Tuesday, June 30, 2009
In the meantime, I’m just going to pop on a flowy frock, let my hair down and walk wistfully along the beach in the rain. Until this soppy, proud, empathetic crap wears off, I’m afraid that’s how I’m gonna roll. Catch a butterfly and let it go – it’s the ‘I Do Like A Scrag Beside The Seaside’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Normal vitriol will resume as soon as possible.
· I love that Tahnee speaks about herself in the third person. I hate that Clare speaks.
· The modules arrive at the offices of Priscilla’s Model Management, where they’re met by Priscilla Leighton-Clark and Saint Sarah, who is unsuccessfully trying to smuggle a lace doily out under her top. Today the girls will be off on go-sees to some of 'Australia’s biggest designers’ for gigs walking the runway during Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, because Saint Sarah wants to start showing them off to the Australian fashion industry. Also, apparently we’re in Australia. So let’s say it again. Australia. Oi.
o First up is Ginger & Smart, who are looking for girls who are modern, polished, effortless and chic. In a surprise comparable to lighting a corgi on fire and discovering it smells like burning dog, Clare gets the gig, while Tahnee and Cassi Van Den Dunkin’ Donuts Dungen miss out. Also, Cassi trips over her own feet and Clare crows over her perceived victory. Surprise!
o Next up is Wayne GEEEEZAH! Cooper, and additional surprises await us in the form of Wayne wearing a waistcoat and Wayne making an abortion of the English language. This is a little bit of the reason that I love him dearly in a please-be-my-ringtone kind of way. His comments, with helpful translations in parentheses for your benefit:
- About Clare: “It’s kinda smoulderin’, wivart knowin’ it” (Certain of my glands are aflame with desire, despite the fact that you’re quite obviously a virgin).
- About Tahnee: “She’s aaaall woman” (Phwoar. Check out the tits on this one).
- About Cassi’s improved walk: “It’s beh-ah, right? It’s maw natural” (Considerably less like an epileptic in a strong wind, my dear. Well done).
Wayne GEEZAH! Cooper picks Clare and Cassi for his show, and Tahnee’s rejected little face nearly breaks my heart. See? I don’t know what the fuck’s wrong with me. It’s like my bitch took the week off or something. If I’m not careful I’ll end up with a dolphin tattoo on my shoulder and a homeopathic remedy in my pocket.
· We’re off to Nicola Finetti, and the little part of me that loves strong accents of any kind asks for some time alone in its bedroom with the blinds down. Cassi trips over her feet again, but apparently this is because her ankles roll in, Venus and Mars aren’t quite aligned, and most likely something to do with the Greenhouse Effect. All is soon forgotten when Nicola describes Tahnee as “pert and crispy”. I think. I played that shit back fifteen times, and that’s all I can really hear. Pert? Certainly. Crispy? I… I’m not really sure. Maybe when deep-fried? It’s just that… no. No, let’s just move on. Tahnee and Clare both get booked.
· Next up is swimwear at Anna & Boy, or as I’m calling it, Goldilocks And The Three Scrags. Tahnee’s boobs are too big. Clare’s boobs are too small. But Cassi’s boobs are juuuuust right. In my story, the bears kill and eat her anyway, because they’re wild carnivores, and Cassi is pale and slow. She tastes like smoked chicken, apparently.
· Final go-see is for the Diet Coke Little Black Dress show, and George Pease is on the selection panel. George rode his bike here today, but has obviously forgotten to tether it to a telegraph pole, and this is why he has a bicycle chain slung around his neck. Yes it is. Shut up. I refuse to accept that it’s an actual accessory that a grown man has intentionally chosen to be seen and filmed in. IT IS A BICYCLE CHAIN, AND HIS BIKE IS JUST OUTSIDE. Thank you. There’s less desperate sobbing this way. All three girls walk and all three girls get the gig, because it’s in all three drafts of the script. Now, I know watching three girls talking to a bunch of designers over and over again sounds interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by Microsoft Excel.
· Can we talk about how much of a transparently spiteful mole Clare is for a second? Clare is a transparently spiteful mole. Thanks. Appreciate it. Good model, though. But really – mole. Big one.
· The next day the scrags arrive at Fashion Week, with Clare up first in Ginger & Smart’s show. Cassi and Tahnee bid her farewell with “I hope your heel breaks!” and “Break a leg… literally”, and the local Minister For Barely Concealed Malevolence high-fives himself. Clare is struck by the frenzied pace backstage, and says “Wow, this is what it’s like to be a top model – it’s mental”. Honey, modelling is a lot of things, but the one thing it is not is mental. Also, real models get paid. Sorry. She rocks the runway in floor-length print and a black jacket, until she spoils it all with a frog-mouthed grimace and petulant twirl at the end. It’s like she’s suddenly smelled a fart and is trying to get away from it as quickly as possible.
· Next up, Clare and Cassi walk for Wayne GEEEZAH! Cooper, which entails fewer consonants and much, much sluttier make-up. Cassi tells us she’s been practicing her walk, and Clare comments “I don’t know how much practice she’s done, but she better be good, or Wayne’s gonna look like an idiot for hiring her”. Because obviously the waistcoat hasn’t done that already. Cassi says “Best case scenario is for me not to stack it, for me not to swear…” and, I dare say, not to smack anyone or be involved in any drive-by shootings. She manages to do all that, albeit in the world’s stupidest blue sunglasses and most of the lipstick in the Southern Hemisphere. Clare smells a fart again.
· Clare and Tahnee race to be on time for the Nicola Finetti show, and Tahnee says meekly “Now it’s my time to shine”. This becomes the understatement of the last half-century as she transforms into a crimped-ponytailed, bouncy-boobed diva of awesome, cosmos-reversing proportions. Shiny Alex Perry calls her a goddess, and Saint Sarah comments that “she has a lot of confidence, but it’s a confidence that’s likeable”. Unlike Clare’s confidence, which is a confidence that makes me want to stab her with a fork. When she’s not busy smelling farts at the end of runways, obviously.
· The next morning, Cassi fronts up for the Anna & Boy swimwear show, and any remaining doubters need to eat their words right about now. Sure, her walk still smacks a little of the drunkest horse at El Caballo Blanco, but in a high bun, choker, one-piece cossie, socks and sandals, she transforms into Hotness Cubed. Saint Sarah says “I think this is the tightest top three we’ve ever seen”, and I wonder how she can tell from where she’s sitting, even considering the revealing swimwear.
· Final show is the Little Black Dress extravaganza, and first through the wrought-iron, vagina-shaped gates is Tahnee, who has mistakenly come dressed as the most stunningly gorgeous thing anyone has ever seen since the beginning of time even including cartoons. Charlotte Dawson exclaims “Sex kitten, sex BOMB”, while Tahnee gets to the end of the catwalk and shoots sexy lasers out of her eyes. Clare looks a’ight in comparatively demure satin, and Charlotte tries not to gag as she calls her ‘expensive’. Cassi takes a wrong turn at Mick’s Discount Bondage-Wear Barn, but still manages to rock her frock and bizarre head-harness. Charlotte calls her ‘slightly demented and slightly dangerous’, which I believe makes it a Comment Hat Trick for Ms Dawson, who can now relax. I, however, cannot, because George Pease is wearing a metallic bronze jacket with the collar popped. Metallic. Bronze. Popped Collar. GEORGE. I’ve just played a little game with a Ouija board and Captain Howdy, and he spelled out ‘NO’. Twice.
· Saint Sarah visits the modules in their hotel room to reveal that Clare is the winner of the catwalk challenge. This upsets Cassi, who hasn’t won a single challenge in ten weeks. Feels like a multiple-choice question moment to me:
Q: If you win a catwalk challenge and you don’t want to look like a callous ungrateful cow with no soul, you should:
a) Bow your head graciously and thank your judges and co-competitors;
b) Shed a single, crystalline, humble tear and raise your hand to your mouth;
c) Hug your peers and encourage them to keep trying; or
d) Compare one of your crying competitors to a scary, angry five-year-old who has had their lollipop stolen.
The answer, quite obviously, is ANYTHING EXCEPT D). The prize is a trip to Broome, which is where my awesome brother lives. He’ll be waiting at the airport with a specially gift-wrapped slap for you, Clare. Thanks, Mike. Owe you one. Clare calls her mother, who tells her there’s a Sarah Mail under the door, but I don’t care because Clare is a bitch.
· The scrags drive all the way out to Gary Beach in the Royal National Park, because obviously the waves meet the sand differently there than somewhere that’s not half a day away by car. George Pease is there to meet them and OH MY GOD GEORGE YOU’RE A BLUES BROTHER. I may need to change your name to ‘Elwood’, and if you tell the girls they need to Shake A Tail Feather, I may need to cut you. On the plus side, you are a constant source of joy in my life, and the main inspiration behind the phrase “unnecessary accessory”. George introduces photographer Jez Smith, who was a judge in Series 3, and who, since then, has been taking photographs and developing what are either gigantic trapezoids, or a couple of extremely muscular piglets have fallen asleep on each of his shoulders. Today the girls will be participating in both group and individual shots in long flowy dresses and flappy hair. It’s the last photo-shoot of the series. I’ve… I’ve just got something in my eye, that’s all. Both… both eyes.
