The tropics are overrated, I reckon.
What’s so great about a place where your hair goes frizzy, you’re constantly plagued by mosquitoes, and your chances of seeing a sixty-year-old European guy in his togs is about one in four?
Watching cranky models rake seaweed off a beach is what.
Stick a stupid amount of fruit in your drink and tune up your ukulele: it’s the Push Pineapple, Shake A Scrag episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.
· The girls are shaken by last week’s double elimination, and Demelza shows that the only time she actually sits on the fence is when she’s being psychic: “I really, really didn’t want Leiden to go home, but at the same time I kinda knew she was going to”, and “I thought that Alyce should go home, but I knew that she wouldn’t”. Alyce is either as stupid as custard, or she’s rehearsing for her job interview at NASA: “That was two girls gawn now, it feels so small – there’s only six of us left, that’s almost like... five. Which is almost four. Which is almost three...”.
· The ANTM production budget isn’t just limited to a three-pack of coloured clipboards, no sir. The modules are off to Fiji. That’s almost a whole ‘nother country.
· JP meets the scrags at the airport and tells them that on the plane they’ll be doing runway down the gangway, strutting resort-wear to three hundred passengers who would really rather just put their headsets on and watch the second half of Spy Kids 4 instead of the live arena version of Scrags On A Plane. The girls have trouble putting their make-up on, because they’re… I dunno, sitting down, the poor darlings, and their complaints range from Rebecca’s “I can’t even see what I’m doing!” to Caris’ slightly more insistent “My make-up looks shit”, all the way to Samantha’s brilliant, I-want-it-on-a-t-shirt-by-tomorrow* “I look like arse on a stick”. If you’re not picturing an actual arse on an actual stick right now, we can’t be friends anymore. Suddenly all the passengers are waving around copies of their in-flight magazine with Shiny Alex Perry on the cover, and it looks like a cat has been set amongst a flock of varnished, plucked pigeons. In expensive sunglasses.
· The modules are sporting resort-wear for the mid-air show. In case you’re unfamiliar, resort-wear is what designers make out of the fabric they’ve spilled finger-paint and Cyndi Lauper on, topped with a hat. Samantha hams it up, smiling and posing, and JP calls her a “Muppet mouth”. I don’t really know exactly what he means, but I’m of course picturing a puppet. A puppet that looks like an arse. On a stick. Alyce appears to have sucked too hard on her oxygen mask, and bounces down the runway like an irritating box of crayons. Caris and Alexandra do a’ight, Demelza flounces along the aisle looking for all the world like she’s about to ask“The chicken or the bitch, sir?”, and Rebecca seems more likely to drawl “Youse want some nuts, or what?”.
· Back on the ground, Alexandra comments on how moist it is, and I’m sure, once again, that my chances of ever having sex again without twitching are zero. Suddenly Alyce shouts “Oh my god, a big cow!”, presumably because she’s looking at her reflection in the window. All the girls are given leis. It’s Demelza’s first time.
· Let’s play a guessing game. Let’s guess what the girls say when they see their five-star resort accommodation. Is it:
b) “Gosh, furniture designers in and around the Tropic of Capricorn are certainly more minimalist now than in days of yore, aren’t they?”
c) “My crotch itches. I think I have a fungus,” or
d) “What? Sorry, I’m still thinking about how much of a dick Seany B is”
Winner gets a fucking medal.
· Alexandra. Honey. Those pants.
· Morning brings JP in yet another pair of Mack-truck-windscreen sunglasses that are completely overshadowed by his shorts, which have pictures of lots of pairs of sunglasses on them. Way to milk a theme, Corey Hart. He tells the scrags that they’re about to take part in a photo-shoot challenge for clothing brand ‘City’, because of its obvious remote-tropical-island-lifestyle connotations. Photographer Chris Ferguson looks like he just woke up on the floor of a pub and had a bath in an ashtray, hence I like him instantly. Making virtually no point in point form:
o JP tells Alexandra to “loosen the mouth up, babe – really stretch it out – it’s tightened up”, which is not the last time she’ll hear that phrase if she wants to make it in this business. I’ll admit that she almost looks pretty, though. And by ‘pretty’, I mean ‘like a very effeminate man’. And by ‘effeminate’, I mean ‘penis’.
o Alyce is wearing a blouse from my grandmother’s wardrobe, shorts from my grandfather’s chest of drawers, and shoes from a stripper’s private stash of especially slutty shoes. She looks awkward as she leans against a column, and JP asks if she’d ever actually stand against a pole like that, and that she’s grasping it like it’s a phallic object. And by ‘phallic’, he means ‘penis’. Photographer Chris, just to make a leap away from my perception of him as a scruffy outspoken yobbo, says “she’s always stickin’ her tits out”, and “I think she’s ugly, but I think she did a good job”. Chris. Oh, Chris. You can take a suck from my schooner anytime.
o It really pisses me off that Demelza’s so beautiful, because I sort of want her to contract a flesh-eating disease. Instead, she takes gorgeous photographs. It’s selfish, is what it is. Chris comments that “She’s only sixteen, and she’s not used to her body yet. She’s drivin’ a V8, but she’s only got her Ls”. Oh, Chris. You can reinforce my chassis anytime.
