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Friday, January 22, 2010

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series 6 - Audition Me, Baby.

On Saturday January 16th, auditions for Series 6 of Australia’s Next Top Model started at Westfield Parramatta.

This was excruciatingly exciting for me for two reasons:

1. Unless this is your first visit here, or you’ve been living under a rock made out of much, much more important and relevant things, I am spastically in lust with the entire Top Model franchise, and hope one day to marry it. Our babies will be tall and stupid and punch walls and get nose-bleeds. It will be excellent. Excellent and sexy.

2. For the first time, the Sydney cattle-call fell on a weekend rather than a weekday, so I was able to attend.

And attend, it’s fair to say, I did. In fact, I auditioned. I hauled my size ten-to-twelve, late-thirties, mildly-pleasant-looking-but-nothing-special arse out to Parramatta and lined up with hundreds of tiny wee gazelle-y things straight from either school or outer space.

The experience was very, very educational. Here’s what I learned:

· That Top Model auditions contain lots and lots of shoes I want, worn by people who don’t deserve them as much as I do.

· That if being looked up-and-down with judgement and disdain was chocolate, Westfield Parramatta is the Wonka family crypt.

· That the hilarity of desperate stage mothers never, ever gets old, unlike the stage mothers themselves.

· That given the right motivation, I can keep a straight face under any circumstances.

· That if my red boots and my moonwalk were both in a competition for The Best Thing Western Sydney Has Ever Seen Ever, it would be a tie.

Don’t take my word for it. TAKE A CURRENT AFFAIR’S WORD FOR IT. Because everybody knows that everything you see on A Current Affair is true. Except for that deluded bitch at the end of the clip. What a wanker.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Punchy Punchy Chronicles - THE FINALE

Okay, so this final recap of The Contender will be a little different to my previous efforts. And by that, I mean it will be unmitigated rubbish.

See, normally I sit down with a nutritious meal, a helpful beverage, my laptop and a number of leisurely, quiet hours in front of me. I eat, I drink, I tap, I think, I take sneaky screen grabs.
But last night, I actually went to the Sydney Entertainment Centre to see the fight (thank you, oh benevolent TV types). Let’s see the difference:

Nutritious Meal: FAIL. The mini meat pies in the secret room where drinks were free (I will always find the secret room where the drinks are free) were delicious, and I will be saving the streak of gravy I spilled on my top as a souvenir, but nutritious? No.

Helpful Beverage: WIN. Win plural. Win myself a couple of new kidneys.

Laptop: FAIL. I started scribbling notes on a highly technological piece of paper, but that made it impossible to concentrate on proceedings, and given that I only have two hands - one of which was holding a beer and the other of which was clamped over my mouth with amazement – I figured I should get my manual priorities in order. Just like life.

Leisurely Quiet Hours: Are you f*cking serious?

So. Y’know. Don’t expect much.

The Philosophy Of Hitting Blokes And That

I managed an in-depth interview with all of the Contender boxers who weren’t fighting that night. Well, I spoke to a number of them briefly, including the hosts. Oh, okay, I mumbled a couple of things under my breath and may or may not have been overheard.
Exclusive boxer soundbytes below.

Daniel & Israel: “G’day”.

Josh: “Anyone know where the gents is?”.

Victor: “Blog? What is ‘blog’?”

Les: “Blaaaaaaaah! Chantelle Dawson! Blaaaaaaaah!”

Charlotte Dawson: Something about boob tape.

Sonni: “My man! My woman! I just shake hands with you, man. I have a piece of paper say I not go near the woman. BOOYAKA!! BOO! BOO! BOO! BOOYAKA!”.


The challenge was keeping my eye on the boxing ring instead of just checking out everyone in the audience. For a while there it looked like hairdressing would come out in front (the variety!), with multicoloured fingernails coming up the rear (Oh. I see how that sounds now. Ouch), threatening the mastery of That’s Really Quite A Lot Of Tattoos, Sir, but it was seriously too close to call.

Of course, the real winner was Ed Hardy.



Oh, Nader. You’re a Knight In White Satin with a waxed chest. It may not necessarily be noble, but it totally works.

Oh, Junior. You so sparkly.

Oh, Garth. Nice haircut. Good to see you get some new eye-work, as well.

Aaaaah, Kariz. It will only be a shame if you get modelling work out of this if they insist on putting clothes on you.

OH SONNI. If someone had just told me you’d worn a leopard-skin suit that looked like it had actually been mauled by leopards AND a wooden mask WITH DREADLOCKS, I would have assumed it was a dream. An incredible, jungle-esque, batshit-crazy dream. BUT NO! I have proof. Fuzzy, black-and-white, didn’t-get-the-mask-in-shot, why-are-my-eyes-glowing proof.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight. On Sonni's jacket.