· Okay, so I don’t want to get overly gushy and soppy and boring, but if this wasn’t the most ridiculously gorgeous photo-shoot in the history of every series of Top Model everywhere and anytime, I’ll eat my hair. I’m even prepared to say nice things about Clare, I’m so overcome. All three scrags are stunning, professional, delicious and make me want to cry with pride and unmitigated awesome. There’s really not much else to say. Oh, wait – yes there is:
o Cassi. You’ve done too much. You’re much too young. You’re engaged to a brickie AND YOU’VE GONE AND PIERCED YOUR TONGUE.*
o If anyone needs directions to Vacant Stare Town, just follow the roadmap on Clare’s freezing veiny arms. Turn left at Too Posy, stop for a coffee at Oh All Right She’s Really Quite Good, and keep going straight. Really, really straight.
o Cassi tells us that she doesn’t mind putting her arm around Clare because she doesn’t have herpes. I’m just going to leave that there, if you don’t mind.
o Tahnee is made for this shoot, and is amazing, and turns on some kind of freaky light behind her face, and is almost forcing me to buy her a puppy. Jez and George are a little worried about how voluptuous her body is. They mean 'tits'.
o At the end of the shoot, George Pease pulls a soaking wet elimination Sarah Mail out of his arse. I’m just going to leave that there, if you don’t mind.
· The windswept modules rock up to the Elimination Shack, where they’re met by Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after a full morning retrieving lollipops for the Scary Angry Five-Year-Old Foundation. She mentions the prizes, which I think this year include a three-pack of Wettex and a Granny Smith apple, and then introduces the judges – Charlotte Dawson, who recently felled a sequoia forest to create her jewellery, Shiny Alex Perry, who in black shirt, black tie and black sunglasses looks like somebody put the head of Squinting Funeral Ken onto the body of a much smaller doll, photographer Jez Smith, who is the daring young man on the flying trapezoid, and New York model manager Doll Wright, who is lucky I used up my doll joke on Shiny Alex Perry. Cassi has come dressed as someone who went to my Year 10 formal, Tahnee has come as the new friend I eat cupcakes with, and Clare is wearing a sequinned beret, fingerless gloves and heavy eye make-up, because Crazy Lady With A Shopping Trolley And Lots Of Cats is totally the new black.
· One by one, the modules each have to step forward and excuse their existence on the planet.
o Tahnee cries and smiles, eyes sparkling like a Japanese animated character, snot creeping down her top lip like two lethargic garden slugs. She says she thinks she’s versatile, but that she has to work on her body, which is a damn lie because she’s perfect except for her very large teeth. Everybody says aaaawwww and blows her imaginary kisses like gossamer butterflies on a shy wind.
o Cassi accuses the other two girls of just wanting to win the competition for the prize money, then goes on to explain how much she needs the money. She says she’s learned not to yell at people and punch walls, and all the other things that grown-ups do to stay out of jail and bar-fights.
o And then there is Clare. Great sweet ever-lovin’ all-consuming Jaysus. I… no. I really think all I can do is transcribe the first part of her speech, provided that I can still type with my mouth hanging open and my chest making guttural gurglings of rabid disbelief. Here you go:
“I’d like to start with a quote.’I’m a bit of a nanna. I believe it’s all about being professional, and working hard’. And these are Sarah’s words from Foxtel Magazine”.
She started WITH A QUOTE. From SARAH MURDOCH. From FOXTEL MAGAZINE. The judges giggle nervously and squirm a little in their seats, especially Saint Sarah, who now has Clare’s entire head, sparkly beret included, lodged firmly up her sphincter. Clare continues on to once again deny her prissiness, defend her education, and tell us that her father is a train driver and her mother was homeless at her age. BUT SHE QUOTED FROM SARAH IN THE FOXTEL MAGAZINE. In response, I’m going to start with a quote. "Fuck you". And these are Tony Montana’s words from the film Scarface.
· Photos are screened, and everybody gasps with awe and delight (See: Best Photos In World Ever). As is the custom in the second-last episode, everybody’s being more cloying and supportive than catty and critical, which both spoils my fun and proves that my sincerity virus is communicable via cable television. It’s the Divine Flu. Still:
o In a peculiar role-reversal, Charlotte says nice things, and Saint Sarah calls Cassi a bald-faced liar.
o Reversing roles back once again to non-bizarro universe, Saint Sarah says “We’ve seen a new Clare. After ten week’s we’ve broken her”, to which Charlotte responds “We’ve broken that b… prom queen”. I dunno. There’s just something I like about that Dawson b… woman.
o Charlotte announces that Tahnee will never be a physics professor. Eight thousand schoolboys cross Physics off their list of likely university electives for next year.
· The modules file back into the room, and I’m actually nervous. Saint Sarah revs up to announce the first girl in the final two, and… ohmigodohmigodohmigod…. It’s Tahnee! Mostly because of all the perfection and stuff, I guess. Clare and Cassi step forward, and I chew my lip while Saint Sarah tells Cassi that she’s blossomed, and Clare that she’s poised and professional. I wring my hands, eight trillion years pass, and… and… CLARE IS GIVEN THE ARSE!
Bye, Clare. Mind you don’t go and be a sore loser on your way out, now.
· Clare packs up her things, and her voice-over shows how benevolent and gracious she is in defeat, using phrases like “It saddens me that Cassi made the final two”, “hopefully Australia has the brains not to vote for her”, and “have a deep look at yourself”. Please note: I think Clare is a brilliant model who has shown undeniable promise, professionalism and high ability from the first second until the last. But seriously, what an arsehole. To prove my point, Clare throws Cassi’s toy frog in the hotel pool, an act that was amusing eight years ago when Lola already did it. Lame. Bye.
Next week, we find out who is Australia’s Next Top Model. About time. Could turn on a dime. Third part of the rhyme.
Speaking of next week, I’m afraid to report that the recap will be
a) Not up until Wednesday lunchtime at the earliest;
b) As thorough as you can get from someone who has scribbled notes for it on a napkin in a darkened auditorium with a champagne in her hand; and
c) Highly unlikely to make sense or be at all funny.
You can blame the unbelievable awesomeness of people who INVITE ME TO THE LIVE FINALE! Yes’m. I’ll be there. I’ll be the one making notes, stalking Lola, feeding Mikarla, pinching Tahnee on the cheek, holding up the bar, and trying to avoid being knee-capped by Clare’s mother. I love my life so much.
If you love me, you’ll visit the Impulse facebook page.
If you hate me, you’ll visit the Impulse facebook page.
If you’re illiterate, blind, deaf and mute, you’ll visit the Impulse facebook page, because seriously, what difference will it make?
If you love Petstarr, you’ll visit Bland Canyon. And who doesn’t love Petstarr, am I right?
*Dear anyone who gets this reference: you are old, and you are awesome. Especially you, loungeroom dancer. You know who you are.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I turned on the television expecting to find some contemporary, non-cliched images of London, a stylist that gives actual and credible style advice, an ex-model mentor that doesn’t talk out of an arse-shaped space-ship, and some quality photographs. What I got was, well… this shit. I never thought I’d say this, but I MISS YOU, GEORGE PEASE. Fasten your seatbelts and observe the non-smoking signs, it’s the ‘God Save The Scrag’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. I mean it, man.
· After the will-she-quit-won’t-she-quit hoo-hah at last week’s elimination, Cassi Van Den Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead tells the camera that she doesn’t care about losing friends in this competition. That is such a coincidence. Because I totally don’t care either.
· Can we just talk about Cassi’s stuffed toy frog for a second? I’m excusing the obvious mange, because I fully support the fact that it’s been thrown in the pool at least once. It’s just… I think the frog has more air-time than Saint Sarah this week. It’s in the background of about half the shots that made the cut. It’s clutched to Cassi’s chest. It sits on the couch behind interviews. It haunts my dreams and my peripheral vision. Somebody please set the fucking thing on fire already.
· The modules pack their bags for London, get on a plane, stop over in Abu Dhabi for some lobster and facials, and then finally arrive at Heathrow. After some budget-rupturing, scene-establishing shots of some signs saying ‘Arrivals’, the girls emerge from customs and are swarmed by paparaz… well, by a bunch of people with photographic equi… look, there’s one guy with a camera, okay? One guy.
· Gerry DeVeaux meets the scrags at the airport. Now, if you’re wondering who Gerry DeVeaux is, he’s a part-time music guy, part-time fashion guy, part-time Britain’s Next Top Model judge and full-time douche. In fact, in my notes for this week’s show (I know! Notes! You have no idea) there’s a phrase in the middle of the page that simply reads ‘what a fucking wanker’. Take your sunglasses off. Take your hat off. Take your shiny parka off. Take your brown corduroy, I-go-to-a-special-school-in-a-mini-bus pants off. Also: shut up. No more talking. Because when you talk you say things like “I was ever so pleasantly scandalized”. Yep. I think ‘surprised’ is pretty much the word you’re looking for there, Ger. Toss.
· “Hey, guys! Guys? It’s me, Steve. Steve from the tape room. Look, sorry to interrupt your important Granada and Foxtel meeting, but you won’t believe what I just picked up for five bucks that you can probably use in one of your shows. It’s some stock footage of London from 1982! We might have to edit out most of the images of like, punks and Doc Martens and that, but there’s some awesome Big Ben stuff there. Yeah? Guys?”
