I want to make one thing absolutely and patently clear: I will not, repeat not be making fun of the New Zealand accent in my synopses of New Zealand’s Next Top Model. To do so would be condescending, unkind and rude.
PSYCH! Of course I’m going to make fun of the accent. Without the accent, this show would just be about judges-I-can’t-look-at called Colin, clown-haired-models-I-can’t-look-at called Frankie, morphine-shooting epileptics and racks full of coloured thongs. BORING. I’m going to take an academic (eck-a-dim-uck) approach to this show, carefully analysing the cast and summarising each scenario with the keen acumen of a PhD supervisor, brandishing a sardonic microscope, and listening to Wagner. Plus, I’ll probably hang a bunch of shit on it.
The Judges, In Order From Least To Most Terrifying
Pah. A successful businesswoman and ex-module who seems intelligent, articulate and probably likeable. HOW DOES THAT HELP ME, PRODUCERS?! The only thing she seems to do wrong is wear after-five frockage when it’s only a quarter past four. Granted, in the last scene of the show she looked like she was dressed for a Kennedy funeral (and let’s face it, that’s a new frock every couple of years), so maybe there’s hope.
Being an ex-model and a photographer, his career bears a remarkable resemblance to that of America’s Next Top Model’s Nigel Barker (the only difference being that Nigel’s name wouldn’t sound quite so awesome in a rap). Accordingly, I would like to extend the same invitation to Chris as I did to Nigel, that being to live inside my pants.
Colin’s Wikipedia page says “Colin has been an model for 15 years”. An model should really see an different hairdresser, use an different eyeliner and stop giving me an aneurism. Whilst he was on screen, my housemate Nat did two things – covered her eyes, and said “PLEASE GOOGLE HIM AND TELL ME WHY HE’S THERE!!”. I did. I can’t.
Here I’d like to summarise the most eloquent examples of the meandering twists and turns that the Kiwi accent lends to the English language, sufficiently rivalling the bends found in a triple helix. I would also like to hear a New Zealander say that last sentence aloud.
- The voice-over at the start of the episode tells us that Kiwi models are known for a number of things, including their “work ithuck”. At this point I smile, nod, and ecstatically close my eyes, just as I do when I have the first bite of some delicious cheese. This show is delicious cheese. Just in case you didn’t get the whole I-use-metaphors thing.
- When calling a mother-module to tell her she’s made the semis, Sara says “You kuss those kuds, and peck your begs – you’re go-ung to Queenstown!”. Don’t forget to peck some sendwuches for the trup.
- One of the girls has (say it slowly) epilepsy. She’s asked how long it’s been “sunce she hed a fut”. She also used to shoot up morphine, but sadly isn’t asked how long it’s been “sunce she cleaned her kut”. She has a nervous vomit before the photo-shoot, but nobody says “Thet chuck hed a chuck”. More’s the putty.
Shebangabang’s Next Top Model seems to suffer similar budgetary shortcomings to those of its mainland counterpart, although it takes a keen eye to pick them out. Luckily, I was watching closely:
- Usually, semi-finalists arrive at their lodgings welcomed by a teetering pile of free goodies. Our kiwi modules are greeted with a new ‘phone and a laminated lanyard. What, no Chup-A-Chup?
- The New Zealand Tourism Commission certainly did their bit to try to help out, ensuring that everyone arrives everywhere via either jet boat, go-kart or cable car. If bungee-jumping isn’t mentioned or engaged in during this entire series, I will pluck, skin and eat a Kakapo Parrot.
- The walking challenge is staged in a vineyard, however not a single grape makes it onto camera. I suspect this bit was filmed in a warehouse in South Auckland, staged by the same people who faked that whole moon-landing thing.
- For the first photo-shoot, the modules wear their own swimming costumes. I hope this trend continues, and we see the modules waxing themselves, doing their own make-up and telling themselves that they have to lose weight.
- Jandals. Thongs. Flup-Flops. It doesn’t matter how you say it, none of these words scream ‘expense’. The girls scream a lot, though, when they’re running up a beach towards a rack of thongs with their names on them, to see if they’ve made the cut. Next week, I assume the eliminated contestant will just be the girl left over after a game of musical chairs.
The Bist Buts.
- Rebecca-Rose-Ranga needs to eat, and needs to blink. If she ever looks up to the camera and says “But mummy, I am your daughter”, I. Am. Out. Of. Here. Freaks me out, man. As I said to Nat, “she lecks pugmintation”. I’m fucking hilarious, you see.
- Frankie. Hair. Sideshow Bob. Says “I’ve got a different look”. Spooky is what.
- Ho(sanna) seems to be our resident uppity bee-yarch. After getting almost every other module off-side, she claims that she would do anything to win this competion. START BY NEVER WEARING THOSE JEAN-PRINTED LEGGINGS AGAIN EVER. Yeah. See how that goes.
- One module’s claim to fame is that she won a chilli-eating competition, and she demonstrates her mad asbestos mouth skillz to the judges. This is on my television. That I paid for. I’m tongue-pashing this show as soon as I get the chance.
- I still can’t look at Colin Hyphenated-Surname. Ugh. Ick. No.
- In her audition, Rhiannon brings in a picture she drew. Rhiannon. Honey. It’s a modelling audition. If you don’t bring in a dried pasta collage at the very least, you’re dead to this industry, and to me.
- My new lover Chris tells one of the girls during the photo shoot that she needs to concentrate more on how she uses her mouth. Ladies. This is the most important lesson you can ever learn in modelling. ALWAYS BLOW THE PHOTOGRAPHER.
- Successful finalists are told “Peck your begs, girls – you’re go-ung to AUCKLAND!”. The disappointment is tangible, until they all leave on another fucking jet-boat.
Yep. I’ll be watching this series. I just have to work out a technique whereby I’m not repeating the word “ip-uh-lip-sy” over and over again in my sleep.