Round three of NZ’s Next Top Model took place Friday, and after the tumult of the first couple of weeks we’re starting to see the competiton settle into some kind of order. The trash has been largely wheeled out the door and the contenders are starting to make some serious moves, so I figured it was time to launch our NZNTM power rankings.
Inspired by the ESPN’s on the NBA and LeagueHQ’s on the NRL we’re going to rank the contenders on their momentum and recent form, and try and predict who’s next in line for elimination, and see who’s making the right moves to take the whole thing out. Power rankings, for the unfamiliar, are based on form and a team’s general outlook, rather than where they might be positioned in the competition. While there’s no official ladder for NZNTM, it’s pretty clear that Teryl-Leigh would be atop it if there were, with her surfeit of wins in the first couple of weeks. Power rankings would suggest that there’s a new challenger they need to pay attention to.
She’s looked like the quiet achiever from the start, a sunny personality belying a steely determination, and she picked the right time to turn it on, with a stunning catwalk performance, and while she let herself get phased by the rigours of the makeover, she pulled it back together for the shoot. Her only issue now is that she’s clearly in everyone’s sights, those models don’t fuck around when they see someone trying to take their contract, and will be scheming for her downfall at every turn.
The aged Westie mother-of-two scorched through the first couple of weeks, winning everything put in front of her despite only having one, mournful go-to expression. This week she came crashing back to earth, from the top of the tree to the bottom two after whinging her way through the makeover and being unaware of what she was wearing on the catwalk. She retains a high ranking thanks to those victories, but her manufactured bickering with Hosanna, while hugely entertaining in its passive-aggressive fakery, is threatening to bring her down to the East coast struggler’s level.
The best personality of the bunch – though irrelevant, it makes it easy to pull for her – had a huge week. They tried to make her Agnes Deyn but succeeded in making her Robyn, which is kinda like a golfer aiming to turn pro at 18 but instead winning the Masters on their 12th birthday. The hair looked terrifying right through her makeover, but came out super, and she’s starting to believe in herself, which is incredibly dangerous for the rest of the comp because she’s got an extremely unfair brains allocation.
The smug look of satisfaction that spread across her alien face when they called her win was pretty unpleasant to look at, and if she mentions her f***ing previous experience one more time I’ll smash my TV (I would never do that TV. It was a figure of speech. I love you TV.), but the judges are into her, and she looks like a facsimile of what a model should look like if you squint so much that your eyes are pretty much closed and face away from the TV. The previous rounds haven’t necessarily played to her strengths, with hip hop dancing and old-lady-clothes-wearing, but this week’s main competition, with its emphasis on looking like a total mutant, was right up her alley. She’s got the smarts and freakishness to become a top 5 fixture, much as it pains me to say it.
After a near-meltdown and attempted race war last week it looked like early front-runner Ajoh was going to squander her physical advantages with some major mental problems, and the tears and raw terror in her eyes when they chopped off her hair didn’t help matters. But she came out looking like a young, hotter Grace Jones, all angles and incredible skin in that gold bikini. She knew it too, and carried that momentum through to a powerful finish. Could win this thing if she gets her head right.
Ruby never looks like a model until the photos come out. The nose and chubby cheeks and general air of a normal young girl (a facet she shares with Rhiannon) make it seem like she’s just a passenger. Plus that moronic temperament problem the judges tried to manufacture last week (this comp has extremely visible manipulation lines, maybe because New Zealanders aren’t so outwardly vicious as Americans) indicated that they maybe weren’t her biggest fan. But she shrugged it off, got a pretty swell haircut and handled the challenge of playing blackface (is it the ’20s? Seriously, how did that happen?) with aplomb.
In the first shoot Victoria was utterly gorgeous, and she has eyes which should be wreaking havoc with the camera every week. But so long as she fails to really turn it on there will be question marks over her big match ability. It’s to be hoped all this drifting is just her keeping her ammo for the playoffs. Because her regular season form has been a yawn.
The triumph of the will. She looked for all the world like comic relief for the first few rounds, but making her hair the same colour (as Teryl-Leigh drily noted, in her only worthwhile moment of the show so far) has worked wonders on the one-time basement dweller. She still feels like luggage, to be discarded when the game gets real, but her tenacity and willingness to spend hours drilling into the heart of Sara’s witterings might carry her further than appeared possible in the early weeks.
The most conspicuously terrible of all the hairjobs, and still veering between jaw-dropping and horsey, Rhiannon’s a lovely kid, but she seems still a little country to take this thing too seriously. Which bodes well for her as a human, but less so for her future in the comp. She clearly cares the least about success here, and that will irritate the judges eventually, plus that hair is pretty much a disaster with her skin-tone, so how long she can carry it for is anyone’s guess.
After watching her sister get the chop through a glaze of possibly-feigned tears, Lucy can now get on with being her own person, without the banal and contrived sibling rivalry to distract her. She still feels very much like the hot girl at the supermarket, rather than a model, but she’s second only to Hosanna in the determination stakes, so could yet hang on for longer than you might think.