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Thursday, October 12, 2006

America's Next Top Model Series Seven #2

Oh, thank God.
All traces of dishwater blandness gone – I'm sorry if I frightened anyone with my temporary lack of enthusiasm last week.
We've got clichés. We've got diva behaviour. We've got stupid, stupid hair.
What we've got is the 'Them Bitches Is Mental' episode of America's Next Top Module.

· We're in Hollywood, and the Cliché Counter 5000 clicks over for the first time as our modules-in-waiting walk along the pavement stars on Hollywood Boulevard. Christian, a dusky lemur of a girl who may be in the running to be the Series Seven Brat, comments that "being close to Tyra is like touching my dream". Pfffft – it's not like Tyra's a deity or anything – it's not like someone would build, like, a shrine to her or something….. (open-endedness intentional).

· Miss Jay, in demure black headkerchief (remind you of any bi-racial butterflies?) meets our girls in a big room with a catwalk in the middle, and introduces two designers from the label Elmer Avenue – or two fashionable heads with a couple of overdressed fops dangling underneath. The modules' attention is drawn, with very little encouragement, to a…. wait – what's the collective noun for male models? A 'crotch'? A 'mullet'? A 'strut'? Um…. to a ponce of male models descending on the runway, dressed in Elmer Avenue clothes. Imagine Green Day just after being Queer-Eyed, and you're halfway there. This week's challenge is outlined – the girls have to pick a male model, undress him (quickly, unfortunately – really a task that, done properly, should take some time, music, and oil of some description), "feminise" his outfit (more so) upon themselves, and "rock it down the runway".

· Something I'm noticing a lot so far this series is the Groundhog Day Effect – with unerring predictability, the same phenomena re-appear every single series. The first and most prevalent of these is the Screeching Banshee (SB), exercised in numerous styles, usually for very little reason. In this case, the SB is summoned at the drop of a hat (and tailored trousers) as the modules descend, wailing, on their chosen Himbos, tearing at the male models' clothing with (ironically) gay abandon. The girls dress themselves in menswear, most foregoing pants for a kind of slutty executive look, and commence their hammed-up trots down the runway. A.J., who is fast becoming my firm favourite (whaddaya mean she looks like Eboni? Shut up.) rocks it with a bit of tongue thrown in for good measure, Anchal oozes Princess with a tight-sphinctered haughty jaunt, and Megg tries her darnedest to assert herself as Rock Chick, succeeding only to underwhelm with Overtones of Trailer Park. Twin Michelle looks like she might have an itchy groin, Monique (a major Diva contender) flashes her daks with mouth agape, and Melrose canters down the catwalk pony-style, hips boinging around on well-oiled slutty springs. The designers deliver their critique and, apparently thinking with their easily-impressed pant-pythons, announce Melrose as the challenge winner.

· Cliché Counter 5000 starts whirring into action as the modules discover they're to be carted around in a custom-built stretch limo. The SB is deafeningly summoned once again as they open the car doors to reveal a truly tasteless interior, complete with ubiquitous imagery of Tyra The Omnipresent. It sounds like that piercing, midway-through-a-hens-night point, and I can hear kelpies yelping distantly in my neighbourhood. Christian the Quotable gushes "this is how Christian is supposed to be treated – like a queen". From past experience with this divine yet deeply unnecessary show, I have a theory: She Who Speaks In The Third Person Usually Needs A Slap Upside The Head. Bless 'er.

· A new-format Tyra Mail containing a key to the (Groundhog) Module Mansion sends our bevy of booties into paroxysms of squealing once again, as page five of this week's script seems to read "Scream. Run. Repeat". The doors to the mansion open to reveal easily the most disturbing display of narcissism I've ever seen, and trust me, I'm familiar with the concept. In past series, the Module Mansion has been adorned with images of famous supermodules, past and present, and past ANTM contestants, but this is beyond. This is the Shrine Of The Chocolate Granite, themed with megalomaniacal excess as "covers" of the fictional Tyra Magazine gaze down on the girls from every available surface. Pictures of Tyra watch the girls cook, dress, shower, and sleep, HAL-like, and I'm not ashamed to say I'm a little bit frightened by the spectacle. There is a Tyra Clock. The face of the clock is a picture of Tyra, surrounded by twelve little pictures of Tyra. When the big hand is on the Tyra, and the small hand is on the Tyra, you know what time it is? Time to get the f*ck out of this scary, scary house. Scream. Run. Repeat.