KOs and OKs

Did I blink, or did Nader and Junior’s grudge match only last as long as Bindi Irwin’s Greatest Hits album? See, apparently if there’s a head clash within the first three rounds of the fight, and there’s a crescent moon, a light westerly wind, enough polyester-cotton in the room and the blood drops from one of the boxer’s faces makes a pattern that looks ike a monkey riding a bicycle on the floor of the ring, it’s a technical draw and they stop the fight.

It’s true. I looked it up.

Punchy Punchy

It might have been the contact high from all the (awesome) testosterone in the room, it might have been the culmination of eleven weeks of build-up, or it might have been the way the stadium lighting glittered elegantly off Kariz’s abdominal muscles, but hot damn, I loved this fight. Garth got low and close to counteract Kariz’s reach, Kariz kept up with relentless body-shots in the clinch, and eventu – OH MY GOD, THERE’S TAHNEE FROM AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. Girl just cannot keep away from blood at a Foxtel finale.

Despite being the underdog (or underbunny, more correctly), Garth emerged victorious, said something about starring in a feature film and winning an Oscar, accepted his gigantic novelty cheque from Charlotte Dawson, and no doubt went out to get irreversibly stonkered.

Nice one, Garfus.

So that’s it! I must say that between the incredible personalities, buff gods and questionable eating habits on the screen, the criminally heated and riotous goings-on on the Contender facebook page, the outstandingly generous and hilarious people I’ve met from the show and those little mini-pizzas with feta and olives on them, it’s been a hell of a ride.
Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Shebangabang's Next Top Model - THE FINALE

I can’t believe this is the last episode.

Look at where we’ve been! (Oh. New Zealand. Exotic. I guess).

Look at what we’ve worn! (But maybe sort of overlook the dead pheasant head-dress, the inflated laundry bag, the Michael Hill watches, the purple bra, the jean-printed leggings, the recycled sequined dre... okay, forget everything except maybe the mascara and the socks).

Look at what we’ve learned!
a) How to pronounce every word in the New Zealand language;
b) How to dress like Jackie Onassis and my grandmother;
c) That Colin Hyphenated-Surname can be both the best thing on the planet and the main killer of my eyes and life all at once. That’s multi-tasking television royalty, that is.

The Judges.

Sara Tetro
Oh, Sara. At various times in this episode, you were wearing some kind of purple manchester item, a doily, and a prim, almost cartoon-esque number. I can’t pinpoint exactly who the cartoon frock reminds me of, but I’ve got a great suggestion for a guy you might want to start hanging out with...

I yam what I yam, Frumsky! A-gig-gig-gig-gig-gig-gig.

Chris Sisarich
Chris, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for maintaining an unprecedented level of moist over the last three months. In fact, I have a prize for you. It will be ready as soon as I have it mounted. By you, preferably.

Colin Mathura-Jefree
Oh, Colin Hyphenated-Surname. I hope you know how much you’ve meant to me during this series. I could never get rid of my weekly build-up of phlegm if it were not for the opportunity to shout “NO! WHAT ARE YOU... HOW DID YOU... IM BLIND! BLIND, I SAY!” at my television screen.

And this week is no different. Not only do you front up at The Wharf dressed first as Mary-Ann then as Thurston Howell from Glligan’s Island, at the first elimination you reek magnificence and mothballs as Ali Gaga And The Forty Divas.

Wait, I think I have a picture of it here somewhere...

Trelise Cooper
I know, I know, I don’t usually mention the guest judges, but I’ve finally figured out where I’ve seen Trelise Cooper before.

It’s Glenda, Good Witch Of The North Island.

The Icksint

Are you guys going to be okay? Like, without me letting you know how to translate New Zealandish? Or has my persistence in banging out basically the same vowel-based jokes every week become predictable and lame? Wait. Don’t answer that.

Feshion Spictekular – A cetwalk parade in a two-level waterfront silo.

Cettiness – see: “Buchiness”.

Buchiness – see: “Cetiness

Near-vuss – What modules feel before their final cetwalk show.

Banana Splut – A dish that is planned for dessert right before the best thing in the world happens.

Lemungton - Bakery item that is thrown with considerable force in order to become an integral part of the best thing in the world.

Peer-spix - a real bugger to walk on without slupping.

Budgetirry Lumutations

• All the monetary stops are pulled out for the deciding catwalk show, and high-end models are sourced from all over the world to help Christobelle and Laura strut their final stuff. Well, middle-level models from the Antipodes. Well, girls with a couple of years' experience from Wellington. Oh, okay, all the eliminated models from previous episodes before their contract options run out. Paying people is for losers.

