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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series Six - THE FINALE

Of course, the real winner is live television.
I mean fashion.
I mean Amanda.

First of all - like, before we get to the tap dancing and scandal - some housekeeping:

Three ReasonsThis Recap Will Be Five Different Kinds Of Crap.
1. I haven't seen the finale episode on television, so I was just scribbling notes in the audience. I was also sitting next to the judges' table (I know, right?), so the reflected glare from Charlotte Dawson's frock, Shiny Alex Perry's head and Chest Smith's astounding man-mounds was very distracting.
2. It's all a bit of a blur - I got caught up in the excitement of the night, and had to spend a fair amount of time avoiding Kathryn, who wanted to throw a drink in my face.
3. They make gin now. This isn't a hangover. This is a herd of rhino.

There you go. I'm not making excuses, it's just that I... I'm totally making excuses.

Let's start at the beginning.
I was very, very excited to be in the Swarovski-crystal-infested room, but I tried to not let it show on my face.

Tahnee seemed pretty excited to be sitting behind me, too.
And now, the runners-up for best shit ever are...

Any show which makes the following sentence possible deserves to be tattooed onto my temporal lobe: Shirtless men came out of the floor.
Out of the floor.
And although there were many moments during the finale that made me clutch at my imaginary pearls and risk severe delight-related coronary arrest, seeing Josh Flinn tap-dance again was truly the moment that made the unicons of my soul vomit rainbows. I'm throwing out my alarm clock - from now on I wish to be woken each morning by the sounds of Josh tapping next to my bed. I'll pay. He needs a job now, right?

Tampon References As A Matter Of Contractual Obligation.
When a sponsor helps fund a show, they want to be all over it like a fat kid on pancakes. Hence, not only were there tampons in my goodie-bag, one of the aforementioned dance routines featured an acrobat dressed in white hanging from a white string from the ceiling. Oh, U.

The Word "Journey".
Saint Sarah, I'm cutting you off. When we're born, we're given a set quota of words, and we can say each one a finite number of times. With the word "journey", you have now exceeded your quota by eight thousand, six hundred and two.

Claudia Navone's Accent.
Claudia speaks = I cry. I had actual tears. She uses the same syllables as everyone else, but packages each one in a clipped little box tied up with awesome. When the host of a show imitates your own accent whilst actually speaking to you, I'm pretty sure that qualifies you as a god.

Oh, Sssophie. Face it - you were never going to win. You have boobs. Boobs have no place in high fashion (or, regrettably, in my bra). I'll always remember you for your constantly-open mouth, your pale, corpse-like lips and the soft toys stapled to your head in Japan. And I'll always imagine that you went backstage after being eliminated, rang your boyfriend and said "It's because of my fucking hair, isn't it?!?".

Sunglasses As A Dietary Option
Shiny Alex Perry, when he wasn't bickering with Dawson or being virtually indistinguishable from the spherical lightbulbs adorning the set, commented that if Kelsey becomes a top international module, he'll eat his sunglasses. Kelsey. Babe. You know what to do.

The Oh My God Montage
One final, tearful note to the editors of this fine, ridiculous, fine, life-changing, fine show: I love you with all of my heart and a considerable chunk of my colon. Your montages make my heart sing, and not just Nikki Webster songs. Close contenders were the Amanda-saying-wet-fish and Amanda-talking-about-faeces packages, but stringing together every instance of anyone saying "oh my god" over the last eight years was televisual platinum. Thank you. Please form an orderly queue at my soul.

Now, I suppose we have to talk about... you know... IT. The fact that Saint Sarah announced the wrong winner. The cock-up to end all cock-ups. I'm sure that whatever can be said about it has been said about it, so I'll keep this brief:




I have a handful of theories about how and why it happened:
1. Producers decided that they wanted Top Model stories to be bumped forward three pages in today's newspapers;
2. Foxtel were going for the world record for Most People With High Ponytails Saying 'Fuck' All At The Same Time;
3. Jodhi Meares controls the media and wanted Saint Sarah to truly understand why live television is generally to be avoided; or
4. God loves me and this is his way of kissing me right on the lips.

And a final word on the Hotter-Than-Tabasco Fiasco: Anyone who thinks that it was on purpose and rigged is a goddamn fool.

Second-lastly, I'd like to do a minor expose about what happened behind the scenes. I take my status as an unrelenting attention slut very, very seriously, so I squeezed my way into both after-parties in order to bring you some highly underwhelming morsels from the bits you didn't get to see on telly:
  • Everyone at Luna Park got a goodie bag chock full of pressies, including a Ford Fiesta keyring shaped like a fortune cookie. A little tip for merchandising managers everywhere: When you shape a silver keyring like a fortune cookie, you end up with fifteen hundred bits of metal that really look quite a lot like vaginas.
  • I got to rub Chest Smith's pectorals more than once. At one point, he flexed his magnificent lumps just as my hand was between them, and one of my fingers got trapped. MY FINGER WAS TRAPPED BETWEEN JEZ SMITH'S BOOBS. I am dead.
  • Early-eliminatee Sally asked me to blog about the fact that she can "totally shake it". And she totally can.
  • Slightly-later-eliminatee Ashton challenged me to a dance-off. At first the numbers were on her side, as her full entourage joined in the booty-shakin' shakedown, but I had some secret weapons up my sleeve. Charlotte Dawson, Chest Smith and Saint Sarah Murdoch. Thank you, my bump-and-grind compadres. I believe I won that round, Ms Flutey.
  • Martinis are awesome. You heard it here fifth.
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone associated with the show for making it the pinnacle of awesome (and for giving me a ticket, but seriously, I'm still waiting for a frock), and to youse grouse blokes and sheilas for reading.
It's been a hoot, and I've loved every second of it.
But now - and I mean this quite sincerely - if I don't get some Panadol and bacon, I will cut a bitch.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series Six #10

I can’t figure out if three is a good number or a bad number.
Apparently bad things come in threes. That’s bad.

