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Thursday, December 28, 2006

America's Next Top Model Series Seven #13

Again, I find myself at the end of a series of America’s Next Top Module with a strange, jangly sense of anti-climax and emptiness.
No distinct mental, psychotic behaviour. That Postal Worker never clawed its way out of Melrose.
No fuzzy-focus nookie, gay or otherwise, save for a quick pash on a Spanish balcony.
No drunkenness.
Hardly any Janice Dickinson.
No nude scenes involving Nigel Barker.

ANTM - I love you like a drunk loves paint thinner and pant-pissing, but if I wanted to see a bunch of boring, mentally-challenged people with dishwater attitudes, nothing to say, dumb hair and rubbish clothes, I’d just go to the Big Day Out.

Despite all this, ANTM is still the most glorious celebration of vanity, low IQ, jutting collarbones and ridiculous scenarios I have ever known, and I will love this show until the day I die. Thank you, ANTM, for another season of indenting the mark of my arse on the couch.
Without further adieu, I give you the ‘Ding Dong The Bitch Is Dead’ episode of America’s Next Top Module.

· We’re launched into a quick montage of ‘The Journey’, including seeing our three finalists, Eugena the Boring, Melrose the Latent Postal Worker and CariDee the Epitome of All That Is Good with their original hair. Eugena has a bob. Melrose is a brunette. Caridee is exactly the same, as changing a hair on her head would be like coating a block of chocolate in chocolate or giving Clive Owen lessons in How To Be Sexy, British and Dangerous.

· No time is wasted as our modules meet Mr Jay for a Cover Girl commercial taping and photo-shoot. Danielle, the Gap-toothed Ghetto ‘Gator of last series, is introduced to help the girls out with some advice, the sum total of which is “Remember – you’re a Cover Girl now”. The fashion industry has spoiled Danielle – not a “haaaaaay” or a “trippin’” falls from her mouth. The girls practice their lines whilst getting their make-up applied, and Caridee gets annoyed with Melrose’s constant repetitive assaults on the English language, and says so. “Stop listening to me then, ho” is the Postal Worker’s response, which sets the gloriously catty tone for the whole episode. We hate you, Melrose. We hate you like a fox.

· Caridee is up first, and she initially stuffs her lines. Hardly surprising – the script runs something like “She sells Cover Girl Sparkly Shit on the seashore, and furthermore, red lorry yellow lorry”. Eventually Caridee loosens up, realising she’s concentrating too hard, and finishes brilliantly. “I gotta stop thinking”, she says. “I’m a blonde. It’s not working out”. Bless you and your self-deprecating patois, CariDee. I’m weaving you a friendship bracelet on my Knitting Nancy as we speak. Eugena the Boring also muffs her lines, albeit in a truly tedious way, and I’m temporarily distracted by a dead bee on the windowsill. Melrose is nervous – you can tell because she says “I’m nervous” over and over again – and fluffs her lines. She eventually fixes a vacant, psychotic grin on her face and does an average job, followed by tears and hyperventilation as she comes to terms with the fact that she’s not perfect. Boo-bloody-hoo, beeyarch. Build a bridge.

· Still shots are up next - Caridee is relaxed, Eugena is concentrating on making her eyes look less like a cataract-plagued zombie, and Melrose breathes slowly, saying to herself “Okay. You have to perform now”. The girls have to link arms, smile, laugh, and pretend they’re the best of friends. “It’s so funny,” says Eugena. “Because we’re not”. Pow! Another smokin’ zinger from Eugena. It’s like Tinky Winky writes her material.

· My buttocks have only just settled themselves snugly into the couch-dent, and we’re having an elimination already! I need some Awakenings medication just to keep up. A Tyra-Mail drags the modules to the Elimination Castle, where Tyra greets them from behind a black and red boosie-prison and three kilograms of make-up. She introduces the judges, including Spunky Nigel, who I’m re-springing my mattress for, and designer guest judges Victorio and Lucchino, whose combined ages make them older than carbon. Think Waldorf and Statler from the Muppets, but gayer, older, and with subtitles. The Cover Girl commercial is screened, and the modules emote and gurn their way through their lines, and I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure Caridee touches Eugena’s boob in the last scene. Tell me I’m wrong.