· Brooke, our Witherspoon-esque bouncing bimbo, wastes no time in logging her first to-camera diary-room entry. "Bring, bring!" she says, talking into her hand like it's a telephone. "Bring, bring! Hello? What? I get to live my wildest dream today?". Mental.

· There are 13 girls, but only 11 beds, and Monique is one of the girls who misses out. Monique is a Brat In The Extreme, and exclaims "I am NOT sleepin' on no beanbag". As such, she fronts up to the bed of Eugena (who is so boring I hardly even remember she's there) and pours water on it. Enter Eugena, and Monique announces "I decided to pee on your bed today". Heads waggle. Shoulders are pulled back. Fingers point. Hands go to hips. I love it when two stereotypical black girls get their hackles up. It's so choice. People call other people 'bitches' and 'punks', and Eugena apparently gives in, which pushes her further to the back of the Boring Drawer. At least Monique finishes with "I don't care. You can all bite me".

· More uppity territory-spraying as Melrose declares herself Boss of the House in so many words and instructions, and I notice at this point that Anchal the Indian Princess has one, and only one, facial expression, which I'll call Pretty Girl Who Just Smelt A Fart. Vacant, with a tiny bit of Wistful mixed in. The obligatory (Groundhog) house meeting is called – the kitchen's filthy, waaaaaaaaah, you're taking too long in the shower, waaaaaaaaah, I won't change for anyone, waaaaaaaaah.

· A Tyra Mail arrives whilst all the modules are all squeezed into the one spa (Production Meeting Point Four – How To Get More Blokes To Watch), and it says "People think models are stupid anorexic bitches – are you?". Come ON. Give us a HARD question. If they weren't, I'd be watching Spicks and Specks right now. The Mail gets the girls wondering about this week's photo shoot, but they're not sure – perhaps some amateur dramatics and certifiable psychosis would help? Just a thought.

· The next morning the girls gather at a random mansion, and Tyra turns up playing a character. My life is but a series of insignificant events which occur in between watching Tyra playing characters. Today's character seems to be French-Accented Model Diva Who Screams Like She's Got A Kidney Stone. I love it so much, it needs a haiku:

Tyra, wave your arms,
Roar your mighty, raspy yawp,
You nutty sheila.

It's bad. Real bad. She's trying to typify the ageing, cranky, Naomi-esque phone-throwing has-been model, calling the modules "Young beeches", saying she's hot and getting all the girls to blow on her, tripping over, and flailing around on the ground whilst shrieking like a stuck cheetah. I'll leave the summary to the Christian the Quotable, who offers: "She's skipped some meds or something". After one last demonic wail in which Tyra waggles her unfortunate, flabby bingo-wings in the air, Jay announces that the modules are about to do the Most. Controversial. Photo. Shoot. Ever. Cue ad break. Exhale.

· Oh, god, we're back. The "controversial" photo shoot consists of each girl being made-up, dressed and posed as thirteen different model stereotypes. Controversial? Hardly. A skip through a field of intensely entertaining daisies? Hell, yes. Hot photographers (I still love you, Nigel) Oliver and Dan are introduced, and it's on.

