Of course, it could also be any of the moments in which Alamela wins a toughness competition, Leiden cries with Johnny-Depp-related fear, and a bunch of models hang in harnesses and fluorescent leggings promoting shoes. Pinch yourself. It’s the All In All She’s Just Another Chick On The Wall episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.
· A brief moment is spent lamenting Kristy’s departure last week. Through shiny, tearful eyes, Demelza moans “She’s the one that taught us pilates...”. It’s like Kristy’s dead, and Demlza’s writing her epitaph.
Here lies our friend Kristy,
In death, she’s still quite brown.
In honour of pilates,
Please bury her upside-down.
· A kerfuffle ripples through the sitting room at Casa De Scrag, as the girls notice a boat! At the back of the house! On the water! Floating on nothing but hydrogen and oxygen! The intrigue increases apace as Caris notices a man standing on the boat with a little pink envelope. I want ‘Man With A Pink Envelope’ to be Alexandra’s nickname from now on. Because, see she looks like a man, and that sort of sounds like she’s a man with a vagina. God. I hate explaining jokes to you. The man with the pink envelope turns out to be a man in pearls, as Ian Thorpe makes his customary rear entrance. This excites the modules no end, because it’s in the script.
· Once Thorpey hits the shore, he sets in on a diatribe about having strength, an iron will and a truly masculine interest in jewellery, and sends the girls off to the park in exercise duds and swimwear. Once there, Joydhi starts on about having strength, an iron will, and lots and lots of foycus. Then, suddenly, a big scary lady called Emma is talking, and I wee a little bit in my pants out of sheer terror. Get a brick wall, encase it in steel, whack on some mascara and send it to the wrong hairdresser, and you’re pretty much there. Put it this way – Emma Hutton makes Alexandra look feminine. I know. I know. “It’s not my job to be your friend”, says Emma. “It’s my job to make you picture me whenever you hear the phrase ‘lesbian stereotype’.
· Emma The Brick takes the naturally-skinny girls through a gruelling exercise routine, which is a bit like sending Leonardo Da Vinci to anatomy lessons, or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like sending Sandra Sully to a Self-Tanning For Beginners workshop. There’s nothing funny about watching stupid skinny girls in pain. I’m just kidding – of course there is:
o First the girls pair up, with one holding a punching bag, and the other, like, punching it and stuff. They’re told to imagine, really hard, that the person holding the bag is someone that’s stopping them from winning the competition. Almost like, I suppose you could say, A COMPETITOR. Wait – sorry, Emma Hutton. I’m sorry. You’re very imaginative. Please don’t crush my neck with your titanium gaze. Anyway, it’s scraggo e scraggo, as hilarious violence ensues. Oh, hilarious violence. I love you so.
o The next task involves “swimming” out to a pole in almost ankle-deep water, and then all the way back again, because modelling is realistic and meaningful. I need to interrupt the commentary at this point to draw attention to Alamela’s body, which someone has cut out of tissue paper and glued onto some air. WHERE IS THE REST OF YOUR BODY, YOU CREEPY ALIEN ROBOT PAPER-CLIP. Anyway, Leiden wins the race, and celebrates by having a bit of a chunder on the beach. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful producers and editors at Granada for choosing to include images of Leiden dribbling beige, chunky spit onto the sand. Props, guys. Awesome.
o Next up is an exercise called ‘the plank’. Imagine just how interesting something named after a plank might be! The modules have to lift their bodies off the ground from a lying position, and keep their torso rigid for as long as possible. Now, although I know that watching a handful of girls doing MARGINALLY MORE THAN NOTHING for half an hour should make scintillating television, I’m momentarily distracted by tinea. Alamela wins, because of some kind of joke about her being a robot.
· QUOTE BREAK: You’d almost forgotten that Alexandra’s an arsehole, hadn’t you? Shame on you. When only Alamela and Alexandra remain in the plank challenge, Alexandra is getting most of the verbal support from the other girls.
“Come on, Alexandra,” they say. “You can do it!”
“I can’t,” Alexandra replies, “She’s a dancer!”.
“Well, what are you?” the cheerleaders cry.
“I’m a MODEL!” is Alexander’s grunted response, primarily because she’s an arsehole.
· Okay, like this bit’s really important, so you have to concentrate. Because Demelza bought some expensive shoes in maroon, right, and then Alyce asked Demelza for some money so she could buy the same shoes in black. Got it? Keep up. So Demelza didn’t want to give her the money, but she did anyway. Then, when everybody got home from shopping, Alyce showed everyone HER shoes FIRST. Right? Which is why they’re now fighting, obviously. Because, and I don’t think you’ve quite grasped the whole, like situation: Alyce. Showed. Her. Shoes. First. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go stab myself in the temple. In the meantime, please choose your own response from the following list:
o Oh, for fuck’s sake.
o They did not. They totally did not.
o What? I’m only here because I Googled “lesbian stereotype”, and now I’m stuck in The Hell-Pit Of Sequential Shopping Display Drama.
o What’s wrong with that? (thanks for reading, Demelza).
