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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series 8 #1




It’s been almost two years since the best show ever made has vomited itself, bulimia-stylez, from my television screen, and I can BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF.

But I have to, because I’m a professional.

KIDDING! I’m a lone wolf renegade, and your puny human conduct guidelines cannot hold me.

Unlike the way a jail/gaol can hold convicts, right? Am I right? Because we haven’t overworked the convict motif in this episode yet?

Fashion a shiv and steal a loaf of bread, it’s the ‘Toora-li, Toora-li, Scraggety’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.





First up, some housekeeping.

  • ·     There are rules. I will let you know what the rules are as we go along, because I will be making them up as we go along. You want a democracy, go read another satirical reality television recap. God.

  • ·        The first rule is that, wherever you’re watching ANTM, if you hear the word ‘journey’ uttered on-screen, you must shout ‘JOURNEY!!!’ in your loudest, most barbaric yawp.

  • ·       The second rule is that whenever you hear the ANTM theme music, when the girl says “I wanna be on top-PAAAAAAH’, you must aspirate the ‘PAAAAAH’ along with her. Awkward at first, then you’ll wonder how you ever went without it, just like tampons.

  • ·       Each week, I will be tallying up catchphrases to discover WHAT. WILL BE. REALITY TELEVISION’S MOST OVER-USED CATCHPHRASE.  So far ‘I really want this’ is in the lead with 6 points, with surprisingly no points on the board at all for ‘That bitch stole my cigarettes’. Early days, my friends.

Right. So all that’s done then. Let us begin with what the promos have led us to believe is the most important bizzo this year....

·      THERE’S TOTALLY A NEW HOST. As we’re told in the opening voice over while Jen Hawkins struts out in slow-mo, shes had ‘Millions of dollars of endorsements (for vitamin supplements). Ten years at the top of her game (football). She’s Australia’s supermodel (and beauty pageant) sweetheart. And a perfect top model mentor (actually that bit’s probably true)’.  Obviously I have to give our Jen a nickname, but what? I was going to make her ‘Miss (Something) 2013’, but Miss what? She can do everything, as the voice-over just told us. Miss Everything? Then I heard that she got married, so I decided it had to be ‘Mrs’. So there you go. Jen Hawkins Mrs Everything.

·      Also, THERE’S TOTALLY A NEW JUDGE. And it’s Didier Cohen, vegan male model who regards Max Markson as a close personal arsehole. So that’s ANOTHER new nickname I have to hand out, especially considering nobody knows how to pronounce ‘Didier’.  So, just to make sure we’re all up to speed:

Hiiiii, Diddles.

·         So I guess all we’re missing is the modules. Let’s see... what have we got in this opening montage... high speed sunrise, industrial things, cranes, corrugated iron, nuts, bolts...

Scrags! The scrags are here!

Either that or it’s the world’s hungriest and most fashionable walkathon.  It takes the girls roughly twenty minutes to stroll into the warehouse, giving me ample time to form the following opinion:

That cut-out shirts with visible bras and bow-ties never won anything.

Yeah. Bye.

The modules gush and swoon over the perfection that is Jen Hawkins Mrs Everything, who tells them that they’re standing in Cockatoo Island. I bet some of these girls have seen a cockatoo in their time, right? Am I right or what? *high five left hanging until the apocalypse and rightfully so*

Jen Hawkins Mrs Everything starts talking about convicts, which starts three quarters of an hour of terrible convict-related puns and wordplay. It’s like Hieronymus Bosch painting a canvas of bad puns escaping en masse from hell or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like Amanda Bynes throwing a thousand pun-filled bongs out a thousand windows.

Jen announces that “this very building was built by convicts, which is a tenuous enough reason to call what you’re about to go through a ‘convict bootcamp’, effectively nullifying the true meaning of all the words in this sentence”.

Wow, that Jen Hawkins Mrs Everything misses NOTHING.

Then she mentions ‘Good old fashioned punishment’ right before she introduces Shiny Alex Perry.

Then Shiny Alex Perry tells the girls that they’re going to have a ‘good old-fashioned mugshot’.

Then Jen Hawkins Mrs Everything’s voice-over tells us that the girls are about to undergo ‘an old-fashioned convict line-up’.

It’s good. It’s old-fashioned. It’s time to set fire to the script.

Each girl is given an identification card with a number on it, and I make some wry observations as we get to know each of the scrags and their adorable foibles.

  • Skye's identification card has her actual IQ score printed on it.

