So sit back, relax, and hoik your puppies up to your chin. It’s the ‘Six Girls, Twelve Cups’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Lift and separate.
• Pffft. For the photo shoot this week, the production budget couldn’t even stretch to cover NEW underwear! The modules had to wear ‘vintage’ lingerie. Which is what I’m now calling those big undies I have in the back of my drawer with holes in them that I wear on wash days when I’m single. Which is clearly and unsurprisingly, judging by that sentence, a lot of the time.
Me Talky Proper And That
Grammar and sentence structure, only one of you will continue on to become something appearing on this show.
• After her yoga lesson, Joanna announces “I think I did better than I thought I’d do, because I only fell over two or three times”. See, fall over two or three times in an office job? Sit alone at lunch. Fall over two or three times during a breath-test? Go to jail. Fall over two or three times whilst walking a tightrope over crocodile-infested waters? Be awesome and die. Fall over two or three times during a modelling lesson? SUCCESS! Modelling is so hard, you guys.
• When Sophie doesn’t win the challenge, she delicately itemises her reasons by saying to her boyfriend on the phone “The only reason I didn’t fuckin’ win is because my hair is so short”. After a long pause, he offers her some truly romantic and touching support by reciting a poem to her, which starts with the line “Yeah, that’s pretty gay”. It’s enchanting, is what it is.
• About to go on a trip, Kelsey says to camera “Before we even got in the cars, I shot-gunned the front seat”. FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY, CAN YOU GIRLS STOP TALKING ABOUT CRAPPING YOURSELF FOR ONE SECO… oh. Oh, I see. That’s a thing. Pardies.
• On the way into the Eliminarium, Joanna says that “I don’t feel overly confident, but I don’t feel not confident either”. Which is exactly the same thing as just shutting the fuck up altogether, but with more words.
This week’s lesson is all about learning how not to gasp when you see Charlotte Dawson with her legs in the air, Josh Flinn in a white top hat, or the outline of Shiny Alex Perry’s oddly hairless nipples. And also sort of about fitness.
• Our darling scrags are sent off two by two, ark-style, to different fitness lessons. Sophie and Kathryn meet Shiny Alex Perry at the gym, where we see him working out, completely oblivious to the film crew in that wacky way that people so often are. I don’t know what the girls learn, but I found it extremely educational – I now know that there are three things you need to bring with you to the gym:
1. Your sunglasses.
2. A robust, trophy-worthy squint, rendering sight almost impossible.
3. No hair whatsoever except on your face. Seriously. This man is Greek. He must spend more time getting waxed than I do breathing air.
Blue balls also come in handy.
Kathryn says that “As soon as we walked in we get to see Alex in person, instead of behind a big scary desk”. What, you don’t find a Bonds singlet clinging to the areola of a shaved squinting man just a little terrifying? *
• Sophie is impressed with Shiny Alex’s guns, saying they’re “ripped as”. She’s also really quite impressed with her own guns, introducing them to us with “You know, my guns are really big. They’re so big, I’ve named them. This is Des and Troy – together we destroy”. SOPHIE MADE A FUNNY, YOU GUYS. Again and again and again, she made it. And again.
• Charlotte takes Jessica and Joanna through some yoga poses in a Chinese garden, and despite Joanna being worried that she was going to fall over, all three loidies prove to be quite flexible and zenny indeed. I learned a few things during this lesson too – for example, this pose is called the Maybe-Chickpeas-For-Lunch-Was-A-Bad-Idea-Asana.
Now, I know that watching three fit birds breathe in and out with their eyes closed should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by a blank space where something interesting used to be.
• Amanda and Kelsey get easily the best fitness assignment, as they have to go and JOSH IS WEARING A TOP HAT AND LEG-WARMERS AND I AM DEAD. Nuh-uh. Yuh-huh. Yes he is.
The cat in the hat in some spats and he taps.
He tells the girls that the three most desirable traits in a model are grace, elegance and balance, by which he obviously means top hats, leg-warmers and spotty trousers. Then he says “Pop on your shoes and grab your top hats”, which is clearly the best thing anyone has ever said ever. I might say it at the beginning of meetings from now on.
