Email me

Friday, April 28, 2006

America's Next Top Model Series Six #4

This week's episode was indescribably brilliant, which may prove problematic, as I now have to spend the next eleven paragraphs describing it. I'll start with a title. Let's call it The Falling Over Episode.

The Gina vs. Jade potential hair-pulling fracas appears to be almost upon us. Every time one of them said something, the other would screw up their face in disgust. Difficult for Gina - how do you screw up a face that is constantly morphing in a state of screwing-up flux?

Gina the Crazy Korean seems to have latched onto Daniele the 'Gator-Skinned Ghetto Princess as her supportive saviour, not entirely to Daniele's delight. Daniele gives Gina some patient advice, tells her not to be so nervous, and to believe in herself, but then tries to gently extricate herself by announcing that she's off to have a shower. Gina confirms her stalker status by asking "Can I follow you? Can I watch you take a shower?". I'm sorry, but even in a consenting, adult marriage that's a creepy couple of questions. As Daniele said to camera (in her highly endearing Bronx vernacular), "Leave me alone. Don't be like, all up in my zone". Word, sister. Tellin' her old-school.

A Tyra-Mail (or Tyrant-Mail, as she is now called, thank you, Nessie) sends the girls off to Walking Class tutored by Miss Jay, resplendent in skin-tight black stuff. The modules are told to don high-heels and 'show what they've got' down a catwalk. Furonda is okay, although her left arm appears to be possessed by the ghost of an errant windmill. Leslie pokes her arse out in an uncomfortable-looking gibbon-on-heat stance, Sara stomps like she's in a marching band, and Gina, needless to say, seems unsure. Jade is still sporting her psycho-chic head-sarong, and Kari The Blow-Up Doll has a little stumble, most likely due to the massive top-heavy weight of her bulbous lips. Had enough girls? No fear. Let's do it again in long, puffy evening gowns! Kari, swathed in an alarming gingham doona-cover, has another quick trip, and Gina awkwards her way down the runway in a gigantic Korean meringue. Jade does quite well, and comments to camera that she's coming out of her shell, gesticulating insanely as if beckoning to some men in white coats. Shell? SHELL? If she comes out of her shell any further she'll turn herself inside out, and then the crazy will be on the outside. Daniele, dressed in a black and white candy-cane, becomes tangled in some dangles and almost comes a cropper.

The girls are starting to feel the pressure, and Kari cries to her parents on the 'phone, missing her hometown and all the other dolls in the toy-box.

Another Tyrant-Mail contains just two words: Gromphadorhina Portentosa, which prompts mass speculation and frantic Googling by our modules. What could it mean? Will we find out at the next challenge?

Challenge Time, and the girls meet Jared Gold, an avant-garde designer, who tells them they'll be strutting their stuff on a runway in a number of his freaky frocks, in front of a judging panel of 'fashion peers' who look like extras from a Roald Dahl-inspired Marilyn Manson clip. Make-up artists proceed to smear black eyes and rosy cheeks on our bevy of insane beauties, causing Kari to comment that she "looks like a hooker from... you know... old hooker times". Jay announces that the girls need some accessories (Is this it? Do we find out what those words mean?) and points to a ceramic goblet an assistant is holding. Daniele, coming through with the verbal goods again, says "So what, we're carrying a goblet down the runway? I can do dat. I can be a girl pimp like dat". But no. Inside the goblet is a number of Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches which are distributed, one each, to the girls. These are special Fashion Cockroaches, though - they've had faux jewels glued onto them and each is reined into a special roach leash so they can't run away. The work-experience kid really had his work cut out for him this week.

Gina starts convulsing with entomological terror as soon as she sees the roaches, and says "I hate cockroaches. I'm so scared, I started to puke in my mouth a little". Jade gives her no end of grief for being, well, a bizarre twitching freak. Furonda is first, and she solves the windmill and cockroach dilemma by just holding the roach straight out in front of her. Smooth. Mollie-Sue (Hi, Mollie-Sue! Don't forget to bring home some milk!) walks the whole way with the roach on her back, and Jade struts out boldly, stopping at the end to kiss the cockroach. It's Gina's turn, and things are Not Good. Whenever a cockroach is brought anywhere near her, first she grimaces, then cries. Then shakes her head. Then screams and wails like a really, really upset banshee. In the end the exasperated designer just pushes her out onto the catwalk and hopes for the best.