Relax - her IQ is actually 41, she's just holding it backwards.
  • ·         A lot of the girls remind me of famous people. Shannon reminds me of Brooke Shields.

  • ·         Rhiannon reminds me of Maggie Gyllenhaal.

  • ·         Blonde Brooke reminds me of Rachel McAdams.

  • Melissa reminds me of Wednesday Addams. 

  • ·         Harriet reminds me of Phil Oakey from Human League.

  • ·         And Taylor reminds me of how happy I feel when I watch the Ice Age movies.

It would be SO MEAN if you thought I was comparing physical appearance in this one. Shame on you.

  • Speaking of Taylor, she has a bit of trouble in good old-fashioned fanning-yourself-with-your-idenification-card class. In fact, she has a bit of trouble in all her classes.


  • ·      The phrase ‘denim shorts’ can be interpreted in vastly different ways, such as:

Here is my vagina; and... is a pair of buttocks, thighs and shorts that I borrowed from a much, much smaller man.

In fact, Dawso comments to Jade-of-the-vaginal-cut-offs that ‘those are the highest-cut jeans I have ever seen in my life. They finish in your armpit’. Coincidentally, so does Jade’s boyfriend, so technically she’s still a virgin.

  • ·      Somebody accidentally lets a real convict in for a mugshot, which is awkward.

I didn't done nuffink.

·         The convict says that ‘they asked me my favourite designer. I didn’t know any designers, so I’m a bit scared ‘. So are we, Monique. So. Are. We.

  • ·     The judges ask Georgia how she feels about lingerie modelling, to which she answers ‘Well, my dad’s a police officer’. They ask another model how she feels about the Palestinian conflict, and she answers ‘Asparagus’.

  • ·    After her good old fashioned convict line-up, Skye gives the other girls some sage advice: “You don’t know exactly what to say, you kind of are like, stumblin’ a bit, but you just talk until it comes out how you want it to”.  Obviously Skye is a lot smarter than she looks.


  • ·      I love Madeline. I actually love her. She works on a banana farm, so I will call her Maddy Banana Paddy. Yes I know bananas don’t grow in paddies. Hey Skye, did you know that bananas don’t grow in paddies?


  • ·       April is very, very pretty, and seems really French to me. You know – great bone structure, chic haircut, dead eyes, no personality.  C’est si bon! Tour de France!

  •     Blonde Brooke was in Miss World Australia last year, and the year before that her ex-boyfriend passed away. So, y’know – swings and roundabouts. C’est la vie! Yoplait!

  •      Dajana, pronounced sort of like ‘Diana’, is Bosnian, so while the producers edit in some balalaika in the background, everyone says ‘wog’ a couple of thousand times.  Dajana even calls herself a wog, so let’s all just jump on that stereotype steam train and blow the whistle.

... which gives me the opportunity to welcome back our favourite adamant little guy:

Hiiii, adamant little guy.

Half the girls get chucked. The rest sleep on camp beds in a warehouse. Modelling, you guys.


The next morning, Diddles wakes the scrags by banging on a bowl. That’s an actual thing.

Met by Mrs Everything, who is dressed for high tea in space, the modules are told they’ll be walking on a plank across Sydney Harbour, which gives us the opportunity to laugh at the girls who wobble, giggle at Dawso when she calls one of the girls a zombie, wonder at the girls who clearly have a GoPro camera tucked in their cleavage, and cry at the girls who have just ridiculously, throw-my-television-out-the-windowingly incredible bodies. Which is all of them. Shit.

Aside from that, it’s just half-naked scrags on a board, really.


Until Duckie from South Sudan takes us through the world’s most stressful jet landing via semaphore.





Finally we get to the photo-shoot bit, where the modules don stripy shirts, black jeans and side-swept hair and are asked to be Edie Sedgwick in Jailhouse Rock because mixed 60s references, yo.

The three judges explain the concept to the girls, and Dawso points to the scaffolding behind her and says ‘these are your cells’, which confuses Skye because she’s pretty sure she brought all her cells with her.

Includin' all them cytoplasms and mitochondrians and that.

Every. Single. Girl. Looks spastically beautiful, but it doesn’t matter, and you know why? Because when Diddles introduces photographer Mike Naumoff, it sounds like he’s saying ‘New Muff’. That, coupled with the fact that Mike New Muff has a beard and I’m spastically into guys with beards right now, means it’s reasonable to suggest that I had a stroke at that point.