· As the girls are observing London Town from the window of their hotel-bound car, they make me realise that I want all my travel guides written by them and only them from now on.
Adele’s book would be mostly about architecture:
Whilst Cassi’s would be a romantic romp, following the lives of two star-crossed lovers who get a rabid fire in their loins whenever they see building materials that remind them of each other. For him, it’s Stonehenge, which rockets him directly into ecstatic nostalgia about his girlfriend’s teeth. For her, it’s bricks and blocks, as her beloved is a humble bricklayer. It’s a complicated story, with a simple title:
Tahnee’s book would be all about the wonderful colours to be observed in Old Blighty:
And Clare’s would just be some incredulous pap about an outdated, clichéd tailoring affectation from horsey days of yore:
· The modules finally arrive at very swish hotel indeed, Sandersons, and Cassi thinks it’s appropriate to drag her mangy stuffed frog through the foyer. This is like singing “You Are My Sunshine” whilst skipping through a Francis Bacon exhibition or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like putting Holden parts in a Ford. The girls are shown their penthouse digs, and a minor legal stoush occurs at room-picking time because of a basic misunderstanding of the concept of ‘bagsies’. Clare wafts through the rooms, saying “I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but after she was a crack whore”, showing a basic misunderstanding of that entire film. The only crack in the movie is the underpants kind, and the only thing Julia Roberts uses in the bathroom is dental floss, because of the strawberry seeds. Which is one of the reasons that movie sucks arse.
· The next morning, the girls get a call from Saint Sarah, telling them that Gerry DeDouche will meet them in the foyer in ten minutes to teach them all about ‘the London Look’. An American guy. With an American accent. Wearing a baseball cap. Telling them about the London Look. I’m just putting it out there, is all. He takes them to TopShop, and Adele is impressed because there are a lot of escalators. Clare says “I was like a machine in there”. Babe, you’re like a machine everywhere. You have the emotional range of a toaster. She adds “I have a very European style. I think I fit in. I’m with the paleskins here”. Oh, okay, Biggum Chief Brushes Hair. We’ll make a note of that in our next smoke signal workshop. Gerry then takes the girls ‘window-shopping’, which is another way of saying ‘we can’t afford a cab and we’re not allowed in any of the good shops, so we’re walking to Selfridges”.
· Once in Selfridges, Gerry drags Elle MacPherson out of a corner somewhere, causing the scrags to stare open-mouthed. There’s a chance this might be because she’s a famous supermodel and all that, but it’s much more likely to be because she’s wearing a fur-and-sequin jacket. Elle greets the girls and compares them to ‘the four musketeers”. Um… lady? There are a lot of ‘fours’ available to choose from. Beatles. Tops. Horsemen Of The Apocalypse. The Musketeers are for threes. That’s kind of how that works. Elle gives the girls some advice about modelling and health, which gives rise to this week’s multiple choice question. Yay, multiple choice question!
Q: If you wanted to sound like a bit of a space-cadet who had lost all contact with reality and now pretty much lived completely up your own sphincter, you would say:
a) That modelling is not about your face, it’s about honouring and nurturing your body;
b) That if you meditate, you will find your core light;
c) That you don’t know if you inspire young girls, but you do try to share your journey; or
d) All of the above, you sparkly, fur-wearing, meditating, sphincter-dwelling space-cadet, you.
Next, Elle chooses something she’s noticed in each of the girls that she thinks is beautiful that perhaps the girls themselves have never noticed. I am now accepting typed dissertations, page-numbered and footnoted, explaining why this unmitigated wank is on my telly right now. Apparently Clare has ‘beautiful long coltish legs’. Tahnee has ‘the contradiction between dark hair and blue eyes’. Right. Contradiction. I’d hand Elle a dictionary, but apparently she wouldn’t read it unless she’d written it herself, and no, I will never let that quote from the late eighties lie. Adele is asked if she’s ever noticed her hands before. No, Elle. Up until now, Adele has been typing essays with two bloody stumps, and tying her shoelaces with her nose. Cassi is told that her skin colour is beautiful, but that it will turn grey if she doesn’t stop smoking. Elle closes The Big Elle MacPherson Book Of Medikal Fakts with a satisfied smile and sends the girls to lunch.
· During lunch, a waitress gives the girls an envelope that has the words ‘Check Your Phone Before Opening’ written on it in texta. In an incredible coincidence, nobody has checked their phone before this point or even heard it ring, and when they do, there’s a message from Saint Sarah on it. In a completely unforeseen happenstance, Saint Sarah’s message tells the girls to open the envelope! Fortudental! Apparently the modules are ‘on show wherever they go’, and the envelope contains photographs of them arriving at the airport, which is this week’s challenge. Adele, who looks slightly less crappy than the others, wins the challenge, and picks Cassi to share her prize of a jaunt up a film-premiere red carpet. Clare’s green-eyed jealousy machine fires up, and she says “I think Adele had definitely worked out that there was a paparazzi there”. Where? Where was he? Was he standing behind the guy with the camera?
· We learn that The Fast And The Furious is Adele’s favourite movie series ever, and I need a new word for ‘incongruous’. While Adele and Cassi are at the film premiere, Clare and Tahnee do impersonations of how they imagine Adele and Cassi are behaving at the film premiere, and I need a new word for ‘filler’. Now, I know watching two separate pairs of girls walking along in two separate places should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by Roget's Thesaurus.
· Dear stand-in, on-location London producers. Please call Australia and ask them for instructions on how to make Sarah Mails spontaneous and whimsical. Merely tacking one to the front door is unimaginative in the extreme. The message tells the modules that they’ll be finding their own way to some agency go-sees tomorrow at Storm and Premier via the Tube. I really, truly wish this was more interesting. It isn’t. It’s less. Still:
o When walking down the street, Clare tells the others to “move your skinny bitches’ arses”. You are so damn hardcore, Clare. ‘Crack whore’ and ‘bitches’ arses’, all in the one episode? You couldn’t sound tougher if you were intentionally trying to sound tough!
o I’m pretty sure Sarah at Storm used to be one of the barmaids in EastEnders. Unfortunately, she never says “Ethel, get your Willy off the bar”, so I can't really be certain.
o Cassi is referred to as a ‘no-brainer’. You knew I’d mention that, didn’t you. She’s also referred to as someone who can’t walk, who needs to get her teeth fixed, who stands out as soon as she enters a room and who will have a stellar modelling career. Ha! They said that about Kate Moss, and look what hap… oh. Oh, I see.
o I’m pretty sure that Tahnee’s boobs increase by 15% from one episode to the next. Anthony at Premier mentions that she’ll have a bit of a limited client base because of her curves. He means ‘tits’.
· The following day, Gerry DeDouche is waiting for the girls in their hotel room, wearing a furry vest. I challenge you to imagine something creepier that doesn’t involve actual crime. Waiting with him is photographer Robert Astley Sparke, who makes up for his toffy name by slinging a tea-towel around his neck and being peculiar. For today’s shoot, the girls will be trying to look sexy in hot frocks whilst draping themselves on and around London clichés. In between shots, Gerry DeDouche will be trying to get each module to bitch about another module, and failing huge. He makes me want to summarise:
o Tahnee is sexy/secretarial in a patchwork-printed frock, and she leans on a telescope with Big Ben and the Thames behind her. Gerry tells her she owns London, and Tahnee assumes that it must be because of the four hotels she put on Mayfair.
o Adele, in an oversized spangly t-shirt that somehow costs more than my house, poses in a phone box, because of course to make a dress look classy one must pose in front of fifteen tiny advertisements for prostitutes. She works through a thorough treatise on advanced door mechanics, explaining that the door wants to close, and that she has to hold it open. Like my eyelids, for example.
o Cassi hangs off the back of a big red bus, and when Gerry asks “whose bus is this?”, she replies “MY BUS!”, adding under her breath “My bus. I stole it, and if any of youse arseholes have a problem with that, you can talk to my left fist”. Gerry describes her face by explaining that “those things that are half an inch wrong make it all right”. I suspect he might sometimes try to use this excuse when he's naked as well, but withoGAACCHK . Sorry. Just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Anyway, Cassi kicks some arse and then stops.
o Clare, in an admittedly hot black suit and awesome large wombat-dropping necklace, gets to pose in front of well-known London hotspot A HOUSE. She leers and scowls and keeps her mouth permanently open, and says to camera that “I wanna have a come-fuck-me look”, and then shGLAAAARK. Sorry. Sorry.
· On the way home from the photo shoot, the cab driver turns around and says “By der way, gewls – I got somedin faw ya”, and hands over a Sarah-Mail. Handed over by a Cockney cab driver. What’s rhyming slang for ‘predictable and lame’? It’s something to do with Bristol, isn’t it? Innit. Anyway, he makes up for it by being a magical cabbie who can transport four skinny scrags from London back to Sydney in under a second. I want to know where this geezer was on Friday night, when I needed him.