Then there’s the Three Amigos. That’s good.

On the other hand, there’s the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That’s bad.

Then there’s the Three Blind Mice. That should be bad, but for some reason it’s awesome, especially if you picture them wearing Ray Charles’ sunglasses and rocking little canes.

Whether good or bad, that’s what we have. A trinity of divinity. A triangle of high spangle. A triptych of lipstick. Buckle up your... something you have three of, it’s the ‘Three, It’s The Scragic Number’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Trippendicular, fer shurrrr.

Skin-Tight Budget

There were two things in this episode that the production budget couldn’t afford. A white plank that stands up by itself, and a production assistant capable of saying “Excuse me, sir, but would you mind maybe sweeping your jetty at some other time?”. Me Talky Proper And That

Hi, Career Board-Holder and Background Sweeping Dude. What up.

• Upon Jessica’s departure, Amanda says “When Jess left, it was really sad, ‘cause her presence was quite large, and it’s a big hole that isn’t gonna be filled”. Now, at times I’ve been known to misinterpret The Language Of The Kids, but Jess? I’m pretty sure Amanda just called you a fat virgin.

• The modules talk about how they regard each other as competition, and that they’re going to have to step it up if they’ll ever have a chance at winning. It’s really quite a unique and novel set of statements if you disregard everything that’s ever been said in the last couple of weeks of a televised reality show ever. Sophie in particular steels her resolve, saying “I’m definitely gonna have to bring my game”. My big guess is that ‘her game’ is Hungry Hungry Hippo. Because. You know.

Learnmenty Challengeness Mash-Up
• The penultimate Sarah-Mail of the series arrives, featuring a wordy quote from Coco Chanel and a reference to schoolgirls. Sophie responds to it by saying “We’re all a bit like, oh my god this must be really serious”. It’s a television show about modelling, and last week you had soft toys stapled to your head, Sophie. Of course it’s serious.

• The girls are sent to the Blue Hotel at Woolloomooloo wharf, where the silhouette of a shiny man with sunglasses on his head meets them. He explains that tonight they’ll be helping launch a special event for the Sony Foundation called ‘Fashion 4Ward’ to raise money for children with cancer. Cancer isn’t funny. New paragraph.

• Shiny Alex tells the modules that they’ll be dressing in couture frocks designed by Collette Dinnigan, J’aton and himself and walking with professional models to live music. He says “And along with a very powerful message, it comes with some very serious fashion”. There seems to come a time in every series of this show when the fashion gets really, really serious.

Right, Caris-in-dress-with-poodle-face-boob-eyes? Right.

• Every single frock the girls try on makes me cry tears of pure joy. They have been sewn by angels who had to beat out other angels for the job in like, the Angel Competitive Sewing Olympics. Unicorns stop barfing rainbows just so they can stare lovingly at the fine beading and delicate drapery. Master couturiers from ages past look down from the heavens at these dresses, shuffle their feet with shame, and whisper “shit” under their breaths, so embarrassed about their relatively clumsy skills are they. Now, and I mean this with sincerity and mild desperation, it being the second last episode of the series: GIVE. ME. A. FRIGGING. FROCK. Seriously. Somebody. I’ve been doing this shit for four years. Make with the freebies, bitches.

• Josh appears to help style the scrags, give them some advice, and remind Kelsey that she’s short. Time is also short, so the runway show begins – the other judges are all there watching, as are some very, very special and exclusive guests.

• Kelsey rocks it without looking too short, Sophie does well despite having her hands glued to her hips, and Amanda stabs my eyes repeatedly with awesome. Everybody within earshot of anywhere says the word “expensive” five times each, I mention the Rogue Traders and Amy Meredith just to squeeze a couple more Google hits out of the universe, and Josh gushes at the girls, telling them how proud he is of them and how much they’ve learned. In fact, he says that they’ve learned so much that his job as mentor is done. He calls for a group hug, and then sa... IS JOSH CRYING?!? JOSH IS CRYING! Dawwwww.
If you get your jacket wet, the waiter you borrowed it from will be pissed.

He’s right, too. These girls have learned every single thing they need to learn to be models. And as I’ve mentioned before, this equates to one skill, and one skill only. It’s the SCT, friends. The Solitary Crystalline Tear.

Consider yourself graduated.
Day One - Fitting

This week’s photo shoot takes one day to fit and two days to shoot, because it’s VERY IMPORTANT. It will end up being the eight-page spread and cover image for Harper’s Bazaar, featuring the winner of the entire competition. Which, it’s just struck me, is nearly over. Which makes me sad. You guys are going to miss me so much! The only thing that could possibly, possibly cheer me up is at the other end of these:
It's not just the boots that have adroable accents.

YES. It’s Harper’s Fashion Director Claudia Navone, teensy clothes horse and my favourite vowel-mangler in all the land. If the voice in my head spoke like Claudia, I would just sit around and think all day. She greets the girls at the Harper’s offices with:

Wal-com. To the wode of Harper’s Bazaar.


She continues with:

Now, I don wahnt to intimeedate you atall, ba you-shoo-wally, the carvers of Harper’s Bazaar are ownly reserve to de moss beauteeful and fay-moose women in dee wode.

I love you, Claudia.

So eef up to now, you av been geeving juan-harndert pussent, dis is not enough naow. Ees going to be about two harndert pussent.

Dead. Dead from amazing. Dead and underground.Tombstone, worms, the lot. Dead.

Our modules are led into everybody’s dream room – the fashion magazine wardrobe - and introduced to editor Edwina McCann, photographer Simon Lekias, whose surname should totally be said out loud, and fashion editor Christine Centenera, who enjoys dream-crushing, disdain and eyeliner. The girls learn that they’ll be modelling a summer cruisewear collection. You know. Cruisewear. That’s that stuff in the back of your wardrobe that you bring out between polo and fox-hunting seasons.

