I feel….empty. Not because I was disappointed with the result, but because it’s over. All I have to look forward to next Wednesday night is… well, Wednesday. Through misted eyes and racking sobs, I welcome you to the Three’s A Crowd episode of America’s Next Top Model.
· A quick recap, and we’re reminded of each module’s journey – Daniele the Southern Belle and her sprained stiletto pinkie-toe, dehydration drama and to-gap-or-not-to gap dilemma. Joanie and her stripping thang and ripping fang. Jade and her arrogance, arrogance, and arrogance. Imagine setting up some kind of device from the very first episode of this season which automatically ticked over every time Jade said “undiscovered supermodel”, “not on my level”, “I’m a soldier”, or “I have potential”. No, actually – much easier to just set the device to measure every time someone yells “Oh, F*CK OFF!” at the telly.
· We’re still in Thailand, and Jade tries to add ‘Exotic Bi-racial Comedienne’ to her already heaving array of talents. She fakes out the other two modules at breakfast by jumping up excitedly, looking into the next room, and shouting “Oh, My GOD!!”, making Joanie and Daniele jump up excitedly too. When they discover Jade’s masterful, complex piece of japery, they’re so impressed that Joanie says to camera “Please don’t let Jade win. Please”.
· A Tyra-Mail arrives, cryptically announcing a Cover Girl commercial shoot the following day, and Jay drops by the Model Mansion to deliver the girls’ individual scripts and give them a pep-talk. The girls’ nerves reach fever-pitch, and Jade closes her eyes orgasmically as she says to camera “I’ve seen myself winning over and over and over in my mind”. Pay no attention to her. I’m sure she also sees herself as a centipede with shoes made from rubies, dancing with hippos in tutus. You see – she’s insane.
· The girls spend a large chunk of the night rehearsing their scripts, with Daniele becoming more and more paranoid about her oft-commented-upon Southern drawl. In the morning, Jay meets them at a house in a garden and briefs them regarding the day’s shoot. Jade asks “Can we improvise?” and Jay says “No. No, you can not”. Lord knows why she’d want to after the last time – apparently in Jade’s World, ‘improvising’ means ‘making people think you have concealed male genitalia and a glue-sniffing habit’.
· Joanie is up first, and despite her original effort being a bit Stepford-Wifey, she does much better on her second take, and looks gorgeous for her still shot, although she’s still learning to smile like a normal person post-tuskectomy. Daniele, obsessed as she is with obliterating her heritage by glossing over her natural accent, completely forgets her lines and jumps up and down with frustration. As Jay says, “When the camera goes on, Daniele goes off”. She eventually nails it, and definitely brings the goods for the still shot. Jade, she of the peanut-sized brain and the listening skills of an earthworm, stuffs her lines up and then decides to improvise. As viewers, we’re treated to the correct words superimposed on the screen, whilst Jade rambles randomly like a drunk infomercial. “Want a more casual mascara look?” becomes “Don’t you ladies want want to have a casual, beautiful mascara that you can put on your eyes like mine? As you see, mine are very beautiful”. Jay gets the sh*ts and calls for cue cards, but I think the squiggles on those big bits of white cardboard just confuse the poor idiot. The assistant might as well have been holding up a selection of French pastries, for all the good it did. Jade is either blind or illiterate, and I reckon she’s not blind. Jay spends most of the afternoon shouting “CUT!”, as Jade makes an abortion of her lines over and over again. She finally manages a good take, albeit directly from the Drag Queen Dramatic Academy, and goes back to where the other modules are waiting. Daniele asks her if she remembered her lines, to which she answers “Yep! It went perfectly”. As if Jade didn’t have enough problems, now her pants are on fire. Her still shot is fine, although she complains that the photographer is “giving me too much direction”. The bastard.
· ELIMINATION PART 1: The modules are summoned to the Judgement Temple by a Tyra-Mail, to find out who the final two contenders will be. Tyra is resplendent in a revolting outfit presumably designed to make her look like a mentally-unbalanced Victorian-era prostitute, and Spunky Nigel can barely concentrate, he’s thinking about me so much. A guest judge comes in the form of a Thai designer who doesn’t speak any English and his interpreter. They view the Cover Girl commercials and still shots, starting with Jade. Through the interpreter, the Thai designer mentions that Jade takes a great photo, but that her forced, cheesy smile makes her look like she’s got something to hide. A machete, perhaps. Jade, in a surprise tantamount to finding some wine available at a bottle shop, makes excuses, babbling “It’s my first commercial (rubbish), and I had no acting coach (ummm… so?), although actors and actresses inspire me, and Tyra inspires me”. The judges are less impressed than overtly condescending, and basically indicate that she should shut her mouth and remove herself. Joanie’s next, and all the judges are suitably impressed, although they comment that her smile seems unnatural, chalking it up to her unfamiliarity with her new non-walrus-inspired teeth. Twiggy compares Joanie’s look to Grace Kelly, and Joanie says “She was a dancer, right?”. Daniele’s turn, and Nigel, giving us the impression that he may at some time have engaged in some one-on-one intensive “coaching” sessions with the dusky beauty, comments that her beauty “makes me want to melt”. Perhaps it’s just because she looks like chocolate. Tyra’s bizarre advice to Daniele is that she should squint more, which seems about as relevant as telling a brickie that he’d be better at trowelling mortar if he just clenched his buttocks a bit. Daniele’s commercial is shown, and Twiggy and Nigel proudly tell her that they could understand her accent perfectly. The Tyrant then says “I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all”, and in a speech designed to make me want to throw some acid at her face, tells Daniele that she should “leave her neighbourhood behind”, and fake an accent. She compounds the massive insult by mimicking Daniele’s twang, and I want to report her to the United Nations. What a Machiavellian beeyarch.
