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Friday, June 23, 2006

America's Next Top Model Series Six #12

I’m coming over all misty in this, the second last instalment in this series of America’s Next Top Model – the Barmy Tsunami episode.

· We’re still in Thailand, and it seems our modules are having a bit of a lament-fest. Jade laments the fact that she’s in the bottom two most weeks, claiming that “I don’t belong there, man!” That’s right, Jade. You’re actually the best, and the judges are putting you in the bottom two just for yuks. Daniele laments the fact that she has a melodic Southern twang, and we’re again shown footage of Tyra the Condescending Overlord giving her some schtick about it. She’s got a point, though – like, how sick are we all of hearing Kate Moss’s voice all the time? What? You’ve never heard her speak, don’t give a rats about her accent and don’t believe it would make any difference to her success as a model? Are you sure? Sara is again lamenting the fact that she was found in a mall, and that people seem to think that she shouldn’t be here. Because she’s the prettiest vacant, one-dimensional giraffe I’ve ever seen.

· A Tyra Mail miraculously materialises, and the four modules pile into their pink winged mini-bus and arrive at an elaborate temple. They’re met by Pichita, who is apparently a former Thai super-module – kind of like Janice Dickinson, but without the plastic body parts, prescription drug habit, random verbal abuse of passers-by and complete disregard for other peoples’ personal space. Pichita runs the girls through some Thai customs like taking off your shoes when you go indoors and smiling whenever possible. Might be a problem for Jade – she looks fine when she takes off her shoes, but her smile generally just screams ‘concealed weapon’ to me. Pichita tells the girls about this week’s challenge – they’re to travel in tuk-tuks to a number of ‘go-sees’ (like auditions with designers), remember to take their shoes off and smile, and bring a gift to each designer. They’ll be judged on general appearance, knowledge of Thai customs, their photo portfolios and their runway walk. And they have to be back at the hotel by 4:30. Got that? 4:30. I smell drama and disaster. And maybe a red curry.

· The modules sprint off to the markets to buy gifts for the designers, and Sara, despite the fact that she should feel right at home in any major shopping centre, almost walks off without her portfolio. I guess she can’t be expected to be able to see where she’s left things with her vision all impaired by having to look over those massive rubbery lips.

· Jade and Daniele have trouble getting used to the tuk-tuks, with Jade princessifying “If it was up to me, I’d be in a cab, not a took-took, yoo-hoo, blah-blah…” Really, my love, for an exotic bi-racial butterfly, you really are a condescending provincial cow. Daniele craves windows, saying “It’s hot, it’s humid – do you know what that do to a black girl’s hair?”

· The go-sees do not go well, despite Americans having an international reputation for embracing and appreciating foreign cultures. The modules visit three designers each – a twee swimwear label imaginatively called Sexy Little Beach, a designer of ungainly gowns called Tube, and an apparently Alice-In-Wonderland-inspired label called Boudoir. They have sweaty, fuzzily-tousled Polaroids taken, walk up and down a lot, and, with the exception of the frazzled and scatty Daniele, mostly remember to take their shoes off. Due to the Wonderland theme, the Boudoir designer not only asks each module to parade around in designer smalls, she also gets them to pop on a giant papier-mache animal head each. The world of fashion is just soooo predictable. Jade watches Joanie prance, and in a snide aside muses “I don’t know if lingerie is really Joanie’s market. She doesn’t have a lingerie body”. She’s sure got a head for papier mache, though. Jade herself gets a massive chipmunk for a head, and looks almost cute in a Mummy-I’m-having-those-nightmares-again kind of way. Sara’s walk is stiff and awkward, perhaps due to her not knowing how to interpret the designer’s request that she “Walk more gentle. Gentle but strong”. Daniele is thrilled that her accent doesn’t make her any less understandable to Thai tuk-tuk drivers, who have no idea what any of the modules are saying anyway. The notorious Thai traffic frustrates the modules, and a handy on-screen stopwatch keeps us up to date with exactly how late they are. And they’re very late. They’d be quicker if they got out and walked. Backwards.

· Joanie, Sara and Daniele arrive back to an angry Pichita, who tut-tuts about the tuk-tuks being the girls’ excuse for being late. Meanwhile, Jade is still swanning around in designer’s studios, apparently having carefully calculated the amount of time she has left. Unfortunately Jade appears to have left school before the telling-the-time lesson – if only Cookie Monster had spent more time chatting about the big and small hand, and less time scoffing Oreos. Jade finally shows up at 5:40, and Pichita looks like she’s just swallowed a pinecone, such is her rage. Showing her usual sensitivity and grace, Jade says to camera “B*tches, please, relax yourselves”. Honestly, I’m ready to pay fifty bucks and hour to some Slapping Professionals just to give this moron a good working over. The girls are assessed, and Jade is upset because nobody ever uses the word “supermodel” when discussing her, perhaps because it’s the only four-syllable word she knows. A few single-syllable words spring instantly to mind, though. Daniele is told that she’s won the challenge, but her prize is withheld because they all failed to show up on time. In a deliciously mean turn of events, the modules are shown the extensive wardrobe of gorgeous clothes that Daniele would have won, prompting her to wail “Shut your mouth. SHUT YOUR MOUTH. Say it ain’t so!” It’s a bit like giving Karen Carpenter access to a toilet and then gluing the lid closed.

