Previously on Australia’s Next Top Model: Strangles.
This week on Australia’s Next Top Model: Oral fixation.
It’s all about lipstick, teeth, and smiling, as we discover how difficult it is to get simple things right like laughing, waiting in office reception and walking in a straight line.
Floss your gaps and massage your gums, it’s the ‘You Took The Scrag Right Out Of My Mouth’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.
Rinse and spit.
I’m not sure any other catchphrase can catch up to ‘Oh my god’ at this point, but as we’re now in the second half of the series, I’m expecting ‘I really want this’ to gallop home quite robustly in second place, or for at least as long as Shannon’s in the competition.
Still, though. Someone needs to steal someone’s cigarettes.
Additionally, it has come to my attention that Abbie makes this face every single time she talks directly to the camera. I give you: Abbie Face.
|I think she's searching the ceiling for university degrees.|
Finally, we all deal with the violent elephant in the room: Taylah’s disqualification and departure. She left a note in the kitchen, full of tear-jerking sentiment and sage advice.
|Totally legit screen shot.|
Ashley is a little upset (which we’ve really had a chance to get used to by now), but still agrees that ousting Taylah was the right thing to do, “otherwise it would’ve shown Australia that it’s okay to put your hands on someone”.
I think that’s an important message.
|Ixnay on the ouchingtay.|
Screamin’ J. Hawkins whisks the girls off to the offices of Manning Cartell to meet designer Gabby for a crash course in walking up and down a hallway. Shannon approaches the lesson in her characteristically determined way, enthusing “I absolutely adore Manning Cartell – such an eclectic style of clothing. Very unique”.
Eclectic? Check YOU out, trophy-winner.
|Indubitably an apical endowment.|
Shanali is outrageously excited, gushing “I’ve been sewing since I was in year 5 and I’ve wanted to get into fashion since I can remember”. Sweetie, it’s easy to get into fashion – there’s like, holes at the top and the bottom that let you do that.
Each girl has a turn clomping the hallway, with various degrees of success. Ashley has a weird stiff right hand. Melissa decides that the best thing she can do is “stand up straight and don’t fall over”, advice which has certainly helped me in my own life and career.
Abbie, keen to make walking a large part of her life, apparently swings her hips too much. Screamin’ J. Hawkins comments to Gabby “I keep looking at her butt. It’s very distracting”.
DID THAT JUST HAPPEN? DID YOU JUST CREATE THE UNBEATABLE AND ONE HUNDRED PERCENT PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO REMEMBER THIS DISTRACTING BUTT REFERENCE, JENNIFER HAWKINS?
Let she who is without distracting butt cast the first butt.
Shannon approaches the lesson with customary determination, and I imagine psychs herself into it Tracy Flick style.
Then Shannon says ‘shit’. Oh, well.
Gabby tells the modules that walking is one thing, but being able to showcase a designer’s clothes is another. So let’s do this whole shebang again, but in DIFFERENT CLOTHES! Whaddaya reckon?
Gabby gives them a brief, which is to be a “really tough, strong girl”. Reckon you can do that, Shannon?
Maddy Banana Paddy has done a little bit of catwalk before but ‘nothing major’, but it’s fine because walking down the aisle at our wedding will be a lot like a catwalk, so she can totally practice then.
When Duckie walks a second time, Jen comments that it’s “Less funky, I have to say”, which is a DISASTER.
She’ll never get a cameo in a George Michael music video if she’s only reaching sub-par funky levels. Help us out, Bootsy Collins?
Dajana has a ‘signature walk’. Ashley has a ‘signature spastic hand’. Melissa Sevenhead has a ‘signature nodding sevenhead’. Shanali has ‘signature perfection’. Jade reportedly doesn’t have ‘enough presence’.
Sort Jade out, Santa?
Abbie and Shanali are declared the best, and Screamin’ J. Hawkins leaves the scrags with instructions to ‘practice, practice, practice’, which they dutifully do back at the Module Mansion. Ashley gets upset when the girls, still on a high from making comments about everybody’s walk equally, make comments about her walk. She blurts out “I don’t care if you’re trying to help me out, but laughing at me while I’m walking, that’s a bit rude”. She storms off and has a bit of a cry, which is something we’re really getting used to, but honestly, once you’ve been ostracised in Thailand, hospitalised with appendicitis, and strangled in the outback, can you maybe find a way to deal?
