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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Scrag Lag

Saying I've been a little bit busy at work lately would be like saying Corey Delaney is a little bit of a dick.
The chances of me getting an America's Next Top Model recap up this week are about the same as the chance of Tyra Banks not noticing pieces eight through twelve in a twelve-piece bucket.

It makes me sad.
Especially because this looks like a good 'un.

Regular bloggage will resume shortly.
In the meantime, please listen to the sound of me giving a rat's.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

America's Next Top Model Series Nine #6

recycle (ree-sahy-kuhl) verb
1. to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for re-use
2. to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature
3. to try to extend one's fame well past its use-by date by producing a televised modelling competition and a truly shit talk-show
4. to repeat the same fucking concepts and scenarios every single fucking episode of every single fucking series.

Seriously, if something doesn't happen at the end of this episode that's never happened before, I'll eat my hat. As if. That would never happen.
Separate your plastics – it's the Quitting On The Dock Of The Haaa-aaay! episode of America's Next Top Model.

· Ebony wails about being tired of going to panel and getting bad criticism. She seems jaded, like perhaps she doesn't want to be here anymore. Even unborn foetuses in the frozen tundra of Siberia guess that this means her days are numbered. Recycled factor: three PET bottles and a compost heap.

· Okay, so I hate to get all Webster's on your arses twice in one recap, but 'autism' is defined as 'a condition characterised by emotional detachment and impaired communication'. Heather, our perfect-except-for-the-autism-thing module, expresses just about every available emotion in this episode, from Anguish to Zsa-Zsa. Autistic my arse.

· The doorbell rings at the Module Mansion, and Jenah nearly faints with all-consuming lust when she opens the door to discover their visitor – Tyson Beckford, apparently a really, really famous male model, or as I'm calling him, Beefy McLumps from QuadTown. He's alright, I suppose, if you like men with pecs the size of watermelons who have to pay other people to scratch their own armpits. Granted, being a girl who finds Dylan Moran attractive, perhaps the whole even-my-tattoos-have-muscles thing is a little lost on me, and perhaps I prefer my men to have more hair on their entire body than I have on my left knee, but the modules seem to like him. In fact, there are not enough underpants in the world to absorb their excitement, and when Tyson invites them all to sit on the couch, all I can think of is the necessity for Scotchguard. Even Heather calls him 'eye candy'. How's that emotional detachment working for you, Heather?

· Tyson explains that modelling isn't always about standing around looking pretty – it's also about being a spokesperson. He explains that today's exercise will involve each module grabbing something from the kitchen and then 'selling' it to him. Kitchen items. Raging lustful hormones. Male model. Nine And A Half Freaks, anyone? A brief catalogue of the carnal is offered below. See if you can pick out the subtle sexual innuendo – it's obscure, but it's there.
o Chantal sucks on a lime popsicle, starting by putting the whole thing in her mouth.
o Bianca, with a watering can, asks if 'you ever want to just get things real wet'.
o Ebony plays a sexy robot selling a kettle (or, as she calls it, a 'water-heater-upper') as she blankly, with heavy prompting, tells Tyson it's hot and moist and what he really wants.
o Heather fondles a wineglass and, whilst Tyson grabs her, tells him it's fingerprint-proof and lipstick-proof in a guttural purr. How's that impaired communication working out for you, Heather? Tyson looks like he's about to have a an autistic episode. Like, in his pants.
o Ambreal sells a mango, and Tyson tells her he'd like to take a bite of it. See the subtlety? He takes a huge mouthful, skin and all, and Ambreal saves the remaining mango for diary-room metaphors and possibly her next bath.
I feel a bit… soiled. You know what helps me feel pure and whole again at times like this? Public Service Announcements about people dying from AIDS!

· The Big Green Bus charitably plonks the girls at a studio (Recycled Factor: six glass jars and a BETA video tape), where they're again met by Beefy McLumps. Beefy in turn introduces them to Elizabeth from a charity called 'Keep A Child Alive', which I'm joyfully abbreviating as 'KACA'. KACA is an AIDS charity that operates in Africa, and the girls have thirty minutes to get into teams of three, put together a Public Service Announcement for KACA, and perform it in front of a camera. They're allowed to paint signs and/or themselves, and I'm allowed to choke on my own comatose fluids. Lisa, Chantal and Bianca base their PSA on the concept of 'see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil', but Bianca stuffs up her lines in a big way, including erroneously calling the charity 'Keep A Child'. You're not Madonna, honey. Jenah, Ambreal and Heather make their point with Bob-Dylan-esque painted signs which crash noisily to the floor as punctuation. Saleisha, Sarah and Ebony put the 'sop' into 'soporific', and even all join hands at the end. Now, I know a bunch of girls in identical outfits talking about charity to a camera in front of a blank background should be interesting, but I'm momentarily distracted by lint.