· A Tyra-Mail announces that our modules are off to Phuket, but upon reading it the girls are a bit concerned about pronouncing their destination out loud. A quick animated plane trip later, and the girls are in what Joanie describes as “The Rio de Janeiro of Asia”, all dribblingly excited about being near the ocean. Jade announces dramatically in irritating third-person “The water and Jade – we mix”, obviously believing that she’s either a bottle of Scotch or a sachet of Instant Stupid. Tyra arrives in an abominable pale-green resort-wear-style jumpsuit which clings disturbingly to her fried-chicken-enhanced frame, and speaks earnestly (you can tell she’s earnest, because she doesn’t do her booty-shakin’ dance) about the recent tsunami and the lives that were lost. She calls for a minute of silence and the five of them hold hands in a circle with their heads bowed, whilst I roll my eyes in respectful reverence. The girls cry, and Jade pumps two fists in the air, saying tearfully “This is emotional for me, but I’m a soldier”, and my disgusted rage nearly brings on an aneurism.

· Joanie seems to have lost a diseased fang and gained a mean streak. In practically her first ever display of cattiness, she vents to Daniele about Sara’s mall-based competition unworthiness, saying “I feel like a bitch, but she was this close to being a lawyer, so she shouldn’t be here. Besides, she copies offa me. I might start doing things wrong on purpose”. I’m a bit torn here – I see her point and appreciate her frustration, but if Joanie and Sara are going to fight, it might put a dampener on my plans to go shopping and have a coffee with them both this weekend.

· PHOTO SHOOT: Jay tells the modules they’ll be moduling swimwear on the beach and in the water, and punters will be able to download the images onto their mobile phones. It must be easy to concentrate on your poses when you know that within a week a thousand teenage boys will be thinking of you whilst using their phones with their bedroom doors closed. Jay introduces Spunky Nigel (who I’m crocheting an effigy of) as today’s photographer. Joanie is first, and manages to look stunning as the rough waves pummel her against some glamorous spiky rocks. Sara eventually manages a couple of good shots after many stiff, awkward ones, and Daniele, despite being distracted by thoughts of the dead bodies that recently floated in the water she’s now squatting in, also manages a couple of corkers. Jade balances precariously on the front of a bucking boat, and does amazingly well, possibly with the best photos of any of the modules. And now I have to cut out my own tongue for admitting that.

· Judgement time, and as Tyra introduces the judges and rattles off the prizes, she appears even more psychotic than usual, seemingly impersonating a children’s presenter reading for the part of Charlie Manson. As the modules’ pictures are picked through, she’s also full of advice – she mentions her ‘two booties’ – one being her real-life booty, and the other her retouched-photo booty. Unfortunately she also gives a demonstration, erroneously thinking that we haven’t seen enough of her goddamn arse already. After viewing Daniele’s slightly suggestive, open-legged beach photo, Tyra offers the clunky mantra “Men’s magazine – legs open, Women’s magazine – legs crossed. Men’s magazine – chest out. Women’s magazine – back hunched”. She neglected to mention “Men’s magazine – daks off, boosies out. Women’s magazine – pencil skirt and a puppy”. After seeing Sara’s emotionless expression in her photo, Tyra gives a quick demo of ‘smiling with only your eyes’, which also doubles in a game of charades as ‘insane person with gas’. Jade and Joanie’s photos are stunning.

· The judges deliberate, and Tyra reads out the modules’ names one by one, to determine who the final three will be. Joanie is first, because she’s basically flawless, then Jade, because of her irritating habit of being quite a good model. It’s down to Daniele the Gator and Sara the Giraffe – Tyra rants that Sara is the ‘most improved player’, but she’s probably reached her limit, and then hacks into Daniele yet again for her accent, saying a Cover Girl needs to be articulate. Step off, you committable bimbo. Get a real job. In a surprise comparable to seeing water come out of a tap, Sara is given the boot. Bye, Sara! Pop in at the mall on your way out. She’s extremely humble in defeat, bless her designer cotton socks.

Next week is the massive finale with a commercial shoot for Cover Girl and a runway challenge! Hearts a-flutter. Snapping shutter. Runway strutter.
Until then, with baited breath…

1 comment:

PetStarr said...

“Men’s magazine – legs open, Women’s magazine – legs crossed. Men’s magazine – chest out. Women’s magazine – back hunched”.

And then did you notice that the Tyrantula showed a photo of herself on the big old screen, with her back hunched AND her legs wide open? What magazine is that for, Tyra? Transexuals Monthly?