We made it! To the end! I'm so proud of us.
I'm especially proud because this week's episode was like a mini United Nations, but with only three or four countries represented, and everyone in stilettos. We're like, totally ethnic, y'all. We're a melting pot. We're a hotbed. We're the She'll Have Fun, Fun Fun Until Her Daddy Takes Her Green Card Away episode of America's Next Top Model.
· ENOUGH with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge already. We get it. Sheesh – it's like if you're not either aboriginal art or an architectural parabola, you just don't get a look-in on this show. I'm sick of it. I'm moving.
· No time to dwell on site-specific stereotypes. This week's episode was fast-paced and fierce, what with having to cram two eliminations, two photo shoots, a catwalk show and Tyra's eyelashes all into an hour. Perhaps if we just edit everything really quickly and talk really fast, no-one will notice how flat this highlight-sparse episode is. If it can work for the Gilmore Girls...
· The final three clomp into a studio, where Mr Jay greets them in the most macho way possible – by smiling, clapping his hands together, and exclaiming "It's Cover Girl Daaaaaay!". The girls will be posing for a still shot and filming a "My Life As A Cover Girl" segment, all the while looking 'commercial' and smiling the vacant smile of the thoroughly PhotoShopped. Renee confesses to camera that she and her sister used to practice the 'Cover Girl wink' as young children, chastising each other every time they copied it imperfectly. Take note, Mums and Dads. Buy your kids a bike. Caridee, winner of Series Seven and all-round good egg, appears to coach the girls, and she starts with the valuable tip: "Don't over-think today". Don't you worry, Caridee. The likelihood of these girls over-thinking anything is about one in… um… hey, look! My hair's pretty!
· Natasha's Cover Girl spot is filmed 'backstage at a photo studio', or 'on a chair in front of a mirror, because we spent our entire budget on wigs and fried chicken for Tyra'. Natasha is determined to do well, claiming that she must "bring udon". I guess… if you think soup will hel - what? Oh! "Bring it on". Gotcha. This ethnic stuff's hard. She's a little wooden during the shoot, and Jay comments that, even though the challenge is to ad-lib most of the chit-chat, she sounds like she's reciting a grocery list. Let's see: beetroot… vodka…
· Renee's shoot takes place on a boat on Sydney Harbour, with the fucking Harbour fucking Bridge in the fucking background. I assume that at some point during the series she made one of her characteristically bitchy comments to the wardrobe and hair assistants, and that they chose today to take their revenge, as she emerges, as if on the Dynasty set, with Krystle's hair and Alexis' sequined frock. Shut up. I am not living in the past. You are. Shut up. Her ad-libbing does not start well. Want a lipstick that's going to alienate half your market and send them running to Aunty Xanax? Make your opening line "I had a baby nine months ago, and I thought my life was over". After some gentle coaching by Mr Jay, she makes her spiel a little more upbeat, and does very well. Although my hastily-typed notes say she "dies very well". Thank you, Freud. Same time next week?
· Jaslene is filmed in the back of a limo (the good way), and speaks like she's trying to keep her teeth dry. She's an aggressive, surprised-looking Cover Girl, but when she throws in a couple of lines in Spanish, Mr Jay soils himself with enthusiasm (the good way).
· For the still photo-shoot, our modules smile and look pretty for the camera, and I'm momentarily distracted by lanolin.
· We've barely had time to suck the salt off our margaritas when a Tyra-Mail arrives announcing an impending elimination. Renee tells the camera that she hopes Natasha is eliminated so that she doesn't get to take part in the upcoming Runway Walk-Off, apparently because she "walks like a pigeon-toed duck with a piece of poop hanging out of her arse". I won't even get out of bed without a piece of poop hanging out of my arse, but then, I'm not a model. Jaslene tells the camera to "expect the unexpected". But… if I expect it, then it'll be expected, surely? She's just so goddamn postmodern. And, you know, skinny. Maybe she also digests the indigestible.
· The trio traipse into the Elimination Opera House to face both their penultimate fate and the sight of Tyra-meets-Barbarella-meets-Fire-Your-Stylist. Somehow, through the eyelashes and huge hair, and over the noise of her shiny, shiny frock, Tyra greets the girls with "Here they are – the three baddest bitches in town. Holla.". Mind you, my mistyped notes say "Hola". This ethnic stuff is hard. Judges are introduced, including Remind-Me-Why-You're-Here Twiggy, Drowning-Under-The-Weight-Of-A-Thousand-Ruffles Miss Jay, guest judges Sass and Bide, and Spunky Nigel Barker, who I'm flexing my buttocks for. Still. Cover Girl photos and ads are screened, and the judges are unimpressed with Natasha's version of English, but quite impressed with the way she holds her hair when she laughs, just like the way things in the real world aren't. Jaslene's ability to pull off a 'commercial' photograph is questioned, whilst surprisingly her ability to look cross-eyed and drunk isn't. Renee is told that she 'photographs old', and had to have her wrinkles and puffiness retouched. She looks insulted for some reason.