He leads the girls through a tap routine that he’s choreographed especially, and when he utters the phrase “Shuff-le ball change, shuff-le step tap”, I’m transported instantly back to my early teens when I used to tap dan... er, when I used to snort coke and kill people. Taappa tappa tappa, friends. Taappa tappa tappa.
Clearly Amanda's stockings are swearing on her behalf.
Amanda and Kelsey get a bit silly and make up their own steps, but even in all the shoulder-wiggling, krumping, top-hat-flinging madness, I still managed to learn something in this lesson, too.
Always find your light.
Also, is anyone else not surprised at all that Josh can tap dance? That just makes sense for so many reasons. Carry on.
I don’t want to alarm anyone, but this week’s challenge was actually... well, challenging. Except for the looking-at-Kris-Smith thing. That bit was pretty easy.
• Saint Sarah and Dannii Minogue’s missus, Kriis Smiith, front up to meet the scrags at the Metro theatre. The girls are told that they’ll be working for a “major international client” (which is true), and performing with a “major international rock band”, (which is a goddamn lie). Evermore are from New Zealand. They’re international like horse-racing is a sport. They do, however, have accents that make me giggle, so I’ll cut ‘em a break.
• The challenge is to dance in Bonds awesome new tube bras** in front of a thousand or so people while Evermore sing their top tin hut “Hey Boys And Girls”, which they have to change to “Hey Girls And That One Guy Who Got Dragged Along By His Girlfriend And Is Probably Gay Because Everyone Here Got Invited Because They Signed Up For Tickets On The Top Model Website”.
• Choreographers Anthony and Ashley teach the scrags a routine which mostly consists of gyrating and touching their pink parts, with instructions like “And all you’re gonna do with your hand, you’re gonna go touch, touch, bum, bum”, and I’m transported instantly back to my early teens when... well, let’s just say I didn’t spend the whole time snorting coke and killing people.
• The Evermore guys tell the girls that they’ve “nivver had anyone dunce wuth us on stage buffore”. Or, judging by their albums, anywhere near it.
• I have to admit that the girls look awesome, as do their ‘girls’. *** As Evermore’s “spishal gists”, they bump, grind and roll around on the floor in between talking to the camera about how they don’t usually show that much flesh, and they usually don’t wear underwear without other clothes on top of it. Kathryn says “It’s really different having to go up against girls who have great bodies”. What, you mean like the rest of us do in our lives every single day? Boo-for-fuck’s-sake-hoo, Kathryn.
• Despite Sophie being sure she “has it in the bag” (which would also be a good slogan for bras, come to think of it), Amanda wins the challenge prize, an actual modelling job in an actual Bonds commercial. Kelsey narrowly misses out because, to her surprise, Saint Sarah deems her performance a little too raunchy for the brand. “When was I raunchy?”, asks Kelsey, confused. Um... here, maybe?
This is just Kelsey imagining she's serving a roast at grandma's house. MORE POTATOES, GRANDMA?
She finally gets it, saying “It must have been like, when we had to go down really slowly on the floor”. Yes. Since even the phrase “go down really slowly on the floor” makes me blush and giggle, I’d say that’s probably it.
• Now, if you had just fronted up to the Metro to take part in a massive, potentially career-changing challenge, how would you do your hair? Would you:
a) Put your wig on sideways;
b) Get Neil from the Young Ones and Cousin Itt from the Addams Family together in a dark room and let them sock it out; or
c) Smuggle a pineapple under it and hope nobody notices?
• The modules are rudely awoken in the dead of night by a Sarah Mail instructing them to take their warm clothes and pillows into the Fashion Fiestas and get ready for an overnight stay. Once in the cars, after a long drive, Kelsey says “I woke up when we were at Jindabyne, and that’s when I knew we were going to the snow”. A miner trapped underground in Chile stops eating his freeze-dried snack for a moment, looks up and says “You think?”.
• Josh, in a beanie that is sadly not top-hat-shaped, tells the scrags that today they’ll be modelling vintage lingerie and fur for photographer David Shields, whose name sounds a lot like that of a guy I know who had better buy me a beer for sort of mentioning him. Josh says that it’s up to the girls whether or not they choose to wear the fur, and despite Jessica’s clear distaste for the concept, everyone does. Sophie in particular mentions that “I didn’t have a problem with the fur whatsoever. I guess if I had to kill an animal I wouldn’t wear the fur, but I don’t have to do that, so it didn’t bother me”. So, right, if someone else kills the animal for you, it’s fine? God, that attitude almost makes me spit my steak out onto my leather jacket.
