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Thursday, May 11, 2006

America's Next Top Model Series Six #6

My, oh my.
Parts of this week's episode of America's Next Top Model left me a bit... nonplussed. Mildly unusual behaviour has blossomed into eyebrow-raising, one-hand-on-the-knife-drawer strangeness. Let's call it the That B*tch Is Trippin' episode.

We open as usual with the girls reeling from last week's elimination, questioning their futures in pastel tracksuits. Brooke the Bruised is certain she'll be next to go, packed as she is with un-tappable potential. Mollie-Sue (Hi, Mollie-Sue! Got anything that needs washing?) is frustrated by the judges' comments that she has no tangible personality. "I have personality", she wails. "I fart!".

Nnenna the Nigerian, whom I secretly suspect may be turning into something of a dusky diva, is - gasp! - on the 'phone to her boyfriend! He wails like a captive killer whale, and the total of all Nnenna's responses can be summed up as "Whatever". Jade, who slinks around in the background like a sinister fruitcake, starts giving some "advice" to Nnenna, wanting them to stay together, with the obvious hope that if the lanky African is emotionally compromised, it will improve her own chance of winning. As she says to camera: "I'm free. I have nothing holding me back". Except for, maybe, 26 years under your belt and a pixie that tells you to burn things...

Tyra drops in to the model mansion for a surprise visit. I clenched my teeth and gripped the arms of the couch, expecting the obligatory Tyra One-On-One Pep Talk that happens tediously every series, but no. Something's wrong. Tyra's tired. She must be. She says "I'm so tired, y'all". She flutters her lids, puts her hand to her brow, stands on wobbly legs and, most tellingly, DOESN'T do any kind of bootay-shakin' dance. Something MUST be wrong. All of a sudden Tyra's knees buckle and she's down on the floor, out for the count. Our modules freak out, their scrawny frames overcome with adrenalin, and panic sets in. Tyra stirs slightly, and the girls crowd around her, concern furrowed deeply in their powdered foreheads. They leap back in shock when Tyra miraculously recovers, leaps up in the air and shouts "HA! I was ACTING! Today you're gonna learn about ACTING!". Yeah. Freakin' hilarious. Unsurprisingly, none of the girls see the funny side, having just left chocolate messages in their undies, and Furonda even sheds a few tears. Tyra soldiers on, earnestly telling the girls about the importance of acting in a modelling career. Then, to make things all better, everyone gets a pink t-shirt!

The modules are bussed off to an 'improv and sketch theatre', where Jade claims "Girl, I think I'm made for the stage", and then proceeds to try to show off some gigantic white boots she's wearing by resting her feet above her head at every opportunity. The girls are told to act terrified, then act like Janice Dickinson, and then act angry. Personally, I couldn't tell the difference between the last two - shouting and squinting. Next, the girls line up and are told to improvise a story, a line each. Brooke starts off with the first line of the story, the hardcover edition of which should soon be available in a brown paper bag at the top of a narrow staircase. Everything chugs along until Jade's turn, which involves some kind of accent change and a spot of melodramatic posturing, and the acting tutor calls a halt to the exercise, telling Jade it's a team exercise, not all about her. The Crying Little Girl inside inches microscopically closer to the surface.

As tediously repetitive as Bert Newton's career comebacks, Nnenna jumps back on the 'phone to her boyfriend, and her malevolent side begins to reveal itself. I just reckon that even if a couple are having problems, the death knell for a relationship is certainly tolling when one person says "John, you're embarrassing me. Suck it up. I'm only going to hate you when I get back". Jade panics a little at the thought that they might break up, so she starts scribbling a making-up script on post-it notes and handing them to Nnenna, who drones their contents down the line. To add to this obvious display of rational human function, Jade has again wrapped her head and shoulders in what may or may not be the house curtains. She'd give Julie Andrews a run for her money in the creative textiles stakes, that girl.

A Tyra-Mail shoots the girls off to the set of Wild N' Out, an improv show, where they're met by 3 of the stars, who explain that their show is all about playing games and being funny on the spur of the moment. First, they're given a random prop to improvise with - Daniele mimes the old Vaudeville classic 'Vomiting A Slinky', Furonda turns an over-sized pipe-cleaner into a thigh-master, and Mollie-Sue turns a bike-tire into an earring, causing Daniele to comment that she's "hella funny" through her gappy teeth. Next up is The Question Game, in which module is pitted agains module in a conversation which must comprise entirely of questions. Got it? It's the kind of concept that an illiterate, deaf 9-year-old could understand, right? As long as that child isn't Jade. Every time it was her turn, she just made a statement. It was bizarre - it was literally like she didn't know what a question was. Joanie comments that "Jade just sucks at everything we do", while Jade defends herself lamely with "Even though it was fun, that just wasn't humour to me". It was to us though, hon.

