What was more interesting – when Britney Spears shaved her head and came over all Obi-Wan with an umbrella, or when reports came out that she was doing really well in rehab? Yu-huh. 'Sright.
I want my pop-culture bitches to be buttered on the mental side. If it doesn't have the word "disorder" after it, I don't wanna know.
Hence my dance of joy and spontaneous release of body fluids when presented with the return of Palomelodrama and some good, old-fashioned bitch fights. Oh More Gourd. It's the Spats In The Cradle episode of Australia's Next Top Model.
· We revisit the mystifying vision of Paloma sobbing up a lung at the news of Steph F's elimination. I didn't even know they were close. Whenever I ever get that upset about losing something after only a month, it usually involves chocolate, money or batteries. Paloma claims that as she was leaving, Steph F leaned in close and whispered "I want you to win", which of course spurs Paloma on to new heights of deluded ambition. I'm sorry, Paloma, but I've studied the footage very closely, and Steph F clearly says "Dude. You're on my foot".
· Andreas the personal trainer's back! And front! Sure, I can hardly understand a word he says, but who cares? That'd be like expecting a pair of chocolate-brown, brushed-suede stilettos to be able to recite pi to thirty places – unnecessary, and gets in the way of the possibility of walking with a limp the next day. He wakes the distinctly unimpressed modules up for a training session involving a run to the gym and a spot of circuit. Jane, apparently unacquainted with the way of the brassiere, holds onto her own boobs whilst running, and Jordan falls behind, gasping, believing she might be dying, and may soon get to meet Gourd himself. Andreas suggests that perhaps quitting smoking would improve her fitness level, which is confusing. A module who doesn't smoke is like a lead singer without a groupie – what else are they gonna do between shows?
· Once at the gym, Andreas eggs the girls on by shouting "Faster, faster, faster, faster!", at which point I close my eyes and imagine he's talking to me. Wait – sshhhhh... okay, ready. Alice manages three sit-ups, whilst Anika manages about eight hundred, although probably three hundred of those were involuntary and just a result of the momentum caused by her gigantic bulbous ba-zonks. The girls are weighed and measured again, and we discover that Jane has gained four kilos, despite the well-known fact that frowning burns more calories than jogging. Alice weighs pretty much the same as before, even though, as Jordan claims, "her diet is mostly fruitcake and Curly Wurlies". Maybe being upset all the time burns calories, too. Works for Daniel Johns.
· A Joydhi-Mail yoinks the girls to a studio, where they're met by Charlotte Dawson and a model named Katie, both of whom announce that this week's theme is "Commercial versus Editorial Posing". Confused? Imagine how you'd look if, whilst on a trampoline being tickled by handsome, randy pixies, you'd just been told you'd won a million dollars and that soft cheese no longer contained calories. There! That's a commercial pose. Now imagine how you'd look if, whilst living on a planet with oppressive gravity and strapped into a harness lined with thumbtacks, you were just told that your kitten had died painfully. There! That's an editorial pose. Easy.
· Today's exercise involves each module picking two product names (one deemed 'commercial' and one 'editorial') out of a box, and choosing a pose to best represent each. 'Editorial' products are things like Max Mara, Paspaley Pearls and Alex Perry, whilst 'Commercial' names are, and I would like to gratefully lick the face of whoever chose them, things like Spray & Wipe and Wart Remover. Alice makes her imaginary Max Mara frock look sad, whilst her imaginary contact lenses make her look sad whilst directing passengers to the emergency exits. Jordan's imaginary wart remover makes her a cloying social outcast, until she heals and she becomes the happiest powerpoint in the world. Sophie's mystery product makes her sing "Hound Dog", and Jane's imaginary Alex Perry dress makes her look bored and angry. Whilst posing with a bottle of water, Jane seems to mishear Charlotte's "Head back" instruction as "Head job", resulting in a pose that goes some way towards explaining why Jane is gay.
· Another Joydhi-Mail (I don't understand why she doesn't just call) asks the girls to dress "New York Style" for an audition for a television commercial for Impulse. Most of the girls interpret the theme well, but Anika apparently thinks that people wrangle cattle in New York, bless 'er. They meet a handful of marketing and advertising bigwigs, and are each given a script to memorise before having a go in front of the camera with a bottle of Impulse as a prop. Steph and Paloma do well, Paloma even doing a decent wiggly impersonation of someone with cold spaghetti in their underwear. Alice is so overcome by nerves she almost gets some colour in her face, and complains that she "felt like my arms were too long, and kept getting in the way". Sophie and Anika, despite being two of my favourites, barely make a blip on the radar, and I'm momentarily distracted by a piece of toenail embedded in the carpet. Danika trips over her lips, but Jordan, undeterred by a sudden case of heat-rash-induced boob-blotches, does a pretty decent job. Jane is less New York Sass than Dead Sea Bass, and seems to have misread the script as "Shit. Fuck. Fuck. Shit", which would work for a commercial for Tourette's medicine, but not so well here.