· The judges deliberate, and as the girls file back into the room, Barbarella looks very serious indeed. Jaslene is given the all-clear, and it's just down to Subtitles Natasha and Nanna NeNe. Natasha is told that she always takes criticism on board and improves, but that her Cover Girl spot was weak, and Renee is told that she's "a strong woman out on a vengeance to make her family's life better", but that she looks like a forty-year-old in photographs. Two seconds pass (we're on the clock here, people), and Renee is given the old heave-ho. Bye, Renee. I said BYE, RENEE! Turn up your hearing aid, pet. There's a good girl. Mind you don't break your chalky hips on your way out. I said MIND YOU DON’T BREAK – oh, never mind. Fuck off.
· Renee is shocked, sheds some geriatric tears, and hugs the remaining modules, whispering "Win this for the mamas, okay?" to Natasha. Yep. The modelling world needs more mothers like the Surrealist movement needs another urinal, or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like the NRL needs another thick-necked boofhead on ecstasy with a suspended driver's licence. Jaslene is surprised that Natasha made it through, saying "If she wins, I'ma pull off all my hair". Natasha hopes she wins for her family, because then she'll be happy, and as everyone knows, "A baby not want unhappy woman to be raising them". I want Natasha to write a book about child-rearing, including chapters like Feeding From The Bottle Of The Milk Why Mother Breasts Stay Small And Humble So You Will Not Confuse Them With Mountains, and of course Borscht.
· I blink and miss a photo-shoot for Seventeen magazine. Something about a pink hoodie. Whatever.
· It's time for the crucial point in any series of America's Next Top Module – the Great Fashion Show Runway Walk-Off With Real Models And Stupid Hair. Natasha and Jaslene turn up at Quay to take part in a Sass & Bide show, which will include Caridee, a raised, ricketty, sloping catwalk and, of course, the Opera House in the background. Mr Jay explains that the theme of the show is 'evolution', meaning of course that at first, the girls are required to walk the runway in hunched-over, Neanderthal fashion, and then gradually straighten up and strut their haughties Homo-Erectus-style. Pffft. Homo. Erectus. Pffft. Oh, grow up. As is the tradition in all high-end fashion shows, the modules look ridiculous, having had their eyebrows eradicated but supplemented with tangled wads of Hessian in their bagel-esque hair. The frocks are nice though, and Spunky Nigel's there. Hi, Nigel. Call me.
· Jaslene looks incredible, and rocks her way down the catwalk like a pro. Natasha looks a bit odd and abdominally bloated, but does reasonably well until she's halfway down the catwalk and her skirt starts to fall off. Of course, she gracefully covers the fact that her garment is slipping with a lithe sweep of the hand and a quick jaunty hip thrust, and makes it to the end of the runway without anybody being any the wiser. No, wait – that's not strictly correct. She ignores the errant garment until it's swimming around her ankles, and then kicks it into the crowd, finishing the walk with her arse making a break for the border, all with a follicular croissant on her head and no neck. Nigel whispers to Tyra that she almost manages to make the Great Sydney Harbour Skirt Debacle look deliberate. Nigel is a lying, sexy cad.
· Tyra comes backstage after the show to congratulate the girls, saying "You guys ripped it". Natasha starts to say "I didn't, I swear! It just came undone by itsel – oh. You are just using whacky Western vernacular, yes?" Instead, she says "I definitely think I rock it enough to win. I am American. I win it for millions of girls who feel like strangers in America". Jaslene, not wanting to be out-quoted, says "I'm the Latin spice. I bring… spice". Way to work a metaphor twice, ChaCha.
· Suddenly we're in the Elimination Ultimate Deciding Room, and Natasha and Jaslene both look like they're going to faint, either with nerves or under the weight of the eighteen kilos of make-up they're both sporting. Tyra greets them, and I… I like what she's wearing. And I kind of like her hair. I just don't know who I am anymore. She blathers on about the multicultural-ness of the two finalists, and Nigel sits there looking hot and probably sending me a text message. Clips from the runway show are screened, and each girl is given a last chance to endear themselves to the judges by mangling the English language some more and adding some last-minute superlatives in their mother tongues. Da. Si. Get on with it.
· The judges deliberate for what seems like aeons and look through all the photos from the whole series, in an obvious attempt to avoid discussing the fact that NATASHA'S SKIRT FELL OFF. The two modules walk back into the room, Tyra gushes some more about some stuff, the girls hold hands, and my sphincter quivers. And the winner is…. the winner is…
I'm sorry, is that the 'phone?
Oh, come on. It's Jaslene. Natasha's skirt totally fell off. Der.
Next week, I get my life back. Thanks for reading, kids! You're fierce. All of you. Especially you. You smell delicious.