Next - the Great Rapping Challenge. A beat starts, and each model has to improvise a quick couple of lines on the spot. Daniele, true to her so-street-it-stings hype, does brilliantly, offering "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'ma win the title, 'cos you look like Boo-Boo". Nnenna sucks, Joanie is surprisingly good, and Furonda kicks arse. All is done with the kind of light-hearted ribbing that rap is generally known for, although without mention of the unnecessary popping of any caps in anyone's arse. Then it was Jade's turn. Oh, Jade honey. You're thick as sh*t, aren't you? I don't know why I didn't see it before, but there, sitting in between the outside layer of Psycho Diva and the inside layer of Crying Little Girl, is a great generous wedge of Stupid in a big dysfunctional sandwich. Her offerings, cutting both Furonda (Girl, your skin is bumpy, mine is flawless, but yours is all lumpy) and Sara, who she basically says shouldn't be here and then swears at, go down like a lead balloon. Sara, revenge etched all over her face, responds with "I think I'm gonna puke in a bottle if I hear any more 'bout Jade being the undiscovered supermodel", after which Jade says "That doesn't even rhyme". Oh, DOIK. To camera afterwards, Jade blames her spectacular failure on the fact that she wasn't given enough direction.

Furonda wins the challenge and a prize consisting of a cameo role in Veronica Mars and a Public Service Announcement for HIV awareness. She does well in both, with no mistakes, no b*tchiness, no melodrama, and no tears. BORING!

Jade, who should probably be apologising to Furonda for the 'lumpy' thing, instead proclaims like an insane Alabama preacher "I'm like the realest individual. I need to write a book - and you should read it".

Before things get too predictable, let's have a scene involving Nnenna on the phone to her boyfriend, eh? The other modules have a bit of a whinge about the time Nnenna takes hogging the 'phone, and start to question whether Nnenna is, in fact, as sweet as she first appears. Will it be Nnenna the Nasty Nigerian?

PHOTO SHOOT: The modules arrive at a glamorous hilltop mansion where they're to shoot an ad for Cover Girl foundation. Pretending they're at a party, the girls have to remember two scripted lines (including, of course, 'Easy, breezy beautiful Cover Girl' - don't make me bring up the deaf 9-year-old again), and improvise the rest whilst walking through a maze of guests and waiters bearing cocktails. All this, and they only get two takes each. I don't predict any disaster, do you? Sara does brilliantly, although she appears to be promoting a Long Island Iced Tea. Furonda bounces like a scrawny lapdancer on speed, and Joanie slinks through like a Playboy mansion hostess, stopping for a quick gyrate with some of her guests. Leslie nailed it, Daniele muffed a couple of lines and tripped over her own teeth, and Mollie-Sue seemed to be aggressively selling Angry Foundation. Nnenna rocked it, but Brooke was nervous as all get-out, crying before she started and forgetting her lines. And then there's Jade. Imagine a semi-mute drag-queen voguing on Quaaludes and drifting through her own birthday party on the Love Boat, and you're halfway there. She also needs someone to explain to her that a microphone doesn't just start to work when you're ready for it to, like, after you've exhaled and said "okay.... um....". She forgot her lines, laughed, and swore. In both takes. Only words usually used to describe snowmen are suitable here - I was embarrassed for her. Jay turned to camera, eyes wide with disbelief, and just said "She's a drag queen". Jade, unconvincingly, says "If I had one more take I would have aced it - I needed to be given a little more direction". 'Elsewhere' is a direction, babe.

Judgement is upon the girls, and we're again introduced to the judges, including Spunky Nigel, who gets first naming rights for either of my boobs. Tyra, again with the comic instincts of a dead ferret, pretends to faint again. HILARIOUS! The models do a successful group impersonation of a tumbleweed. The judges screen and comment upon each girl's Cover Girl ad, telling Daniele to change her accent by imitating a newsreader. Tyra does an impersonation of Daniele's ghetto twang, which is both insulting and... well, insulting. I'm sure, in her head, Daniele was imagining kicking her in the neck. I know I was. Furonda might as well have said "Easy, cheesy, beautiful", and Tyra dubs our bruised friend "Babbling Brooke". Jade and the judges view her diabolical travesty, and Jade, red-faced, stamps her foot, shakes her head and says accusingly "You guys used my worst take! In the other one I delivered my lines perfectly". Um... were you THERE?!?

ELIMINATION: After taking a moment to again ridicule Daniele's accent, Tyra reels off the girls' names one by one, until only Jade and Mollie-Sue are left. Now, I know I hate Jade with a passion usually reserved for chihuahuas, but she consistently provides me with incredulous entertainment, so I'd be sad if she left. And we all know how I feel about My New Flatmate Mollie-Sue. Tyra revs up for her weekly personality assassination, and tells Mollie-Sue that while she takes good pictures, she has a distinct lack of 'persona', and seems robotic. Jade is told that she not only had a bad ad shoot, she always plays the 'blame game', the judges are turned off by her attitude, and that both takes of her ad were awful. Then... then... wait, I just have to dab at my eyes with a devastated hanky... MOLLIE-SUE IS SENT HOME. Wha..?? Who except for a blind brain-damaged daschund would prefer JADE over MOLLIE-SUE? Mollie-Sue is gutted, particularly at the fact that she was beaten by the Squinty Psycho. I don't get it. Bye, Mollie-Sue. Don't like, be the prettiest and best model in the world on your way out.

My new guesses for top two are Nnenna and Leslie. Go, underdog!

Next week (sorry, my computer screen's gone a bit blurry...), we're promised catwalk-twirling lessons, a hip-hop photo shoot and a barney between Brooke and Nnenna. Dizzy-making. Booty-shaking. Mickey-taking.

1 comment:

shellity said...

Jade, pet, if you need to do "one more take", you can no longer "ace it". That's an oxymoron, you moron.