I’m so glad that this week’s episode addressed the issue of shapes, especially in an election year. I mean, now that we’ve addressed smiling, walking, painting and strangling, it was only a matter of time before making shapes came to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness.
I’m especially passionate about hexagons, but that’s probably a deep-seated offshoot directly related to how I feel about bees.
God, I crap on in this beginning bit, don’t I?
Find your angles and calculate your area (it's okay to round down) for the ‘It’s Hip To Be Scrag’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model.
I’m pretty sure the only reason I’m doing the catchphrase log to discover What Will Be Reality Television’s Most Over-Used Catchphrase is so that I can be one day known as That Girl Who Kept A Tally Of All Those Catchphrases That Time. If someone could alert the Vice Chancellor of my old university that this is what my life has become, that’d be great.
Also ‘Oh my god’ is winning. Alert the media.
It’s early in the morning at the Module Mansion, and four things are happening.
1. Dajana is cooking eggs.
2. The girls are trying to guess what their lesson and challenge will be this week, guessing either sailing or martial arts classes. To their credit, sailing and martial arts classes are as much to do with modelling as fishing coins out of a jar full of maggots or lime-dancing.
3. Jade has terrible hair.
Like, terrible hair.
4. A golden dinosaur has laid a giant egg in the corner of the living room and nobody has noticed. Maybe Jade is an alien? I forget how far away Blacktown is.
The phone squawks a Jen Mail, and the Logies board add a new award category for Best Pretending To Be Surprised. Nobody wins.
Screamin’ J. Hawkins, through her weird perma-smile, mysteries “It’s time to shape up, because your world is about to be turned upside-down”.
|Because, no remember, we mentioned Lionel Richie a few weeks ago when things were upside-down. Continuity, people.|
Jen continues “Be prepared for your next challenge to come at you from all angles”.
Dajana shouts “Skydiving!”.
Shannon exclaims “Rock climbing!”.
Jade squeals “Trapezium!”.
Melissa, to camera, says “Dude, trapezium’s a shape”.
|If I ever get good at Photoshop, you guys will be the first to know.|
Finally the scrags all agree that it’s likely they’re going to be suspended from something. PROBABLY FROM SCHOOL, SINCE YOU HAVEN’T BEEN IN LIKE, TWO MONTHS.
They walk away from both Dajana’s and the dinosaur’s eggs to get in the Glamour Nissans to be whisked off to House Of Yoga in Redfern, where they find this:
And suddenly all I can think about is Christopher Atkins’ junk sling in The Blue Lagoon.
|The lagoon wasn't the only thing that was blue, geddit.|
Yep. That’s Dawso sitting in Christopher Atkins’ junk sling. She says to the modules “I bet you’re hanging to get into the swing of things today”, which obviously earns her this week’s trophy.
Dawso tells the girls that they’re about to do anti-gravity yoga (probably not a thing) with instructor Evangeline (probably not a name), and the bendy American-accented perkiness begins, with a brief nod towards the week’s ‘shapes’ theme.
Evangeline tells the modules that anti-gravity yoga is a combination of dance, yoga, pilates, and gymnastics, all things that Duckie has spent nine weeks telling us she’s bad at. “Co-ordination and Duckie don’t really mix that well”, she says, which is confusing because if she’s not co-ordinated, how would she be good at basketball? You see, I’m making an assumption about Duckie’s ability based purely on a stereotype which in turn is based solely on her skin colour.
|Yes, Adamant Little Guy. It is.|
The lesson begins, and Evangeline tells the girls to “say hello to your hamstring”.