• The usual flap about height is dragged out when Kelsey does her fitting – she looks okay in a yellow Miu Miu number, stunning in a Balenciaga crocheted thing, and incredible in a sixties-styled Celine mini-dress that I personally would willingly cut out organs to wear. Christine The Crusher encouragingly comments “There is no way that I would cast her in a fashion shoot”. Oh, nice.

• All three experts go nuts over Amanda, saying that they already see a model, and that she’s gazelle-like and amazing. They have eyes and stuff.

• Of Sophie, Simon says that she “brings something very different to the table”. Yep. The ability to swallow plates. Edwina notes that she’s “got a lot of determination”. Ruh-roh. That’s like being told you have a “great personality”, or “interesting taste in shoes”. Sophie is confident, though, and says “When that magazine comes out, I will be on the cover. Because this runs through my blood. This runs through my body”. Ew. Where does it come out?

• Edwina tells us that to be a successful module, “you gotta be hungry”. A kindergarten choir on a boat off the shore of Portugal looks up, clear their throats, and in perfect six-part harmony sing the single word “Duuuuuh”.

• Now, I know that watching a bunch of competitive girls get changed into outfit after outfit after outfit after outfit after outfit after outfit sounds interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by watercress. Let’s get shooting already.

Day Two - Shooting

The next chilly morning before sunrise, our darling scrags take a single, lonely Fashion Fiesta to a mansion on the water’s edge for their two-day shoot. Hey, mansion? Thanks, but we won’t be needing you. We have a big white board.

• Amanda is a little rigid during her first shots, causing the ever-supportive and encouraging Christine The Destroyer to offer endearing little snippets like “She doesn’t actually do very much”, and “She’s not a good model”.

• Sophie, shooting in the same dress, does a little better, which frustrates Amanda. “Just have a bad face for once, Sophie”, she says. Um…
Once. Right. Yep.
• Christine The Dream-Squisher says that initially she was excited about shooting Sssophie, but that “today, unfortunately she didn’t really translate”. Dude. Sssophie can barely speak English, and you want her to translate?! Also, DO YOU LIKE ANYTHING EVER?

• It turns out she does, and it’s Kelsey. The diminutive diva poses like a frikkin’ champion, blowing everyone away with her natural ability to model and throw shapes. For the first time, I have absolutely no idea who’s going to win. Except it’s Amanda, isn’t it.

Day Two – Still More F*cking Shooting

• Sophie, in a swimming costume, is subject to a request to restrict excessive contorting, as it tends to give her poses a suggestive air rather than one of restrained elegance. Or, in Sophie’s words, “I had to be careful, because out of the girls I’m the most bustiest”. Indeed. She even has her stellar puppies bandaged down to fit into the Celine dress-that-must-be-mine, and busts out her edgiest series of shots to date. Get it? BUSTS out. No, because it’s about boobs, see, and it’s… because… synonym… shut up.

• Amanda, putting it nicely, has no boob issues whatsoever for her cozzie shot. She does, however, have stiffness issues. Wait. That came out wrong. Christine the Insult Ninja calls her a plank of wood, and gets her to watch Kelsey’s next session for inspiration. Thankfully, it works.

• Kelsey kicks arse. Well, the arse she can reach from down there.

• They just don’t make shoes like they used to. Apparently, the materials they used to make shoes out of have all run out. Now, to make shoes, all you do is just empty out the fourth kitchen drawer down and glue all that shit together.
Especially if you have Lego in the fourth drawer down.
Or if you've just vomited robot flowers. You have, haven't you. You vomited robot flowers.

• During the swimwear section of the Harper’s shoot, Kelsey shows us what pretty much the dictionary definition of ‘side-boob’ looks like.

Mick, he's got a knife.
Until Sophie completely gazumps her efforts with her uncanny ability to turn her own boobs UPSIDE-DOWN.

That's not a knife. That's a knife.
Marathon shoot over, our strangely endearing scrags traipse into the Eliminarium for the last time. I… I’m not crying, I’ve just got a rare eye disease that causes eye-watering and desperate racking sobs, is all.

Saint Sarah is there to greet them, only just making it in time after racing from a Let’s Get An Attention-Seeking Blogger Mole A Free Frock fundraiser. She glamours through the prizes, which I think this year include a ream of A4 paper and a canoe, and then introduces the judges. Christine The Kohl-Lined Career Killer is guest judge, Shiny Alex Perry has had his black shirt and tie permanently tattooed on, Charlotte Dawson has flowers on her boobs and Essence Of Twelve-Year-Old in her forehead, and Chest Smith still doesn’t have enough buttons undone. You owe me, Chest. If you don’t turn up to finale naked, I’ll sue.

Each of the modules are asked to step forward and explain their existence on the planet, with Amanda the only one not shedding a tear. She has one Solitary Crystalline Tear per week, and she’s used it up already. Sophie wants to be “one of the world’s top modoos”, Amanda thinks she’ll be better at modelling than at school or sport, and Kelsey rightfully argues that if her height was really that big of an issue, then she wouldn’t have beaten so many tall girls in the competition to make it to the top three. Logic has no place in fashion, Kelsey. Fail.

The almost unspeakably amazing photos are pored over, and the judges deliberate, with a smattering of respectful pearlers:

• Shiny Alex Perry calls himself the ‘height Nazi’. I shout “Zeig HEIGHT!” at my television, because I am clearly hilarious.

• Of Amanda’s shot, Dawson impersonates Claudia Navone, simply saying “two harndred pussent”. Loving Claudia is like a contagious virus. The symptoms are silk, vowels, and awesome.

• Shiny Alex is clearly not a fan of Kelsey’s missing altitude, commenting that “when they were giving out height, she was standing behind the door” (which doesn’t really work as a visual metaphor), “well spank me, because somewhere in some alternate universe, I thought that models were meant to be tall” (which is essentially true, but with an unnecessarily disturbing mental image), and “Do you know what? Two inches makes all the difference” (which is I HEAR THAT, SISTER).