· Elizabeth gives the girls a critique, scolding Ebony for mentioning that KACA are involved with AIDS prevention (which they aren't – KA-CA-Catholic?), and announces Heather, Ambreal and Jenah as the competition winners. In an unnecessarily and irritatingly complicated scenario, Lisa Price, founder of Carol's Daughter natural cosmetics, presents gift baskets to the winners, then puts the winners' names in a bowl, and draws one out (Heather), for the main prize of a photo-shoot with Mary J Blige for Carol's Daughter cosmetics. Got all that? I'll leave a space now so you can go and get a coffee, or beer, or shoot yourself in the pancreas.

· Perfect-except-for-autism Heather arrives at the Mary J Blige photo-shoot and nearly wees her emotionally-challenged daks with excitement. Daubed with fake tan and draped in a god-awful sarong and lilies, she looks absolutely get-out gorgeous during the shoot, and almost squeezes the J out of Mary with a thank-you hug in yet another demonstration of her difficulty relating to others. Mary J tells her she has an 'automatic personality'. Ha! Mary J can't pronounce 'autistic'!

· Back at the house, and in a metaphor just waiting to happen, the girls spend the night in the closet. It's apparently the warmest room in the house, and the girls eat pizza, do their nails, call it a slumber party and then tackle some really, really big issues. Ebony admits that she really wants to go home, and the other girls stare at her in wide-eyed disbelief. It's a bit like seeing Van Gogh sharpen his razor, or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like hearing Elvis say "I'm just popping off to the loo – back in a sec". If there was a noise which implied certain doom, I'd be totally making it right now. Bianca, sensing that the new, heavy, serious tone of the closet slumber party needs to be upheld, turns to the girls and asks "Do I have a fat face?".

· A Tyra-Mail announces a photo shoot (Recycled Factor: Two old mobile phones and a Foxtel magazine), and the modules meet Mr Jay at a studio, where it's announced that they'll be 'giving back' by each representing a different recyclable material in photographs. Let's have a summary, shall we?
o Heather-as-aluminium-cans looks perfect. Except for the autism. And the aluminium cans just staple-gunned to the backdrop. And the way the shadows make her nose look big. Perfect-ish.
o Chantal-as-shredded-paper wears an awesome fringed frock and throws paper and hair around. It's just so… so blonde.
o Sarah (who?)-as-garbage-bags has really, really big boobs.
o Saleisha-as-car-parts can't even make a hideous PVC frock or a pile of teetering hub-caps draw the attention away from her truly, truly fucked-up Tootie hair.
o Ebony-as-bubble-wrap looks glamorous, sophisticated and gorgeous. To me. To Mr Jay and the producers, who I suspect may have already seen some 'I wanna go home' footage, think she looks uninspiring and trampish. Doom noise.
o Jenah-as-cardboard annoys me by looking awesome. She's dressed in the Cutest Brown Dress In The World, and somehow manages to close her mouth over her gargantuan teeth.
o Bianca-as-oil is greased up, and pulls off a miraculous stunt – in real life, her head looks like a misshapen novelty condom, but in photographs she's all beautiful and regal and shit. Mr Jay raves about the fact that she's learnt to 'smile with her eyes'. I snarl with my lower intestine.
o Lisa-as-plastic-bottles is wearing what looks like Glad Wrap flared trousers. I'd love to describe more of her shoot, but… Glad Wrap. Flared. Trousers.
o Ambreal-as-newspaper suggests the headline Fugly Girl In Flammable Frock Shock! Turf her out already. Sheesh.

· Back at the house again, and a Tyra-Mail warns the girls of an impending elimination. Ambreal is worried, but Ebony repeats that she doesn't want to be here, and that she's sick of the criticism, and I get sick of the Doom Noise I don't even know how to make yet.

