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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Australia's Next Top Model Series Six #5

Hmmmm.... the America's Next Top Model box of chocolates seems to be a bit less nutty this week, although it is by no means free from the burden of dysfunction. Let's call it the Maniacal Laughter Episode.

Gina is shocked that she hasn't been eliminated - a feeling shared by you, me, and everyone who has ever breathed oxygen. She adopts the classic Jan Brady Tantrum Pose and lies face down on the bed wailing about her insecurities and the fact that Jade is mean.

A lot of our modules seem to be feeling the pressure - Brooke the Bruised isn't confident about her photos, Nnenna the Nigerian is ruthlessly harrassed by her boyfriend, who misses her (the b*stard), and Daniele the Ghetto 'Gator is hobbling around on crutches, her pinky toe still swollen from last week's nosebleed-heels challenge. And hobbling. And hobbling. Sit DOWN, girl!

Like ocean waves, dirty washing, and John Holmes, the Tyra-Mails just keep coming, and this morning's mail merely says "What's your favourite position?". Oo-er, matron. How very Benny Hill of you. After the obligatory models-wearing-sunglasses-in-car-convoy montage, our girls arrive at a studio in which a number of artists are busily sketching a mysterious black-hatted model. Surprise! It's Janice Dickinson, the incredible plastic woman! I imagine she's what a kelpie would look like if it simultaneously sucked on a lemon and hung from a bridge by its ears. She welcomes the modules to her posing class, and introduces her guest assistant, Crazy Lisa from ANTM Series 5 (for those of you who remember, she of the peeing-in-the-nappy incident). Luckily, Lisa seems to have been contractually limited to a non-speaking role in this episode, and was merely there to demonstrate poses. If only Janice "Don't Come Near Me With A Naked Flame" Dickinson had the same clause drafted into her contract. She explains the difference between 'commercial' (think Cover Girl) and 'editorial' (think Vogue) posing, which basically comes down to a) the presence or absence of maniacal laughter, and b) pretending you have a broken spine.

During the posing class, Gina admits to Janice that she has trouble being 'convincing' in her photographs, so Janice gives her a quick and bizarre lesson. "Smile for me", says Janice, and Gina grimaces as if she's just stepped on an errant piece of Lego in bare feet. "Laugh like you've just heard something funny", says Janice, and Gina giggles nervously as if she's reading the words "Ha, ha, ha" in a script. Janice, seemingly less interested now in education and more interested in her own twisted amusement, tells Gina to "Stand on one foot, hop up and down, and laugh hysterically". Because this is going to increase her confience, of course. Jade, always ready to criticise our favourite twitching Korean, comments that "This girl has lost her damn mind". Hello, pot? Phone call for you. It's the kettle.

The modules go out to dinner, and are once again joined by Janice "97% Flesh Free" Dickinson, who has obviously fully satisfied the 'You Must Be At Least This Insane To Ride This Attraction' requirement for the show. For her entrance, Janice asks the girls to 'gimme a beat', so they variously beat-box or drum on the table, with air-scratchin' courtesy of Daniele. Jade gushes to camera that she and Janice seem to have a real connection, because they're "on the same level". Yes. You're both psychotic b*tches with a bit of a squint. Janice at first seems to go against the psycho Jade connection and takes pity on Gina, getting her to sit on her lap and saying "Now, tell me who's giving you sh*t". Gina is hesitant to be a bit of a dobber, but eventually indicates Jade with a nervous finger. Jade, recalling her studies in Advanced Transparent Melodrama 101, raises her pseudo-innocent eyebrows and says "What did I do now, Gina? What did I do now?". Just when we all think that Janice is going to leap to Gina's aid, she turns like the evil synthetic monster she is and shouts "YOU DON'T RAT OUT YOUR B*TCHES!". Gina starts yammering in her own defence, but Janice shuts her down, exclaiming "Zip it, B*tch! You're dead to me now". This woman has children. Book their rehab now.

In the car on the way home from dinner, Gina is, understandably, a snotty, screeching mess, and some of the girls try to prop her up, Nnenna asking "What's Jade gonna do? Spank you?". Back at the house, Gina comes out of the shower to see Jade sitting on her bed, giving her the melodramatic greasies, and announcing "You've got it so twisted, Gina. We're gonna have to do this now. I'm trying to make peace with you". Yuh-huh. Like Palestinians and Israelis, you are. Gina snaps and gives Jade a good old serve, almost fizzing as she tells her she's not intimidated. We all know that she actually is intimidated, but given the choice of someone either giving Jade a spray or not giving Jade a spray, I know what I'd pick every time.

Another Tyra-Mail and car montage, and we're in another studio meeting Lawrence Zarian, who is an older male model with a forehead you could land helicopters on. Being very much the sweater-draped-over-the-shoulders kind of model, he introduces a commercial-style modelling challenge. The girls are to dress themselves in four different outfits from Sears, then pose 'commercially' against four different seasonal backdrops, trying to physically epitomise Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Most of the girls do pretty well, with regular dips into the Maniacal Laughter punchbowl, and Gina talks herself into the moment by announcing "I will bring you Spring". Jade looks on evilly. Nnenna wins the challenge prize, being every Sears outfit worn for the shoot, which is a bit like winning a year's supply of Fletcher Jones Casuals, but whatever - she's excited.