The girls file back in, holding hands, and I lean forward, holding my breath. We’re about to find out the final two, unless there’s some freaky, unforeseen twist out of left field. But that would never happen. Pffft.

Amanda is called first because being my new imaginary best friend clearly makes good things happen.

It’s down to just Sophie and Kelsey – Sophie is told that she’s embraced the professional model within and let go of Barbie, but may be too commercial-looking. Kelsey learns that she’s a natural-born model with great instincts, but that she’s still a short-arse.

Eight thousand, billion-ka-zillion years pass, and…

THEY’RE BOTH IN, MAMA! Unforeseen! Freaky! An unprecedented top three!

The best part? It’s totally up to us to vote for the winner. We have the power. We have the suffrage. We have the massive, fifteen-page phone bills. And I would never, ever try to influence that vote, because I know you’re perfectly capable of making up your own minds, and my omnipotence is clearly just a figure of my imagination. I would never try to subliminally influence you.
Next week, FINALE FINALE FINALE!!!! I am equal parts excited, sad, and going.

The wonderful, generous people at Foxtel have again been nice enough to throw me a ticket, which can only mean:

• That they’d better stock the bar and stock it good, because I’ll need something to drink and Kathryn will need something to throw in my face for relentlessly mentioning her pimples;
• That I don’t even really need to worry about what to wear, because I’ll be in a room full of gorgeous girls and gay men; and
• That I won’t have next week’s recap up until well into the following afternoon, and it will be a steaming pile of hung-over horse poop. Seriously. I’m not even sure it’ll be in English.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Every Day For A Year #8

(If this would make more sense with a bit of background, catch up here. If you're not too fussy about things making sense and you like death metal and snacks, perhaps this might be more up your alley).

One of the things I'm enjoying about my mate Frosty's daily photographic snappery is that it makes questions like this possible:

What do letterboxes, business shirts, Eastern mysticism and Norman Bates have in common?

If you answered "They're all matured in oak barrels", then you'd be wrong, but we should definitely party sometime.

If, on the other hand, you answered "They're all in some way related to things Frosty's seen over the last couple of weeks", then you've fully grasped the completely obvious premise I've been steering you towards since you started reading. Whaddaya want, a prize?!

I should probably also mention that Frosty's in an ace band called Sierra Fin, and they're on the verge of releasing their first single, "Lost Man's Lie". Pretty sure they're doing that because it's my favourite of all their choons. The world revolves around me, right? Do your ears a favour here.

When you're done, feel free to drink in the compositionally-sublime rectangles below. And then maybe buy me a drink.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series Six #9

I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. The history, the technology, the food, the cherry blossoms, the karaoke, the sake, the drunk businessmen, the opportunity to be whispered at by Bill Murray – it all just seems enchanting and exciting.

Except for Hello Kitty. She kind of shits me, and not just because I think she and Sophie use the same lip-liner.

Anyway, I love almost everything about Japan.

And now that I also know that if you dress like a whore you can win a competition, I’m totally applying for citizenship. Hand me a hot bottle and fry me some gyoza - It’s the ‘Shibuya Think I’m Sexy’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Konichiwa, bitches.

Skin-Tight Budget

• Now, I don’t really know the lay of the land in Tokyo, so I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the modules spent a total of about fourteen hours there, and covered a six-block radius. Just arrived in Tokyo? Make your first touristy activity holding hands and crossing the road! A big night out in Tokyo? Walk up some stairs, write a wish on a piece of paper, and stick it on a tree! So hardcore, Ke$ha may just write a song about it.

• The girls are excited about the high level of luxury in their hotel, noting particularly that they were greeted with flowers and had a personal escort to their room. Yep. Flowers and people. Both pretty rare commodities in ol’ Japan.

Me Talky Proper And That
• Jessica is a little nervous about the trip to Japan, as she’s not overly familiar with the language or culture. To camera, she says “Alright – this is what I know about Japan”, and then does this:

She knows they give brow jobs.
 • Amanda does know a little about Japan (because of the whole being awesome thing, presumably) and learnt a lot about it from this book:

Chapter 5; Ferratio.

 Which is such a coincidence – I have that same book in English!

• When the scrags arrive in Japan, they’re stunned by the appearance of a fan club of sorts – excited by their presence, jumping up and down and taking endless photographs. Kelsey remarks that “It kind of felt like the Pussycat Dolls, like, getting off a plane”. Except, y’know – relevant. And discernable from hookers. Jess adds: “After we said goodbye to our groupies – sayonara – we jumped on a bus”. You jumped on a bus? YOU’RE JUST LIKE GODZILLA.

• Speaking of which, when the girls get off the bus and mingle amongst locals at a pedestrian crossing in Shibuya, Jess says “my worst nightmare came true, because I’m like Godzilla among these people”. Babe, Godzilla eats cities. You eat salad. Maybe.


A photo-shoot as a challenge? Japan is so WACKY.

• Our modules rock up to a traditional Japanese house and garden in Musashino and meet photographer Tomohisa Tobitsuka, because syllables are awesome. Also awesome? Editors making it look like Tomohisa Tobitsuka arrives via Star Trek transporter. It’s entirely unnecessary, yet indescribably amazing, just like cheeseburgers in a can.

• Tomohisa Tobitsuka (I just can’t type that enough, I tell ya) introduces himself in Japanese, including asking the girls to call him ‘Toby’. Jess says “He introduced himself, I think”. Hmmm. Every person you’ve met in the last nine weeks has started off by introducing themselves. Even the lint wedged into the far corner of my doona cover knows he was introducing himself. Happily, Toby has an interpreter and subtitles. Let. It. Begin.