· The modules are critiqued and the winner is announced, and it's everybody's favourite Nobel Laureate, Jordan. She wins a paid gig in an actual Impulse commercial, but the real prize is ours, as the decision is the tinder for the Great Rigged Competition Conflagration 2007. Steph and Paloma are convinced that they should have won, Paloma's rationale being that a) they were the only ones who didn't have anything negative included in their critique, and b) a cameraman told them that they were the best. My response would be a) they were blowing smoke up your arse, and b) they were trying to get access to your arse. Using all the powers of objective logic that fashion models are notorious for, Paloma deduces that Jordan didn't win because she had the right look, attitude or line delivery. No. Impulse spent thousands of dollars and a day and a half picking a girl for a national advertising campaign out of sympathy, because Jordan hadn't won anything yet. Honestly. That's like letting a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel win the Melbourne cup, but with less champagne and hats.
· The commercial shoot is boring.
· I'm having trouble choosing the right words to describe what happened next, so I've decided to use Ikea Instruction Manual Vernacular:
o Module P tells mother on Phone Bracket that competition is rigged.
o Spread Rigged Rumour evenly throughout other Modules.
o Insert Self-Doubt into Powerpoint Face and screw royally.
o Lie Module P next to Powerpoint Face. Continue lying. Lie again.
o Insert Guilt Complex into Powerpoint Face after manipulating thoroughly, until whining noise is heard.
o If Powerpoint Face ends up apologising to Module P, dramatic bitchy farce has been assembled correctly.
In other words, after spreading false jealousy-fuelled rumours about Jordan's prize-worthiness and being confronted about it, Paloma hauled her lying arse out of the fire by sobbing, wailing, and claiming that she was the victim. So much so that Jordan ended up apologising to her. You've got to hand it to Paloma, and her ability to make everything about Paloma. If I didn't want so badly to take to her smug face with a hot fork, I might even be impressed.
· Once Jordan is far enough away from Paloma's Melodramatic Manipulation Miasma to see sense, she realises that she's been duped. In her words: "I realised – what a bitch. Like, far out". She tells Paloma that she's the biggest attention-seeker she's ever met, to which Paloma, after making sure the camera is on her, replies "Hey, guess what? You just lost me as a friend", which would be like a doctor saying "I'm sorry, Mrs McGillicutty, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to cure you of scabies". Jordan keeps her rejoicing to a dull roar.
· Photo-shoot time, and today the modules will be striking editorial poses in dreadful, drunk-auntie's-dress-up-box outfits for that notoriously upmarket brand, Ford. Jordan is first, and does an effective slouch-pout under a god-awful fluorescent visor, followed by Steph, who as usual kicks everyone's arse. Alice, for a bit of a change from looking sad, looks melancholy, and Jane, for a bit of a change from looking angry, stands there and frowns. She's instructed to try and massage her frown away, and commences rubbing at her brow like she's mastu… er… trying to get rid of a stain. In a strange and confusing sexuality-bending scenario, even JP has a good rub. Anika, for a bit of a change from looking hot, looks gorgeous, and Paloma does well despite apparently being dressed as the mother-of-the-bride at a Mediterranean wedding. Danika, for a bit of a change from making me wonder again what the fuck she's doing here, looks boring, and Sophie underwhelms in grotesque lycra stockings. Highlights are when Sophie and Dave the camera assistant flirt outrageously by throwing pebbles at a wall, and when Paloma and Jane squish the make-up assistant's face between their boobs and have a pash. Modules get some decent photos. Assistants get sexually harassed. All in all, a fair day's work.
· A Joydhi-Mail summons the girls to the Elimination Roller-Rink, where they're met by Joydhi, Charlotte, Jez and Shiny Alex Perry. Guest judge is Ian Thorpe, which in my mind is a bit like getting Andy Goldsworthy to preside over a Tupperware convention or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like getting Pete Doherty to chair an AA meeting. Joydhi drones through the prizes, which I think include a half-sucked Chup-A-Chup and a pair of Dunlop Volleys, and the elimination challenge is outlined, in which each module has to do a commercial pose with a daschund puppy. We're in a warehouse. With Ian Thorpe. Holding puppies. I love this show.
· I could come up with a whole bunch of dog jokes right now, but the judges' comments are probably enough to get through this paragraph without my input. Joydhi tells Sophie that she and the puppy have the same colouring. Charlotte tells Paloma that she and the puppy have the same profile (and rabies medication, presumably). Jane seems less interested in striking a commercial pose that she is in displaying the puppie's bollocks to the panel, and Ian tells her that "if you're uncomfortable, just try and fake it". And you'd know, right Thorpey? Jordan drops the puppy. Three times. Photos are looked through, and everybody, including the modules and me, are unimpressed. If you can see me, I'm shrugging, raising my eyebrow, and taking a sip of beer. Beer's good, I reckon.
· The judges deliberate, and Joydhi grabs her pile of photos and calls out names one by one. Eventually just Alice and Jane are left, or as I see it, A Portrait In Sad And Angry. Jane is told that she has a great body, but that the judges are getting "bored with bored". Joydhi, after apparently reading some Keats, tells Alice that she dwells in "a wasteland of fear". Sad wins out over Angry as Jane is, ironically, given the arse. Bye, Jane! Don't add another emotion to your vast repertoire on your way out!
Next week, the modules pose in bizarre hats and hairstyles, the bitching heats up, and the phrases "Top Moles" and "Paloma Pavlova" are invented. Buns. Guns. Puns