• That’s it. We’re completely out of money. There is nothing left in the budget to pay for back-combing, hairspray or new clothing for the final Eliminarium, therefore Sara will look borderline human, and Colin will be dressed in his pyjamas. Wait – Sara, we just found a lace doily under a vase in the foyer of the hotel – go nuts.

Bist Buts.

• The photographs from the Cleo shoot are universally amazing, however the actual outfits are a bit hut end muss. All the major soap operas are represented – Dallas, Dynasty, and Debbie Does Dallas. It’s thorough, is what it is. As is Laura’s “I’m in a fringed dress and these veins on my legs are the road map to my undies” pose. It’s heaps editorial, ay. Alternatively, on the commercial side of life, we have Ho(sanna), who waves the top of her body around like a flag on the back of the town bike.

• Ho(sanna), can you guess what happens to people who borrow their blouse and cardigan from a librarian for an elimination? That’s right. Bye.

• When the two finalists sit down to eat their last supper, Colin arrives unexpectedly with a tray full of lamingtons, which he then proceeds to peg at the girls in a frenzied flurry of coconut and my-life-is-now-complete. He chases them. CHASES THEM. Christobelle complains that “They hurt. They were like, hard lamingtons”. Anyone whose soul isn’t buoyed by the sight of a man throwing cake at models can go stand in the corner.

Then, almost entirely without fanfare or minimum-level production values, we find out who the winner is. It’s the most predictable thing since the discovery of any other piece of information that’s been freely available on Wikipedia since early June.

It’s Christobelle. Der.

So, well, I guess it’s E haere ra everybody. It’s been one hell of a ride, and I can’t say that my life isn’t better for it. Like, I know that compared to say, the number of starving people in the world, this show isn’t that important, but if you figure that about two percent of those people are actually models, it makes sense.

Life. Changing. Television.

And a mad bitch in a turban.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Punchy Punchy Chronicles: Volume 10

Wow. Just.... wow. The first fight in this episode of The Contender was, in the words of The Trainer Who Talks Like He’s Drunk, “A rill ballderrer”. To paraphrase Garth and Mr Beardy, though, I’m calling the whole episode “Punches In Bunches”.

However I describe it, though, I have come to one startling and completely unexpected realisation, likely to cause shockwaves in my psyche for decades to come, and change my own outlook and that of my friends and family forever.

I... I’m kind of into boxing now.

There. I said it.

The Philosophy Of Hitting Blokes And That

How am I going to learn about life when this show is over? Who will summarise the complexities of the universe in single, badly constructed sentences? How will I know to add the phrase “and that” to the end of everything I say, and refer to myself as “meself”? This is really going to be distinctly inconvenient. And that.

• When the lads travel to fancy-schmancy restaurant Catalina’s by seaplane, we’re reminded once again of Josh’s discomfort in relation to matters of extreme altitude. Or, as he puts it, “I’m shittin’ meself”. SO SUCCINCT. Victor also pitches in with “My eyes is heppy, but my stomach – very, very unheppy”. I can't believe I have the impulse right now to tell champion boxers to man up. Jeez.

• Before his fight with Garth, Victor impersonates his biceps and says “Watch out, Garth WOOOOOD!”. Impersonates. His biceps. Hot damn, I love this show.

• Regarding his own fight with Kariz, Josh pretty much summarises what it is to be a boxer: “We’ll just put our friendship aside, just for that fifteen minutes or whatever it is, and um… basically punch each other’s head in”. I’d like him to get a job commentating for the Winter Olympics. I can hear him saying “Right, so these blokes on the luge and that, they just put their friendship aside, just for that forty-seven seconds or whatever it is, and um… basically fang down the white skate ramp like the bloody clappers”. MAKE IT HAPPEN, SAMARANCH EQUIVALENT. Make. It. Happen.


This week’s challenge tests the boxers to the ultimate limit, shuddering the core of their very manhood and causing nerves to fray and friendships to strain under its weight.

Yep. It’s ten-pin bowling. Nothing screams brutal testicular force better than shiny balls and two-tone shoes. Victor loses because he’d rather sulk and eat borscht by the sidelines, and Josh wins because he’s a little bit awesome. There is no prize except for the fact that they get to bowl with Anthony Mundine. There is no prize.


• Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Rose Bay Thick-Necked Thug Catwalk Show. First up, we have our models Kariz, Garth, Josh and Victor, looking actually decent in actual clothes that were actually made for actual men. Who knew?

• Just when you think there’s not going to be any ridiculous headwear or outfits that belong in boy bands, in walks Anthony “The Fresh Prince Man” Mundine. Phew. He announces his arrival with “Sup. Champ’s in the house”. Oh, boom, shake shake shake the room, Anthony. Tell me I’m wrong:

Anthony Mundine

The Fresh Prince. ‘Sup.