Goods, bads, and indifferents:

  • ·      April claims to be afraid of heights, yet maintains her stoical air of monotone robotics. I think if you cut off her arm with a machete, she’d turn her head slowly to look at you, pause a moment, and then say “ow”.

  •     Maddy Banana Paddy is nervously tense, but I still kind of want to marry her and skip down a beach hand in hand.

  •          Taylah from Western Austraylah is gorgeous, confident, poses well, and is utterly, utterly terrifying. She’s come a long way from last year, too – it’s like the rejection sent her into an underground bunker where she just stockpiled sexy and hair products.

Before sexy bunker

After sexy bunker

  •  New Muff has trouble pronouncing Shanali’s name, but I have no trouble pronouncing her ACHINGLY BEAUTIFUL. Dawso is also impressed. I... I think.

Although she may also have had a stroke at this point.

  • Melissa is tiny (except for her forehead, obviously) and compelling and adorable and beautiful, but the judges are worried she’s too short. Shiny Alex Perry suggests that ‘maybe we can fertilise her’, which earns him a very, very special trophy.


Suddenly we’re back in a shiny Eliminatorium, where the judges are dressed as the four major food groups – Citrus, Picnic Blanket, Vegan, and Mutton. We’re ready to find out who the final fifteen scrags are as the judges sort through photographs and say things like ‘I don’t think that’s a very memorable head’, which is obviously awesome. Even more/less awesome is when Chanique and Shanali’s names are said together, and I instantly get the Laverne & Shirley theme song in my head.

Chanique! Shanali! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!

Lucky for you, there’s a reasonable chance I’ll include a 70s or 80s sit-com theme reference in the recap each week. You really get your money’s worth here at Jo Blogs. PS: send money.

Jen Hawkins Mrs Everything announces that it’s ‘time to deliver the final sentence’, and the Amazing Psychic Desk has something to say about that.

Hiiii Amazing Psychic Desk

The modules file in, and for some reason the editors see fit to show us how nervous the girls are with a close-up on someone’s vagina. How are you feeling, someone’s vagina?

Delivery of the news is quick and painless. HA! Kidding, this is reality television. Delivery of the news is drawn-out and agonising. Brunette Brooke seems eerily confident.

Let's see how that goes, eh?

Skye is eliminated, and the IQ in the room jumps thirty-eight points. Gorgeous Georgia is eliminated, and the sadness in my heart jumps thirty-eight points. Finally there are two girls left – French Robot April and Brunette Brooke – but only one space in the house.

Eight years pass, and Shiny Alex Perry eliminates Brunette Brooke with lasers shot directly out of his eyes.


Excitedly, Mrs Everything announces to the remaining girls that “You will all be jetting off to the exotic Asian destination of Thailand!”, and exotic Asian ladies in exotic Asian costumes rush in and chuck exotic Asian petals in the air.

Which is nice.


Merrill said...

Brilliant!!!, so glad ANTS is back. Wednesday Adams is inspired.

Anonymous said...

Kayla= Taylor. Better luck next time!

Anonymous said...

JO. JO HOW I'VE MISSED YOUR BLOGS. You seriously brighten up my day! Never stop being you. <3

Jo said...

Shit! TAYLOR. Dutifully and humbly corrected. Well, "humbly".

Bianca Wordley said...

I can't speak for the laughing. I will now call you
Jo Noes Shit

Anonymous said...

Never seen it -don't want to because it can't possibly compare to this. Brilliant! Thanks to Bianca Wordley for pointing me in this direction.

Anonymous said...

You make me feel better about hate-watching the shit out of this show. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant review, can't wait to read the next one

Anonymous said...

When the promos for ANTM started on TV about 550 years ago, my initial recation was 'meh'...until I remembered the possibility that you would be writing your blog again. Now I will even withstand the monotone Jen Hawkins just to read your delicious weekly take on the fun-filled forays of reality-show moduling! I've also recommended it to friends who found themselves watching the show (mostly because it was raining outside and they were bored)and now they can't wait for your next instalment.

Anonymous said...

You really do make the show exponentially better.
I can't live without your blog but I can live without tampons.

Anonymous said...

please do not stop these recaps. friggin hilarious.

Des said...

Oh Jo. It's been too long. Sparkling recap, it's like you've not had a 2-year off-season.

Looking forward to a season of hilarosity!

Kiki said...

Ahhh, I was hesistant to get sucked into watching AusNTM again, but hilarious blogs like this make it worth it!

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