I’m not completely made of stone. Certain images and sensations send me into a blissful, almost spiritual state of joy. The sight of a kitten playing with a ball of wool. The feeling of sliding into crisp, clean hotel sheets. The rosy tang of the first plump strawberry of the season. The resounding thwack a plummeting model’s face makes when it hits a crash-mat. Mmmm. Satisfactionising. Hold on tight – it’s the ‘Knick-Knack, Have A Stack, Give A Scrag A Bone’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Bring a helmet.
Boo hoo, snotty sob, one of the Lauras is gone. There’s a spare. Suck it up.
Cassi decides that Mikarla will be her best friend this week, and follows her from room to room like a puppy dog that says ‘fuck’ a lot. By the time Cassi ‘arse grinds’ her whilst table-dancing in a restaurant, Mikarla has had a gutful. Granted, Mikarla has neither an arse to grind nor a gut to fill, but then most colloquial Australian idioms are inherently flawed when subjected to literal scrutiny. Shut up.
The third-hottest pair of shoes ever made arrives at the Module Mansion early in the morning, and by the time they knock on the door, we can see that Saint Sarah is attached. The scrags get out of bed and bolt downstairs, where Saint Sarah introduces them to Dr Joanna McMillan-Price, who, according to Clare, is a ‘nutritionalist’. Now, as a wordicologist and spellerisator of several years experience, I can tell you that that’s just not a real word.
Surprisingly, the doctor isn’t there to tell Madison what she can eat to prevent her hair from looking like it’s a tumbleweed that four other tumbleweeds have just slept in – she’s there to rouse on people for smoking, tell them about a good diet, and be all Scottish and stuff. In a surprise tantamount to opening a clear plastic bag full of popcorn and finding popcorn inside, Cassi admits she smokes, but says earnestly “I’m gunna quit. I’m gunna cut down as much as I can. I will eventually stop by the time I get to the end of the packet. Packets. Carton. Cartons. Look, by the time I get to the end of this container-load, I swear I’ll be down to twenty a day”.
Doctor Hyphenated-Surname then moves on to talking about eating disorders, primarily so that another picture of Mikarla’s ribs can be flashed up on screen, putting me off my evening meal of clarified butter and fried whale. All the girls read through some booklets about nutrition (even Tahnee, who stares at the squiggles and colours, marvelling about how some smart people can turn person-talky into page-scratchings), and discuss portion size. Now, I know that a seminar about pasta and cashews should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by hyphens.
Donning exercise gear from the Puma Eat Something Range, the scrags are led to Fitness First to undergo a series of tests to tell them how unfit they are. Cassi, proving once again that she is a stoic wall of initiative and resolve, lets the trainers know that she has weak ankles, a bent vertebrae in her back (as opposed to those in her shins), wonky knees, and an overbite you could park a car under. She gets upset when she discovers she’s lost weight, and the entire carbohydrate-eating world wants to give her a hug. A hug or maybe a rash. Whatever. She has a smoke to relieve the stress associated with exercise, which is a bit like Michelangelo sandpapering a ceiling to relieve the pressure of fresco-painting or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like sprinkling Big Macs on a salad.
Back at the Module Mansion, Madison edges closer to an Academy Award by running into the living room and exclaiming robotically “Guys, I think there’s something outside!”. By ‘something’, she means a group of under-10 junior gymnasts all doing flips and aerials until one of them pulls a Sarah Mail out of her leotard. Gymnasts. Children. Flips. Backyard. I want to melt this show down and spread it on toast.
The Sarah-Mail drags the scrags into yet another gym, where they’re met by George Pease, Olympian Dasha Joura, and gymnastics choreographer Stacey Umeh Lees, who appears to have attended the Miss America School Of Completely Natural Speech-Making. George Pease announces that today the modules will be challenged gymnastically, including stretches, beam-work, floor routines, hanging from stuff, and whatever the fuck rolly-pollys are. He then unveils a rack of lurid, sparkly leotards and flesh-coloured footless tights for the girls to wear, and I want to grind this show into a paste and brush my teeth with it every morning.
Cassi again proves her steely resolve and sound mental health by pulling a muscle somewhere between a rolly-polly and doing the worm. So far, I’ve been led to believe that in every episode of this series, Cassi is going to bust out some breakdancing moves. With the Rock Steady Crew as my witness, I hope that’s true. There are tears. There’s an icepack. There is gasping and sobbing. There’s the writing of this truly awesome dramatic bogan mess into my will. Cassi could excuse her way out of dying if she had to. She complains that she can’t do the splits because she can’t open her legs that wide, and my brain implodes under the weight of a thousand jokes that include the word ‘slut’. None of which I can think of now. Obviously. Whilst sitting on her diminutive arse on the sidelines, Cassi says “I reckon I would’ve done better than everyone else, because even though I can only do rolly-pollies, I still would’ve brought modeling to it”. I feel exactly the same way about molecular biology. I’d be awesome at it. I’m just a bit tired right now, is all.
