so I think it's time you met her,” says Bros with a wry smile.
What follows is the SINGLE GREATEST MOMENT EVER RECORDED IN TOP MODEL HISTORY: the camera pans down to an armchair which slowly spins around, Bond villain style, to reveal Priscilla – Queen of the Desserts.
Somebody set us up the bomb!
All the girls are relieved they put their best outfits on – especially Kelsey, who almost breaks into the first bars of “Take it From Me” to make sure her fashion homage to early 90s band Girlfriend doesn't go unnoticed. Sophie, meanwhile, has opted for an edgy look with a dress that reveals what her insides would look like if she were a replicant.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate...
Priscilla, however, is not amused, labelling Kathryn a bank teller and Sophie a call girl.
“I was crapping myself, because...” begins Amanda, but the rest of her sentence is drowned out by the sound of millions of viewers across the country yelling “STOP TALKING ABOUT POO!”
Bros takes the girls upstairs for a quick szujsh, grabbing the Spray and Wipe from the kitchen on the way to deal with Sophie's make up, and brings them back down looking pretty much the same as before, except in jeans.
Priscilla is impressed.
Sophie is told she looks “amazing” without makeup.
Sadly, it seems nothing can be done about her hair.
Suddenly Priscilla makes an exciting announcement – all the girls will be “going on a trip away”.
OMG – New York?
“You'll all be going to Melbourne!” she trumpets.
Fortunately the modelettes are the type to get excited when someone mentions the word “jeans”, so hearing they're going to Melbourne is enough to cause several of them to faint.
“Oh my god THANK YOU!” they shriek, as if they've wanted to go to Melbourne all their lives but just haven't been able to afford the exorbitant $50 return airfare on Jetstar. THEIR DREAMS HAVE FINALLY COME TRUE.
Virgin Blue, Virgin Blue, Langham Hotel, Virgin Blue – hey presto they're in Melbourne, and just to prove it we get some gratuitous shots of the trams, the shitty weather and pretentious people in black with strange haircuts acting like they totally don't care they're being filmed.
“I'm telling you the camera is pointed right at ME. I think it's because of my haircut. Hang on I'll have to call you back.”
They're shown to the Presidential Suite of the Langham, which is apparently where famous people stay when they're in Melbourne, possibly because it's filled with so much opulence and glamour it distracts them from the fact they're in Victoria.
Suddenly the glamour is interrupted by a strange ringing sound that sounds uncannily like the ringing sound made by a phone when someone is calling it.
“Hey what's that?” shouts Kathryn, who has clearly just arrived from 1832 and is astounded to discover a device that allows people to talk to people that aren't in the same room as them.
Shockingly, it's a Sarah Mail. Hands up who didn't see that coming?
“Tomorrow you'll be doing go-sees with some of Melbourne's top designers,” the Shiralee says via video message. Kathryn practically faints from technology overload – first it rings, then it TALKS!
“We are TOTALLY doing castings!” says Kelsey, showing off her ability to restate what someone has already said and still surprise herself.
Fulfilling the desires of pre-teen male viewers all over Australia, it's revealed that due to budget constraints, the models will have to share beds. Sadly the planned tie-in deal with Lynx deodorant fell through so they don't have to pillow fight or spray whipped cream on each other, but they are contractually obliged to snuggle, something which proves an issue for bedmates Sophie and Kimberly.
“Touch me in my sleep and you're going to get a backhander,” slags Kimberly, before muttering that she's “freezing her gonads off”. Not only does this virtually guarantee that Sophie won't be going anywhere near Kimberly in her sleep, it may well solve the mystery of why Kimberly doesn't like wearing bikinis. Gonads are hard to cram into a G string, you know.
“Why have you got all the blankets? Did you just call me a lesbian? What's the capital of Finland?” she blathers as Sophie desperately tries to block her out by fashioning her block of hair into a set of ear muffs.
“My favourite ice cream of all time – Golden Gaytime. Icy poles, are they the ones with sticks in them? I don't like the colour of this blanket. We're going to be covered in fluff...” she continues.
