Put on your jodhpurs and saddle up, you Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The world is about to end.
There's no blood raining from the sky, no sulphurous oceans, and Britney Spears hasn't started wearing underwear. No such obvious signs of Armageddon. The omen of which I speak is much more subtle: I watched an ANTM make-over episode and thought that perhaps I'd prefer to read the instructions on a home enema kit.
Granted, watching last night's episode would have the same effect as that of a home enema kit, (without quite the same need for lubricant and a flexible hose), but come on. This series is flatter than Debra Messing.
I've started, though, so it's probably best to just trudge on. Keep awake if you can for the Coma Chameleon episode of America's Next Top Model.
· I'm not saying this show is predictable. The sun rising, celebrity DUIs and Sandra Sully looking orange – these things are all predictable. Still, see if you can guess what will happen to Victoria and Saleisha in this episode, based solely on their first-two-minutes-of-the-show soundbytes:
Victoria: "I'm just not a model. This wasn't my dream until like, three weeks ago".
Saleisha: "I'm never gonna be in the bottom two".
If you guessed that one would be eliminated and the other would be in the bottom two, hand yourself a freakin' cigar, genius. If, on the other hand, you guessed that one would have her hands bound with plastic ties and the other would get stabbed, then welcome to my blog, Ivan Milat! Hope you like it.
· A Tyra-Mail predictably predicts something about butterflies and metamorphosis, and the modules are bussed off to the Ken Paves salon to learn their follicular fate. Tyra greets the girls in a dreadful green print mini-frock, exposing her fried-chicken-friendly legs, which is the equivalent of an acne-riddled teenager circling their pimples with a yellow highlighter. This series, the two Jays and Tyra employ a large digital screen to alert the girls to their imminent scissor-based indignities, as individual images of each module slowly morph into Photo-shopped haircut predictors.
o Ambreal will be given a short cropped 'do, and as her hair is already quite short, the morphed photograph makes it look like part of her cranium has been removed. Final haircut is reasonably good, but… she's still Ambreal.
o Sarah (who?) also gets the lot chopped off, and it's such an improvement I may even remember who she is next week. She's the fat one with short hair.
o Victoria is given a few blonde streaks, and claims "she'll be a smart blonde". Yep. And I'll be an articulate boxer.
o Chantal gets some hair extensions and a blunt fringe, which really, really suits her, and even reduces the illusion that one of her eyes is sliding down her cheek.
o Lisa's sparse, curly hair is chopped short, because we all know how good sparse, curly hair looks when there's less of it. She says she looks like a poodle. Heeeere, Alopecia! Sit, Alopecia!
o Jenah's hair is lengthened with extensions and bleached platinum blonde, but unfortunately her teeth are not filed down to resemble normal human teeth. She looks better, but I'm still leaving her in the Why Are You Even Here bag. It's a very full bag.
o Continuing an apparent theme, Janet is given a short cropped cut and dyed dark brown. It's a great cut, and really works for Janet, almost making her pretty enough to watch ANTM alone in the dark and then cry herself to sleep.
o Ebony's wig is UNGLUED FROM HER SCALP and replaced with a long, Naomi-Campbell-esque weave. Unglued. From her scalp. Bitch glued hair onto her head. I need gin.
o Heather's hair is hardly changed at all, because she's perfect and my new best friend.
o The plan for Bianca is to give her a long, Beyonce-ish weave, but it's soon discovered that her hair is so damaged by chemicals and by… well, having a purple fringe, that the stylist announces he can't do anything with it and will be cutting off the whole lot. What a professional. "I'm sorry, Mrs Johnson, but as your husband's brain surgeon I feel obliged to tell you that brain surgery is really, really hard. Rather than remove the tumour, I'm just going to get rid of the brain altogether. It'll take a while – go get a Diet Coke from the machine". No hair on Bianca turns out to be quite an improvement, yet she's given a wig to wear on shoots. This, in case you're wondering, is Fucking. Ridiculous. It's a bit like Christo wrapping the Sistine Chapel and then painting a picture of the Sistine Chapel on the outside or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like paying money to see a Lindsay Lohan film.
o Saleisha is told she'll be getting a Louise Brooks bob. Saleisha is lied to in the most heinous way. To call this a bowl cut is to insult bowls. Tootie from The Facts Of Life, you never looked better. The haircut even makes Karen Carpenter want to throw up, although granted that's not saying much. Oh, the humanity.
· The bus swallows the modules once again, regurgitating them in the 'fashion district', where they're met by Spunky Nigel Barker, who introduces his bitch wife, Crissy. I'm sure she's very nice for someone who's making constant squishy noises with my imaginary boyfriend's genitals. Crissy and Cover Girl rep Brent Poer outline the day's challenge, which is to rush around to various tables and racks piled with make-up and clothes, give themselves a 'dramatic eye', throw on matching frocks and hurl themselves down a catwalk for judgement. Much squealing, shoving, daubing and prancing ensues, and whilst imagery involving a bunch of tedious morons slapping cheap paint on their faces should be interesting, I'm momentarily distracted by soap scum. Sarah wins, because apparently it's very daring and adventurous to apply eyeshadow that curves up slightly at the edge of your eye. Next week: parting your hair on the other side and skydiving.