· The newly-Anglicised scrags enter the Elimination Hangar, where they are greeted by Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after spending the morning proof-reading pamphlets for the Elle MacPherson Literacy Drive. She lists the prizes, which I think this year include a packet of instant porridge and a series of Little Golden Books, and then introduces the judges – Charlotte Dawson (dressed today as an air hostess on an airline that serves chicken, fish, and happy endings), Shiny Alex Perry (whose shirt and eyes have shrunk in the wash), Series 3 winner Alice Burdeu (who looks as if her puppy has just been run over) and George Pease (who is experimenting today with rectangular hair). Photographs are viewed and discussed, and everybody seems to tacitly agree that this week’s photographer is eighteen distinctly different varieties of shit. Seriously – when the girls were being photographed, they looked glamorous, sexy, and alive. The resulting photographs look like they’ve been taken from a moving car with a broken headlight. Comments:
o Charlotte summarises Clare’s shot with “It’s not one of your best. You’re still a beautiful girl, I mean that’s not going to change unless you run into the back of a bus”. Luckily for Clare, Cassi had the ‘running into the back of a bus’ brief for this shoot. Still, I’d like to see Clare try it, just for comparison’s sake. Quite hard. At speed. On ice skates.
o Cassi’s shot is declared ‘dull’, and Shiny Alex comments that she looks like she’s ‘waiting for the ticket’. Because it’s a bus, see. And they sell tickets. It’s contextual. George Pease says “It’s one of the worst shots I’ve seen of you this season. In the face”. No, George. It’s pronounced “In your FACE!”.
o Alice tells Tahnee her photo is “really pretty” and “really cute”. Thanks for coming, Alice. No, really.
o During deliberation, Charlotte praises Clare, causing Saint Sarah to ask “so she’s not spooking you any more?”. Charlotte responds with “She is spooking the shit out of me”. Good. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Right, me and 87% of viewers?
· The modules file back in, and Saint Sarah rattles off names until only Two-Short-Planks-Tahnee and Wake-Me-When-It’s-Over-Adele are left. Tahnee is told that she’s not versatile enough, and Adele learns that she doesn’t have much range. These are obviously two completely different things. Four departure lounges pass, and Adele is sent packing. Bye, Adele! Mind you don’t do anything intereszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Next week, the scrags walk the runway for Fashion Week, take breathtakingly gorgeous shots in the rain, and find out who’s in the bottom two. Perambulate. Precipitate. Penultimate.
If you love me at all (or hate me, or are indifferent, or only arrived here after Googling “Charlotte Dawson’s boobs” like so many of you do), click on through to the Impulse facebook page and make a contribution. Leave a comment, start a discussion, enter a competition and the like. You’ll miss it when I stop nagging you about it. Don’t lie.
If you love Petstarr at all (which you do, because she’s awesome), click on through to Bland Canyon. Bring undies.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Here I’ve been all along, thinking that acting is all about learning lines, getting in touch with your emotions, practising methods, wearing wigs and waitressing. Clearly, though, it’s all about puppets, making faces, throwing bras on coffins and telling people about your vagina.
I don’t get it. I’ve been making faces and telling people about my vagina for years. Do I get famous now, or what? Unfair.
Whatever. Make yourself comfortable on the casting couch – it’s the ‘Can Your Pussy Do The Scrag’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Meow.
· Cassi Van Den Ding Dong Dungen can hardly be heard to say “Lola’s gone. Who cares” through her racking sobs as she waves a farewell kerchief out the window. It’s a wonder that she can see through her rifle sights at all, so salty are her tears. Franky describes the remaining girls as “one big circle of hate”, which can only mean good things, if you ask me. Biting, kicking and scratching, for example. Here’s hoping.
· I can only guess at what happens next, because quite obviously I’ve fallen asleep after eating cheese and the contents of Hunter S. Thompson’s car boot, and I’m dreaming. It’s this weird dream, where Bai Ling is in her dressing gown in the backyard of the Module Mansion, and she’s singing an operatic aria on a rainy day. EXCEPT IT’S NOT A DREAM, IS IT, PRODUCERS. It’s a mother-freaking Sarah Mail, delivered by opera singer Sharon Zhai in a blue frock. Of course it is. Franky says “she was amazing – I’ve never ever been so close to someone singing Italian”, and Tahnee comments “I laughed, because I’m not used to seeing an opera in our backyard”. I melt their brains down and cast myself a nice new sub-atomic particle. From the word clues ‘rehearsal’, ‘main event’ and ‘wings’, Tahnee guesses that this week the girls will have to sing opera. Yes, Tahnee. Because of its relevance and emerging importance in the world of modelling and fashion design, you’ll be singing opera. The cymbal-playing monkey in her head accidentally slips on a banana peel.
· A sponsored vehicle drops the girls off at NIDA, where they’re greeted by George Pease and acting tutors Mark Gaal and Anna Maria Belo, who could quite possibly be the pointiest woman alive. George tells the scrags they’ll be learning about acting today, and that they should leave their insecurities and inhibitions at the door, along with Cassi’s semi-automatic and Clare’s spare hairbrushes. Thence begins a theatrical drama in two Acts:
ACT ONE, in which cats are discussed.
Ana Maria tells the girls they have to get rid of their laughter, and then goes some way to ensure that I lose all bowel control because of mine. Each module has to walk over to another module, get all up in her dial, and say “PUSSY PUSSY PUSSY PUSSY PUSSY PUSSY!” without anyone so much as cracking a smile. If only Lola was still around – she’d be totally comfortable with this sort of thing in her face. Suffice to say, all the girls suck at it. Oh - I mean… um… ooer, this is awkward… they’re quite bad at it. Is what. Y’know. I meant to say. Ana Maria says “I’ve tried it with professionals, I’ve tried it with children, I’ve tried it with teenagers, and everybody laughs”. Taken out of context, it sounds like she's talking about sex, and that shit is hilarious. And considering that the context is a room full of people shouting “Pussy”, you know I ain’t buggin’. Cassi does okay because she makes her mind go blank. Like, on purpose and everything.
ACT TWO, in which death, much like V Australia, is all about the boobies.
In the next exercise, the modules have to give a eulogy to an imaginary dead person whilst standing next to an imaginary grave, and pretend that an object they have is of some kind of significance to the corpse. The corpse’s name is Jenny, by the way. Thanks for asking. I’d call this gold, except that gold doesn’t make me happy like imaginary dead people do. But it’s gold:
o Clare says “Well, Jenny. She was always the popular girl. Always the head of the clique. Well not any more, and this is the book I read before I killed her”. Oh okay, Heather-from-a-direct-rip-off-of-the-film-Heathers. Did you wear a red scrunchie and underline the word ‘eskimo’ as well? Arsehole.*
o Tahnee’s eulogy, whilst delicately placing a bra on the casket: “You know I always looked up to you and I was always jealous of you, because you got all the attention from the boys… with those boobs. Keep those breasts perky”. Yes, she did. She did so. Meanwhile, Cassi is crying buckets. Granted, I’ve got diarrhea from the hilarity myself, but I’m not acting.
o Franky. FRANKY. I have told you over and over again that you should not cry. When you cry you look like a Pekingese sucking on a grapefruit. Sort it out.
o Adele even sends fake dead Jenny to sleep.
o Cassi talks about how she and Jenny used to do their nails together at school, and gives her a manicure set, because the hangnails in bogan hell are brutal.
· You know what? We haven’t had a multiple-choice quiz in a while. Let’s.
When someone says they can hear ‘weird Shakespeare noises’, they’re talking about:
a) Oh, you know – stabbing, dying, treachery, cross-dressing and sex and crap.
b) Farting. Those pickled eggs down the Stratford Arms ain’t half woofy.
c) A dance party. Because of all those extra ‘e’s.**
d) A puppet show with a dog in it.
So – yes. Tahnee hears weird Shakespeare noises coming from the loungeroom and it turns out to be a Shakespearean puppet show with a dog called Fleabag in it. And you will never, ever guess what the dog has in its mouth. Not ever. Not in a million years. Unless you guessed “A Sarah Mail”, in which case I would go “der”. The message is something about acting, and then suddenly all the modules are patting the puppet-dog. Tahnee calls a vet because she’s a little bit worried about the fact that Fleabag appears to be halfway through shitting a person.
· The girls rock up to Ogilvy advertising, where George Pease (again as a waiter) and Adrian Hayward (for the first time as a tablecloth) are waiting. The modules will be auditioning for a television commercial for what Pease describes as “Australia’s most valued brand”, Telstra, in the same way that Demelza Reveley can be described as “Australia’s Next Top Model”. The scenario: the girls have to get ready for a night out, and then pretend to be in the back of a limo with their mouths open. I know! I totally just made that sound like a fellatio thing. You’re welcome. Now, I know that watching a gaggle of morons pretending to put on make up and be car passengers should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by sawdust.
· Oh, and PS: Clare and Franky appear to have started calling each other ‘Ebony’ and ‘Ivory’. This is so lame it needs a walking frame.
· Tahnee wins the part, and then gets to do the whole thing again for real-ish, with real lights and cameras and cars and stuff, in the place where my year 11 formal was. Franky and Clare are her co-stars, and Clare understates things nicely by saying “This was going to be the make or break of my whole day. Almost my whole career”. Honey. It’s an ad for Telstra. You’re following in the auspicious footsteps of Emperor Nasi Goreng. Get some perspective. She tries not to be too prissy in the ad by, as she puts it, ‘embracing my inner un-prissy person’. Coincidentally, this is the prissiest thing that anyone has ever said since the dawn of time, when the first salamander crawled out of the primordial goop and asked for a monogrammed towel. Tahnee says “Walking down that red carpet, even though it was fake, I think it’s a memory I’ll have forever”. Coincidentally, this is the cutest thing that anyone has ever said since the last time Tahnee spoke. *cheek pinch*.
