I haven’t seen this much drama on television since MarshaBrady got hit in the nose with a football.
|There goes her date with Doug.|
Smear on the greasepaint, get ready for your close-up and write the scene number clearly in chalk on that clapper thing that you write on in chalk, because it’s the ‘Like Scrags Through The Hourglass’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.
I’d like to start with a little housekeeping.
Firstly, you need to know that when they play that little snippet of the ANTM theme song just before every ad break, you can increase your fun by 25% if, like my housemates and I do, you emphasise the concluding aspirant. I’m gonna be on top-PAAAAAAH. You may trust me on that point.
Secondly, since you saw them last, Madeline and Izzy have morphed into grossly stereotypical Jewish mothers.
|Why can't you just find a nice doctor and settle down? Why you gotta break your mother's heart like this?|
|I should drop DEAD you'd remember to call me on my birthday.|
Rachel’s Phoy-Toy-Of-The-Week is up on the wall of the Module Mansion to a mixed reception. Liz thinks it’s beautiful. Jess doesn’t really get what the judges see in Rachel. Montana is pensive. Doik Simone is HEY LOOK A CAMERA!
A Sarah Mail dripping with drama arrives, whisking the scrags off in a Fashion Fiesta cavalcade to NIDA, which stands for ‘Now I’m Doing Acting!’. Charlotte Dawson meets them and introduces actress Anna Houston, who will be taking them through some improvisation exercises. She warns the modules that there’s a chance they’ll look ridiculous.
|Yeah, no, that's fine.|
Amelia’s excited about the lesson, and says “This is definitely a good week to take risks”. Let’s see how that works out for you in particular, shall we honey?
The first improvisation game is called ‘Excuse Me, What Are You Doing?’. Apparently there are some rules to the game, but really all you need to know is that Izzy gives birth to a dog, and I love this show so much I want to smell it on my pillow.
|Nurse, we're going to need an epidural and some kibbles.|
The next game involves Actress Anna counting to ten while five of the modules run the emotional gamut from ‘totes fine’ to ‘OMG I broke a nail’. It’s harrowing, to say the least.
|I can't believe I forgot to wear teeth in my hair today.|
Izzy has a remarkable talent for grief, and tells us that “I can cry on cue. Not all the time, only sometimes”. I dunno, Izzy, I’ve just consulted the Big Dictionamary Of Awsome Wordz, and it wants to have a little chat with you about the definition of ‘on cue’.
Speaking of words, some of my favourites all in a row are “Except you’ve got a really extreme body tic”, particularly as it relates to the next acting game. Set in a train carriage, each module acts out their wildest fitting fantasies, carefully making sure to maintain their beauty, composure and poise at all times.
Dawson congratulates them on their amazing dog-birthing, crying and Tourette’s Syndrome skills before handing them each a script and insisting that they practice, prompting an editor’s orgy of sepia-toned, slow-mo soap opera references.
ACT ONE, SCENE ONE: THE THREE STAGES OF TOILETING.
|1. Oh, god. Oh god, that burrito isn't sitting well at ALL.|
|3. Jesus Christ. That smells like a combination of fresh-cut hay and dead hobo.|
The next day, fully rehearsed, Ms Dawson drags the scrags to a commercial studio to audition for a Telstra commercial. The ad will be shot by Abe Forsythe, who you saw in that thing he was in that time, and co-acted by Joseph, who I can see in my pants.
Amelia auditions first and, sadly, is amazing. Arseholes are so good at hyper-cheesy melodrama and pretending that they’re shocked to find out that Chad’s their brother.
Montana suddenly has an American accent, Izzy is surprisingly unconvincing, and Hazel’s voice can cut through four layers of glass and still explode a guinea pig.
It’s pretty much exactly what you'd imagine this photo would sound like.
What do you reckon, Mrs Maddie Braunstein?
Doik Simone sources her inspiration directly from ham and cheese, and is consequently magnificent. Say what you will about Doik, she’ll only ever need one skill in life and everything will be fine.
|Oh okay, and maybe these two a little bit.|
Liz is a little unsure about her audition, but decides to “just kinda go with the flow and see if I go well, and try and bring some impromise... impro... imprompting stuff into it?”. I AM SO GLAD WE’RE BEST FRIENDS, LIZZY.
Finally the audition is over, and the final commercial is an artistic and cinematic juggernaut.
COMING SOON TO A CINEMA NEAR YOU:
STARRING: Montana ‘Never Go Full Retard’ Smith
Jess ‘I Can Still Smell That Hobo’ Smith
And this Chinese guy.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know.
Challenge winners, who get to do a job that other people would get paid for for free (exciting!) are Madeline, Simone, Amelia and Montana. Montana says that when the ad comes out, her parents will be shocked to see her on TV. Yeah, she says that to camera. On... y’know. On TV.
Izzy calls her boyfriend on a dodgy line to tell him how disappointed she is that she hasn’t won Phoy-Toy-Of-The-Week or any challenges, which I know sounds interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by the dial tone.
