So welcome, everybody. Welcome to the ‘Been A Long Time, Been A Long Time, Been A Long Scraggy, Scraggy, Scraggy, Scraggy, Scraggy Time’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.
Goodbye, Tuesday nights. Hello, dumb skinny broads in bunk beds. Sigh.
We first see Saint Sarah exactly as we should – in super slow-mo, with a halo of sunlight illuminating her from behind. She may have three children now via the traditional method, but she stands before her sixteen foster-scrags in all her glory, via Immaculate Misconception. Seriously, if Australians don’t want boat people to flock to our shores, they need to make sure that images like this don’t go public:
Where the bloody hell are ya?
Ms Dawson is like a silk purse full of baby echidnas – smooth on the outside, spiky on the inside, but endearing enough to get you to the zoo in the first place. Just as that simile is exactly like Tom Cruise in Born On The Fourth Of July – lame.
I’m a bit cross with Shiny Alex, as he doesn’t seem to have buffed his cranium to the high blinding shine we’re so used to. The ubiquitous sunglasses are perched atop it, though, and the shirt is unbuttoned to the ankles, so he wins a couple of points back. Still. Mate. Get out the Mr Sheen, would ya? Waaaaiiiit… are you two related?
We haven’t seen Jez since Series 3, after which he left to spend more time developing his pectoral muscles. Seriously - they’re like two muscular puppies fighting under a chamois. Henceforth he shall be known as Chest Smith, and I will unsuccessfully endeavour to notice any part of him other than his nipples. Unless he does this with his neck, of course.
Honestly. He just can't wear drop earrings anymore.
My feelings are mixed about the departure of Jonathan “George” Pease, but you can be sure the automotive industry is breathing a sigh of relief now that there is no longer a truck windscreen shortage, as was necessary to provide him with sunglasses week after week. Mincing in boldly in his place is the immaculately-groomed and compact-bottomed Josh, noted for his envy-inducing pants and his history playing B2, one of the Bananas In Pyjamas. He obviously comes from good stock, as ANTM is not his first role playing a fruit. Pretty impressed so far.
Alex Perry might throw the word “expensive” around ad nauseam, but the same might not be said of the ANTM production budget. Sure, the camerawork looks a bit more fancy-schmancy this year, and the whole thing is certainly shot at a high enough resolution to make sure that each of Kathryn’s pimples are visible from space, but I sense some corner-cutting in other areas...
• It costs a lot to spray cameramen all over the country to shoot footage of the modules kissing their families goodbye. Obviously, due to the fact that most of these scenes are shot from behind bushes and through windows, this year they’ve just strapped Handy-Cams onto the back of a couple of possums and let them loose in each girl’s backyard. GENIUS. Except for the droppings. Ew. Droppings.
• Happily, all of the girls are picked up from their houses in chauffer-driven limos and whisked to Sydney to make their dreams come true. Except for the ones who are driven there in Ford Fiestas. And the ones who ride the ferry. And of course the ones who catch the 8:15 CityRail express from Mount Druitt.
Me Talky Proper And That
Oh, my darling scrags. The English language wants its dignity back.
• Kimberly (who utters sentences like they’re questions): “In my modelling career, my best asstribute, would probably be my eyes? But if I was doing something more... y’know, men’s orientated, it’d be my backside. It’s very round and… squishy”. I dunno, Kimberly. I think maybe your best eyestribute is probably your ass. Because... because of the squishy thing. Um, what?
• Brittney wants to “make it to the top one hundred, fifty-five thousand percent”. Which is clearly what she got on her last maths test.
• Kimberly: “When I first saw Sarah Murdoch, I didn’t click who she was? She has longer hair now, and apparently she’s had a baby, too. Didn’t even know she was married”. Sweetie, you should really pay more attention to the media. Because, like, Sarah’s husband kind of owns it.
• Megan: “As soon as I saw Josh, I saw his pants”. Clearly, Josh has a magical skill that most men would like to master. THE ART OF PANTS PROMINENCE.
• Claudia Navone, listening to you talk is like diving head-first into a vat of chocolate, honey and twisted vowels. If you ever lose your accent I will cut you. My ringtone this week will be “Unforrrrchoo-nutly tonart, you... you are not going to wowk”.
• Amanda, to camera: “I said to my mum before I left that I’d be really bummed if I didn’t get any free stuff. I know, that sounds really bratty, and I hope to god this doesn’t go on TV”. Um... Amanda? That thing in front of you isn’t a tree. It’s a camera.
• When a Sarah-Mail comes through containing a quote from Grace Kelly, Brittney says “I was like, who’s Grace Kelly? Apparently she’s... or he... I didn’t ask that one”. Yep. Grace Kelly, who later married into royalty and became a prince. That’s him.