Um… h… hello, hamstring?
|Sorry. I do that.|
They all do some sick mad suspended yoga moves, and all I can do is imagine that they’re farting because I am exactly twelve years old.
|Feel the burn.|
Jade feels like it’s an out-of-body experience, which coincidentally is exactly how I like my farts. Abbie is an anti-gravity yoga prodigy or ‘little monkey’ in Evangeline’s words. Duckie’s knee pops. Dajana’s medical opinion is that “Your eyes are literally coming out of your eye socket ‘cause all the blood is like rushing to your face”. This a) makes me angry, because:
And b) makes me happy, because I turned the screenshot of Dajana being upside-down upside-down, and it looks like she’s really, really surprised to see Lionel Richie.
|Fullee dancing on the ceiling. Sick.|
At the end of the class the hammocks are turned into little relaxation cocoons, reminding me instantly of the people farm in The Matrix where they grow babies.
Either way, everybody emerges from their cocoons looking relaxed, refreshed, and a little bit like Keanu Reeves.
The relaxation doesn’t last long, and soon the scrags are back in the Glamour Nissans and whisked off to meet Shiny Alex Perry at the Cellblock Theatre in the old Darlinghurst gaol, wearing what I’m reasonably certain is a tablecloth from an Italian restaurant.
He tells the girls “I’m not going to lock you up, but I am going to put you in a confined space”. Is… is it your shirt, Shiny Alex Perry?
NO! It’s two telephone booths, where the cramped scrags must compete in a quick-change race, two at a time, including hair, make-up, Alex Perry frocks and incredible but where-the-fuck-would-you-wear-them thigh-high cross-laced boots. This is to mimic the tiny changing areas at some photo shoots and fashion shows and oh, I don’t know why we’re even relating it back to the fashion industry any more, this is AMAZING.
Because Abbie was the best at sky-yoga, she gets an advantage in that she’s allowed to compete twice. This is like telling Stelarc that he gets to be lowered down an elevator shaft on skin-hooks twice or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like telling Thicke to dry-clean his stripy suit because Miley’s coming back for an encore.
Shiny Alex Perry has one final warning for the girls: “Ruin my clothes, and jail’s gonna seem like a party”.
|Raise the roof, y'all.|
Duckie is exactly this happy about being paired in a confined space with Abbie, “the girl with the long limbs”:
|Maybe you should use the phonebooth to call someone who cares.|
At the other end of the spectrum, Dajana is happy she’s in the booth with the comparatively elfin Shanali. Most of the rest of us are happy about this because, when the girls complain about the difficulty of boot-lacing in such a small space and Shiny Alex Perry responds with “A bad tradesman always blames his tools”, Dajana and Shanali ARE ACTUALLY IMPERSONATING TRADESMEN AT THE TIME.
Shiny Alex Perry offers instructional advice such as “suck it up honey”. The non-phonebooth girls offer actual advice. It’s a frenzy of lace, eyeshadow, eyelets and suede until suddenly some shit. Goes. Down.
Dajana, frustrated and confined, shouts to Shiny Alex Perry: “YOU KNOW WHAT, IF YOUR CLOTHES WERE OF BETTER QUALITY, YOUR SHOELACES WOULDN’T BE FRAYING!”.
It’s fine. I’m sure she’ll get over it and everyone will forget about it in a minute or two.
Shiny Alex says to camera “Say anything about me, but don’t slag my clothes”. Alright, Shiny Alex – this is what I’ll say about you: WHY HAVEN’T YOU GIVEN ME ANY OF YOUR NO DOUBT HIGH QUALITY CLOTHES. No slagging, yo.
Everyone competes, zippers get stuck, dresses are awesome, people are boot-strategic, Abbie wins twice. Duckie LOVES it that Abbie won.
Shannon, who I probably should’ve mentioned before now likes to win stuff, is also bummed. She says “We missed out by THAT much…..”
“…..LITERALLY that much”.
|Mr Perry has a very stern view of tearing clothing, Mr Hulk.|
For her prize, Abbie gets to pick a friend to go to high tea and a tea-leaf reading at the Langham Hotel with, so she and Duckie take the Posh Express to Poshtown and eat pretty much all the food they threw in the bin in Episode 3.
Lyndall the tea-leaf reader arrives, seemingly unable to predict for herself that she’d run out of conditioner fifteen years ago. From the mass of earthy gunk left in her cup, she tells Abbie that she might be going somewhere with a colder climate than here. Hmmm… let’s see, a colder climate than Sydney… THAT’S LIKE ALMOST EVERYWHERE ELSE! This chick is goooood.