· A non-crack-induced Sarah Mail herds the girls into Fox Studios, which excites Tahnee no end as she gushes “where we were standing was where some really famous actors had been standing”. Like, say, the street for example? The toilets at the airport? Fancy. George Pease is th… WAIT A FREAKIN’ SECOND. That’s a yellow jacket, George. It’s yellow and shiny. It’s made from sliced-up road signs and bananas. Aaaand you’ve popped your collar. POPPED YOUR COLLAR, MR GEORGE PEASE. This is all totally fine. I have no problem with any of it. I am breathing normally and have not gone blind. I always twitch like this.
· Saint Sarah is also there (not wearing a shiny yellow jacket), as is photographer Paul Westlake (also not wearing a shiny yellow jacket). For today’s photo-shoot, each girl will be dressed as a different ‘style icon’ from a different decade, and draping themselves over a corresponding Ford. Saint Sarah then pipes up with some pressure, letting the girls know that they’ll need to do well this week, because the four girls left next week will be off to London. She finishes with an excited “London Is Calling!”, and Joe Strummer’s teeth (currently residing in Cassi’s mouth) prick up their ears. Teeth with ears. This blog is so Dada. And it has summaries, too:
o Franky guesses that she’s going to be MC Hammer, because apparently parachute pants and prescription eyewear make one a ‘style icon’. When Pease shows her a picture of Grace Jones instead, Franky says “She’s from James Bond, isn’t she? I never even knew she was a singer!”. Um, HELLO?! You just spent all of yesterday pulled up to a bumper in a long black limousine for the Telstra shoot. BLATANT CLUE. Her posing is convincing and dramatic, although she does lift her leg in another looks-like-she’s-farting posture. Prrrt.
o Tahnee is Elizabeth Taylor, and has absolutely no clue who that is, so she just poses like Marilyn Monroe (who?!?) in a black wig. Accidentally this is brilliant, and everyone gushes. Saint Sarah says: “I want to wear that dress”. Pease says: “I can see you in that dress, you'd look great”. Survey says: “Pease has his BLANK right up Saint Sarah’s BLANK”. Cue thinking music.
o Clare is dressed and made-up as Twiggy, and I would very much like to own her frock, and Donald Trump would very much like his hair back. She does well, because to look like Twiggy, you just need to use that face you get when you’re staring at a fireplace, just before you dribble. Fashion is easy.
o Cassi is Victoria Beckham, presumably because she’s skinny, a bit thick, and has British teeth. Pease says they’re both ‘beautiful bogans’, the difference being that Posh Spice married a millionaire and is less likely to shiv you in the ribs if you come near her cigarettes. Her shoot is a little on the flat side, like Victoria Beckham was when she was in the Spice Girls.
o Adele is Greta Garbo, and again she has no inkling who that is. All she knows is that her original eyebrows have been daubed over, and new ones drawn on. Photographer Paul asks her how she feels, and Adele answers “I feel really calm”. She forgets to add “And ugly. I also feel really ugly. Give me my eyebrows back, you bastard”.
At the end of the shoot, Paul hands the scrags an impending-elimination Sarah Mail that says “To be, or not to be”. Waaaaiiiiit. That’s a Shakespeare Noise!
- Wow. Cassi had a mediocre photo-shoot and now she’s thinking of leaving. To express your shock and surprise at this, you can call the Broken Record Hotline – just dial 1-800-NO-SHIT-SHERLOCK. Leave a message after the sound of the incredulous gasping.
- The girls traipse into the Elimination Theatre, where they’re met by Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after a long afternoon baking lamingtons for the Fleabag Emergency Colonic fundraiser. She rushes through the prizes, which I think this year include a year’s supply of depilatory cream and a small hand mirror, and then introduces the judges. Strangely, she introduces Charlotte as “the lady who can whip you with her eyes”, which must come in handy at impromptu horse races and S&M parties. Next is Shiny Alex Perry, who will whip you with his eyes just as soon as someone finds them and opens them. Guest judges are Adrian Hayward and Paul Westlake, who are clearly identical twins who share a nothing-very-interesting-to-say chromosome. Catty zingers are a bit thin on the ground this week, because everyone’s a bit nervous about London and still trying to figure out what ‘whip you with her eyes’ means. Still:
~ Shiny Alex is disappointed that Franky ‘doesn’t have that Grace Jones dementia in the eyes’. Everyone’s totally about eyes today. Except, y'know - Alex Perry's face.
~ Charlotte says to Tahnee “saying that you had knowing in your eyes is a bit of an oxymoron, because you had no idea’. Tahnee hears “blah blah blah blah moron”, and something about a deer, which makes her think of Bambi. Aw. Bambi.
~ Cassi doesn’t quit, Adele cries, the girls are pissed, the hotline is still open. Blah.
- Eventually Saint Sarah starts calling out names and handing out photos until only Franky-Who-Needs-A-Hanky and Adele-Who-Needs-One-As-Well are left. Franky is told that she doesn’t have enough range for the world stage, and Adele learns that she has just one look. Fifteen months pass, and Franky is shown the door. Bye, Franky! Mind you don’t leave a trail of tears and snot on your way out! Seriously. Don’t. What have I told you about crying. Cut it out.
Next week, the modules meet one of the biggest names in modelling ever, see Big Ben, and spend a whole day on a plane together. Elle. Bells. 24 hours of hell.
* Wow. I think that’s my first ‘Arsehole’ since Series 4. I should’ve stretched first.
** This joke should totally win me a prize.
If you haven’t entered the Impulse competition to come to the live finale of this glorious, pointless show, what are you freakin’ waiting for? You could be in the same room as me! And also lots of other people that it would actually be exciting to be in the same room as! And also Clare! Do it. It’s easy. Hop over to the Impulse facebook page, enter the competition in the Discussions bit, leave a comment, start a fight, have a cuppa. It’s all going on.
As usual, the funny keeps on funnying over at Bland Canyon. You know it. I know it. We can stop lying to ourselves.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
1. Jumping up and down.
And yes, gentlemen, some of it is filmed in slow motion. Expressions of gratitude can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyway, strap yourself in (and down, for god’s sake strap yourselves) – it’s the ‘Jumping Jack Flash, It’s A Scrag Scrag Scrag’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Boing.
· After Laura's departure, Adele tells us that “everyone’s getting used to the fact that someone has to go home each week”. What – after only seven weeks?! Next: Everyone gets used to the sun rising each morning and David Caruso being a dick. Clare says something like a spooky beauty pageant robot, but I don’t quite catch it, due to my abject terror and stuff.
· Tahnee, Franky and Lola go for a stroll to get some exercise and talk about how they’re feeling about the competition. And by ‘stroll’, I mean ‘sitting on a rock’. And by ‘exercise’, I mean ‘playing with each other’s hair’. And by ‘talk’, I mean ‘sticking the knife in to all not present and twisting enthusiastically’. Obviously I’m not one who usually enjoys bitching, but it’s kind of awesome. Topics covered include:
o The fact that Clare brushes her hair like Marcia Brady – ten times on one side, then ten on the other. We are then shown footage of Claire doing just that.
o The fact that Adele picks at the ingrown hairs on her legs. We are then shown close-up footage of Adele showing us her most recent harvest.
o The fact that Cassi’s walk is like “a drunken insect”, including a quick impersonation by Lola. We are then shown footage of something almost completely unrelated, which instantly becomes the kiwi fruit on top of the pavlova of my soul. I can only imagine that right before the footage was shot, Cassi said to the girls in the house “See youse later. I’m just goin’ darn the garage for a dance, ay”. Because she’s dancing. By herself. In the garage. It’s bad. It’s awkward. It’s reminiscent of a person in a full body cast being electrocuted and tickled at the same time. The cameraman who filmed this now has soiled underpants and a ruptured testicle from trying not to laugh. Not being blessed with testicles, I just have a nice grassy Semillon sprayed all over my loungeroom floor.
· Scene: Production meeting, boardroom, Granada Television office.
Present: Producers, editors, props assistant and quite possibly Marcia Brady.
Agenda: Sarah Mail planning session.
Budget: Zero, save for some small change found down the back of the couch in the edit suite.
Options: a) Sarah Mail hidden inside letterbox; b) Sarah Mail hidden inside bottle thrown in pool; c) Sarah Mail hidden inside dead pigeon found on roof.
Result: Sadly, b). Keeping my fingers crossed for the pigeon, though.
The message inside the Sarah Mail is about messages. It takes nutty to a whole new level.