· Individual takes of the commercial and still shots are shown, with Melrose up first. Waldorf and Statler make a comment, and although the subtitles show “magnificent, fresh young talker”, and my Spanish is a little rusty, I think it was more like “what a freakin’ arsehole”, or perhaps even “You know, Victorio, I really like chorizo sausage”. Melrose’s still shot is unimpressive, and comments are made about her stiff lips, as it looks a little like she’s trying to keep flour dry in her mouth. Eugena’s ad and photo are surprisingly good, although ol’ dead-eyes make another appearance. If you look really closely into her pupils, you can just see the outline of the Elevator Straight To Hell. Caridee’s ad is mildly over the top, but her still photo is like a spoonful of pretty stirred into a cup of hot gorgeous.

· The judges deliberate, labelling Eugena as personality-less, Caridee as unpredictable, and Melrose as consistently sort-of-okay. The modules re-enter, and Tyra spaces her words out as much as possible in the time available, either to build drama or to give her a chance to pick last night’s chicken out of her molars with her tongue. The first finalist’s name is called, and, because the judges obviously have eyes, it’s Caridee! Melrose, clearly thinking she should have been called first, looks like she’s swallowed a thistle. Never mind, you crazy bitch – you’re next! Melrose’s name is called, the Grateful Postal Worker ripples under the surface, Caridee grimaces like she’s just smelled a brickie’s armpit, and Eugena is out. Caridee and Eugena share a hug, and Melrose latches onto the outside of the embrace in exactly the same way that sane people don’t. Caridee whispers to Eugena “I’ll get this for you, I promise”, meaning “I won’t let that grinning fuckwit win, babe. For real”. Eugena is philosophical and boring in defeat. Bye, Eugena. Don’t send us into an irreversible coma on your way out.

· Tension is high as we start what is tediously and repetitively referred to ‘The Battle Of The Blondes’, and Caridee remarks that “now this house feels like pure competition”. The sentence is barely out of her mouth before the two remaining modules are whisked off for a Seventeen Magazine cover-shoot, where they’re met by Mr Jay, George the photographer, and my favourite Jewish cartoon character, Atoosa ‘Bless You’ Rubenstein, editor-in-chief. After being dressed and daubed with make-up, I have to admit that both girls look chest-clutchingly gorgeous as they preen and hair-flick their way through the shoot. Atoosa comments that Caridee is “more than just a pretty face”, and that Melrose has “a unique look”, perhaps implying that so few models these days can look like a fifty-year-old mental patient and still work a frilly frock.

· Next, Tyra introduces Dr Michelle, a life-coach, in a thinly-veiled plug for the Tyra Banks Show, or as I like to call it: Fried Chicken Plus Fried Chicken Equals Change The Freakin’ Channel. Some one-on-one soul-searching ensues, and I’m so bored I consider reading the Swedish-language section of an Ikea instructional booklet. Yawn. Next.

· We’re nearly in the home stretch as Caridee and Melrose arrive at the scene of the episode’s climax – the catwalk show. The venue is gorgeous – a stunningly-lit tunnel in a classic Gaudi building, but the premise of the show is straight from the Big Stupid Book of Stupid Catwalk Show Ideas. Dressed as Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons, the modules are to take to the catwalk three times in big white frocks and big white faces – the first time as normal modules, the second time with the added instruction to stop and ‘face off’ with the other modules, and the last time as screaming, flailing, 18th-century nutjobs with big fuzzy hair and tiaras. Tyra, Miss Jay and Spunky Nigel arrive, with Tyra dressed in black, puffy, high-necked satin like a busty she-vampire who has fed for too long on the blood of Carnie Wilson.