• The challenge is all about handling a photo shoot in another language, and the theme is ‘traditional Japanese with a modern twist’. It starts off with Toby saying “Okay, ret’s shooting!”. I full stop. Love full stop. This full stop. Show exclamation mark.

• Kelsey, with conical hair, pink eyes and a po-mo-kimono, looks amazing. Her directions from Toby? “Move your face only”, and “Make your feet and the clothes look good”. Your pancreas can do whatever it likes, though.

• Sophie has a corset, a rag-doll skirt and a number of extra chrysanthemum heads. Toby asks her to pose like a Japanese lady, with “more like a modest feeling”, and she mentions that she doesn’t know how, perhaps because she guesses correctly that modesty doesn’t usually wear dresses with chains on them. And there’s that being-able-to-tell-the-difference-between-Japan-and-China thing. Then Toby makes my year by directing her to “look into the future”. Sophie says this is easy, because she used to attend a hippie school at which they hugged trees, and presumably ate a lot of mushrooms.
I looked into the future, and I saw my boobs falling out.

 Jess, in a blue frock with a fan in her hair, looks stiff and nervous, and has trouble relaxing and understanding whatever the hell Toby is saying. He tries to relax her by getting rid of the interpreter, directing her to say “ha!” and asking her what she had for breakfast. She answers “Japanese food”, which is like Gandhi answering “air” to the same question or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like Anna Nicole Smith answering “Quaaludes”. If she wasn’t dead, obviously.

• Amanda has a gorgeous red kimono and a massive circle of hair, and looks positively MELTY, even after she actually starts melting in the hot room. Toby keeps asking her to “be like a flower”, which she has trouble with, insisting that she doesn’t know how to be like a flower. Babe, Sophie had to look into the future, and Jess had to say “ha”. SUCK IT UP AND BE A FRIGGING FLOWER. PS: I hope we can still be besties.


This weeks challenge would win a challenge to find the best challenge in the history of challenges ever.

• So apparently, “Kawaii” means “everything cute”.


• The scrags visit Kawaii Fashion TV, where a bunch of adorable midgets in fancy dress welcome them. YAY! The head midget, named Yu (whose surname I can only presume is ‘By Kotex’) reads from cue cards with the helpful subtitles: TODAY’S THEME FOR YOU IS A CHALLENGE WITH TOKYO KAWAII FASHION. EACH OF YOU WILL BE PAIRED UP WITH A KAWAII EXPERT AND SPEND THE WHOLE DAY CLOTHES SHOPPING AND HAVE YOUR MAKE UP DONE. Modelling is so hard, you guys. Sophie comments that “When we found out, we were just over the moon, cause it’s something that you would never do”. Shopping and having your make-up done? Japanese culture is so weird, you guys. YAY!

• Each girl is given a different kind of fashion subculture to emulate (YAY!), and are then pitted against each other in a catwalk show judged by fashion students. Jessica, with midget Hikari, will represent ‘school girl uniform fashion’. She says to camera that we don’t really have that kind of thing in Australia, because “Once you leave school, that’s pretty much it for the uniforms”. Oh yeah? Tell that to the contestants who have been eliminated already.

 Jess’s expert is concerned about her size. She doesn’t think she’s fat. She just thinks her head is way, way too far from the ground.

Like Godzirra.

After eliminating any clothing items that appear to be ‘too genius’, Jess ends up looking exactly like a school girl. Or maybe a Surry Hills hipster. I just can’t tell the difference between those crazy kids!

• Amanda will be representing ‘Japanese Gal Fashion’, ably assisted by Yunkoro. Yunkoro doesn’t know what the fuck that is, either. We soon find out, though. It means dressing up like a whore. PS: GIVE ME THOSE BOOTS.

• Sophie is ‘fairy fashion’, assisted by Yu By Kotex. After trying on “heaps of poofy skirts”, she ends up with plaits, legwarmers, a frilly skirt, and soft toys stapled all over her body and head. I’ll wait while you read that sentence again, and perhaps get it bronzed.

• Kelsey, assisted by midget Misako, will be representing ‘Lolita fashion’. Trust me on this – it’s awesome. Oh, it’s so awesome. They visit a shop called Baby The Stars Shine Bright, which Kelsey describes as “walking into a doll’s wardrobe”. I agree, as long as your dolls are Chucky and Bride of Chucky. Creeps me out, mama. She tries on every pink, high-collared, frilly dress in the world, but Misako has trouble deciding whether to top it all with bunny ears or Mary-of-Had-A-Little-Lamb fame’s lacy bonnet. She finally decides on the bunny ears, and a relieved Kelsey comments “If I’d got that bonnet, I would’ve felt like a bit of a fool”.

Because not looking like a fool is so hot right now.

• The modules go back to the studio for hair and make-up, and try to keep straight faces when they see each other in all their wacky finery. Kelsey says, responsibly, “We couldn’t really laugh, because we didn’t want to be offensive.

Being inoffensive: You're doing it wrong.

• After a quick bout of catwalk training including the glorious phrase “please jump like a rabbit at some point”, the girls flounce down the runway fuelled by Ritalin and the knowledge that it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m still working out how to get urine and tears out of my couch cushions. Whilst the fashion students are voting, Yu By Kotex is subtitled: WE ARE WAITING FOR THE ELECTION RESULTS AND MY HEART IS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH, and HOPEFULLY SOPHIE WILL WIN SO WE CAN HUG EACH OTHER. Careful, Yu By Kotex. You’re only little. She could totally swallow you whole.

• Amanda wins the challenge, because even dressed as a five dollar prostitute, the awesome shines like a beacon. Her prize is the bonnet. All the midgets cry when they have to say goodbye to the girls. I love this show.


• Can we talk about Sophie for a second? It took me a long, long time to warm to this girl. I don’t know if I was originally put off by her flesh-coloured mouth, her endless array of dresses with metal on them, her resin-coated shell-hair, or her inability to pronounce the letter ‘L’, but I’m going to say it – I kind of love her. And the reasons are these.