· The scrags mosey into the Sheraton On The Park, where Charlotte Dawson meets them, forgetting the cardinal rule for New Zealanders: Do Not Use The Phrase “Sensational Six”. She tells the girls that they’ll be acting as brand ambassadors for Virgin, handing them outfits that will ensure they look like some. Seriously – putting on pantyhose is like the nylon equivalent of having your hymen grow back. The girls have to learn some ‘dot points’ about the V Australia service in preparation for a grilling by the media, who will apparently also be asking some personal questions. If you think this is going to be anything less than glorious, there is something fundamentally wrong with your brain.
o Lola rocks it until one of the journalists asks her how it feels to be a plus-size model. She takes it on the chin (obviously), and says to camera “I dunno, why don’t you tell me? Mole”. Afterwards, though, she’s upset, and the elegant way her tears cascade over her gigantic jaw is almost enchanting.
o Tahnee makes me want to weep tears of confused joy. She sits up straight. She clasps her hands demurely around her knees. She answers questions as if she’s writing a high school essay. She stumbles through her lines. But really, Tahnee just wants to talk about bras. It doesn’t actually matter what the journos ask her – she finds a way to bring it back to an informed treatise on Victoria’s Secret underwear. It’s nothing short of astounding, and I want to bake her a cake. When asked if she thinks she should really have been talking about Victoria’s Secret rather than V Australia, she says “Um… Victoria’s Secret comes in nude colours, so you can wear it underneath the… um… underneath the uniform”. Charlotte thanks her for her time and then bursts several capillaries laughing. I love Tahnee so much I want her refrigerated.
o Clare prisses into the room, prisses down on the couch, smiles a spooky prissy smile and prissy prissy prissy. When asked if she thinks she’s a bit prissy for the modelling world, she says “I really don’t see myself as being prissy”, which is like Henri Matisse announcing that he’s not really all that into primary colours, or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like Chuck Bass saying no to cravats. Clare snootily adds “Whatever” to her comment, endearing herself to a grand total of no people.
o When a reporter asks Franky about the seating configuration on V’s aeroplanes, she responds with “If I was to tell you, I may have to kill you”. Honey. It’s a seating configuration. It’s not the password for the Templar Knights’ tea-room.
o Cassi Van Den Dungen Da Doo Ron Ron is exactly as polished and articulate as you would expect a toothy violent bogan to be. When asked about her smoking habit, she says she’s giving up, and hasn’t had a durry since yesterday. Charlotte and the journalists roll up some I Call Bullshit, light it with some Liar Liar Pants On Fire, and inhale deeply. Mmmmm. Fib-a-licious!
o Adele doesn’t get to answer any questions about V Australia or even Victoria’s Secret – she just gets to dob in Cassi for telling porkies. Yawn.
· A Sarah Mail perched on a pile of plastic stars in the hotel foyer (where’s my pigeon, dammit!) dribbles something about designers and stars. Tahnee guesses that this means that “We’ll be wearing clothes, maybe”. Oh, sweetie.
· The modules wander into a studio, where Saint Sarah and George Pease (who has clearly just come from a bull day at the stock market) are waiting. Saint Sarah tells the girls that for this week’s photo shoot they’ll be modelling designer frocks on a trampoline, and that the photos will be auctioned off on the ANTM website to raise money for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. Way to go, Saint Sarah. You know who makes jokes about charities in a show recap when said show is actually mostly about supporting charities? Arseholes, that’s who. And maybe The Chaser. Now I have to leave a space where my piss-take would normallly be.
Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Two photographers, Montalbetti & Campbell, are introduced, because lord knows looking through a viewfinder and pushing a button is too big a job for just one person. The modules will be superimposed against different floral backgrounds, and Campbell tells them she wants “feet pointed and hands pretty at all times”. Let’s have a summary, shall we?
o Cassi in gorgeous red Alex Perry does pretty well, although Campbell says she “had a hard time nailing the feet” – perhaps she should talk to the ancient Romans, who had some degree of experience in this area. Cassi is knackered and sweaty after her shoot, which everyone attributes to smoking, but I think it may be to do with the effort necessary to get her mank teeth airborne.
o George tells Clare that her Collette Dinnigan frock has been worn by Nicole Kidman. She gets excited that she’ll be sharing armpit sweat with Kidman, and the collective world, Keith Urban included, says “ew”. I hope the freckles and ennui don’t rub off as well. During her shoot, Clare’s facial expression reads like she’s planning the best way to drown a kitten, which the photographers seem to love. Creeps me out, homey.
o Adele in peculiar knobbly Kit Willow yellow has trouble controlling her arms, and Campbell stops her for a moment to tell her she’s “Totally. Out Of Control”. She then closes her 1998 edition of What The Kids Are Saying These Days with a satisfied snap and keeps shooting. And then says “out of control” again, for good measure. She’s out of control.
o Tahnee in two-piece Akira Isogawa gives the photographers ballistic love-wedgies with her pike-position perfection. Sigh.
o Lola is given a spangly white Easton Pearson frock to wear, which on the trampoline is hip-heavy up and tutu-riffic down. A funny thing happens when Lola is concentrating – her mouth and chin go from ‘gosh, now, isn’t that a little more prominent than usual’ to ‘It’s coming to eat me and there’s no place to hide’. Still, it gives the editors another chance to give us a close-up of her trying to loosen up her face, which is sort of like watching a horse eat a black hole.
o Franky in sparkly Sass & Bide can’t keep her legs straight. Just in case you missed that: Legs. Keep straight. Can’t. It’s two sets of straight bones with straightenable corners in the middle. Figure it out. Campbell says she’s out of control. Twice. For fuck’s sake.
· Now pay attention, because this gets tricky. This episode is mostly about Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, right? Now, a target is traditionally represented by a series of concentric rings, so Fashion Targets Breast Cancer uses one as their desperately literal logo, right? It’s okay, I’ll pause while you take notes. On a pole in the Module Mansion is a piece of cardboard with the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer logo on it (see: previous discussion regarding ‘target’). So next, a dart with a Sarah Mail attached to it speeds towards the target and thunks straight into the centre of the logo, bringing an extended metaphor and some artful camera work into play, and also sapping my will to live just a little bit. The message is about charity and targets. I know. I know. It’s positively scandalous in its mastery of subtlety. Next.
· The fancied-up scrags arrive at Hugo’s, which is obviously the first time the place has ever granted access to under-aged slappers in short frocks. Cough. George Pease greets them on the steps and OH MY GOD WHAT IS AROUND YOUR NECK, GEORGE. If that’s two feathers joined together with string and wrapped around your neck to distract us from the fact that that’s the same waiter’s jacket you were wearing three episodes ago, I’m going to be very upset. I’m now accepting essays, neatly typed and double-spaced, explaining what the fuck a grown man is doing wearing what is essentially a feather necklace. He’s not Dancing With Wolves, he’s MESSING WITH MY MIND.
· Today’s challenge involves taking part in a runway show in front of ‘celebrities’, wearing dresses from yesterday’s photo shoot and then trying to flog the frocks to punters afterwards. Mink Sadowsky (in a dress that confuses and frightens me) and Ruby Rose (in a dress that just frightens me) stop by hair and make-up to have a chat about charity and also charity, plus a spot of charity mixed in for good measure. Charity. Adele, who now realises that middle parts are not her friend, tries to steer the conversation away from charity by mentioning that she found a lump in her breast. Selfish. Saint Sarah talks. The girls walk. The girls hawk their wears. Now, I know that watching a bunch of twigs wander around a dark room talking about silk chiffon should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by self-raising flour.
· Franky wins the charity (charity, charity) challenge (charity), and Cassi loses. This apparently means that Cassi must be everybody’s slave for an entire day. Now, in case there’s any confusion, THIS IS A SHIT PRIZE. A ten-thousand-dollar shopping spree is a good prize. A diamond necklace is a good prize. Bossing a bogan around for twelve hours? SHIT PRIZE. Still, it definitely has its moments:
o Cassi is made to wear a shower cap and an apron while she performs menial household tasks. This is cruel and unusual punishment. And intestine-twistingly funny.
o With no rose petals available, Cassi must scatter coloured tampons in Franky’s path wherever she walks, then pick them up and re-distribute them. I am totally not making this up. CRUEL. UNUSUAL.
o Cassi brushes Franky’s teeth and tongue, and must respond to her by singing “Yeeeees your hiiiighneeesssss”. She is as good a singer as she is a dancer.
o Cassi finally cracks and breaks down in tears. It wasn’t the housework. It wasn’t the shower cap. It wasn’t the tampons. It was being asked to perform a rap about eggs. I’m pretty sure there’s something about that in the Geneva Convention. Franky and Tahnee try to make her feel better by coming up with their own rap. It’s really, really good. There. I totally typed that with a straight face. It goes:
Yo, yo, yo! I like my eggs scrambled.
Friiiieeed. And boiled. Poached.
We love eggs. Yeah. Eggs. We love eggs. Yeah.
Scrambled boiled or fried.
Yum yum yum.
Yo, yo, yo.
Aaaaand I have no further comment.
o The day ends with Cassi reading a bedtime story to Franky – selected passages from Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, recited at an almost fourth-grade reading level. Franky complains that it’s too bright, so Cassi is left to read in the dark. It could almost be touchingly beautiful. If it wasn’t so fucking weird, obviously.