Claire wins the gymnastics challenge and chooses Tahnee to share her prize of a trip in a limo to see the ballet with Saint Sarah. Claire exclaims “A limo! Are you kidding? There was even like a driver and he opened the door for us!”. A driver? In a limo? A driver being the main thing that distinguishes a limo from an ordinary car? SHUT. UP. After the performance, Saint Sarah introduces the girls to dancers Lucinda Dunn and Aesha Ash, one of whom I used to do jazz ballet with, and one of whom has a name I can’t say with Jatz in my mouth. Tahnee freezes up because “Claire was asking questions like, with all these big words”, and I reserve a special place for her in my heart under a sign marked “Vacancy”.
Cassi comes home from the doctor with her arm in a sling, because she has a suspected sprain. She does not, however, come home from the doctor with a bandaged head because she has a suspected brain. See? I can even rhyme stuff medically. When Cassi is able to butter her toast sling-free in the morning, Mikarla mouths the word “faker” to camera behind Cassi’s back. I think. It might’ve been “fat c*nt”, but that would only make sense if Mikarla was, like, the skinniest person in the wor… waaait.
A photo-shoot Sarah Mail arrives in the form of budget-rupturing balloons and pieces of crumpled-up paper, and the scrags try to guess what the “Get up with both your body and your mind” message means. Tahnee guesses “bungee harnesses”, because she’s the sweetest girl in the world, and because she thinks unicorns are real and that puppies go to heaven when they die. The girls traipse down a hill towards a jetty and pile onto a boat that speeds towards a mystery destination, prompting even more speculation and hair-frizz. Clare thinks they have to jump off a jetty. Franky says that she sucks at water, which I suppose is how she keeps hydrated. Tahnee is just excited that the seats on the boat are made of leather, primarily because she is awesome.
The mystery destination turns out to be Cockatoo Island, which comes in at about 1.5 on the Things That Are Mysterious scale. Marginally higher at 2.1 is the presence of Cosmopolitan editor Bronwyn McCahon and photographer Ellen Dahl, rocking in at around 5.3 is the presence of a hula-hoop hanging from the ceiling, and blowing right off the end of the scale is George Pease’s decision to wear Hypercolour and a driving hat. Mystery. Pease explains that today’s photo-shoot will be called Tulle On Trapeze (or as I’m calling it: Ming On A String), and that the top eight photos will appear in Cosmo. He then launches into a speech which I’ve translated for you, because I’m all helpful and smart and crap.
Pease: Now, I don’t know if there are any mathematicians amongst you…
Translation: I’ve never been surer of anything in my life…
Pease: But eight pages… twelve girls…do not be in the bottom four.
Translation: My maths is awesome because my brain is warm under Doctor Harry’s hat.
Pease: You hear me?
Translation: No, seriously – can you? My ears are muffled, because I’m wearing Doctor Harry’s hat.
· Let’s have a summary. Go on. Let’s.
o Adele is marginally more present than last week, because she has a bedazzled seagull stapled to her forehead. That is all.
o Laura has an ostrich stapled to her head. Now, the thing about ostriches, see, is that they can’t fly. And the thing about Laura, see, is that she STACKS HEAD FIRST INTO THE CRASH MAT. I’ll be back shortly. I’m just replaying that over and over in my head and having some surgery.
o Eloise wears a black sparkly halter-neck top, just like in Cabaret, starring Liza with a ZZZZZZZZzzzzzz.
o Tahnee’s face shows exactly the amount of pain one feels when one is hanging from the ceiling by one’s ovaries.
o Despite her shattered spine, bandy muscles and having contracted the plague, Cassi kicks it completely out of the park. Sorry. Sports-related metaphors really mean nothing to you lot, huh. My bad.
o Georgie is pretty. Georgie is boring.
o Mikarla actually looks like she’s made of actual flesh in her photo, and does pretty well. The trapeze hardly notices she’s there.
o Madison gurns and flails and does sort of alright, and for once I don’t have much to say about her bobby-pin-in-the-electrical-socket hair. This is because I’ve finally figured out who Madison reminds me of when she opens her eyes wide. It’s Chucky. Tell me I’m wrong. You can’t. I am so right.
