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Thursday, April 06, 2006

America's Next Top Model Series Six #1

I'm so very excited. It's gonna be a crazy ride. Usually the first audition episode of America's Next Top Model is a bit flat, but this was BRILLIANT.

I know what the requirements are for being a Top Module: a) You must express emotion only by crying or squealing. b) Your eyes must be three metres apart. c) You must have a name that nobody's ever heard before, most likely given to you by your acid-dropping illiterate parents. d) You must be absolutely, barkingly, pooh-eatingly insane.

We start with 32 girls, more than half of whom are either a bit plain, or just plain weird-looking. The first of many gasps escaped my mouth when we met Dani, who looks a tiny bit like a (more) boring version of Lindsay Lohan, and is racist enough to shoot for Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan as a career option. On the bus to the hotel, she moaned that "95% of the girls at my audition were black", to which all the black girls on the bus said "So?". Nice introduction, Miss Most Likely To Be Stabbed In Her Sleep. On Dani's audition tape, she mentions that she's an "uber-conservative hardcore republican Baptist", and that she doesn't like gay people. Lucky she's after a job in the fashion industry. Nobody gay there.

After lots and lots of screaming, Jay (photo stylist) and Miss Jay (catwalk trainer) give the girls their first challenge - they're to put together an ensemble from their own clothes, and walk down a red carpet evoking "Sultry Sexy", "Sophisticated Lady", or "Young and Virginal". Quite a stretch of the acting skills on all counts. When the Jays shout "GO!", one of the girls (whose name I didn't catch, so for now she'll be known as The Hillbilly Redneck), drops her daks straight away, not leaving time for the Jays to point to the indoor change rooms. A 27-year-old doctor wins the challenge, seemingly due to her interpretation of 'Virginal' as 'Flapping Your Jacket Around Like You're Trying To Disperse Some Body Odour'.

More screaming at breakfast as the girls are shown a video of Tyra giving them a gee-up. A good moment when the videotaped Tyra asks a question, and 32 girls shout and scream their answer at the screen. Absolute maniacal hysteria when Ms Banks herself walks out from behind a curtain. Like, shaking, crying, and hand-flapping. The works. We're reacquainted with Tyra's wacky, homegirl-made-good display for another year, as she does a demo catwalk including a Beyonce-esque bootay shake. The woman gets wobblier and crazier every series, and I would like to hit her quite hard on the face.

We get to know our quarter-finalists one by one as they have individual chats with a panel of Tyra and the Jays. I loved this segment with all my heart and soul, and I think I might insist that they play a tape of it at my funeral. Some highlights:
Furonda the girl who used to work on a phone-sex hotline demonstrates her versatility by putting on her various phone-sex voices (for example "Big Black Momma", "Valley Girl", and "Dominatrix") and demonstrating her technique to the judges. Including moaning. And panting.
Kari looks for all the world like a blonde blow-up doll modelled after a fish, installed with the voicebox of a man.
Yvonne, our 27-year old emergency-room doctor, demonstrates her skill by performing the Heimlich Manoeuver on Miss Jay.
Wendy from New Orleans, whose eyes nearly meet at the back of her head, breaks down as she tells of her family's Hurricane Katrina ordeal. Her father is still missing. Seems like the perfect time to enter a modelling competition! One hug from Tyra and things seem all sunny again.
Jade, who I'm ready and waiting to hate like a sudden cockroach, is this season's I'm All That And A Bag Of Gorgeous Biscuits egomaniac. From the humble "People think I'm a b*tch just because I have this beautiful body" to the deluded "Tyra and the two Jays are like my team", she could Diva for her country.
The Crazy Korean (didn't catch the name) - babbles excitedly for 10 minutes, eyes wide and hands flapping, dribbling "I'm so proud to be Asian. I hate Asian guys. They're too short. I like white men. I'm the kind of girl who would strip naked if you asked me to. But I won't. My parents have a thing about it". We're gonna have a LOT of fun with this odd, odd girl.
Andrea has a beautiful face, but a body that looks like it's been made out of starving pipe-cleaners. On top of that, she's the biggest freakin' cry baby I've ever seen in my life. You're one of the finalists! WAAAAAAH! You'll have to spend time away from your family! WAAAAAH! Your eggs are ready! WAAAAAAAH! Every time a tear escapes her body you feel like she's going to collapse in an anorexic heap - she seriously can't afford any more fluid loss.
Dani the racist looks straight at our dusky Tyra and our two fudge-adoring Jays and tells them she doesn't like blacks or gays. "I just don't approve of your lifestyle". Nice move, Dani. Strategic. Joanie (snigger) from Beaver Falls (pfffffft!) is a preacher's daughter who spent a little time as a stripper. Praise the Lord.
Comment by the fairly non-descript Leslie: "My parents had a huge influence on how I was raised". You think?
Leah has a sick mother, but she'll be okay, because she has a thick skin. Or, in her words, "I gots 'gator skin without the bumps".
Nennia the Nigerian is insanely beautiful and will be in the final two with Mollie Sue the Scarlett Johansson lookalike. You heard it here first.

The girls are creatively culled down to 20 - they have to run into a room and open 20 make-up cases, each containing a photo of a girl who has made it into the next round. Much screaming, pushing, wailing and sprinting ensues, followed by air-punching, hoots and tears. Anorexic Andrea sheds a couple more tears despite getting through, and you can almost see her shrinking from the strain.

The 20 girls are given 10 minutes to whack some make-up on and line up for their first photo-shoot, a close-up beauty shot. Most of the girls do quite well, although an awful lot of them choose to drape one of their arms over their heads. As one girl commented, "You could have the prettiest armpits in the world - they still wouldn't look good in a photo". Word.

The judges go through the photos to decide upon the final 13, and Tyra gathers the girls together (Andrea throws in a few final sobs for good measure), and slowly and painfully announces the final 13 one by one. There's an excellent mix of beauty, poise, mental disturbance and 'tude. Andrea the Anorexic doesn't make it, but The Hillbilly Redneck does. Dani the racist is out, most likely due to some kind of conspiracy by some gay black agnostics. Here we go. I can't wait, I tells ya.

The teaser for next week includes a strange clip of Jay telling the girls they'll be 'going bald'. I might go into cryogenic hibernation just so the week goes quickly enough.
Bless their hillbilly diva hearts.

1 comment:

shellity said...

I have never been so excited about a show I've never seen! As long as there's jo, there's no need for me to pay for Foxtel. Bless you.