I’m an idiot.
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.