Reason 1: Her head is consistently and utterly wrong.
No hat will help your hair. Not even Jake Elwood's.
Reason 2: Her mouth is consistently and utterly open.
Her dentist can give her a check-up from an adjacent suburb.

Reason 3: She doesn’t really fit in, but still manages to rock stuff, just like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing.
I carried a watermelon.

Reason 4: All of her clothing has metal on it. All of it.

When Sophie dies, if she's buried with all her favourite dresses, the world will tilt.

Reason 5: This.

What the how.

The main thing you need to know about this week’s photo shoot is that Chest Smith is the photographer, and it’s humid enough for him to be wearing a singlet over his sweaty mounds.

• When Chest arrives at the scrags’ hotel, he tells them that they’ll be doing an avant-garde fashion shoot in the middle of Tokyo, and that they have to choose whether they wear the clothes, or the clothes wear them. It’s a pretty important decision, I think. Each shot is a long exposure, so the girls have to stay absolutely still, even staggering under the weight of the amazeballs outfits that Jason the stylist chooses for them.

• Sophie has high hair thanks to a pair of coiffure chopsticks, a black fur collar, and two thirds of her bazonks exposed (she can see into the future!). She looks incredible, although Chest says “she got confused with the idea of holding the pose” (because that shit is totally like calculus, man), and Jason says “We were on a pedestrian crossing, and she was pushing a little bit of a pedestrian pose” (because ZING!).

• Kelsey’s hair is piled atop her short head, and she wears a black dress with a massive fur collar. She kicks absolute arse. In a good way.

• Jess has to stand on top of a van in a dress I absolutely need to own in the next five minutes or I will die. She has trouble staying still, and doesn’t rock it as hard as she ought. She says to camera “If I don’t make it through to the top three, I’m gonna kill Jez”. Please reserve his pectorals for their rightful taxidermic place on my mantelpiece.

• Amanda has a fauxhawk with a white fur collar, an excellent attitude, and the gushing praise of photographer and stylist. Even though the resulting photo isn’t the pinnacle of her career so far, I still find it difficult to express how I feel about this girl. So I’m going to leave it to Barry Manilow. My platonic non-gay love for you wears a sequinned vest and an electric blue body shirt. Yes, it does.

• After the shoot, the girls decide to spend their last few hours in Tokyo visiting a wishing tree, which is actually quite emotional and gorgeous – they write wishes on pieces of paper and pin them to trees as part of the annual Tanabata festival. Jess tears up as she wishes for her family’s health, and Sophie claims that the ritual touched her heart. It’s pure. It’s calm. It’s dignified. It’s not interesting. I know it should be, but I’m momentarily distracted by the original settings on my phone.


Presumably again using the Star Trek transporter, the modules are suddenly back in the Sydney Eliminarium, all dressed as four year olds who get drunk and raid the dress-up box.

Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after a gig as guest speaker at the International See The Future Seminar, says “Konichiwa” and then introduces the judges. Guest judge is Doll Wright from Elite New York, Shiny Alex Perry clearly enjoyed last week’s shirt and tie so much that he’s had them glued on (like his sunglasses, years ago), Chest Smith can wear whatever he likes because he’s already been seen sweaty in a singlet, and Charlotte Dawson’s forehead is expecting to graduate from high school any day now.

Saint Sarah enunciates through the prizes, which I think this year include a sprig of parsley and a single ice skate, and then, together with the judges, gets on with the weekly task of shattering dreams. Photos are pored over and deliberation occurs, with more than enough nuggets of excellence to keep my sushi fresh:

• Charlotte, as impressed as everybody with Chest’s photographs, calls him a good boy and strokes his arm. GET OUT OF MY SUBCONSCIOUS, DAWSON.

• About Jess’s lesson photo, Charlotte comments “I just think your face is dead”. Hello, pot? Phone call for you. It’s the kettle.

• Sophie is wearing a tutu. Your argument is invalid.

• Of Sophie’s photos, Saint Sarah says “Oh my god. Is this the Avon lady Lego-head we had in the first episode?”. It’s episode NINE, Saint Sarah. WELCOME TO ZING-TOWN. Jez says “Lose the stiffness, and you’ll go all the way”. Charlotte adds “Even in that stupid outfit”. GET OUT OF MY SUBCONSCIOUS, DAWSON.

• Amanda’s photo isn’t popular, and Charlotte suggest that she “looks like a bloated baby swathed in fur”. Despite us all knowing exactly what that looks like, Shiny Alex Perry suggests that she’s being a bit harsh. When Perry suggests you’ve crossed a line, you’ve probably pretty much crossed a line.

• Dawson dubs Kelsey an ‘S.S.S.’, which apparently stands for “Sexy, Sultry, Shortass”. I dub Dawson an ‘S.P’, which stands for “Sarcastic Plastic”.

The girls file back in, and Saint Sarah calls out a whole two names until only Jess and Amanda remain. Jess is told that her photo is incredible, but that she may not be right for the market at the moment. Amanda learns that she had a great week, but a crap photo.

Two nanoseconds pass, and Jess is pushed off the cliff. Kersplash!

Bye, Jess. I’ll sincerely miss you. Make sure you remember to come over to my house for tequila shots and unnecessary sarcasm on your way out! No, seriously. Thursday good for you?

Next week, there's a fancy do, a magazine shoot, and we find out who the final two are. Lah-di-dah. Harpers Bazaar. One step closer to winning a car.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series Six #8

You know what life, this show, the modelling industry and tampons all have in common? There’s always strings attached. Just because cheese is made from angel tears doesn’t mean it isn’t packed full of fat. Just because it’s your birthday, it doesn’t mean you’ll win a modelling challenge. Just because you’re good at commercial shoots, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do editorial. And just because... well, I’m sure you’re familiar with the tampon thing. And if you’re not, then I’m guessing that watching girls swinging from a vine in a studio will remind you.