· A Tyra Mail and the omnipresent omnibus bring the girls to their photo shoot in the wilderness of Kelly Gulch, where Mr Jay introduces This Week's Stupid-Arsed Photo Shoot Concept. Each module will be a different plant, naked except for foliage, pants, and a thin shroud of intense humiliation. Some Summer summary:
o Bianca, a sunflower, has big yellow petals glued to her near-bald head and poses well.
o Janet, a hydrangea, manages to make petal-wreathed norks look sexy, albeit with Shades Of Liza. Damn. Every time Liza Minelli is mentioned, I get a mental image of David Gest and want to vomit violent chunks of carrot.
o Heather is a little upset that she's chosen to be 'weeds', but succeeds in making Angry Nymph With Ferns For Eyebrows work. Because of the whole perfection thing and stuff.
o Lisa is bamboo. She is exactly as interesting as real bamboo.
o Saleisha, a tulip, has a pink face and looks like a sunburnt, drunk Diana Ross. With fucking awful hair.
o Sarah-as-ivy struggles to pose well, and is also a bit fat.
o Ambreal, a rose, has her hair cemented to her head and arches her foot in a way that sends Mr Jay into paroxysms of adoration. I have catatonic dribble on my chin.
o Victoria, a cactus, describes herself as 'looking like Princess Leia got in a fight with a cactus and lost miserably', but is actually quite beautiful and serene. She describes the whole photo shoot concept as 'ludicrous', which is like letting on that you know the Emperor has no clothes. Shut uuup. Just wear your hair-prickles with dignity, and don't show any nipple.
o Jenah is moss, and hence looks like mildly pretty pubic hair with big teeth.
o Ebony is a bird of paradise, or Girl From Duran Duran's Hungry Like The Wolf video. In all honesty, she rocks it. She smells like she sounds. She's lost in the crowd. She's hungry. Like. You know.
o Chantal is baby's breath, and announces that she loves baby's breath, which comes as a surprise to nobody alive. With big, curly hair and exaggerated eyelashes, it seems she's been whacked twice with the Vacuous Stick, but she gets frazzled when Mr Jay and the photographer both tell her how to pose. A blonde who loves baby's breath and gets confused and upset when two people talk at once? Call the Obvious Police, and tell them to bring the Der Handcuffs.
· Another tedious Tyra Mail gathers the girls to the Elimination of Tedium, and Tyra greets them in another mini-dress which would actually be quite nice if it didn't have Tyra in it. She rambles through the prizes, which I think this year include a shot glass and a piece of toast, and then introduces the judges – Miss Jay in an infinitesimally larger afro, Twiggy in an infinitesimally dowdier blouse, French photographer Lionel Deluy, and Spunky Nigel Barker, who I'm trimming my moss for. Each girl has her makeover and flower photo picked to bits, with a couple of highlights:
o Victoria, whilst having her cactus photo assessed (ambiguous interpretation of 'cactus' encouraged) butts in and claims that she 'doesn't have a prickly disposition'. Way to milk an obvious metaphor, Merchant Ivory.
o Tyra says to Lisa "If you survive, I'd like to see your hair straightened". Awesome. Possible death imminent. Awesome.
o Jenah's hair makes her look like an Afghan Hound in tropical humidity. With really big teeth.
o Ambreal's pose in her photo makes her look like she's either ripping off a champion fart, or spraying her territory. Either way, she should lay off the 'ludes.
o Bianca turns up for judging wearing her wig. Tyra tells her to take it off, and then comments on her near-bald 'regalness'. Bald is to regal what Bindi Irwin is to calm.
o Ebony's nerves show in her body language, so Tyra, obviously wanting to make Ebony feel more secure and relaxed, swaps places with her and does an exaggerated impersonation of her tense, embarrassed stance and facial expression. Arsehole.
· The judges deliberate a smidge, and Tyra calls the girls back in to dole out photos one by one, taking a moment to call Janet 'Liza' again (gaaak). Eventually only Brainiac Victoria and Bowl-Cut Saleisha are left – Victoria is told that she has an atypical look but a bad attitude, and Saleisha is informed that she has a beautiful face, but boring pictures. I slap myself awake, and Victoria is 'pruned'. Bye, Victoria! Mind you don't conjugate verbs in period costume on your way out!
Next week, the modules dress in lycra and take part in an aerial ice-skating challenge, and Ambreal is crippled with fear in a building-top photo shoot. Tights. Heights. Frights.