· The show starts, and two sweet little girls walk the runway, tossing white petals on the floor before squealing like stuck piglets and running away in some high-fashion amateur dramatics. Then in come our girls, led by Melrose, who walks it like a melodramatic champion. Let’s face it – in a fashion show themed around insane asylum denizens from another century, she’s a freakin’ natural. Caridee is next, and unfortunately looks like she’s walking in stone clogs through a field of glue. She clomps along, vogues for the judges, and clomps back. Not great. The second appearance, whilst still good for Melrose, isn’t much better from Caridee – the girls stop halfway down the runway for the obligatory ‘face-off’, during which enough implied venom is exchanged to fell a woolly mammoth, and as Melrose is sashaying away, Caridee accidentally steps on her skirt and rips a gigantic hole in it. In a word: Oops. Just for something different, Melrose throws a hissy, crying and waving her arms in the air, exclaiming “She ripped the dress! She stepped on the f*cking dress!”, and getting three assistants to fan her back to sanity. She’s way pissed at Caridee, and even says she wants to “nunchuck her”. Brilliant. My name is Melrose, and I’m into Chanel, long walks on the beach, mental health issues and beating people to death with sticks. Miss Jay excuses himself from the audience with no excuse in an incongruous, plot-thickening flourish.

· The third runway outing begins, in which the modules are to summon the spirits of various wailing lunatics, and who better to start the mayhem than a reeling, screeching, black-clad Miss Jay? Nobody, that’s who. Ambiguous gender and crack dependency: this is your time to shine. Melrose follows, and does a pretty good job of rantin’ in the Renaissance, managing to look old, unstable and pretty all at the same time. Caridee follows, and, as it gives me gastric discomfort to say, is awful. When she screams, it’s the scream of a disemboweled warthog, with the facial expression to match, and when she totters around like a maniac, it’s the totter of a roller-skating drunk. Tyra wildly tries to direct the action from the front row, but only succeeds in sending a disturbing quiver through her gelatinous arms and torso. The show ends with a dramatic final face-off pose between the two girls, and Melrose comes off stage announcing that “my performance rocked”. Scene.

· A Tyra-Mail announces the Final. Elimination. Panel. Ever. Both modules arrive looking stunning, although Caridee definitely outshines Melrose – Melrose is a pretty girl, but Caridee is, as she has been all series, da shit. Mr Jay is the guest judge, Tyra seems to be giving her norks a rest in a relatively loose-fitting, revolting yellow and green dress, and Nigel is there, quite obviously teetering on the verge of sending me a dirty text message. Footage from the catwalk show is shown, and there’s really no comparing Meridee and Calrose…er…. the two modules – Melrose can walk, and Caridee kind of blunders around, and the judges are quite vocal in their panning of the Caridee shuffle. All may not be lost, however, as photos from the whole series to date are dragged through, and it’s quite obvious that, whilst Melrose takes a good photo, Caridee is plainly from the planet Phwoar. The judges agree that Melrose kicked scrawny arse in the catwalk showdown, but that Caridee is the consistent star.

· After deliberating, the girls face up to the panel for their final judgement, and they’re both, quite frankly, buggin’. The modules are asked what the fashion industry means to them, and Caridee makes some almost indecipherable remarks about passion, persistence and psoriasis through a wall of tears and snot, whilst Melrose spins her usual ambitious spiel and grimaces briefly in a truly woeful attempt at emotion. She’s like Fakey McFake from Shamtown, and I really want to rub a pinecone in her eye. The announcement, after the requisite number of pregnant pauses, is made, and the winner is….. CARIDEE!!!!
Don’t pretend you didn’t know it would be. This was the most transparent series since glass.

· Melrose is humble in defeat, sincerely congratulates Caridee, and apologises to all the judges for being such a conceited, psychotic mole.
As fucking if.
Melrose bawls the bitter cry of the insane, and looks like she’s re-digesting her own bile. She complains to camera “I put my heart and soul into this, and got called a bitch the whole way through, for what?!?!”. Um… is it because you’re a bitch? Just putting it out there. Bye, Melrose! Don’t trip over your own jealous rage on the way out.

· The deeply deserving Caridee cries, jumps up and down, and, probably as punishment for having psoriasis, has to pose for a photo-shoot with Tyra. I settle back into my couch-groove, raise my glass, and nod the nod of the smug. The world is as it should be. Except for, like, wars and shit.

And so here we are at the end of another series.
The baddies got their come-uppance, the goodies got their just rewards, and the twins got gastric reflux.
I’m counting the days until Australia’s Next Top Westie Scrag, and for those of you unfamiliar with the Antipodean version, it’s exactly like the American series.
If it was set in a women’s prison.
The day every single inmate gets their period.
What’s not to love?

Thanks for reading, and a fierce, edgy fashion-forward farewell to you all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are funny.