Buckle up your harness – it’s the ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing, It’s A Scrag On A String’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.

Skin-Tight Budget
What, you could only find a sixteen million dollar yacht for this week’s photo shoot, image scouts? Pffft.

Me Talky Proper And That
• In the Joanna-elimination aftermath, Sssophie says to camera “With Jo gone, there’s now only five of us. It feels so weird to even say that. Five”. Sssophie has never counted that high before.

• Shiny Alex Perry is concerned that the modules are not progressing as they should, saying “It’s week 8 of the competition – walks are meant to be perfect, and they’re not. And I think that’s a modern-day tragedy”. Yep. It’s right up there with global warming, oil spills and shrinking panda habitats. THIS IS NOT A CRYING PROBLEM, SHINY ALEX.

• The scrags get an early morning Sarah Mail which mentions something about being in public. Jessica is nervous, saying “It sounds really scary to me, because I hate having lots of people staring at me”. Um… guess what happens when you’re a model, lovey? That’s like Cindy Sherman saying she doesn’t like self-portraits, or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like Charmyne Palavi saying she doesn’t like fake tans or UTIs. Sssophie, in turn, takes dictation for Captain Obvious, saying “Oh my god, they’re gonna be judging us”. An earthworm at the bottom of a compost heap in a rainy garden in Tasmania stops eating last week’s zucchini for a second, looks up and says “You think?!”.

• Josh Flinn, in highly necessary leather half-gloves, meets the girls at Swissotel and tells them that they’ll be taking part in a very public runway parade through the streets of Sydney. So basically they’ll be dressed up in flowiness and turbans and taking a five kilometre wander down to Circular Quay and back, stopping to pose at the traffic lights. This is only not awesome if you’ve just had a stroke, and even then you could still appreciate it with your one good eye. I love this show.

• Hidden away in a white van, watching, are “Covert Agents” Shiny Alex Perry and Uber-Model Anneliese Seubert, whose surname is pronounced “Soy-bert”, which makes me kind of want some dairy-free ice cream. There are ill-fitting shoes, stumbles, stacks, bad posture, Kelsey thinking that sitting on the ground is a catwalk pose, and massive, wincing amounts of pain. All of which means just one thing – hot, burning amazing. And a zinger or two:

o Anneliese about Kelsey: “Are they going to shuffle around so we don’t have to look at her the whole time?”. ZING!

o Shiny Alex about Kathryn, who walks like she’s chewing a Mintie with her buttocks: “She’s invented a new walk – she’s not doing the pony, she’s doing the camel!” KA-ZING-CHING!

o Shiny Alex calls Amanda “filler”. Anneliese says she’s “not bad enough to comment on, not good enough to notice”. IT BURRRRNS.

o When Kathryn changes into her own shoes, Shiny Alex disapproves, with “You don’t turn up to like, Christian Dior and say 'yeah thanks, but I’ve brought my own shoes with me”. WOULD YOU LIKE TO ZING ON A STAR.

o Anneliese thinks Kelsey looks bored, and says “You’ve got to have animation in your face, otherwise it’s so boring to look at”.

I see what you mean.
• After the modules return to the hotel, the Covert Agents get them to walk up and down the room, giving them a technique critique. Now, I know that watching girls who have just walked for two hours outdoors keep walking indoors may sound interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by the surname ‘Smith’.

• Back at the house, the girls soak their poor, tired, blistered feet and discuss the pain. On the phone, Jess tells her boyfriend “I swear to god, the blisters on my feet are like little moons. Little moons doing their little... what do moons do?” Her boyfriend helpfully offers: “Orbit”. “Orbit!”, cries Jess. “They’re like moons orbiting my feet!”. If that’s true, I think they may have picked up some aliens along the way, because… um…
That shit ain't right.

• About two seconds later, the Best Editors In The World offer a useful comparison.

Just like a blister.
• This week’s challenge happens at B2 studios (named after Josh’s previous career as a fruit), which excites Jess because they have heated toilet seats. Bitch totally has her priorities in order. The girls are met by Monty Noble’s teeth, followed immediately by the rest of Monty Noble, who will be directing a print campaign for Platinum by Kotex, which is a fancy way of saying 'tampons'. Josh says some stuff, but he’s wearing acid-wash, so I can’t hear him over the sound of my eyes screaming. The winner of the challenge will get national exposure, ensuring that they will henceforth be known as ‘That Tampon Girl’.

• Can I just say, right, that I’m not entirely sure that swinging on a vine suspended from the ceiling is a far-enough-away visual in an ad for tampons from the whole tampons-have-strings thing. Aaaand now I’ll stop saying ‘tampon’.

• The set and every single girl looks utterly gorgeous, and despite it being difficult to hang on to the vine and look glamorous, everybody manages to.

o Kelsey rocks it. Kelsey does this with almost irritating frequency.

o Monty tells Kathryn, whose 21st birthday it is today, that it might be a nice birthday present for her if she won the challenge. A national print campaign forever associating her with periods? I think maybe she’d prefer a car.

o The hanging-on strain shows on Jess’s face, Sophie gets a long blonde wig to wear, and Amanda can’t keep the vine steady. She says “I’m trying to like, jerk it around, but it just wasn’t happening for me”.
Okay, so:
a) If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said that, I could buy Kathryn a car; and
b) When you say that, it’s perhaps best not to do this at the same time.
Make no mistake. I'm talking about penis.
• Kelsey wins the challenge. Happy Birthday, Kathryn!

• When Amanda isn’t being awesome or talking about crapping herself, she’s generally just using the phrase “a big wet fish to the face”. After Joanna was eliminated last week, she left just that – a big wet fish – in Amanda’s bed. SHE’S THE CODFATHER, YOU GUYS. Kelsey dutifully slaps herself in the face with it, partly because I made that joke.
I'm gonna make you a snapper you can't refuse.
• If Sssophie doesn’t become a fashion model, she should still be able to find work as the inspiration for a line of inflatable life-partners. Just saying.