The original odd couple.
The next morning all the modelettes wake up early to meet Bros, except Kimberly who hasn't gone to sleep yet.
“Why is the sky blue? I don't like pasta. Have you ever tried to watch TV upside down? I can hold my breath for two minutes...”
They all troop down to somewhere grey and cold looking to meet Bros, who is desperately trying to avoid swarms of autograph seeking fans by pretending to be one of the members of East 17 instead.
In the tradition of Australia's Next Top Model featuring fashion designers who have recently been involved in some sort of national scandal (hi, Wayne Cooper!) Bros tells the girls they'll be doing a casting for Alannah Hill today, right after she gets done apologising for setting feminism back 50 years.
But first they're off to another TOP designer – Life with Bird. Er... Life with Bird? You know them, they're the ones who... er... Life with Bird, everybody!
They walk up and down, a few get chosen to walk up and down a bit more, and then Amanda is told she's the one with the most “blank canvas appeal”. I think this is a compliment.
Then it's off to J'Aton Couture, where they meet the only surviving members of New Kids on the Block cover band Hangin' Tough, whose meteoric rise to the top of the theatre restaurant circuit was cut short by a tragic ironing accident in 1993.
Now they're taking things step by step.
“It's all about quality - the wearer needs to possess the gowns that we create for them,” one says, outlining the business philosophy that has made J'Aton so successful – allowing customers to actually OWN the clothes they buy. Genius.
“We're after a muse that's going to captivate us,” says the other.
I've got just your girl.
In the end they pick Joanna, Kathryn and Sophie to flounce about in their dresses, even putting Sophie through the GRUELLING challenge of sitting down, which she passes with flying colours.
“The way you sat down in my dress, I nearly died,” says Aton (or maybe it's J', it's hard to tell), before asking Sophie to stand up, and sit down again... and stand up... and sit.. do..own... oh stand up! SIT DOWN! SIT DOWWWWWN! OH GOD SIT DOWN OH YEAH OH SIT OH SIT OH SIT!!!
After a quick shower he tucks a $20 note into Sophie's cleavage and kicks the girls out the door, and they roll on down the street to Alannah Hill's studio, where she is busy transforming into Cyndi Lauper's evil twin sister.
Girls just wanna have fu-un.
Unlike the other designers who told the girls to act strong and confident and edgy, Alannah gives the modelettes a clear description of how she wants them to walk down the catwalk – namely like a sexy kitten who's kind of like a cupcake that's sexy and pink on the inside.
"Oh SURE Alannah, no problem, just like a cupcake! What the hell is she talking about?”
After that Alannah takes a big, steady hit on her crack pipe and so commences the weirdest casting session in the history of ANTM. She makes Joanna go down on all fours and miaow like a cat. She asks Kathryn if she has a pussy. She tells Amanda she wants to ride her.
“I know it seems mad, but I need to see how they cope with being embarrassed,” Alannah says, which doesn't bode well for what her latest collection looks like.
“Act like a bad, naughty air hostess,” she tells Brittney, who promptly shouts “I'VE HAD IT!”, grabs two beers and runs out the door.
Later, Alannah says Brittney's not quite right because “her life experience might be not quite what I'm after”, which is a nice way of saying “I think she's a virgin”.
Back at the hotel Bros announces Amanda has won the day's challenge, and she celebrates by instantly soiling herself. Then he tells the modelettes they're going to be shooting some sort of ad campaign tomorrow, news which is received in the usual fashion.
Drink a double.
They all go to bed, Sophie calls Kelsey a “farken dwarf”, and suddenly it's morning again. On their way to the shoot Kimberly devises a cunning plan to win the competition – bribery.
“I'll do anything to win this, I'll even pay them off – but I've only got nine dollars so that's not going to work,” she says. Unless Dawson, Pezza and the Shiralee have been switched with orphaned Vietnamese rice growers for this episode, you're right - that's not going to work.