· The modules file into the Elimination of Low Self Esteem, greeted by Tyra, dressed today as a secretary at Fried Chicken Incorporated. She introduces the judges, including Miss Jay (with a bigger afro suggesting a first name of 'Foxy'), Twiggy (with a top suggesting a first name of 'I Got It At Kmart'), guest judge Beefy McLumps (with a face suggesting that the modules should drop their pants), and Spunky Nigel, who I'm not even flashing a nipple at while he's wearing an afro wig. If I'm going to see something that looks like your pubic hair, Nigel, I want it to be.. like, your… your pubic hair. Forget it. Prizes are droned through, which I think this year include a pumice stone and a bottle of Fanta, then the photos are recycled, as are comments like "you have dead eyes", "the camera loves you", "I don't see a model", and "there's only eleven pieces in my twelve piece bucket".

· The judges deliberate, and Tyra starts doling out photos and calling names, starting with Saleisha Tootie Facts of Life and continuing until only Ambreal The Ugly and Ebony The Uninspiring are left. For some reason, Tyra dispenses with her individual character assassinations and chooses instead to speak generally, telling the girls that they both know how to model, but that "You all were the worst. Pictures. In. The. Bunch". After another pause, Ambreal is given the boot.

· Nuh-uh. Not so fast. Tyra holds Ebony's victory photo out to her, but Ebony keeps her bony arms by her bony sides and just stares back. She then mumbles almost imperceptibly "I don't want to be here" and quits. She quits. This is never happened before. Tyra reels briefly in shock, and then focuses her swirling emotions into morphing into a right bitch. Ebony cries and explains that modelling is not for her, I can only quote Tyra directly, lest I stab my television screen with a skewer: "You know what I think is not for you? I don't think it's modelling. I think it's people telling you what to do. I think it's people telling you that you're not perfect. I think that's what you can't handle. And the most unattractive thing in the world to me is a quitter. And for that – you can go". I… I… you ARSEHOLE. Okay:
a) the girl has just made a really tough decision, and she's crying, and you're giving her shit about it.
b) you just called a gorgeous girl unattractive, for no other reason than that she just totally killed your power-buzz by doing something outside the script
c) "You can go"? She QUIT, you pompous motherfucker.
d) When Tyra hugs Ambreal, who has just dodged a bullet, Tyra whispers "It was meant to be". Except for the fact that, you know, five minutes ago wasn't. Foo.

· Bye, Ebony. Mind you're not all my new hero and stuff on your way out.

Next week, the girls don skin-coloured bodysuits to learn some sexy moves from Tyra, everyone dresses in slutty vinyl for a music video shoot, and one of the girls collapses from hunger. Nude. Rude. Eat some food.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Voice Is My Passport

I'm thinking of setting up my house as an independent country.

Pros:
· Being queen
· Not having to vote in Australian Federal Elections
· Calling my house "Joburg"
· Getting to design a coat of arms incorporating pool cues, soft cheese and beer
· Commissioning a national anthem composed by Tex Perkins, Peter Fenton and Sister Janet Mead
· Easy census day
· Designing a national costume consisting of an unnecessarily tight t-shirt and a pair of polka-dot knickers
· Holding welcome ceremonies when friends drop 'round
· Having Seventh Day Adventists arrested on federal charges for just knocking on the door
· Inviting tidy blokes to check out my seat of government
· Being a different nationality to Bindi Irwin



Cons:
· Paperwork
· Customs
· International calls
· Having to get a visa just to go to the shops
· Having to hold the APEC conference on the patio
· Extradition requests by the Australian Government for any criminals I may be harbouring
· Getting a pizza delivered and causing an international incident
· Not being able to audition for Australia's Got Talent

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

America's Next Top Model Series Nine #5

Imagine getting this invitation to a party:


You'd be pretty sure it'd be the party of the year, huh.
Yet cram all the same elements into an episode of ANTM, and it's a bit of a fizzer.
I don't mean to sound like a broken sophisticated record with a good wardrobe, but this series is a bit like carob – better than nothing, but a disappointingly bland representation of the real thing.
I want crazy bitches with delusions of grandeur, the willingness to scream and slap each other, raging uncontrollable urges and questionable bladder control.
I get a couple of bad haircuts, asymmetrical facial features and squatting on a roof pretending to be architecture. Meh. It's the Gargoyles On Film episode of America's Next Top Module. Dress Code: Beige.