I did two tea-leaf readings of my own, and it turns out I’m WAY more accurate than Lyndall. The first one predicted that at some point Abbie would look diagonally upwards.
The second one, though, was really spooky.
Meanwhile, the other girls get pretty much exactly the same prize except at home without someone who lies about wet leaves. As a bonus, they get Dajana reminding us that she made a bad comment in front of Shiny Alex Perry. But that’s probably the last time anyone will mention that.
Interlude: Fish and Crying.
Back at the Module Mansion that evening, all the modules sit miraculously in the same room reading quietly when they suddenly hear an American accent saying “ALRIGHT ALRIIIIGHT!”. It’s Diddles! With sushi! Lying about having a night off and wanting to spend it hanging out!
Aside, to be read in either David Attenborough or Sandra Sully’s voice: Those of you familiar with America’s Next Top Model in particular may recognise this ritual as ‘Getting To Know You Night’, in which Tyra (played tonight by Didier Cohen), asks the girls questions about their lives and ‘what makes them tick’. The process involves, almost without exception, stories of hardship, illness, teasing, and sorrow. But mostly crying.
SHIT THAT IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE FUN OF.
So instead of unbelievably witty satire, let’s just settle for this.
|News for teenage boys - they also make these for when your face ejaculates.|
RIGHT! Let’s get back to the good stuff I can hang shit on. GO!
We’re back from the break/opportunity to splash water on our faces and we learn about the prizes, which I think this year includes a year’s supply of blackhead-removing strips and a shoehorn.
The modules are plonked into a photographic studio with Diddles, Cosmo editor Bronwyn McCahon, Cosmo fashion director Nicole Adolphe, and photographer Richard Freeman, who is the only person in the room who spells his name like a normal person.
Nicole explains that today’s shoot is all about angles, and that they’ll be working with mirrors.
Wait. I get it. They’re reflecting. JUST LIKE THEY DID LAST NIGHT WITH DIDDLES. This show is multi-faceted postmodern genius, I tell you.
If you don’t count the standard duck-mouth selfies, obviously, I’ve taken exactly two photographs in a mirror before. One was shortly after my housemate had left the bathroom….
|He was an avid supporter of the arts|
…and one where I made myself look like a bishop crapping an eyeball.
|Yeah. No caption.|
Make no mistake – this is a brilliant photo shoot, and a dog turd with bits of glass and Smarties in it would look good with this set-up. That said…
I would like to own Abbie’s pants (not a euphemism, actually own and actually pants), and she shoots really well albeit with a small case of deadface.
Duckie is MADE for this shoot, and sits on the floor making me desperately want all eight of her shoes.
Jade looks absolutely unbelievably adorable with a high ponytail and poses insanely well, impressing Mr Freeman and anyone with eyes.
I CANNOT stop staring at Melissa. Diddles and Nicole aren’t that impressed with her posing, but the entire world gives less than negative four of a shit because she looks mesmerising.
Shanali has a bit of an odd scowl and goes for more of a floaty-nymph-on-Quaaludes vibe rather than a sharp-angled-power-yogi one, and poses unusually poorly. She’s still totally my new best friend, though. What she does in one shoot might not work in another. Because, like, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, might not be right for some. WHICH REMINDS ME OF AN EIGHTIES SITCOM THEME, OBVIOUSLY.
What you talkin' 'bout, Shanali.
Just before her shoot, Dajana takes a moment to worry about her phonebooth comment again, which is replayed so often I’m seriously thinking of adding it to the Catchphrase Log. Consequently, she wants to kick ever-lovin’ arse in her photo shoot. Consequently, she succeeds her fucking arse off.
Every time Shannon closes her mouth, her photos are strong, angular, and exactly what the photographer wants. I’ll just leave that there. I really, really like her skirt though.
