Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Australia's Next Top Model Recap: Season 7, Episode 11

Put on your limited edition Alex Perry sunglasses-hat, slap on your Madeline Signature Collection Eyeshadow and start waving your souvenir DAWSON HEARTS BOTOX flags - IT'S THE PENULTIMATE ANTM SEASON 7 RECAP!

She just needs a bottle of tequila and she's ready to go.

This week's recap is sponsored by 30% worse picture resolution, thanks to the wonders of compressed internet video.

"Oh no, not low resolution! My bum looks really big in that!"

Episode 11 kicks off in typical thrilling fashion, with all the modelettes lying around in the living room looking like the morning after the Rohypnol launch party.

"I thought the final four or five would be Jess, Caroline, Amelia and Izzy," drawls Simon(e), demonstrating that she is:

a) not good at counting up to five

b) occasionally good at pretending to be humble and

c) kinda rude to Rachel, Liz and Montana.

"I really have to show them everything this week," gabbles Liz.

Liz has forgotten this.

Suddenly - SARAH MAIL - which this week is brought to you courtesy of Sarah's crack pipe.

"Which finalist is not on her guard? Poison ivy can be prickly, and so too the life of a celebrity. It's time to learn from someone who knows," the video message rambles.

It's OK, I translated that for you.

"I WANNA MEET MEGAN GALE!" shrieks Liz, winning the inaugural Bland Canyon ANTM Non-Sequitur Award. Congratulations, Liz.

They all get in their promotional obligations and zoom off to The Ivy to meet Dawson, where they're all fed poison and made to do impressions of celebrities. No, that would make too much sense. What they actually do is log on to Facebook and look at the Australia's Next Top Model page. Yes, they do.

"Every week we've been posting your photo shoots up and just look at the comments!" yells Dawson.

Yes, let's.

For a second I thought I had screencapped the Sunday Arts Facebook page by mistake but no, this is the right one.

Dawson explains to them all that thanks to the wonders of the internet, along with modern society's general lack of belief in a higher power and willingness to idolise anyone with pretty teeth, they are now celebrities.

"I can't really see myself as a celebrity," grins Rachel, the only finalist who actually looks like a celebrity.

If Rachel grits her teeth and puts on an English accent, she can get into any nightclub in the world.

"I would use fame to be a role model for decency," she continues.

Sort of like Britney Spears.

"Everyone will be watching you now, anyone with a handheld device that can take a photo will be watching you, you need to control your brand," instructs Dawson, conveniently ignoring the past 10 weeks in which they've slagged each other off, worn outfits made of garbage and pranced about naked in pink paint.

Brand = under control.

To help them understand that posting naked photos of themselves on Twitter is a bad thing, Dawson introduces a "celebrity that knows exactly how social media can make you or break you", and out walks Lara Bingle.

There's an awkward pause as everyone waits for the celebrity to show up, but she never does so Dawson has to interview Bingle instead.

"What are some of the mistakes you've made?" she asks, forgetting it's only an hour program.

Well there was this...

And this...

...and this...

...and this...

...and this...

And look, the internet is only so big, OK, so we'll have to leave it there. Suffice to say that if you're the subject of a news article headlined WHERE THE BLOODY HELL DID BRAND BINGLE GO WRONG?, you are probably not really qualified to mentor people on personal brand control.

Nevertheless, La Bingle gives them all a comprehensive lecture on the iPhone ("it's so easy to take photos with, you don't even need a flash") before advising them to make sure their hair is done when they leave the house in the morning, and that just about wraps up the expert advice.

Suddenly the lights flicker, all the doors slam shut and somewhere in the distance, a dog howls. Then Daily Telegraph gossip writer Ros Reines walks into the room.

So... this must be awkward.

She's there to tell the girls just how she'd fuck their lives up in the national press if they ever say anything saucy on Facebook.

"If my boyfriend cheated and you found out, would you write about that?" asks Liz.

"Of course!" shrieks Reines.

I can see it now.

After all of this extremely helpful advice the modelettes decide to enjoy some down time by throwing coloured balls at sand dunes, an endeavour so thrilling I am glad when a Sarah Mail arrives to break the tension.

You won't believe this, but the whopping budget which has so far furnished us with such mind-boggling technology as video text messages has clearly still got some cash in it, which an ANTM production assistant has thoughtfully spent on an old bottle.


The thrills don't stop when Simon(e) opens the bottle and finds a rolled up placemat from Barnacle Bill's inside.

"Y'arr, fish fingers be only $1 with any meal!"

All the girls fight over who gets to do the Fishy Find-A-Word, until Simon(e) breaks the argument by announcing that they're all going on an "island adventure".

Geography master Montana is first to start posturing on their next destination, saying "I immediately thought of where we'd be going, like Costa Rica..."

"...or The Caribbeans..."

Liz joins the intelligence festival by expressing disdain at suggestions they might be travelling to New York.

"Uh, I don't even think that's an island, guys."