Off everyone whisks the next morning to a mysterious steam-themed photo shoot in Picton.
|Hi. We're in Picton.|
It turns out that the word ‘steam’ refers to a ‘steam train’, because words, that’s why. The modules are greeted by Josh Flinn, who has pictures of leopards on his shirt:
...and mildly cranky cardigan-clad photographer Jordan Graham, whose other skill is growing a beard both on the bottom and top of his head.
The girls learn that they’ll be taking part in a 1920s-themed shoot inspired by The Great Gatsby, unless you’re Liz, in which case it’s ‘The Great Gaps Tee Gaps Gaps’, which earns her this week’s trophy.
Doik, in a rare non-camera-shy moment, says “No, I’ve never read Great Gatsby, but I’ve read Streetcar Named Desire, so I kind of just pretended it was Streetcar Named Desire”, which is a bit like Edward Hopper pretending that his painting subjects are just giggling unicorns or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like Britney Spears pretending she’s a university graduate who knows how underpants work.
The styling is incredible, with finger-curled bobs, pearls, sharp dark lips, smoky eyes and Madeline listening to Kanye’s first album so that she can get into the historical mood.
After doing a spot of maths, Josh Nielsen drops a hormone bomb amongst the scraggy pigeons by announcing that Lincoln Lewis will be co-modelling with them today. Excited Rachel exclaims that she’s never worked with an actor before. SHUT UP NO WAY. Pretty sure that’s the only thing she’s never done. Preeetty sure.
The girls will be modelling with Lincoln in three themed groups. The first group, Madeline, Liz & Rachel, are asked to pretend that they’re coming off the train from a big night out, and are walking to Madeline’s house for more booze.
|And to listen to some Cradle Of Filth.|
Rachel struggles because she’s never been drunk before (SHUT UP NO WAY), and also because the photographer’s instructions are way too specific. “Rachel, your stumbling is a little bit too stumbly”, he says. MODELLING IS SO HARD, YOU GUYZ.
The second group, Jess, Hazel and Simone, are all blonde girls riding on the train with a cute guy, and HAHAHAHAHAHA WHEEEEEEEE WE’RE ON A TRAIN AND WE HAVE DIFFERENT SIZED HATS!
The third group, Izzy, Amelia and Montana, are asked to look ‘sad beautiful’. Montana ponders over the difficulty of this until finally nailing it.
|Sad and missing a chromosome|
EVERYBODY JUST WAIT A GODDAMN SECOND. Hold it. FINALLY, after eight weeks, someone finally figures out what modelling is all about. That’s right. You've seen it before. It’s the SCT. The Solitary Crystalline Tear. IT’S ABOUT TIME.
Meanwhile, the photographer asks Amelia to move her face a little further into the window. There are many situations in which that might be considered a bad sign. This is pretty much all of them.
After Saint Sarah’s disembodied voice takes us through the prizes (which I think this year include a full packet of coloured pencils and a McFlurry), the modules descend upon the Eliminarium with various levels of sartorial success. Liz is wearing one of her eight thousand baby-doll dresses. Izzy is off to the Sock Hop. Rachel is in a bad, bad jumper. Doik is wearing LEATHER FREAKIN’ SHORTS. Although I suppose with Doik, anything that just wipes clean can’t be a bad thing, right?
Saint Sarah, fresh from a lamington drive for the Northern Beaches Dog Birthing Clinic, introduces judges Charlotte Dawson:
|Dressed today as someone who enjoys self-administered 'smell my finger' jokes|
Shiny Alex Perry:
|Who, judging by his expression, has just smelled Charlotte's finger|
...and guest judge Beard-Head, the amazing double-bearded man.
The judges check out the week’s phoy-toys, and OH MY GOD IT’S THAT CHINESE GUY AGAIN.
|No, wait - it's just Rincoln Rewis. Sorry.|
Various scrags are called slappers, lumps and cheap, the judges deliberate, and like ducks in a row in heels in a gaudy blue and gold studio, the girls are picked off one by one until only Liz, Jess and Amelia remain.
Suddenly, a shock! Tell us, Magic Psychic Desk!
No, no. The OTHER shock.
Aaaaand Jess and Amelia get the boot.
Bye, Jess and Amelia! The competition will be... um... marginally... kind of... less populated without you. Yeah. That.
It’s verse 8 of the seemingly interminable country song that has a verse per episode! Thank Christ for that.
Acting class and you’re on your arse birthing dogs with some sarcasm;
When you’ve finished, let’s pretend you’ve got Tourettes and you’re prone to sudden spasm.
It’s audition time – to get across the line, you’ll compete against each other
To react just right – horror, shock, or fright – when you hear that Chad’s your brother.
Now we’ll play the parts of some drunken tarts, like F. Scott Fitzgerald drew us;
Or some flappers who shed a tear or two on a train with Lincoln Lewis.
Set your mouth to pout, and it’s two more out - see you later Jess, Amelia
Sure you’re pretty, though now you have to go, ‘cause the judges didn’t feel ya.