· Monique is "phone-throwing model", and has the emotional range of a piece of toast. Jay tries to draw out some much-needed anger by calling her "bitch" and "dumbass". I sit on my couch and say "Word". Caridee, who is my second-favourite module (whaddaya mean she looks like Joanie? Shut up.), gets to be "dumb blonde" module, and does so well she looks recently lobotomised. Megg is "alcoholic, drug-addicted model", and swigs from a bottle of Scotch whilst a male module taps her arm to try and find a vein. Then they start the photo shoot. Phnar! Trash. Eugena the Boring is "black model trying to look white" (wha?), and I'm distracted by a crack in my loungeroom wall. Megan is "lapdog-toting model", and scrubs up rool noice, with the disturbing yet appropriate task of clutching onto a Chihuahua named Tyra. Anchal is "diva in gold dress", with a vacant stare and, I've just noticed, a great big arse. Christian is "model-turned-actress", and does the same pose over and over again, known in acting circles as the "I Feel Faint". Yawn. Brooke is "back-stabbing bitch", and despite a good dose of hair-pulling, underwhelms in drapey satin. Every time she speaks it's a bit like she's reading from a children's book that she's holding upside-down. A.J. is "casting-couch model", and looks AMAZING whilst lounging on a (gasp!) couch, eyeing up a male co-module. She kicks it. She's my favourite. I hope she likes my risotto. Jaeda is "plastic surgery model", and is given the impossible task of trying to emote with bits of sticky-tape on her face. The fact that her high school year book photo probably has the caption "Bloke Most Likely to Crush Beer Cans With Jaw" doesn't help, either. Twin Michelle is "bulimia", and actually looks surprisingly good, even for someone sitting on a toilet covered in cake. Twin Michelle doesn't do as well as "anorexia" despite having the frame for it. Melrose, who spent most of the day wallowing in her challenge prize – having an assistant and being dubbed 'diva for a day', gives Jay a bit of attitude whilst being "model who won't get out of bed for less than $10K", and then gets in trouble for acting like a diva. That would be irony, people. She has a bit of a sob in the crapper afterwards.

· A Tyra Mail announces the first elimination in a brand new, renovated elimination room which looks a bit like the Starship Enterprise, and we're treated to the first of many no doubt vomitous Tyra Elimination Outfits. Today she's channelling a 50s-era martini-sipping drag queen, with a two-tone bouffant do and a sincerely grotesque frock which is at least fifteen sizes too small. Her norks could do with a bit of Geneva Convention action. The boring prizes are rattled off, and Tyra introduces the judges. First Spunky Nigel Barker (Hi, honey!), who I'm doing yoga for, Miss Jay, and the flaccidly uninteresting but endearing Twiggy.

· Photos from the shoot are picked to pieces, interspersed with Tyra jumping up and giving some of the girls an Elimination Room Makeover, which means clothes and hair are wrenched, tied, and removed in an effort to make them look more like.. like… well, whores. Megan is told that her nose can appear "piggy" in photos and Caridee is complimented on her acting ability. Tyra says "You gave stupid, you gave idiot – you gave so many types of dumb", and then demonstrates. Megg is a skank. There. I've said it. A.J. admits she has low self-confidence, and Tyra gives some bizarre advice about how to make her neck look longer by pulling some faces behind a ring-binder. Jaeda is, without doubt, really a man. Nigel discusses the twins, and mentions that his wife is both an identical twin and a supermodel. I know what you're thinking, but no – it's not me. It's some trollop who deserves to die.

· ELIMINATION: The (Groundhog) photos of the successful modules are handed out one by one until we're down to Melrose Bossy Bigmouth and Quotable Christian. The band-aids are ripped off with traditional malicious gusto - Christian is told she doesn't look like a model and is boring, whilst Melrose is told she delivered nothing except attitude. Melrose is safe, though, and collapses to her knees sobbing, in a really good impersonation of an idiot. Christian is out. Bye, Christian! How about one last zinger on your way out? "I'm crushed", she says. Oh.

Next week: The Makeover Episode! A guaranteed winner. Hair is cut, crying is inevitable, and Monique pisses everyone off by hogging the telephone. Shears. Tears. Ears.

1 comment:

shellity said...

Read. Laugh. Repeat.

I don't suppose there's
any chance of including
a haiku each week?