Next thing you know all the modelettes are stuffing their luggage full of bikinis, sarongs and thongs, in what can only be described as EXTREMELY SUBTLE COMEDIC FORESHADOWING THAT THEY'RE PROBABLY ALL GOING SOMEWHERE REALLY COLD.

This can only mean one thing.

"We've been to Paris, we've been to Kangaroo Island, what on earth could be next?" gasps Montana, in what is possibly the first utterance of those two place names together in the history of civilisation.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Tourism Board gets another great advertising idea.

This cost $2.5 million.

Next thing you know they're all piling into a helicopter. So let's hope they're NOT going to New York, then.

Simon(e) surmises they're going to an island because "helicopters can fly over water". And possibly also because IT SAID THEY WERE GOING ON AN ISLAND ADVENTURE IN THE SARAH MAIL. In other news, helicopters can also fly over land.

After approximately two minutes in the air, they land - on Cockatoo Island.

"It wasn't exactly Costa Rica," laughs Monotona.

Right, because unlike Costa Rica, Cockatoo Island is actually an island.

They're greeted by the Pearly King of Cockatoo Island who explains that their next challenge is to sew as many buttons onto his jacket as they can in 12 hours so he can win the champion sash at the next Sydney Bead Enthusiasts Meet-Up.

"Get cracking, girls!"

Then he announces that the girls will be tied to a crane and dangled out over Sydney Harbour. It's a pity they're not taking advantage of the helicopter instead, because I was hoping for something like this:

Just imagine.

As it turns out, the likelihood of being eaten by a shark becomes a real possibility when it is revealed that the girls are to be dressed up like seabirds:

Better than being dressed as a seal, I guess.

Chicks dressed as birds on a crane on Cockatoo challenge in a nutshell:

  • "I think I'd like to channel an old Hollywood movie star like Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn," says Monotona.

    Note to Montana: Saying you want to emulate Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn is like saying you want to be a model or a brain surgeon.

  • Liz distracts herself from her fear of heights by talking about her school exams. In other news, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  • Rachel gets given the least dramatic frock of the day, which won't help her win best photo but will help her win the Whistler's Mother lookalike contest:

    Spot the difference.

  • Simon(e) does a very accurate impression of the lesser crested Booby:

    "Can you see them OK?"

Suddenly Bros rocks up to tell the girls they'll all be camping on the island for the night, an announcement that shocks the girls to their very core.

"Are there like, wild animals here like, wild cockatoos?" shrieks Monotona.

No, but there are really annoying screeching Simones.

"I would rather stay in a brothel or a mental asylum than stay in a tent," declares Simon(e), obviously unaware of how easily those two outcomes could be achieved.

The girls hit the tents, the screen fades to black, they wake up in the morning and that's the end of the camping segment. Well, that was worth it. Let's take another poll:

What was the point of the camping segment?
To get the girls out of the house so Dawson could use it to host one of her slumber parties
To get the girls out of the house so Bros could use it to shoot his new video
To get the girls out of the house so Pezza could use the floorspace to polish his sunglasses collection
Tourism NSW paid for it

They all get on a boat (AMAZING SIDENOTE: it's the same boat that brought them to the model mansion in episode one. I know, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?) and zoom off to meet Charlotte who is clutching some envelopes.

The thrills on this show just keep coming.

Dawson announces they're all off on "go-sees" with four Australian designers, which they'll have to get to themselves using a map.

Geography expert Rachel is the most excited, enthusing "The map was really big and the streets were really small!"

Mm, it tends not to work as well the other way round.

Stereotype-confirming navigation challenge in a nutshell:

  • In a shocking surprise Simon(e), from NSW, does the best in navigating her way around Sydney. Some might call this an unfair advantage. Not me.

  • Simon(e) makes it to Megan Gale's swimwear factory where she opens the ark of the covenant and reveals the most hideous swimsuit ever created. I'd screencap it for you but the low resolution actually improves it, so my joke won't work.

  • It is also in this segment that we learn that Simon(e) has double D boobs. I'm not quite sure why this hasn't been mentioned before, either by the judges (because large breasts are not usually a characteristic of top models) or by any of the photographers (who really could have taken more opportunities to make"BA-OOOBA!" noises during shoots).

  • Liz visits designer Camilla Franks, is told she'll probably make it "in the next few years", which is great because the finale is next week.

  • Simon(e) and Rachel are both told they need to work on their walk, which is funny because they've done so much catwalk training this series absolutely zero catwalk training this series.

  • Monotona accidentally crosses the Harbour Bridge and ends up going off the map, into the nothing.

    Luckily, a friendly resident helps her find her way back.

  • Megan Gale fan Liz makes it to her casting at "Isola by Megan Gale", sits down, looks around at all the Megan Gale posters, has a cup of tea, flips through a few magazines and admires the ads for Megan Gale's new swimwear line, watches the seasons change and then realises that she is about to meet Megan Gale.

  • She is excited about this.

  • Monotona finally makes it to designer Fernando Frisoni, and is thrown for a loop when she's asked to walk. "Everything I knew about walking flew out the door," she moans.

