I hope you’re wearing robust undergarments. This week's episode is about two things:
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.