• The shoot takes place in the snow, on haemorrhoid-inducing rocks, branches, and frigid tundra. Due to the early time slot, editors can’t show the modules actually freezing their tits off, but they make do with a superb icy metaphor.
Which is why I love this show.
• David asks Sophie, who has her icy crevice wedged into an icy crevice, to make the face of someone being rescued. I thought perhaps an open, flesh-coloured mouth, but instead she rocks it, making everyone melt in her pelt.
• Jessica looks like an ethereal ice queen, and is welcome over at my house for tequila and philosophical bickering any time.
• Kelsey looks gob-smackingly stunning and softens her face for the first time, but still doesn’t ‘deliver’ in her shots. Huh. I actually made that sound like it means something. Interesting.
• Amanda, sitting in a bush, is asked to try and look like she’s waiting for Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights to come and find her. And she’s sitting in a BUSH. Anyone who doesn’t get the excruciatingly lame irony of this probably just has a life or something. Or maybe he’s asking her to look like she’s dead? Unfortunately, she kind of succeeds. Damn.
• Everyone is pleased with Joanna’s professionalism, but not so much with her shots. Mind you she seems to be bloody good at everything, so she’ll be fine, right? RIGHT?!
• Kathryn does her usual stunning trick of changing from a spotty teenager to a face-meltingly gorgeous module the moment the lens is trained in her direction. She even manages to comply with David’s instruction to “look underneath her eyebrows”. Modelling. Is. So. Hard. You. Guys.
Suddenly back from the snow in that whisking-suddenly-back-from-places way, the girls trickle into the Eliminarium, where they’re confronted by Saint Sarah, who has only just finished buying cardigans for the Animals Who Are Cold Because They’ve Just Been Skinned For Their Pelts Society. Membership is optional.
Saint Sarah mentions the prizes, which I think this year include a spinach-and-feta pizza and a bonsai tree, and then introduces the judges. Guest judge Priscilla Leighton-Clark is there, as is Chest Smith, who silently refers to the mountains the girls have just visited by wearing a deep, deep v-neck (thank you), Shiny Alex Perry, who is no longer forcing me to mention his nipples (thank you), and Charlotte Dawson, who looks like she’s just come straight from a week in the country (thank you).
The judges look through photos and deliberate, and despite Saint Sarah claiming that “I don’t think this panel has ever been this fired up before”, zingers are as rare as Sophie choosing situation-appropriate clothing.
• After a long pause, Shiny Alex finally admits that Sophie’s shot is ‘expensive’. Touchdown, Mark Holden style, for shizzle!
• Sarah mentions that Joanna’s shot is a bit ‘Dynasty’. Charlotte adds that it’s “more like dysentery”. Which, coincidentally, is a lot like Dynasty.
Modules drag themselves back into the room, and Saint Sarah drags her way through names and photos until only… wait. What? UNTIL ONLY KELSEY AND JOANNA ARE LEFT. Is that right? Now, I know that in profoundly uncharacteristic moments I haven’t always been entirely supportive of these two, but come on. Having them as the bottom two is like Bonanno Pisano trashing his wonky tower because he didn’t think it would attract tourists or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like the director of Transformers not casting Megan Fox because her boobs were too distracting. They sort of belong here and stuff.
Joanna is told that she exudes cool and confidence everywhere but her photos, and Kelsey discovers that her shot disappointed the judges. As did her short, I assume.
In any case, an afternoon passes, and Joanna is pushed off the cliff. Kersplash in an English accent!
Bye, Joanna. Mind you don’t be a complete mystery until you’re eliminated and then I feel robbed on your way out!
Next week, I really, really have to start watching the previews for the following week.
*Don’t get me wrong. Bonds singlets are awesome. In fact, I could do with a free one. Just saying.
**I still don’t really know what a tube bra is, but I know I want a free one.
***Seriously. Bonds. Hit me up with some free bra action, bitches. Come on.