    Because there is a lot to remember, isn't there?

  • Simon(e) dares to lift her arms for a photo without having shaved her underarms for 24 hours, causing the photographer to faint, the designer to suffer a stroke and the entire camera crew to run out the door screaming.

  • Rachel has a map-related breakdown in the middle of the street after failing to navigate her way around Sydney. Coincidentally, this is exactly what happened to Captain Cook when he arrived at Botany Bay.

    It's true.

  • And with that, it's straight off to elimination to determine who will be our final three. Can you taste the excitement, people?

    It tastes like this.

    For the last time the final four strides into the elimination warehouse, where unphotogenic models are hoisted up on a crane over Sydney Harbour and used as bait in the "Shark-tastic Sydney!" tourist attraction (winner Travelocity Best Sydney Attraction 2009 and 2010).

    The Shiralee announces their special guest judge for the day - Bros! But he's clearly doing it for the money - the guy is so poor he's had to make his shirt out of newspaper.

    EXCLUSIVE: Popped collars are back!

    Shall we do it? Shall we picture bitch?

    • Montana looks a little like a rotisserie chicken under heat lamps at your local Coles.

      SPECIAL: Only $4.99.

    • Simon(e)'s photo documents the split second she almost blacked out the whole of Sydney by eclipsing the sun with her big head.

      Disaster narrowly averted.

    • Sensing that she may not make the final cut Simon(e) launches a bid for sympathy by crying.

      "Do these tears look real? I'm thinking about my dead cat and everything."

    • Rachel looks like the new recipient of a prosthetic right arm attending the funeral of her actual right arm.

      "Guess I'll have to learn to open beers with my left, now."

    • Liz looks beautiful, if not a little like someone mid-way through vaporising from the legs up.

      "Now you see me..."

    In a completely shocking bolt from the blue, Monotona is the first through to the final three. In other news, she will probably win, so you can start practising your "I'm so not surprised" face now.

    And then there's Liz, which is great because I've just received my first shipment of these from Hong Kong:

    Just in time for Christmas!

    And so it comes down to Rachel and Simon(e), battling it out for the final spot. Rachel wishes it were a "Who looks the most like Keira Knightley" competition, while Simon(e) would prefer to be competing for the title of Biggest Bitch. Sadly though they're in a modelling competition and, as in the movie Highlander, there can be only one.

    "Rachel," announces The Shiralee, as Simon(e) breaks down in tears, takes off her stiletto and starts beating her head with it.

    Oh, hang on...

    "I'm feeling sick about this..."


    Never mind Rachel, that's what Australian television is like.


    "I did feel bad that she was eliminated but I wasn't heartbroken about it because if she wasn't eliminated then it would have been me," says Simon(e), while simultaneously checking the ANTM mailbox to see if her MENSA membership card has arrived yet.

    So there you have it, Australia, your top three: Simon(e), Liz and Monotona. As with all legitimate contests, such as the Olympics, the winner will be decided by text message vote at a live telecast from the Sydney Opera House next week. Gee, I'm so glad I can't go this year, it sounds really uncool and not fun at all.

    Will Dawson turn up in nothing but pink paint? Will Pezza wear sunglasses on his head the entire night? Will Bros do a tapdance routine? (Don't laugh, that actually happened last year). Will The Shiralee get the winner's name right?

    Leave me a comment. IT'S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO.


    GO BACK TO episode 10 ... GO ON TO a final look at our contestants


    1. The best. Just... the best. I love you! FLY BACK TO SYDNEY TO DO THE FINALE!

    2. I am sad and elated at the same time to tell you that both in research quality, grammar and orthography your blog by far exceeds the published newspaper articles you linked to. Not to speak of the pictures. Those are GENIUS!!

    3. Front runner Montana is incredibly boring, I agree that Monotona is the perfect name for her!
      At least last year's front runner and winner, Amanda, had a million ridiculously stupid yet funny, boganess sayings for our entertainment.

      Vote Liz or Simone people! Actually I think we should all vote for Simone just to piss off Alex Perry to the extreme.
      Remember last year when he said he'd eat his hat (or something similar) if Kelsey won?
      I can't help but wonder if Sarah purposely stuffed up the winner in the hopes he might actually come through with the goods!

    4. I loved how they were saying elimination from the contest at this point would destroy them. Exocet missiles and bazookas from the judges at the elimination warehouse? Bring it!

    5. I think that "commercial" is ANTM-speak for "really big tits". They're always calling Simone commercial. I haven't breastfed my baby since I left for work this morning so I am looking totally commercial right now.

    6. If ANTM had any sense they would sign you up as their official blogger. But with this lame Series 7 limping to its end, I get the feeling there might not be a Series 8. It's easy to satirise these gormless girls and the fatuous things that issue from their glossy lips - geographically challenged Rachel is a case in point - not to mention their self-important 'mentors' - but you do it with an unrivalled wit and a sharp eye for illustration/caption that always hits the target. Many many thanks!

    7. where is episode 12? Come on!