Jade wins the Walking Challenge, and gets to take four friends (Nnenna, Daniele, Mollie-Sue and Leslie) to front-row seats in the VIP tent at Fashion Week. After the show, she gushes "I wanna walk there. I want people to see my talent". Only if they can scrape away your humility, pet.

A Fairy Tale Tyrant-Mail sends the modules to this week's photo shoot, where they're dressed as modern-day fairy-tale characters. Jay (with a straight face, amazingly) explains a basic modelling concept - that Models Must Look Pretty When They Are Falling Over. How to illustrate this in a photo shoot? Get them to fall off the top of a ladder onto a big cushion! Of course! Jade practices frantically in front of a mirror, and then does a fairly decent job of being a plummeting Red Riding Hood. I'd like to take a moment to say that there are few sights as consistently funny as watching dumb pretty girls fall off stuff. It's just the way things are. The editors of the show obviously agree, as each side-splittingly hilarious topple is shown two or three times, in freeze frame, in slo-mo, and even backwards. Bless 'em. Jay tries to help Furonda-as-Rapunzel find her motivation, asking "Now, why does Rapunzel have all this hair?". "T'get a man", she replies. Kari-as-Goldilocks is confused because "I don't know where to put my head". Mollie-Sue-as-Little-Boy-Blue frustrates Jay with her lack of expression, so he gets her to warm up by making her stand on one spot and scream. He's like Freud, that guy. Leslie-as-Big-Bad-Wolf does a good job despite having been given a brown nose by the make-up artists. I know a joke about brown-nosing would be suitable here, but to be honest, there's just too many rushing to my head all at once. Nnenna topples over like a gigantic Nigerian Sequoia, and Daniele-as-Snow-White/Black rocks it with the best photo of the lot. Gina-as-Sleeping-Beauty is distracted by evil Jade's nasty taunts, and Jay accuses her of 'thinking too much', which may not be a criticism she's familiar with.

Judgement time, and Tyrant re-introduces the judges, including Spunky Nigel, whom I now think about when I buy underwear. As a mini-challenge, the modules are given a pair of Vivienne Westwood shoes (yes, the same ones that toppled Naomi Campbell) which are taller than most flagpoles, and told to walk along a makeshift catwalk INCLUDING a couple of stairs. This will now be called Ankle-Snapping Afternoon. Kari is first, and makes it halfway before bending her ankles the wrong way and turning her lower half into a high-fashion pretzel of pain. She still manages to give some attitude with altitude, though. And then sort of stumbles again. And again. Most of the girls do a bit of a slip-n-slide here, a bit of a James Brown Shuffle there, but Joanie, thanks to her experience as preacher's-daughter-cum-pole-dancer, struts up and back without drama, even managing some saucy posturing. Nobody, however, could have prepared me for the Daniele Debacle. She makes it three-quarters of the way to the judging panel and then suddenly - and there's no other way of putting it - executes the Stack of the Century. Each ankle buckles in a different direction, and her arse hits the floor in a mess of flailing limbs. The judges first gasp, then try desperately to contain their explosive laughter behind their hands. Daniele gets up with a smile, turns gracefully, makes it to the end of the catwalk, and then BANG! She's down again, shin-bones not connected to the ankle bones, practically somersaulting down the last step, and, as she reported later, "my pinkie toe come right out and twisted". She surrenders and crawls out of the room on her hands and knees. The judges surrender also, and cack their daks with laughter. Cruel. Inhumane. Freakin' comedy GOLD. Why no bones were snapped is still a mystery.

The judges deliberate, mirthful tears still sparkling in their eyes, and the girls are called back in, 10 able-footed, and 1 on crutches. Modules' names are called out one by one until only Gina the Crazy Korean and Kari the Blow-Up Doll are left. They prepare for what has now become Tyrant's Self-Esteem Mangling Session, and she doesn't disappoint. Kari is told that her last photo was awful, that she's too short, and that she doesn't have model proportions. Gina is asked why she's smiling, and then why she's even here. Kari cries buckets, and Gina looks like a stunned guppy, until finally and incredibly, Kari The Blow-Up Doll is sent home. Ironically, she looks a little deflated. Bye, Kari! Don't walk into anything sharp on your way out.

Next week, we're promised Janice Dickinson's Posing Class, in which she tells someone to "Zip It, B*tch!", and a bit of a barney between Jade and Gina. Plastic Bits. Drastic Spits. Spastic Fits.

No comments: