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Monday, May 22, 2006

America's Next Top Model Series Six #7

I know some of you simply don't have time to read the Watercooler each week, so here's a quick summary of this week's episode, and in fact the entire series to date: Brooke's crying, Nnenna's on the phone, Jade's making my gorge rise, and Tyra's a mean, shiny, insane woman who can't keep her bottom still. There.

For the rest of you, I present: The Swirl And Twirl Episode.

The Crying Little Girl inside Jade surfaces briefly as she laments her frequent inclusion in the bottom two at eliminations. She declares "I look like a damn fool", which is like Michelangelo saying "Y'know, Father, your ceiling could use some spackle". Brooke's mild distaste for Nnenna has developed overnight into a full-blown caustic obsession, not helped by the fact that every time Brooke stuffs up, Nnenna thinks it's a right hoot. Brooke tells the modules that she may seem fragile on the inside, but she has a temper. And two black eyes.

Miss Jay drops in for a quick Accessories On The Runway workshop, during which the modules walk up and down whilst donning and removing jackets, gloves and handbags. I should point out here that these girls are professionals-in-training, and under no circumstances should you try to remove a jacket or hold a handbag at home. Leslie walks like she's trying to get away from her own arse, Brooke drops her handbag to the tinkling peals of Nnenna's mirth, and Sara looks like blonde Meccano in a frock. If you're that tall, you really should learn to be a bit bendier.

After a quick road-trip montage, our girls arrive at an ornate building as a pair of middle-aged male twins drift down a stairway to meet them. They announce with identical lisps that they're going to teach "Thwirling and Twirling", and then they demonstrate by whooshing around the room, voluminous robes flying. I think these two might just constitute the row of tents people always talk about. The modules put on some flowy frocks and try swirling and twirling themselves - Leslie looks tense as she seems to try to stop her arse sticking out by imagining she's carrying an egg-yolk between her cheeks, while Joanie starts like a stripper and ends like a tripper. After a quick "Thankth, ladieth. It wath gorgeouth", the girls twirl back home.

Nnenna (you might need to sit down for this - it's a shock) is on the 'phone to her boyfriend (!), and Brooke's Nnenna-hating caterpillar starts to work its way out of its seething coccoon of rage. She bursts into the 'phone room, and shouts "I don't think you understand the concept of the 'phone!" Yeah, she does. The boyfriend whines like a pre-menstrual teenager into one end, and you tell him he's a loser into the other. Simple. Brooke's tirade continues, but Nnenna just calmly counters with "Do I look like I care?". So regal. So beautiful. Such a freakin' bee-yarch. Brooke rants to the other girls, spitting "What makes her so great? Because she's from Africa? Why doesn't she GO BACK TO AFRICA!". I'm not sure, but I think the poverty, disease and the tsetse fly might have something to do with it. Go figure. Regardless, Brooke calls Nnenna a beeping b*tch and storms off. Daniele, as usual, summarises beautifully with "Dang. That girl can really wig out".

Joanie reads out a Tyra-Mail with a basket on her head, and the modules are shipped off to church. As they enter, Jade blesses herself with holy water which, surprisingly, doesn't cause her to blister and squeal. The girls are introduced to an event manager, who explains that church fashion parades are where a lot of models get their start. Pardon? Apparently fashion parades are common occurrences in some American churches, quite likely in keeping with the two missing commandments "Thou shalt sashay", and "Thou shalt not digest solids". Jade bignotes herself by saying "If there's a runway anywhere, I'm there. In the Sahara Desert - I'm on it". Like, everyone wants to go to Africa all of a sudden. The girls are told that the church congregation will be judging them, and the winner will get a $25K diamond ring. It's on. Our modules are swathed in gorgeous flowy gowns and are encouraged to swirl, twirl and flap their way down the runway. Daniele rocks, Leslie drops the egg yolk and just lets her arse go, Brooke's posture looks like her spine is bending under the weight of her massive jaw, Nnenna is stiff and awkward, and Sara is an aggressive giraffe. Joanie decides the whole competition is between herself and Jade, and quite frankly rocks it like the swathed stripper/model she is, with plenty of 'tude and hardly a glimpse of her gammy tooth. Jade... Jade... (I'm going to choke on my own bile - excuse me) ... does really well. She's a swirling, twirling machine who could give a Turkish dervish a run for his money. Jade wins the diamond ring, dances the dance of the smug and squinty, and thanks Jesus, perhaps for the opportunity to turn his house into a den of thin.

PHOTO SHOOT: Our modules meet Jay on a rooftop, and Nnenna assumes that they'll be photographed jumping off it. She's wrong. In a shameless plug for worthless tat, the girls will be modelling Payless Shoes, marking a point after which the word 'shoes' is never uttered again without the word "Payless" in front of it ("Did you say Payless shoes? Where are my Payless shoes? Put on your Payless shoes!"). Call me old-fashioned, but I reckon if you want to give a brand an air of prestige, you just call it something else. It'd be like eating a "McMediocre", or driving a "Toyota Breakdown". Suddenly the rooftop is beset by a group of heavily made-up clown/hip-hop hybrids, a group of blokes collectively introduced as today's "krumpers", (or convulsing hip-hop dancers for those antipodean honkies amongst us). The modules have to dress 'street', krump, look pretty AND show off their rubbish shoes. Jade, in her traditional pre-event crowing, states "I can dance. It's fulfillment for the soul", and then proceeds to practice whilst waiting by spastically flailing her arms and legs. Somebody throw in some washing, quick.

Joanie again re-visits her stripper roots with her dancing, although with a mean mug possibly due to her unwillingness to reveal her dying grey fang. Furonda looks a bit like a bunch of spider-legs being shaken up in a bag, and Sara is just awful. Daniele, not confident with her dancing ability, tells Jay "they call me a white girl back home", but proceeds to do brilliantly, and Nnenna is too interested in being regal and pretty to really get down. Good dancing means looking constipated - everyone knows that. Leslie looks great, but can't move, and Brooke, looking brilliant with a massive afro, dances like a year 9 girl at a school dance after swigging a vat of Passion Pop. Jade gets into krumping with disturbing enthusiasm, jerking, gyrating, and throwing a bottle of water all over herself, and later says to camera "Do you see the potential? Do you see it?". Yeah, we see it. It's right there behind the teetering veener of sanity.

Back home, and we're treated to a bizarre moment in which Daniele the Ghetto 'Gator and Joanie 'Vanilla Ice' Gammy-Tooth rap together. This show is so real, G.

JUDGEMENT: Jade's done something disturbing with her hair, and looks a bit like Kath to Tyra's Kim. The mini-challenge this week is to show the judges a 'signature walk' (that is, a unique, recognisable walk as opposed to, oh, I don't know - putting one foot in front of the other), and stop in the middle of the runway to turn, as Tyra demonstrates, as if you're on a turntable. Everyone has a go. Everyone is sh*t at it. Stumbling, bad posture, tripping and dangly arms aplenty. The photos from the shoot are shown and picked apart, and then....

ELIMINATION: Names are called out one by one, until only Sara the Giraffe and Leslie the Latino are left, and they brace themselves for the Tyrade. Sara is told that she's no model, and should perhaps go back to the mall, while Leslie is told that while she looks like a model in photos, she looks like nothing in person. After the girls dust off and re-insert their self-esteem, Leslie is sent packing, proving that I'm as good at picking winners as Anthony Mundine is at post-modern discourse. I really liked Leslie, and I don't know why people like Furonda the Stick Insect are still in, if people who are actually pretty with two properly-functioning arms are let go. Bye, Leslie. Don't dislodge any breakables with your arse on your way out.

My new pick for member of the Top Two is Joanie, which means she's pretty much a cert to get canned next week.

Next week, the modules are torn to shreds when they go on 'go-sees', gore and pain abound as something is done about Joanie's tooth, and the girls cry in their photo shoot. Rental. Dental. Sentimental.
Until then...

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