• In the locker room before his fight, Garth ticks off a mental checklist to make sure he’s got everything. Pictures of loved ones – check. Water - check. Dressing gown – check. Hand strapping – check. Delta Goodrem on the iPod – check. Yep, think that’s everything.

Pants, Garth. You forgot PANTS.

The Ladies And Offspring Of The Ring

• Garth’s brother Nathan calls him ‘Garfus’ and kisses him on the cheek. I reckon only someone who flies kites in budgie-smugglers and gigantic cowboy hats could be more wonderful. But that would never happen.

• The glamorous and ubiquitous Svetlana is there with her characteristic fashion sense and her awesome banshee wail. Apparently “AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!” is Russian for “Your opponent is like a chicken, my darling!”.

• After the Josh and Kariz fight, the ring is completely overrun by tiny, adorable offspring. It’s like a swarm of cute ants teeming all over a left-over Kit Kat, if the ants were dressed in Osh Kosh B’gosh, and if the Kit Kat was covered in sweat and blood, and if this analogy was better.

KOs and OKs

• Can we just talk about the theme music for a second? It’s the most stirring thing since Jamie Oliver did a special about stirring stuff, but with a lot less need for condescending uppity wanker. I FEEL IT IN MY LOINS. I would very much like to hear The Contender music play every time I walk into a meeting or my bedroom. Okay, maybe just meetings. The less my bedroom is associated with rings and fists, the better.

• Wow. We made it to the Semi-Final! We’re one step closer to a new ute. Give yourselves a little clap. In fact, keep giving yourselves a little clap, and don’t stop until the credits roll. All anyone does in this episode (aside from wearing nice shirts and punching bejeezus out of each other) is applaud themselves and bleed.

• We’ve been through a lot over these last ten weeks, we have. Drama, fights, mushrooms, training, Ramadan, skipping ropes, tears, guts, glory and Vaseline. So when Josh is asked what his favourite moment of the whole series has been, his answer is obvious. It’s when Kariz went arse over tit in the sand and his head “popped up like a lamington”. Josh, you are the third best thing that has ever happened to me.

Punchy Punchy

Fight One: Garth and Victor

I’m pretty much speechless, so I’m just going to refer to my notes. Yes, I take notes. Shut up. Selected stream-of-consciousness snippets from my frenzied during-bout tappings:

DING DING. Garth is an absolute fucking madman – punch after punch after punch after punch. JAB JABJABJABJAB. Just massive and unbelievable.
Loads of cuddling, and Garth PICKS VICTOR UP and almost dumps him over the ropes. End of last round, it’s just wrestling and tackling. Victor headbutts Garth. Svetlana goes nuts. It’s frickin’ awesome.
It’s a full-on, claret-everywhere, BRAWL. Garth keeps picking Victor up, Briggs rushes the ring and gives the ref shit, it’s all eighteen different kinds of amazing. Garth rushes Victor again. This is just the BEST shit ever. Garth is a punching machine, yo.
GARTH WINS. Johnny says “You’re the most courageous kid in the world”. I love Johnny. Bye, Victor. You were not like a chicken.

I can’t really put it any better than that. Also, welcome to how my brain works when I’m watching television. My mother will be calling me shortly to let me know exactly which soap I should wash my mouth out with. And yes, my brain puts the word “yo” at the end of things. Again: shut up.

Victor takes his loss well, just whispering the word ‘Poop’ under his breath. And also punching sweet mercy out of the set and shouting in the shower.

Fight Two: Josh and Kariz

Josh explains his attitude towards the fight with “I take everything as a joke, but when I fight, I fight serious”. Perhaps with a nice schooner, Josh.

In turn, Kariz describes his outlook with “I see myself as a predator, and my opponent as prey. I’m just focused on chewing his heart. Having his heart on a plate”. Perhaps with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, Kariz.

Josh puts up a valiant and tough fight, his little man-boobs jiggling with every punch, but Kariz just pips him at the post, stir-frying Josh’s heart and sprinkling it with Hoisin sauce and sesame seeds. Boxing is delicious, y’all.

Later when Josh’s kids come in to the locker room and give their awesome dad a hug, he lets a few tears go. THAT’S EVERYONE. Everyone on this show has now had a bit of a sook. PS: I love everyone on this show.

So. That’s it. Final next week. I’ll be going to see it (See definition under “relentless fame-whore”), so next week’s recap will be:

a) Late, because I plan on hunting Josh down and demanding he come for a beer afterwards;
b) Late, because I plan on hunting Nader down and making him listen while I tell him how noble he is;
c) Sketchy, because I’ll be too excited to write anything down; and
d) Crap, because I won’t be able to see the screen through the tears and snot and stuff.
Other than that, it will be totally, totally awesome.