· The modules traipse into the Elimination Lounge, where they’re greeted by Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after a busy morning lobbying for the Bloggers Who Look Like Arseholes When They Make Fun Of Charities Foundation. It’s a really good cause. She craps through the prizes, which I think this year include a cubic zirconia and a shoe-horn, and then introduces the judges - Charlotte “I’m Totally Barbara Eden With My Ponytail And My Diaphanous Garment” Dawson, Shiny Alex Perry (who is dressed today as a tennis coach on a really, really bright day), photographer Denis Montalbetti (who I had to Google because I care so deeply about spelling and crap) and Ruby Rose, who has a colour for a first name, a colour for a last name, and a bunch of colours down her right arm. Her left arm is kept free for secretly waving at Lola.
- Order now for Christmas, and you too could have your own Shiny Alex Perry Insult-O-Matic! Just put some money in the slot (there are two, one under each eyebrow), and as soon as you hear the phrase “You’re all gonna get a caning on the fashion front – it’s absolutely appalling”, you’re ready to start insulting! Choose from six choice zingers:
~ Adele, did you just get out of bed, honey? Is that your nightie? OUCH!
~ Franky, the skirt is just speechless for me. You and lycra need to stay away from one another. OOH!
~ Tahnee, you stole that from some woman at Jupiter’s Casino on the poker machines. THAT SMARTS!
~ Cassi – trailer trash. SUCCINCT!
~ Clare, the underwear as outer-wear it’s…. pole dancer. SCATHING!
~ Lola, you can string that dress up and use it as a car seat cover. AUTOMOTIVE!
The Shiny Alex Perry Insult-O-Matic. It’s expensive.
- Photos are scrutinized and the judges deliberate, and we’re a bit light-on for quality cattiness this week – perhaps because Shiny Alex has already hogged the bitchy limelight with his continuous spittle-flecked tirade, or perhaps because we’ve spent so much time talking about raising money for boobs. Whatever:
~ After Tahnee is gushed at for her face, her figure, and her photo, Charlotte punctuates the flattery with the caustic “Now go home and burn that sack”. Be sure to stand well back from the smoke, though. That shit is toxic.
~ Shiny Alex comments that Clare is spooking him out, because he clearly has a brain and a pair of eye… er, because he clearly has a brain.
~ Ruby Rose joins the Spooked-By-The-Staring-Blonde-Zombie-Always-Staring-Staring club by saying “It makes me think that if she doesn’t get in, that we’ll wake up and she’ll be at the end of your bed with a knife, going ‘Hello. Remember me?’”.
~ When discussing Franky, Shiny Alex drops the brilliant “I think she’s wondering when she’s gonna go ‘thud’”, and then calls her a lump. Girlfriend had his Catty Corn Flakes this morning, fo sho’.
- The scrags wander back into the room, and Saint Sarah calls out names until only Flatline Franky and Lola The Molar are left. Franky is told that she’s not quite media-ready and that she’s plateaued (that word totally looks wrong, but I swear I looked it up – it’s like vowel vomit), and Lola learns that she’s inconsistent and not improving. A dentist’s waiting room passes, and Lola is out. She’s a bit down in the mouth about it. Chin up, lady. At the door, she turns and shouts “See ya, scrags!”, which I, obviously, think is the best thing that has ever been said on this show by anyone ever. Because I am shallow and lame. In case that isn’t clear. Bye, Lola! Mind you don’t trip over your inferior maxillary bone* on your way out!
As she leaves the Module Mansion, Lola takes Cassi’s favourite soft toy and flings it into the pool. It is for this reason that I am currently making margaritas to send to Lola. I hope she likes tequila.
Next week, the girls cry buckets in an acting challenge, tear each other some new ones in a bitch-fight, and head off to a mystery overseas destination. Dripping. Ripping. Tripping.
*That’s her jaw, people. I research this stuff FOR YOU.
To get to come along to the ANTM live finale, you have to do one of the following things:
a) Be a module;
b) Know someone who is a module; or
c) Be the best at answering any one of the seven easy questions on the Impulse facebook page. Go to the Discussions tab and get to it! I’m judging it. I think that’s hilarious.
Now, you’ve either just come from Bland Canyon, or you’re just about to, right? There’s not really any other option. All the cool kids are doing it. And they’re out of control.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Put on your lifejacket - it’s the ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Gently Drown The Scrag’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.
Ipecac. I need Ipecac.
· Adele comments that with Madison gone, the group seems that much smaller. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that maybe that’s because she’s taken her EIGHTEEN THOUSAND SQUARE METRES OF HAIR WITH HER. Seriously. Maddy leans over, the world tilts. Bye.
· Tahnee innocently wanders into the Module Mansion bathroom to brush her eighteen thousand square metres of teeth and cute, and notices a production-budget-annihilating Sarah Mail message stuck on the mirror in blue letters. It reads “Mirror Mirror On The Wall – Who Is The Trendiest Of Them All?”. Ummmm… I’m guessing it would be… anyone who doesn’t use the word ‘trendiest’? Cassi Van Den Dungen Bo-Diddley-Ogan shouts “I am!”, and her Snoop Dogg hoodie raises a skeptical eyebrow on behalf of everyone in the world with eyes.
· The scrags are whisked off to the offices of Harper’s Bazaar, which, in case you’re unaware, is a magazine that is well-known for fashion, style, and not being Vogue – a lot like how Maybelline isn’t Napoleon Perdis, but much less of a relief. George Pease is there, not having had time to change his clothes after auditioning for a role in The Pirates Of Men’s Pants*, and he’s standing with a woman he hasn’t introduced yet. I’m assuming she’s probably pretty boring, and has a really normal voice, and isn’t the best thing that’s come into my life since that literal Bonnie Tyler video. I could be wrong. George blathers about the girls’ personal style, and says something about fashion, and then motions to the woman standing beside him, and says “I’d like to introduce you to the fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar, Claudia Navone”, and then my life changes. Claudia opens her mouth and says “Hello”. It’s like someone blended gravel, filterless cigarettes, whisky and AWESOME. I’m just about to send off for her voice as my new ringtone, when I realise she’s got an accent too, and I hit my head on the coffee table. I do not give a rat’s testicle what this woman knows about fashion. I just want her to read Tom Waits lyrics to me before I go to sleep at night, for the rest of my life. Thank you.
· Claudia commences a ‘critique’ of the modules’ outfits, and all I can do is listen and smile and clap my hands like a differently-abled person. As a sample:
Claudia: “Cah-si. We need to wer-owk on you, Cah-si. Eet’s the lectreek blue off your top weeth the whaaaa-ait of your shooss, end the wosh of your jins”
Translation: “You. Are. Such. A. Mole”.
She then outlines the three big looks in the international shows this season, which are “Power Dresseeenk”, “Eengleesh Garrrrden”, and “Wowl Traveller”, and then George directs them to racks of clothes, shoes and accessories, telling them to pair up and dress each other in these three styles. I kind of lose interest because Claudia isn’t talking, but suffice to say, everybody totally sucks at this challenge. When George Pease asks Claudia what her initial thoughts are about the girls’ efforts, she says “My ineetial fort is Oh. My. Got”. Adele as power-dresser gives us a glimpse at what she’ll look like when she’s a cougar. Lola as world traveler gives us a glimpse at what she’d look like if she got mauled by a wild dog on her way to Supre. Cassi as English garden gives us a glimpse at what an accessory magnet would look like shortly after it was turned on. I just think tha…. No.
· Cassi Van Den Dungen Bo-Diddley-Ogan speaks to her mother, who is leaving the country in less than a week, on the ‘phone. I can’t help but think that this might help the plot along a bit later.
· Let’s have a little chat about Sarah Mails.
Sorry - that’s not an invitation – I’m just imagining what a psychiatric professional will be saying to me in a gentle voice in the very near future. Meanwhile, I’ll be lying on a bed in restraints with a fevered brow, my head whipping from side to side on the pillow, muttering “Boats. Ducks. Pool. TOYS! REMOTE CONTROL! There was a remote-controlled BOAT! And it had a SARAH MAIL on it! And it sailed towards the modules, pushing lesser boats out of its WAY! And the Sarah Mail was about fashion and royalty, and Clare read it like she was fashion royalty, and… and… I’m cold, doctor. And tired. So very, very cold and tired”.
Nurse. Clozapine. Stat.
· Thanks to this ridiculous farce of a Sarah Mail, the modules find themselves at the Strand Arcade, for which they too can be ambassadors if they put on a bit of weight after finishing the competition. They make their way to the Alex Perry store, where Shiny Alex greets them and introduces them to stylist Trevor Stones, who certainly seems to have a pair if his withering looks are any indication. The scrags are told that they’ll be walking across the floor a few times, vying for a spot in Shiny Alex’s next catwalk show. Wait – sorry. I forgot to mention that Shiny Alex is wearing sunglasses on his head. It’s kind of pivotal to the whole scene. Anyway:
o Cassi walks like she’s chewing gum with her vagina. She has a lot of skeletal-based excuses, but Shiny Alex just summarises with “You’re a bit out of wack”. Cassi slurs “No, you’re wack, bitch!” and smacks him with her Glock.
o Lola, turning sideways so that her shoulders can fit into the cramped space, thunders across the floor and back. Passengers in the 2:40 Town Hall service look up from their carriage and say “What the fuck was that?”
o Clare walks dramatically well, but Franky comments that she “looks possessed almost”. Thank you, Franky. I’ve been trying to figure out what spooks me about Clare. It’s the fact that if she turned her head around 360 degrees and told me what Captain Howdy thought of my shoes, it would totally suit her. Phew.
o Adele is brilliant, and Shiny Alex and Trevor gush. She says “Finally I’m better than Cassi at something!” Growing straight teeth? Pronouncing consonants? Dressing yourself in the morning? Not punching stuff? What?
o Franky goes meh, meh, meh across the room.
o Laura is there. Wake me up when something else happens.
o Tahnee is Hotty McCuteCute. Trevor says she has a “sexy swagger, but in a good way”. This is like saying that Rococo architecture is elegant and ornate, but in a good way, or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like telling a bloke that FHM has boobs in it. But in a good way.