They meet up with Bros, who is sporting the shrunken head of recent evictee Chantal around his neck as an extra incentive for the models to not be eliminated.
“Take a bad photo and this could be you.”
He tells them they'll be shooting an ad for Impulse body spray in which they'll have to call on their “acting skills” to portray each different scent. After all that practice at Alannah Hill's joint, Kathryn hopes she gets Eau de Kittylitter.
Kelsey is assigned “Paris Chic” and Kimberly denigrates an entire race by claiming her “uppity” nature makes her perfect for the role.
“We are not, ow you say 'uppity'. We are FRANCH.”
Meanwhile Kimberly is given the scent of “True Love”, a difficult concept for her to grasp as at Hooters the scent of True Love is usually a mixture of KY and buffalo wings. It's clear the shoot is going to be a difficult one, as she's also apparently philosophically opposed to the product.
“True love doens't exist, so I couldn't grasp the concept of being all doughy-eyes or whatever they wanted,” she garbles.
Kimberly: Doesn't do bikinis. Doesn't do true love. Touch her gonads and you'll get a backhander.
In a nutshell:
- Joanna is assigned “New York Sass”, ends up looking more like an extra from Romper Stomper: The Musical.
She's got a busy evening of headkicking in front of her fter this.
- Kimberly's portrayal of “True Love” is given a real boost by the fact she is placed in a dirty alleyway surrounded by overflowing bins.
- FINALLY someone works out how to style Sophie's hair.
PRAISE THE LORD!
- Kelsey gets rained on, Amanda gets blown away, everyone else is boring.
And with that it's off to the elimination warehouse, where Pezza and Identity Dawson are sharpening the blades on their new Model Cruncher 3000, into which tonight's loser will be fed and turned into dermal filler for Bert Newton's forehead.
“It's definitely getting harder each week because there's less people, so there's more chance you're going to go home,” says Joanna, simultaneously sealing the envelope for her MENSA application.
Everyone's looking super fantastic, particularly Dawson who has wrapped herself in foil especially for the occasion:
She'll lightly steam for seven minutes later on and serve herself with a soy marinade.
Onto the picture bitch:
- Amanda's mouth looks like it's trying to quietly escape her face without anyone noticing
- Sophie proves baked goods and fashion can't mix by standing under a sign reading “little cupcakes” and looking like a famine victim
- Kathryn does a snappy impression of Linda Blair in the Exorcist by simultaneously losing her neck and twisting her body back to front.
I'm the devil. Now kindly undo these straps.
- Kimberly sees an opportunity to act like a nob and seizes it with both hands, crapping on about “being objective” and “profesional” while crying and being neither. Strangely enough after being dressed in a military jacket and placed in front of some garbage bins, Kimberly fails to portray “true love” in her photo.
- Joanna is congratulated on looking just like a London girl in her shot for “New York Sass”, but is ordered to wax her underarms before the next photo shoot.
A bit of Veet should fix up THAT little problem.
In the end it comes down to two – Brittney the Lump, and Kimberly the Grump.
Kimberly is told to harden up, and Brittney is told she's relying too heavily on her genetics, which seems a rather unfair criticism. What's she going to do, stand near a nuclear reactor for a few hours to scramble her chromosomes up a bit?
“We need to see more charisma from you,” says the Shiralee.
Well. Fair enough.
Finally the Lump gets a second chance, leaving Kimberly with one last chance to make a dick of herself.
“I'm not going to continue with modelling, this was my last chance – I'm 20 years old and I've got to do as my father says and get an education and go and do something with my life,” she says.
The Shiralee implores her to continue with modelling but she's having none of it.
“I don't want to. I thought this week nup – learnt enough, need to find something else to entertain myself with now,” she continues in a manner one might describe as tasting a little bit like SOUR GRAPES.
And with that, she grabs her gonads and strides out the door, leaving a trail of shocked faces behind her.
Kimberly: doesn't do bikinis, doesn't do true love, doesn't do gratitude or dignity.
See ya next week, kids!