· The judges deliberate, and the modules are called in to hear their fate. By unanimous decision, and because she’s my new best mate, Joanie is announced as the first finalist. Daniele the ‘Gator and Jade the Illiterate Nutjob remain, and Tyra draws breath for the traditional Verbal Brazilian. Daniele is told that she’s beautiful, but with a voice like hers, she can’t sell makeup, which is like saying “I’m sorry, Albert, but with toes that hairy, you’ll never be a physicist”. Jade is told that she takes great pictures, but that she’s full of excuses, seemingly glossing over the fact that she’s Satan’s illegitimate offspring. All is right with the cosmos, however, when Daniele is announced as the second finalist, and Jade is sent on her evil, evil, way. Bye, Jade! Don’t murder any children on your way out! Jade thanks the judges, stops herself from spitting at the two finalists, and just before dropping out of sight turns, poses dramatically and takes a bow. The judges almost burst major blood vessels trying not to laugh. Back at the Module Mansion, Jade packs her things, omnipresent scarf on her head, and comments yet again that she has what it takes, adding that the judges just didn’t see it because she’s in a different realm. She leaves behind a poem for the girls, and whilst I have a thousand comments all rushing to my keyboard at once, I’ll just let it speak for itself:
Let alone the strongest to be subdued
If I only had the magic key
That would unlock the realms to
The plateau of the highest me
Even though I’ve been badly bruised
Living in a house
To become a popular muse.
· I’m going to take a moment to thank Jade for making this series of America’s Next Top Module one of the best yet. I’ve never wanted to employ traditional torture techniques on anyone quite as much as her, and on several occasions due to her inane drivel my television has come very near to being thrown in the bath, but she is by far the most entertaining psychotic dimwit I think I’ve ever come across. Thank you, Jade. Now mind that cliff-edge.
· Daniele and Joanie are understandably excited, Daniele shouting “It’s ebony and ivory, sucka!”, and we’re treated to a “Were the final two” dance. A Tyra-Mail tells them that they’ll be battling for the prize tomorrow in a catwalk-off.
· The next morning our modules are met by Jay at a remarkable cluster of stunning pagodas-over-the-water, all linked by long ornate ramps, which will serve as today’s catwalk for a show for the Issue label. Miss Jay pops out of one of the pagodas for some last-minute runway training and advice, but appears to have forgotten to wear any pants. That’s what we need to see. A gender-bending fashionista catwalk specialist’s upper thighs. Our finalists are intensely nervous as they get their hair and make-up done with the other modules in the show, and Tyra ducks backstage for a pep-talk. Both girls look stunning in gorgeous outfits, shell headbands, feathers and random percussion instruments, and the show starts. The girls make their way around the massive web of petal-strewn, slippery runways, and the judges (and I) practically explode with pride. There’s barely an apian phallus between them, as they both do wonderfully well – Joanie looks down too often, and Daniele slips on a petal or two, but they pose, strut, and wink with all the sass and aplomb of real modules. The show finishes, and both girls burst into tears. The judges gush that it’s the best ANTM catwalk show they’ve ever seen, and all is well with the world. Until….
· ELIMINATION PART 2: Tyra is dressed as a green insane Pocahontas, but our girls look amazing in Issue frocks. Catwalk footage is shown, and most of the girls’ photos from the whole series are waded through – from the bald to the falling fairy tales, from dolls to elephants, and we’re reminded how tops these chicks are at looking noice. The judges go through several pairs of underpants telling them as much, and the modules are invited to make a small speech each before a final decision is made. Daniele says (quite clearly, mind you) that she realises her communication skills aren’t perfect, but that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to improve. Joanie thanks the judges for her new teeth and confidence, and the judges banish them outside whilst they frown and tut over their difficult choice. The girls tremble back in, holding hands, and without the usual moronic speechifying, Tyra gets straight to it. The winner is…. DANIELE!!! She flaps, bounces, buckles and cries with gratitude and relief, and Joanie is gracious and elegant in defeat, because she’s such a top sheila. Bye, Joanie. Don’t sprout another manky tusk on your way out, you great, great girl, you. And good on you, my ‘gator friend. Don’t you DARE get any speech lessons. That would really stick in Tyra’s craw.
It’s been a crazy, dumb, bitchy ride, and I’m sad it’s over. Thanks for reading, and remember: when you’re missing modules and don’t think you can go on, just whack on a psychotic headscarf, click your heels together and chant “Fluff me down. Signature walk. Mind the gap”, and you’ll be right as rain. See you in the next series.