As the scrags enter the Eliminatorium, Dajana worries aloud about her phonebooth comment to Shiny Alex Perry. A Clostridium bacterium lodged deep in the intestines of a fat man lost at sea stops producing neurotoxins for a moment, looks up, and says “Dude. We get it”.
Screamin’ J. Hawkins greets the girls, dressed as if she’s in the middle of being eaten by a disco crocodile. She introduces Bronwyn McCahon, a woman who nobody ever asks to blink less, Dawso, who is asked to show on the doll where the man with the needle touched her…
Diddles, who is wearing shoulder restraints to stop him jumping out of his chair with a plate of sushi insisting that he and the scrags hang out…
And Shiny Alex Perry, dressed as a tablecloth in a children’s restaurant.
|Spooky Tim Curry in 'IT' costs extra. Tip your waiter.|
Photos are analysed, with some notable moy-ments:
Of Abbie’s photograph, Shiny Alex Perry remarks “I saw her arse squashed up against that telephone box for about twenty minutes”, while Dawso mentions that she reminds her a lot of last year’s winner Montana. I’m sure the two comments are unrelated.
Melissa approaches the panel for her critique, but I don’t hear anything they say because I’m too distracted by her dangly ear cuff.
I can’t… I can’t help but think it needs something….
Still. Her picture is eight different kinds of the business. Shannon then approaches the desk and… OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE.
Of Shannon’s actually-quite-decent photo, Screamin’ J. Hawkins comments that perhaps she’s trying too hard. Yep. Shannon. Trying. Too hard.
|What part of four hundred and twenty thousand percent don't you understand?|
Jade’s shot is awesome, and all of the judges but one list the eight thousand reasons it’s awesome. Shiny Alex Perry, of course, says “You look like a drunk sliding down the wall at a nightclub. I hate it”. I have personally spoken to many, many drunks sliding down the wall at nightclubs, and they are universally excellent people. I hope to be one one day.
Shanali’s photo is too soft for the brief, but she’s clearly buoyed by the fact that this doesn’t affect our amazing friendship.
Duckie’s shot is outstanding. My sister, who I watched this episode with and who is currently in hospital after a pleasingly not-a-heart-attack heart attack scare (Hiiiii Shelley!) commented at this point “That is the best shot of someone sitting on the floor and squeezing a forehead zit I have EVER SEEN”. Duckie gets a double page spread in Cosmo. Also not a euphemism.
It’s Dajana’s turn for a critique, and we all wonder if she’ll mention the comment she made to Alex Perry during the phonebooth challenge. What do you reckon, Amazing Psychic Desk?
Happily, her picture is outrageously and almost unspeakably excellent. Dawso, fresh from her previous pun trophy win, says it’s “The photo that saved the faux pas”. Shiny Alex Perry forgives her, but warns her to watch what she says. Then, just as she’s walking away, he mutters as a brief aside “Clothes look like they’re good quality, too”. Dajana laughs it off.
Scrags walk out, judges deliberate, scrags walk in, and Dajana gets photo of the week. She says “I was so happy, I literally almost burst into tears”.
When Screamin’ J. Hawkins calls Melissa, she tells her that while her photo was adequate, “there’s still some room for growth”. Allow me to predict the Australia’s Next Top Model facebook page comment response by saying YEAH BUT NOT IN THE FOREHEAD RIGHT LOL YOLO.
Names are called one by one until only Tracy Flick Shannon and Bestest Friend Ever Shanali are left. Jen wraps her mouth around eight or nine unique vowels and then….
….Shannon is out. Unfortunately Shiny Alex Perry is exhausted from his tablecloth work this week, so it’s up to the Barrel Of Monkeys monkey to administer the ol’ laser eyes.
|Thank you, Barrel Of Monkeys monkey.|
Bye, Shannon. You were beautiful, determined, long-legged, determined, articulate, determined, and determined. Any last words?
And hey, yeah. There's a reasonable chance I might turn up in next week's episode in a poncho. Wear your witty incisive postmodernism pants.