Shiny Alex picks Clare, Adele and Tahnee for his show, and reveals that it will take place on the Queen Mary 2, a ship which has apparently never let anybody stage a fashion show on it before. Barn dances, hacky-sack tournaments and virgin sacrifices, sure. But unless you count Incidental Resort Wear For The Saggy, Gauche And Rich, no fashion shows. Score.
· Know what’s been missing from this episode so far? Tears, Teeth and Tea. You know it. Don’t pretend.
Saint Sarah turns up at the Module Mansion to tell Cassi that, since her mother is leaving to live overseas, she’s organised a farewell reunion (HA! I knew it. And not just because I watched the show before writing this. Shut up). Soon it’s a mess of arms, legs and salt water, as everyone’s mother walks through the door and finds their daughters through the snotty haze. Clare’s mother is Stage Parent personified, Tahnee’s mother proves that cute doesn’t fall far from the tree, and Lola’s mother, who is tiny, indicates the presence of a very, very tall father and a very, very robust pelvic floor.
Cassi’s mother’s teeth are exactly as messed up as her daughter’s. A bite-mark from this family would look like Arabic script.
Saint Sarah invites the familial duos out to the lawn for high tea, where Lola admits to her mother that she hasn’t washed her sheets in five weeks. Imagine. The dribble. Now, I know that a bunch of girls eating cucumber sandwiches with their mothers in a tent on some grass sounds interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by… by… well, by cucumber sandwiches.
· The night before the Alex Perry show, Clare tells us that she’s sick and has been throwing up.
She sets herself up with a sick station – towels, a bucket, a bowl, some fizzy water and a stuffed beaver. You may commence chortling at the implied obvious euphemisms when ready.
· The girls get up at stupid o’clock and arrive at the Blue Hotel to meet Trevor Stones and probably Chris Isaak. While Adele, Tahnee and Clare (who still feels sick and looks a little pale. Kidding) prepare for the show on the ship, the other girls moan about the “demeaning, loser tasks” they’re asked to do. My darlings. You are on a luxury liner tying number tags onto chairs with gossamer ribbon before an Alex Perry show. Describing that task as demeaning makes people who clean toilets for a living sad. You do not want to upset the people who clean toilets for a living. Speaking of which, Charlotte Dawson** informs the scrags that there are two thousand bathrooms on board the Queen Mary 2. Clare sighs with pleasure at all the vomitory options this presents her with, and Charlotte just looks smug because she’s wearing navy. On a ship. It’s self-referential.
· The show starts, and I have to admit that I want to own every single frock in it.*** Clare, Adele and Tahnee do brilliantly, minor celebrities sip champagne, the sun shines, the wind blows gentle hair-ruffling zephyrs and the OH MY GOD SHINY ALEX PERRY IS WEARING HIS SUNGLASSES OVER HIS ACTUAL EYES. Tequila. I need tequila.
· It’s photo-shoot time! I know this because a sailor handed me a Sarah Mail saying so. That’s how it works in this nutty place. The shoot starts early in the morning, and as Tahnee explains, “We would be in bed usually, but we were up”, settling any arguments about the definition of ‘early’ once and for all. George Pease meets the modules at Wylie’s Baths in Coogee, accompanied by photographer Richard Freeman, who makes me happy in the pants. George says “You know what they say about the early bird, don’t you? Who’s gonna get the worm this morning?”. Sorry, George, but ever since last week’s ‘spit or swallow’ gag (Gag! Ha!), perhaps you need to think about your phrasing a little bit. He tells the scrags that they’ll be modeling Chanel outfits, and that because they’ll be balancing on a post in the water, the shoot is called Stranded On A Pylon. “Branded a fool!” I shout at the telly. “Moles On Poles!” I squeal with delight. “Thick On A Stick!” I chirp to the empty loungeroom. Honestly. Sometimes I can be such a dick. George continues by saying that when they’re out on the pylon, they have to look like they’re going somewhere. Dude. They’re on a pole.
o Putting Cassi in Chanel is like gold-plating a Chiko roll. She puts her hand on her arse. She loops her thumbs in her pockets. She stuffs a packet of Winnie Blues up her sleeve. She struggles, and says “I’m not sure if it was ‘cause of the dress, or just because I wasn’t there in the head”. Sweetie, it’s Chanel. Hint: it’s not the dress. George Pease comments that “she’s meant to be catching a train in Paris, but I think she’s catching a bus in Sunbury”. Dude. She’s on a pole.
o Franky’s dress is six kinds of fabulous, and even with the sun shining through the long skirt illuminating what she had for breakfast, she manages to make it look elegant.
o When Tahnee tries to balance on the pole, she bends over as if she’s about to throw up. This is the shot that the photographer chooses. Clare marvels at the fact that she did it without a bucket and a beaver. Jealous.
o Adele is the living epitome of the Chanel manifesto. Like, she’s all classy and shit. At first Richard is a little frustrated, and asks “is that how you’d normally wait for a bus, lovely?”. DUDE. POLE.
o Lola has a gorgeous face. Lola does not have thighs that look good in a short skirt.
o Laura is a cure for insomnia. There. I made it sound like that’s a good thing.
o Clare, in a gorgeous puffy-sleeved knit dress, doesn’t do well. I’ll say that again. Clare. Doesn’t do well. About fucking time.
· A final Sarah Mail draws the girls to the Elimination Boathouse, where they’re met by Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after a brisk morning shaving guinea pigs for the Karl Stefanovic Realistic Hair Foundation. She mentions the prizes in passing, which I think this year include a tongue-scrape and a Jager bomb, and then introduces the judges – Charlotte “My Dress Is The Hottest Shit Ever So You Can All Suck It” Dawson, Shiny Alex Perry (whose head is like both the planet that causes a solar eclipse and the resulting squint), photographer Richard “Meet You In My Pants” Freeman and Priscilla “Nothing Funny Comes To Mind Right Now” Leighton-Clarke. Photos are shuffled through and the judges deliberate, with a couple of oystery pearls:
o Shiny Alex tells Laura that she looks like a swimmer in Chanel, rather than “That Parisian chic thing”. Dear Dude. She’s on a pole. Best regards, Jo.
o Everyone goes frothy over Adele’s shot, and Charlotte says “You’ve just nailed it to the wall – oh, I sounded like Jonathan Pease then, oh my god”. She didn’t, though. She wasn’t wearing Mack Truck sunglasses, and she didn’t say “Yeah?” at the end.
o Shiny Alex comments that Cassi looks “like a shag on a rock in a Chanel suit”. It’s pronounced “scrag”, Shiny Alex. The ‘mole’ is silent.
o Charlotte mentions that “Franky delivered a beautiful body shape, but the face says she wants to tag my wall”. I reluctantly raise my glass in a toast.
o Shiny Alex and Charlotte rename the show Australia’s Next Top Beautiful Big Awkward Girl especially for Lola. I rename it Dawson And Perry’s Cavalcade Of Zing! and hope we can move on.
· The scrags file back into the room and wait to hear their names called one by one, until only Fair-To-Middling Franky and Laura The Snorer are left. Laura is told she’s insecure, unsure and awkward, and Franky learns that she’s not ‘high fashion’ enough. Three ferries pass, and Laura is given the arse. Bye, Laura! Mind you don’t… um… leave any kind of lasting impression on your way out!
Next week, the girls have to voice the virtues of an airline service, get all classy and crap at a charity do, and jump up and down on a trampoline. Air. Savoir Faire. I can see your underwear.
*George, I’ve just read this back to myself, and I’ve realised that this makes it sound a little bit like I’m calling you gay. I’m not. I’m calling you a pirate. Who wears men’s pants. Big difference. In other happy news, I can’t wait to call one of my gay mates a Pirate Of Men’s Pants, because even though I wrote it, I’m still allowed to think it’s awesome.
**Charlotte, I’ve just read this back to myself, and I’ve realised that this makes it sound a little bit like I’m saying you clean toilets for a living. I’m not. You just sort of talk about toilets a bit more than is necessary. Hint: once is more than unnecessary.
***Shiny Alex, I’ve just read this back to myself, and I’ve realised that this makes it sound a little bit like I want you to give me a frock. I do.
Wanna win tickets to the live Module final? Get your sweet arse (making an assumption about your arse here) over to the Impulse facebook page and click through to the Discussion bit. All you have to do is answer one of the questions there in the most creative and succinct way possible. And you know who’s judging it? Me. Yep. One step closer to TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION. Next step: remembering to put the garbage out.
Wanna laugh yourself a new laugh-hole? Get your hot patootie (making an assumption about your patootie here) over to Bland Canyon for more model-related hilarity.