Later, on Model Cam (just like a regular cam, only thinner and stupider) Ashley moans that the longer she’s here, the less confident she is, and that she sucks at all the challenges and can’t do anything right. In a surprise tantamount to walking into a Liberal Party meeting and finding a bunch of douchebags sitting around a table, she has a little cry.
Come on, Ashley. Show me that smile again. Don’t waste another minute on your crying. Also: Robin Thicke’s dad.
Aaaah, fundamentalist Christianity and eating disorders – the twin cornerstones of childhood stardom.
Lounging around the house, the modules set to work earning Oscar nominations and NIDA graduating certificates when a Jen Mail arrives and they all act surprised. The message is a little bit about rhyming badly, and a little bit about ‘first impressions’ and ‘pearly whites’, prompting the girls to have the completely unscripted idea of putting on some red lipstick to make their teeth stand out.
I was previously unaware of this beauty secret, but I’m sure it works in one hundred percent of cases.
|He's dead now, y'know.|
Shiny Alex Perry meets the girls on a hill in a tablecloth, and announces that this week, they’ll be vying for a massive national advertising campaign. OH MY GOD ALEX PERRY, DON’T TALK TO ASHLEY LIKE THAT IT HURTS HER FEELINGS.
He goes on to say that the winner of the challenge will become the face of Colgate Optic White.
So… I guess…
|It's really not, Adamant Little Guy, I just didn't know where else to put you.|
Each girl will go to a casting at an advertising agency. What the scrags don’t know is that there are hidden cameras EVERYWHERE, including at reception and in the lift.
Wait. Are… are there cameras in all lifts usually? Because if there are, I… I was just scratching it, I swear.
The modules will be judged as soon as they enter the building, and thrown off their game by the world’s meanest receptionist and the local community theatre company’s worst actress.
In the actual casting upstairs with two suit guys, the aim is to smile happily. This, however, is not the result in reception.
Mean Receptionist asks Dajana if she has a lazy eye. Does that make Dajana smile happily?
|No. No, it does not.|
Careful, Mean Receptionist. Stereotypical ethnic profiling means you better watch your back, yo.
|Also I think I see the lazy eye now.|
Bad Actress asks Maddy Banana Paddy to hold a vase of flowers. Oh, the diabolical cruelty, etc.
Bad Actress falls asleep on Jade, who suggests that she ask if there’s a bed in the office, because sassy.
Mean Receptionist asks Duckie to say ‘quack’, and she reflects later to camera “I get duck jokes all the time. Like ‘quack’. ‘Duck’. ‘Ducklings’.” Wow. Those sure are some amazing duck jokes.
|You can't tell from here, but that tumbleweed is cacking itself.|
Bad Actress ‘mistakes’ Melissa for an ‘intern’ and gets ‘cross’.
Bad Actress talks to Shanali through a gnome. I pop that on the shortlist for Sentence Of The Year.
Bad Actress spills water on Abbie, who offers to get her more water. I kind of love Abbie this week, without impinging on my marriage plans with Maddy Banana Paddy or my Besties 4 Lyf plans with Shanali.
Ashley doesn’t cry the whole time she’s at the agency, which is her highest achievement in the competition so far.
Mean Receptionist doesn’t even acknowledge Shannon. Shannon loves not being acknowledged. It’s like telling Auguste Rodin you’ve seen better hands on a digital watch or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like asking Robin Thicke to mind your shopping while you show him a thing or two about objectifying semi-naked ladies.
By the time Mean Receptionist comments that he thinks Shannon’s blouse might be a bit dirty, you can pretty much see her sphincter trying to make its way out of her eye sockets.
Most of the girls do really well in the five smiling shots they get, making the decision tough for Shiny Alex Perry and Advertising Agency Suit Guys. Shiny Alex Perry says “Some girls really delivered in the photo shoot and in the interview, and some girls really delivered downstairs”.
Yoooouuuuu might wanna rephrase that, buddy.
Yoooouuuuu might wanna rephrase that, buddy.
|You can't tell from here, but that tumbleweed is calling the police.|
The modules gather, waiting to hear who has won the campaign, and Shannon reminds us once again that she wants this SO. BADLY. A guy from an as yet undiscovered tribe in the Andaman Islands stops repairing his fishing net for a moment, looks up, and says “we get it, dude”.
Probably just to disappoint Dajana, Jade excitedly wins. “Eight weeks ago I was just chillin’ in Blacktown, waitin’ for uni to start, and now I’m the new face of Colgate Optic White! Frikkin’ awesome”, she says, instantly earning her degree.