· It’s challenge time, and I’m afraid it’s all about fear. The girls file into The Argyle (because lord knows, we can’t have it not full of underage bimbos for even five minutes), where they’re met by Jonathan Pease and a highly relevant woman from Rexona. In front of a handful of other highly relevant people, the girls will be posing with actual manifestations of their deepest fears and a hot frock each. Okay – a tip. When you’re filling out an application form for a reality television show, and there’s a question on it asking what your greatest fear is, for god’s sake write down ‘cash and sex’ as your answer. God. I hate explaining reality television to you.
o Leiden is afraid of Edward Scissorhands. This is the most specific fear in the history of the world. It’s a corker, too – as soon as JP explains to Leiden that that’s the fear they’ll be exploiting today, she shakes, sobs, hyperventilates, and even looks up, terrified, asking “He’s not in here, is he?”. No, honey. The bouncers here draw the line at knives and pleather. Turns out Leiden has to pose amongst a bunch of pairs of scissors tied to the ceiling with string . I guess the production budget didn’t cover Edwards or, y’know – hands. She says “It’s really hard to be elegant. That’s my greatest fear”. Damn, I love that nutty bogan.
o Rebecca is afraid of birds, as evinced by last week’s terrifying run-in with some butterflies. She cries, but calms down slightly when she’s made certain that the bird is a parrot, not a crow. I’m so happy I spent a minute of my life watching her make that important distinction.
o Emma is afraid of public speaking. Except when she’s telling JP to fuck off - no problem there. She has to co-MC the event with Belinda, who is also afraid of public speaking. I’ll wake you up in a second.
o Alexandra is afraid of stick insects. Arsehole.
o Alamela is afraid of clowns, but that’s probably just because clowns are such spooky bastards. Who would win in a fight between a clown and a robot, anyway?
o Caris is afraid of snakes, for some reason. Lethal poison or something – whatever. She’s draped in one, but still manages to look pretty, and WILL SOMEONE PRISE THOSE BRACES OFF ALREADY?!
o Samantha is afraid of crocodiles, instead of her gigantic Princess Leia croissant-hair.
o Jamie is a claustrophobe in a glass box. This is exactly as interesting as it sounds.
· The winners of the challenge, Rebecca and Caris, get to attend Megan Gales’ almost-last catwalk stint at the David Jones 2008 runway show. Charlotte Dawson’s boobs meet them outside the venue, and then her boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs. Seriously. Holy shit. Champagne is consumed, designers are met, seats are taken, frocks are rocked, and Megan Gale wipes away a tear. She’s not sad about her last Sydney show – she’s just heard that Leiden is afraid of Edward Scissorhands, and she’s trying not to piss herself.
· Now, if there’s one thing I love more than gorgeous shoes, it’s wearing them fifteen feet above the ground in bright clothes and a harness. Spookily, this is what the modules have to do for their photo shoot this week, hanging in the air against a wall. Models’s shoes by Mary- Kyri. Photography by the very tall (and hence, to me, irresistibly do-able) Simon Upton. Jonathan Pease’s sunglasses by the tinted windscreen of a Mack truck. Every module rocks their poses, and the photos are universally brilliant, despite the appearance of disturbingly bright leggings on every ridiculously long leg. Highlights? You betcha:
o Demelza wears a patchwork cape, wipes snot from her nose, and slips, banging her arse against the wall. For the avoidance of doubt: this is all funny.
o Leiden looks awesome. I still don’t think she’ll even come close to winning, but to me she’ll always be the prettiest scary girl down the dark end of the pub.
o Whilst Emma’s long pink false eyelashes flap in the breeze, she worries about her performance, saying “I’ve had a lot of trouble with my face, and like, communicating through photos and that?”. Yessss. Through photos is where you have trouble communicating. And that.
o Alexandra, in a green garbage bag, stomps up and down the wall like Fashion Godzilla. If Fashion Godzilla had a penis.
o Caris cries, because what the hell – the sun came up or something.
· Let’s front up at the Elimination Silo for an ousting, shall we? I don’t even notice what Joydhi’s wearing this week, because Leiden is wearing shiny PVC leggings. Shiny. PVC. Leggings. Where do I go if I want a pair? The Big, Tall, Sweaty and Bi-Curious Store? Joydhi blahs through the prizes, which I think this year include a sachet of sugar and a subscription to New Scientist, and then introduces the judges. Charlotte is here (this time not preceded by her heaving ba-zongs), as is Shiny Alex Perry, who looks like a crystal ball in which the future is shown to be squinting. Guest judges are Peter Morrissey for no discernable reason, and Mary-Kyri, because she’s going to Google herself, read this and send me some shoes.
· A stupid, stupid mini challenge, in which each girl has to strike a pose on a stripper pole by lifting both feet off the ground, steals another few minutes of my life, saved only by Shiny Alex and Charlotte’s gems like “If you accidentally show us your Britney wink, we won’t care”, “We want your modelling face, not your thinking face”, “You can work a pole without any hint of slut”, and “Try grabbing it from higher up”, which is the first time Shiny Alex has ever uttered this phrase to a girl.
· The judges deliberate, the girls are dragged back in, and Joydhi doles out phoytoys one by one until only Leiden The Vomiting Bogan and Emma The Tallest Trout are left. Emma is told that she has an amazing face but a lack of confidence, and Leiden is told that she gives great photos, but that she needs to overcome her fear. Of Edward Scissorhands. A bit more of my life passes, and Emma is out on her eight-foot tall arse. Bye, Emma! Don’t bump your head on the second storey lightglobes on your way out!
Next week, the girls strut some bikini catwalk, get their arses kicked by the judges, and execute some pressed hams on the balcony. Suits. Boots. Glutes.
You know you want more. All your friends are doing it, and it won't kill you. Head on over to Bland Canyon for PetStarr's take on the bewildered waifs.