o Ellen Dahl describes Leah best: “Ven she try to do der soft relaxing dreamy shuts, it felt like she kind off juss… look sedated”. Great. Now I every time I look at Leah I’ll get Ramones’ songs in my head. Thanks, awesome Norwegian lady.
o Franky gets upset because George Pease is wearing a stupider hat than she is, but she sucks it up and delivers sauce.
o Clare annoys me by kicking everybody’s arse. Girl knows her shit backwards. It’s really quite irritating.
o Lola is wearing a whimsical singlet and a massive, leaden skull. Her nerves prevent her from doing well, and she tries to loosen up by stretching her neck and cracking her jaw. Tribesmen on a sparsely-inhabited island in the Bismarck Archipelago stop carving their canoes, look up at each other and say “What the fuck was that?!”.
o Finally and most importantly, I want to own every single pair of shoes shown in this photo shoot. I think you should buy them for me.
· Back at the Module Mansion, Cassi shows her elimination outfit to the other scrags. It’s pink. It’s black. It’s lacy. It’s shiny. It’s made from 100% synthetic mank, with a lining of pure mank and delicate mank embroidery. She crows about how cheap it was, and you can hear Alex Perry slapping his forehead in the distance (luckily, he squinted just before impact). Mikarla says “It looks like she came straight out of the Salvos – I mean, I wouldn’t even wear it to bed”, which I would high-five her for if I didn’t think her wrists would snap. When Cassi is out of the room, the remaining modules try on her dress (P.S: it’s mank), and do impersonations of Cassi in which the words that aren’t bleeped out are “fuck”, “shit” and “bitch”. This is like a mean sandwich between two slices of mean. Garnished with funny.
· Tahnee reads out the inev… ineva… the knew-it-was-coming elimin… elamo… elomy.. call to go and find out who goes home Sarah Mail, and the scrags whoosh into the Elimination Cubby House to discover their fate. Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after a late night selling flannelette ribbons for the Bogan Liberation Front, blahs through the prizes, which I think include a pair of PVC leggings and a chipped coffee mug. Judges are introduced, including Charlotte “I’m Not Winking, That’s A Bo-Related Facial Tic” Dawson, Shiny Alex Perry (who is dressed today as a high school industrial arts teacher who spent recess buffing his own head to a high sheen), Bronwyn from Cosmo and Ellen from I Want Your Accent As My Ringtone. Vimsical.
· For those of you playing at home, the Modules Who Say They Are Shitting Or Crapping Themselves Count is now at: 5.
· Photos are flipped through, and only Leah, Eloise and Lola miss out on appearing in Cosmo, because all the mathematicians left as soon as they saw Cassi’s illogical dress. A few general observations present themselves:
o Somebody. Can we get a de-humidifier in the room. Madison’s hair is starting to eat other people.
o Shiny Alex tells Charlotte Dawson that she’s had too much botox. The pot and the kettle make passionate love in the corner.
o Charlotte says to Cassi: “You can annoy the shit out of me… something something something”. I don’t really care how that sentence actually ends. I find it breathtaking in its abbreviated succinctness. Mostly because in that form, it’s a tops burn.
o The judges all hate Cassi’s dress, because they all have eyes. Well, four out of five do, anyway. Sorry, Shiny Alex Perry.
o Charlotte says “Franky So Goes To Hollywood”. About time. Unfortunately she also says about Leah “Wake me up when she’s gone home”, meaning that she misses out on bonus Gratuitous-80s-Pop-Reference Points for not completing the song title correctly.
The judges deliberate, the scrags file back in and names are called out one by one until only Leah The Lethargic and Junior Georgie are left. Leah is told she’s boring and angular, and Georgie learns she’s uncomfortable and standing still. Because we all know what that means. Three decades pass, and Leah is jettisoned. Bye, Leah! Mind you don’t be a mole with your moley mole on your way out! Because we all know what that means.
Next week, there are tears about haircuts, the modules have to master opening the door of a vehicle, and Cassi does a spot of boxing. Wahs. Cars. Spars.
Heeeeyyy –you know how I’m always on about how I can’t wait for world domination and the universe is mine and stuff? Well, I’m fifteen minutes closer. Check out my further module-related person-talky-page-scratchings over at the Impulse facebook page. If you become a fan, you’ll automatically smell nicer. It’s true.
Obviously for even further hilarity, you should go read Petstarr’s take over at Bland Canyon. You know that’s good advice. Think of me as your weird auntie. With good advice.