· Janet, not understanding the basic principles of You're So Eliminated, takes it upon herself to be 'House Mama', gives the other modules a lecture on hygiene and sticks a cleaning roster on the 'fridge. Let's do some maths, 'kay?
Plot Focus In Early Part Of Episode
+
Behaviour Seemingly Implying Longevity
=
Pack Your Busted, Broke-Down Bags, Honey.
In better news, Saleisha is taking every opportunity to cover up her stank haircut with a scarf. This, in all senses of the concept, is a Good Idea. Lisa, thankful that somebody in the house has more embarrassing hair than hers, still has some god-awful steel wool atrocity atop her skull. Ambreal, being a musical theatre major at college, has a great singing voice. Ambreal, however, still has Ambreal's face.

· A Tyra-Mail hurries the girls, via the Big Green Bus, to the gym, where they're met by Benny Ninja: Posing Instructor And Endearing Gay Fellow. Benny explains earnestly that sometimes, a client will not want you to just stand on the floor. They may want you to jump up and down. This modelling shit is hard. Today's challenge is to jump on a trampoline and, at the peak of each parabola, strike a pose. With the exception of Ambreal and Chantal's reasonably graceful efforts, this scene is hilarious, as only gangly slappers thrown into the air and landing on their faces can be. Heather even throws some robust grunts into the mix, claiming afterwards that she's "not a physical person". She must be… the other kind… then. Benny reminds the girls that "Your face is important, but your body has to follow your face". See? HARD. The only time my body follows my face is when I, like… DO EVERYTHING. Except moonwalk or sit on the toilet. And stuff. Shut up.

· Another quick bus ride, and the modules are herded into a building called the Ice-O-Plex. I think Heather puts it most poetically when she says "It's freezing-ass cold, and I think: Aaah, crap. Ice". The ubiquitous Benny Ninja introduces the girls to Lloyd Eisler, an ex-Olympic skater, and tells them that they'll be posing in the air, on the ice, whilst displaying an emotion which is randomly shouted at them. Lloyd tells them that in ice-skating, the "boy is the brains, and you are the picture". In fact, if you look really hard at a picture of his tights, you can kind of see his brains. As we don't have anywhere near enough unnecessary people crammed onto the ice rink, we'll throw in Ann Shoket, editor of Seventeen magazine, and Dani, winner of ANTM Series 7. They spout some advice about posing in the air on the ice supported by a small Olympian, which is a bit like asking Joan Miro for realistic portraiture tips or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like asking Shane Warne to mind your 'phone. PS: Saleisha's hair is still fucked.

· It soon becomes quite, quite clear that we haven't had the obligatory Learn How To Act episode yet. Thanks to Bianca, Chantal and Saleisha, 'joy' is interpreted as 'big cheesy smile', although Bianca adds some Essence Of Wingnut thanks to her haircut. Janet interprets 'anger' as 'did somebody just fart?', whilst Heather interprets it as 'it doesn't matter how many times you grab my crotch, I ain't goin' up in the air'. Ebony interprets 'sorrow' as 'pouting four-year-old', but Lisa admittedly nails it, mostly thanks to an arm draped over her head. After useful assessments like Ann Shoket's "Ebony, your sorrow was as corny as a cornfield", Lisa is announced the challenge winner, sharing her prize of a Seventeen photo-shoot with Janet and Ebony. Ambreal, convinced that she'd win, complains to camera that "I always get the critique that I've done too much, so I don't know what to do". Um… do less? Just a guess.

· Lisa, Janet and Ebony go to a studio to shoot their 'advertorial' in 'streetwear', or as I'm calling it: Hos In A Row. Lisa summarises by saying "Everybody looked fly and was just working their stuff". Janet summarises by saying "It was fun – we were all shiny and stuff". I'm momentarily distracted by b├ęchamel sauce.

· Tyra Mail. Bus. Photo-shoot. You know the drill. This is the bit where Mr Jay meets the girls somewhere, introduces them to a photographer, and describes whatever fucked-up hoopy shit they'll be doing in front of the camera. In this case, it's a rooftop, it's Mike Rosenthal, and it's "posing as super-duper high fashion gargoyles". What, are they free-basing architectural journals now? Sheesh. Apparently, in the super-duper high fashion world, gargoyles wear rubber, dramatic make-up and big, floaty, wafty things. Only a summary can save us now:
o Heather has good angles, good poses, and bad make-up. And perfection and stuff.
o Jenah somehow manages to keep her black lipstick off her massive, jutting teeth, and poses well. Even with massive jutting teeth. Teeth.
o Sarah (who?) is a fat, amateurish gargoyle. I'm struggling with the fact that that's an actual sentence.
o Janet is afraid to pose in any way that will expose her white underwear underneath her black rubber skirt. Janet is pretty much afraid to stand up.
o Saleisha looks gorgeous, because a smart hairdresser has pulled her stupid, stupid hair back into a ponytail and hidden it under a metre of rubber.
o Chantal's face looks stunning, but she looks like a Nike gargoyle on heat. Jay commends her on her posing, which causes me to remember Modelling Rule #843: If you look like you're busting for the toilet, you're a model!
o Bianca does a really, really good job. Next.
o Lisa is a Drag Gargoyle, and takes a while to shake the awkward off.
o Ambreal, who is terrified of heights, uses the same face in every frame. The face is known in modelling circles as 'Give Me Another Horse Tranquiliser'.
o Ebony walks onto set like a blank piece of boring. Ebony poses like a glamour diva from outer space.