The scrags’ very full stop first full stop challenge is to walk in a Haper’s Bazaar show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, because we like to ease them into the industry slowly, and because we also enjoy the sound of sixteen girls all crapping their daks at the same time. First they try on outfits and demonstrate their walking skills, ready to have their moves criticised, and their souls crushed. Okay, first of all, the challenge casting director’s name is Nikola Koke, so there’s already several kilos of Koke backstage at a runway show. No surprise there. Then Claire has a little trouble with her gait, presumably because carrying those teeth around has left her pretty much a cripple. Mr Koke tells her that she has a problem with her shin-bones, and she says “I might try to stretch it. I might get on the rack tonight”. You and most of the audience, sweetie. I heart a gratuitous drug reference. Alison, Kathryn and Ashlea are also passed over for inclusion in the catwalk show.
The remaining scrags walk up a storm on the runway, and as soon as I remember any of their names, I’ll be intensely proud of them. Even the stumbling giraffe one, and the one whose eyebrows are exactly the same colour as her skin, and the short one, and the one... you know... with the thing.
Look, I don’t wanna be a bitch or anything, but BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH! I can’t believe I even got that far through that sentence. Of course I do.
• As a very wise, very shiny man with sunglasses on his head was once overheard saying, “Honey, foundation is not a lip colour”. Sophie. Talking. To you. You’re less catching a plane to Sydney than knocking on my door with a bag full of Avon.
• Valeria likes to cry. Well, water comes out of her eyes, anyway. Blinking occasionally might be helpful, Valeria.
• Charlotte Dawson confirms something that I always suspected to be true. She and Alex Perry fight each other with Botox needles. I imagine it’s just like the knife West Side Story except with less jazz ballet and more risk of secondary infection.
• Real estate agents should totally take the modules with them when they’re valuing or showing property. If they open the front door and then hear constant squealing for half an hour, they’re on a winner. The girls seem to love the fact that the Module Mansion is situated right on the edge of a cliff, little knowing that every time one of them gets eliminated, they’ll be pushed off. The first morning in the house, they walk into a room to find it crammed with free gifts from sponsors. Now, I know that watching a bunch of borderline teenagers discussing bathrobes should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by bin juice.
• I’m enjoying that whenever Josh is introduced to a scene, he’s shown in a studly stance from multiple angles, with brooding, manly music playing. It’s like butching up a pixie. It’s awesome.
The first full stop photo full stop shoot full stop has a Mad Men, 50s-inspired theme, which basically just means sex with a cinched waist and the lingering smell of fresh scones. I would like the make-up artists from this shoot to follow me around for the rest of my life, especially if they were also making some of the bras from this shoot available.
• Chest Smith comments that some of the girls “really got the sense of period” during the shoot, which may explain some of the pained, grumpy expressions.
• Amanda truly has the spirit of the 50s dwelling within her, as after she’s shown her outfit she composes herself, flutters her eyelashes and says “Sick”. That’s as incongruous as a picture of a hotdog on the Sistine Chapel ceiling or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like seeing a Kardashian reading.
• Kimberly doesn’t do too well when it’s her turn, because you see, as she explains, she’s not from the 50s. Because of course everything you see in photographs is totally real, like Power Rangers and Big Macs that look like they haven’t been made by a spotty Dungeons & Dragons aficionado with an attitude problem.
• Generally, though, all the girls look stunning, pose well, and don’t do or say anything stupid. Way to kill my buzz, guys. Thanks a frigging buncherooni.
As the scrags tromp their way into the Eliminarium, Kimberly announces that she’s “crapping bricks”. I am certain that I am going to love Kimberly, just as I am certain that Sophie should take that flower-adorned headband and throw it in a fire.
The regular judges, plus Priscilla Leighton-Clarke, are all there – Charlotte, who with no room left in her boobs has opted for pointy shoulder implants, Shiny Alex Perry, whose open-necked black shirt makes his chest and head look like a lone maraca, and Chest Smith, who nipples nipples nipples nipples nipples.
Saint Sarah, who is obviously still flustered having rushed directly from a bootie-knitting drive to support the Silver Spoon Institute For Media Empire Neo-Nates, lists the prizes, which I think this year include a seven-day supply of sports socks and a semi-deflated balloon animal. She then reveals that five girls will be shoved off the cliff this week. FIVE. That’s, like, all the fingers on one hand! Still, I think Valeria takes the announcement pretty well.
Photos are looked through, Charlotte says “boobies” and “dick”, Shiny Alex says “arse” and “suck” (not in that order), the photos are gob-smackingly gorgeous, and the judges deliberate.
My favourite barbs:
• Charlotte: “I was really keen to shunt Alison”. Everybody, please use the word “shunt” today in a questionably-phrased sentence.
• Shiny Alex: “She’s competing with the couch, I mean I keep looking at the couch, going ‘it’s quite a fabulous sofa”. No need to make reference to any loungeroom furniture tomorrow, though, people, as Perry has used up all the words currently available.
• Shiny Alex: “I’m telling you, she looked like she worked at Hooters”. Sarah: “She does work at Hooters”. I LOVE THIS SHOW.
Eventually, Saint Sarah narrows it down to five scrags, and Alison, Claire, Valeria, Ashlea and Sally are pushed off the cliff. Splash, splash, splash, splash, splash! Sleep with the fishies, my darlings. Sleep with the fishies.
Next week, the modules have a television-presenting challenge, a scaffolding photo shoot and a bit of a go at Kimberly. Banging on. Hanging on. Ganging on.