Dajana is disappointed, but as a direct and vicious attack upon Ashley, doesn’t cry. What a bitch.
BOOM, and we’re back from the break to hear about the prizes, which I think this year include a year’s supply of body glitter and a kilo of heart-smart beef mince.
Then we scurry upstairs at the Hilton to the Zeta Bar balcony for a glamorous, expensive, smiling photo shoot.
I’ve been photographed at the Zeta Bar balcony before. I, too, was going for glamorous, expensive and smiling.
|Unfortunately there seems to be a drunk homeless biker in the way.|
Dawso gees up the scrags for their shoot by introducing photographer Simon Upton who, even in that nasty driving cap, I would do fifty ways from Tuesday. He’s tall and he presents multiple opportunities for jokes about apertures, so there is nothing to not love.
Dawso and Simon talk about natural smiles and sophisticated glamour, and Simon, in between asking loads of people for my phone number, says “you’d be really surprised how many models don’t know how to smile properly’. Still, with this incredible styling, these ridiculously gorgeous dresses, and a one in nine chance of winning some beef mince, WHAT HAVE THEY GOT TO BE HAPPY ABOUT, I ASK YOU.
Jade is pumped, saying “I’m pumped. We get to smile on set. I really like smiling, so it’s gonna be fun”. She likes smiling? What a friggin’ psycho.
Ashley prefers the serious photo shoots, but vows to ‘fake it till I make it’. She’d really, really rather be crying, though.
In fancy frocks, fake eyelashes and complicated hair, each girl stuns the bajingo out of anyone with eyes and fake-laughs their way into our hearts.
Shannon says VERY DETERMINEDLY “We had to embody confidence and maturity. My looks are more mature than my actual age, so I thought that would really work in my favour”. Or, option B, relaxing your lower digestive system and enjoying yourself.
Melissa Sevenhead feels like a bit of a dork laughing, and says she doesn’t even laugh when she’s told a joke. I bet she cacks herself every time I call her ‘Melissa Sevenhead’, though. Fuckin’ comedy, mate.
Duckie is just bullshit amazing, Abbie is a complete goddess in white (albeit Nullus Labius, Greek Goddess of Disappearing Top Lips), Shanali is her usual incredible narrowness after warming up a bit, and Jade in red lace will have one of her shots from today chosen for the Colgate campaign.
Ashley, in a dress that has to be gathered in back with bulldog clips, complains that she doesn’t like her dress and that she’s fat.
|Booeth fucking hooeth.|
Maddy Banana Paddy performs exactly the way I expect my future platonic heterosexual life partner to perform: awkwardly, in full make-up. Dawso and Simon are unimpressed, but they’re still totally invited to the wedding.
Dajana, who reports that she loves laughing better than editorial, hits it out of the mother-frigging park in black sparkly lace. Her body makes me cry, which is its only similarity to onions and my Dad telling me he’s proud of me.
We all traipse elegantly into the Eliminatorium, where Screamin’ J. Hawkins introduces ‘majestic’ Dawso, who does this:
‘Masterful’ Diddles, who does this:
And ‘magnificent’ Shiny Alex Perry, who does this:
|Because I'm making jokes about how he's a tablecloth now, keep up.|
Photos are flicked through approvingly, with only a few moy-ments:
- Melissa Sevenhead’s photo is called ‘weird’ approximately nine thousand times, with Shiny Alex Perry throwing in the phrases ‘Stepford Wife’ and ‘House of Wax’ for good measure.
- When Ashley is told that she’s young-looking, she has a whinge about always being told she looks young and IS THERE ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T UPSET YOU. Anything to say about that, Amazing Psychic Desk?
Dawso and Shiny Alex Perry have a mini play-fight, with no strangling. All is right with the world, and the universe returns to its usual globs-of-rock-and-gases order.
- Someone quite obviously farts. By the looks of it, it’s Jade.
|She is both the face and the arse of Colgate Optic White.|
Scrags go out. Judges rap. Scrags come in.
Jen calls names out one by one, and Duckie gets photo of the week because shut up it’s about smiling and she’s like, eighty-nine percent a smiling factory. More names are picked off until only Maddy Banana Paddy and Melissa Sevenhead remain.
I clutch the save-the-date cards for our wedding to my heart, wondering if we can move the date forward.
And we can. Maddy is out. Take it away, tablecloth laser eyes.
Byyyye, Maddy Banana Paddy. You were both beautiful and shy, and P.S. we’re registered at Liquorland. Any last words?