o Rebecca is a lump on the grass, and needs a lot of encouragement from JP. He says “I can’t keep pumping her up all the time. She’s gotta come inflated”. I’ll be holding a lecture tour over the coming weeks to explain in detail, with visual aids, how this shit just writes itself.
o I’m afraid I’ve bought a ticket on the Samantha bus. Like, I’m sitting near the door, and I’m only going a few stops, but I’m on. She pretty. She stares straight down the lens with her multicoloured irises and makes Chris say “The face is a bit vampy for me. I feel a bit raped”. Oh, Chris.
o Caris cries in the make-up chair, and I think it’s because of JP’s shorts. I’m getting a little misty about them myself. She then pulls Extreme Gorgeous out of her rapidly-disappearing arse, and I’m all proud of her again, and I might invite her around to my house where we can both make dinner together like best friends do. She can slice the onions, though, ‘cause like, what difference will it make? She wins the challenge. Her braces must die.
· Losers have to don shapeless cleaning outfits, do laundry, wash dishes, and my absolute favourite, rake the seaweed off the beach. This has absolutely nothing to do with modelling, and everything to do with cruelty, which is why I’m marrying this show and having its brat babies. Raking seaweed off the beach is like a punishment a troll would hand out in a fairy tale. A mean troll, who has his period. Watching it is like supporting the hell-spawn in a Hieronymus Bosch painting or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like putting your money on Ricky May in a hot-dog eating contest. Y'know - if he was alive.
· Okay, this is really important. Caris and Alexandra, right, trap a frog in a – get this – a colander, and release it into the – too funny – the pool. While some of the girls are totally swimming in the pool! Then – it’s not over – The frog swims. It SWIMS! It’s like what this show always lets us do – we’re WATCHING EVOLUTION HAPPEN. Only this time, it’s like, forwards. Now, I know that watching skinny moles sharing a pool with an amphibian in the middle of the night should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by butane.
· A Joydhi-Mail gets the girls on a boyt for a phoy-toy shoyt, and they’re sped off to a tiny island where JP and photographer Russell James stand waiting. Nobody looks directly at Rebecca’s sunglasses for fear they should become either blind or instantly turned into a Bonnie Tyler album cover. Joydhi arrives by sea-plane, (because it’s much easier for her to pronounce than “boyt”, or “grachyoo-itus self-promoytion”), and lets the modules know they’ll be posing in Tigerlily cossies. Summary, you say? Certainly!
o Rebecca sits there. End of sentence.
o Samantha’s eyes and boobs battle for dominance, and all four of them look bloody stunning.
o Caris does her usual brace-face-geek-walks-up-to-camera-and-instantly-becomes-gorgeous-supermodel trick. Joydhi tucks her right tit back in for her, which sort of helps too.
o Demelza does pretty well (selfish), and really unlocks some of the mystery of swimwear modelling for me when she says “I ended up on some rocks and kind of in the water a little bit”.
o A girl that looks vaguely like Alex (except with a tan, a girl’s face and conceivably her own vagina) steps out and takes some pretty good shots. Arsehole.
o Alyce points her boobs to the north and her arse to the south, and still looks like she’s got a hair in her mouth. Norks to the west, bum to the east, she might be the model that the judges like least. Shut up. Rhyming is clever.
The modules get on a magic boat that apparently takes them all the way back to Sydney, letting them off at the Elimination Jetty. I’m pulling Alexandra aside, because this obsession with Hypercolour cannot continue. It’s like somebody squeezed out The Wiggles over her singlet. In a long black gown, Joydhi enunciates slowly through the prizes, which I think this year include a temporary tattoo and a coconut, and then introduces the judges: Charlotte Dawson, dressed today as a Disco Garden, Shiny Alex Perry, dressed today as a brand new roll-on deodorant, ex-model Gail Elliott, dressed today as a suntan, and photographer Russell James, dressed today as Jodie Foster in Freaky Friday.
Phoy-toys are viewed, and Charlotte and Shiny Alex commence their usual verbal game of cat and cat, including notables:
“Your tits look awesome, don’t they?”
“I can’t quite explain the level of ordinariness that this picture has”,
“Damn, who is that sexy bitch on the beach?”
“I think she’s a lump. I sometimes wonder if she’s living or not”.
Charlotte also slaps herself in the face and bangs her head on the desk. Shiny Alex just looks like he might have done both of those things recently.
· Joydhi calls the names out one by one (from a pink folder, for those of you playing at home), until only Rebecca the Lump and Alyce the Wingnut are left. Rebecca is told that she’s beautiful , but without energy, and Alyce is told that she needs to stop modelling. In a modelling competition. Where the prize is a modelling contract. With a modelling agency. I’m really quite conflicted right now. Four minutes pass, and Rebecca is pushed off this module coil. Bye, Rebecca! Don’t do any more than two basic poses on your way out!
Next week, the modules have a run-in with Wayne Cooper, weight ish-yous come to the fore once more, and Kirstie Clements assesses the girls’ high-fashion knowledge. Wayne. Gain. Disdain.
* I really mean it. Get me this on a t-shirt.
Go read Petstarr’s take on the Tropical Scrags over at Bland Canyon. She’s got a lovely bunch of coconuts.