· Tyra Mail. Bus. Elimination. You know the drill. This is the bit where Tyra drags herself away from a bucket of chicken long enough to wear something three sizes too small and speak slowly enough so that I get a bit of a break from typing. To be honest, today's strapless black number isn't half bad, but someone seems to have either frozen her limbs in carbonite or possessed her with the spirit of C3PO, as she stands rigid with her hands on her hips, and is incapable of turning her head without bringing her body along for the ride. And I've just used two Star Wars references in a row. Damn. She gurgles through the prizes, which I think this year include a girdle and a step-ladder, and then introduces the judges, including Miss Jay, whose afro is growing, Twiggy, whose style is gradually improving, guest judge Benny Ninja, who is so cute he needs his own action figure, and Spunky Nigel Barker, who I'm doing secret excercises for, here, in my seat.

· Photos are drag-queened through, with a smattering of worthwhile moments:
o Ebony confesses that she's afraid to smile because she thinks her gums are too big. Her gums. Too big. This is what she worries about.
o Twiggy doesn't think that Chantal's shot is raunchy. Twiggy is a blind, frumpy old fool.
o Ambreal is a karate robot gargoyle. Tyra tells her that you have to be careful to extend your neck when wearing high-necked clothing, because it 'takes away your model'. This is a phrase uttered in the real world.
o Tyra calls Janet 'Liza' again. I swallow my rising gorge.
o Jenah turns up to the elimination looking like a big-toothed scarecrow. A ponytail takes care of the messy hair. Nothing invented in the world ever could take care of those teeth.

· The judges deliberate, and after mentioning Liza Minelli a couple more times (Brrrrpkak), starts in with the name-calling. One by one the modules sigh cute little relief sighs and shuffle forward to collect their shots until only Janet Minelli House-Mama and Ambreal Quaalude are left. Janet is told she has an athletic and muscular body, but needs too much coaching in photographs, and Ambreal is told she's long, lithe and lean, but that her pictures are getting worse. Just as I'm realizing that these are both pretty much the same thing, Janet is sent off. Bye, Janet! Mind you don't draw up a fateful cleaning roster on your way out! She says she "still thinks there's a place for me in the fashion industry". People want coffee, right?

Next week, the girls pose in front of tyres and oil-cans, Mr Jay is uninspired, and there's a 'special gentleman caller' to the house. Sump. Slump. Chump.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Polly Wants A Marlboro.

Way back, before I was the sophisticated and worldly sheila I am today, I lived with my parents and owned a galah as a pet.

Galahs are not smart. This particular bird, named Fred, used to gnaw through his own perch and then squawk in surprise when, as a result, he fell off.

Despite a distinct lack of brains, galahs are supposed to be reasonably good at mimicking. You know – like Wolfmother.
Nonetheless, my family only had minimal success in teaching Fred to talk. We'd stand in front of his cage, repeating inane words and phrases over and over, trying to get him to mimic us. After many months, we only succeeded in getting Fred to say "Hello!" and "AAAAAARK!".

Little did we know that Fred was just being selective, and was most impressionable and open to instruction first thing in the morning.
My father would always be the first family member to get up each weekday, and was a smoker at the time, often lighting up his first stogie in the loungeroom in his pyjamas.

It took us all an age to figure out what Fred was trying to say whenever he greeted us with a raspy "CaaaaHHHHrrrr! Cah-Cah-CaHHHrrrr!".

Then we realised he was mimicking Dad's smoker's cough.

Warning: Smoking Around Pets May Cause Soiled Hilarity Underpants.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

America's Next Top Model Series Nine #4

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.