Or maybe one of those amusement park clowns you put ping-pong balls into. In like, a non-Thailand kind of way.
• For Kathryn’s birthday, the modules go out to The Rum Diaries for a drink, dressed as the girls from Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love video.

Your lights are awwwwn. But you're not hooooome.
Robert Palmer is nowhere to be found, but in my industrious and glamorous research for this excellent, non-lame joke, I did find something spooky.

• The morning after their night out, the girls lounge around the Module Mansion, when Kelsey narrates “We were all sitting ‘round, and we heard a bit of a ring!”. Yeah, that happens to me after drinking rum, too. Pardon me. It turns out to be a Sarah Mail with a quote from Coco Chanel in it. Everyone has heard of Coco Chanel, which makes me kind of miss Brittney at this point. I’m sure she would have been excited, because Coco Chanel is totally her favourite breakfast cereal.

• The photo-shoot this week is all about high-end labels on a posh yacht, supervised by Saint Sarah and photographed by Georges Antoni, who maintains this series’ general theme of Photographer Hotness, albeit in miniature form. Our scrags rock up to the wharf ready to wear designs by Armani, Gucci, Hermes, Bally and Burberry, and if any of those designers are watching, they are doing so with dread. Because of this.

• I learned a lot about high-end fashion during this shoot, namely:
o That high-end fashion shoots haven’t changed one bit since I used to flick through my mother’s copies of Vogue;
o That slicked-back buns are not everyone’s friend; and
o That rich women sure do like to wear brown.

• Jess wears Bally and looks amazing during the shoot, but not so much in the final photographs.

• Amanda, despite feeling desperately seasick (and may I thank you for that image of her retching, darling editors), completely rocks her shit backwards sprawled on the deck in a ruched Burberry number and thigh-high boots. Georges asks her to imagine she’s a “snake, like an S-bend”. High-falutin’ fashion shoot? Just pretend you’re a toilet.

• In an eleven-thousand-dollar Hermes frock, Kathryn does her usual trick of being completely and suddenly dribble-worthily stunning as soon as she’s in the lens. I’m going to say it, and I’m going to hate myself for it, but – THE CAMERA LOVES HER.

• Sssophie, she who hates her short hair because she thinks it makes her look masculine, is given an Armani men’s-style suit to wear, because this show can drink tequila out of my belly button any time it likes. She says to camera that she needs to find the balance between strength and being “fenimum”. Truth be told, she completely kicks the shoot’s ever-lovin’ arse, right between the buttocks. A bonus?

• Kelsey doesn’t do so well in her Gucci dress, having trouble getting the right kind of expression into her face and eyes. Both Sarah and Georges call her ‘blank’, and tell her she looks like she’s in an 80s catalogue. Guys. Seriously. She’s got slicked back hair, big earrings, and a leopard-print dress with big shoulders, buckles and a pencil skirt. She’s an 80s catalogue folded up in the pocket of a Choose Life t-shirt next to a Walkman playing a ‘Best Of The 80s’ cassette.

It’s finally arse-kicking time again, and the scrags gather in the Eliminarium, where they’re met by Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after distributing Band-Aids to patients in the Blisters That Are Totally Like Orbiting Moons Ward at St Vincent’s. She rattles through the prizes, which I think this year include a USB stick and a handful of grapes, and then introduces the judges. Guest judge Anneliese Seubert is there, as is Alex Perry, dressed in all black. YOU’LL NEVER BE A NINJA, ALEX, YOU’RE TOO SHINY. Chest Smith loses points for not having enough buttons undone on his shirt, but wins some back for clinginess. Charlotte Dawson raises her eyebrows at the girls – no mean feat when you have barely any movement in your face. Her secret lies in clenching her buttocks at just the right moment.

Photos are poked through and the judges deliberate, with a smattering of topsness:

• Shiny Alex invents two new superlatives in the TOUCHDOWN hierarchy, being “Expensive to the extreme”, and “Expensive in a league of its own”. Stay tuned next week, when he comes up with “Expensive times a billion plus one turbo”.

• About Jessica’s yacht shot, Shiny Alex remarks “That’s just not the angle for your head. You look like a little turtle poking out of its shell”. Yeah. Around my house, that’s a euphemism for poo. He adds “And I say that in the cutest way possible”. Yeah. Still about poo.

• When Kathryn’s amazing shot is flashed up on the screen, Charlotte says “Holy shit, I’m gonna swear!”. But she never does.

• The judges ignore the fact that Sophie has worn yet another chain dress (meaning she has two, which is like, three too many), and instead praise her hair. As Dawson says “I wouldn’t usually recommend that a young lady go out and get a shag, but that’s what you’ve done”.

• Of Sophie’s blokey suit shot, Shiny Alex comments that “It’s the most fabulous stiffness that I’ve ever seen in my life”. IT IS THE MOST FABULOUS STIFFNESS THAT HE HAS EVER SEEN IN HIS LIFE. And you know what this is?

 That is me leaving that comment the Fuck. Alone.

The scrags return to the room, and Saint Sarah doles out photos until only Kelsey and Kathryn remain. Yes. The two girls who performed the best in the challenge. The moral to this story is: Don’t do well if you’re swinging on a vine in a long frock advertising feminine hygiene products. Because I know you were about to. TAKE HEED.

Kathryn is told she takes great photographs, but that her walk is fifteen kinds of wrong. Kelsey learns that she is living in a material world, but she’s not an editorial girl.

Three luxury yachts pass, and Kathryn is pushed off the cliff. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATHRYN!

Bye, pretty girl. Mind your shoe doesn’t fall off on your way ou… oh.

Next week, the modules are off to Japan. Like, in a plane and everything. Fly. High. Kanpai!