Nnenna has another chat on the 'phone to her boyfriend Tim, surprisingly not telling him to shave off his revolting moustache. He gets a bit cranky and pouty about her being away from him, and, in a surprisingly snippy move by the normally serene Amazon, she barks "You're being annoying. And it's not stopping", and hangs up on him. Our Nigerian is turning out to have quite the set of bollocks on her.

Before I go any further, I have to dedicate some space to Joanie's gammy tooth. She has a killer body, a beautiful face, and almost a lovely smile except for the DYING GREY FANG that juts out from the middle of her gums like a fossilized off-white meerkat. There. I've said it.

Tyra Mail. Car montage. Our ladies turn up at the CBS studios, just in time to say hi to an ebullient Tyra fresh from the set of the Tyra Banks Show. She babbles like a drunken auntie about how modelling is a temporary career, and that you need to have goals so you don't have to resort to high-class prostitution as soon as a wrinkle or liver-spot appears. The modules take turns to tell Tyrant what their goals are, and they range from attorney to African chemist to singer, with a couple of stand-outs. Joanie, bless 'er, says she wants to be a stay-at-home Mom, which is exactly what you'd expect from a fundamentalist Christian pole-dancer. Brooke wants to be a "nurse's anaestheticisticist", which is unfortunate, because I think being able to pronounce your goal is a pre-requisite for being allowed to put people to sleep and make sure they don't die. Jade, seemingly on a whim, says that she'd like to be a kindergarten teacher, which scares me more than a little. Daniele (as usual) puts it best when she claims "That's so random. I would home school my kids if she was their teacher".

PHOTO SHOOT: Jay tells the girls that this week they'll be acting out their future goals in an 'editorial' style, which means 'edgy', or in normal person terms, 'constipated'. Jay then introduces the main props for the shoot, lining up five male models in front of the girls, prompting a chorus of lascivious leers. Nnenna, certainly coming out of her shell, beams and says "I want to have fun". Furonda sighs languidly and enthuses that there's "So much candy". Daniele does her summarising best by testifying "Thank you, Jee-SUZ!". What a pack of randy slappers. The male and female models mingle for a few minutes to become acquainted, and one of the blokes says to Nnenna "Whatever you need, I'll give it to you", and you could have cut the moist sexual tension with a well-greased knife.

Furonda becomes an attorney in tight black leather, and for the first time this series, doesn't look like a crack-addicted chihuaua. Jade is quite easily the most terrifying sl*tty kindergarten teacher imaginable in a long straight blonde wig, Sara is the Lawyer Most Likely To Feature In A Film Titled 'May I Approach The Bed, Your Honour', and Joanie is a housewife with a martini. Mollie-Sue is a mulleted make-up artist, Leslie is a criminal justice investigator / dominatrix, and Daniele is a singer for whom talent appears irrelevant. Brooke is a naughty nurse, and Gina the fashion designer nervously flips her frock flaps and wraps a tape measure around the male models' neck. Nnenna appears to be, as they say in the classics, on the horn, and flirts outrageously with her male model, dressed as she is in predictable leopard-skin, with him in almost nothing. She seems to confuse 'drug researcher in Africa' with 'Madame Frottage and her Muscular Toy'. Much rubbing and pouting ensues, with the final shot ending in a bit of a pash. Squeals of laughter and embarrassment are heard as the male model bolts from the room, covering a raging stiffy with a towel. "He totally pitched a tent!" cries Joanie gleefully. "And not the camping kind!" she adds unnecessarily. Yes, Joanie. We get it. Phnar.

Nnenna the Nympho feels a tiny bit guilty and talks to her boyfriend again, telling him almost everything about the photo shoot. She lies when he asks "Did you kiss on the guy?", and he hangs up on her. She kind of thinks it's funny.

Judgement time, and we're AGAIN introduced to the judges, including Spunky Nigel, whose photo will soon be hanging in my shower. The girls are given a mini-challenge to try and sell the clothes they have on in a 'catalogue' style by showing three different poses to the judges. Much Maniacal Laughter ensues, except for, predictably, Gina, who sticks with her customary twitching, with a bit of scary clown mixed in. In the second half of the challenge, the girls are given a fireman's hat, jacket and boots, and are told to pose with them in an 'editorial' way. Most of the girls are statuesque and angular, a little bit like they have uncomfortable things up their bottoms. Except Gina. Oh, Gina. She holds the props as if they're giant slavering dogs, does one pose and then says "Can I .... Do I have to do more, or.... can I wear these?". I can only imagine what it's like inside her head - a big ball of tangled sticky string with crumbs from yesterday's toast all over it.

Elimination time, and it comes down to Brooke the Bruised and Gina the Crazy Korean. This week's Tyra tirade isn't as harsh as usual, but Brooke is told she has loads of potential but no talent, and Gina is told that her fabulous cheekbones won't make up for her vacuousness. Then, in a shock comparable to that of the sun coming up each morning, GINA IS SENT HOME! She doesn't seem very upset due to the fact that the odds for her leaving were about one to one, and even Jade manages a civil hug. Bye, Gina. Don't have a screaming spasm on your way out.

Next week, we'll be treated to some acting classes, some (gasp!) b*tchiness from Jade, an ad shoot for Cover Girl, and a shocking collapse! Casting call. Lasting brawl. Nasty fall.
Until then....

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