It was a bad time to be a bobble-headed alien on NZNTM, as Rebecca-Rose defied the prayers of a nation to be sent home. She didn’t have the greatest week, but the way both the ‘experienced’ (took her less than 20 secs to bring that up) models got sent home in consecutive episodes seemed kinda suss to me. I seem to remember one of the Sunday papers outing RR and Ajoh as having already been signed and working in the industry, and it’s kinda convenient for the show to have those potential scandals averted.
That being said, her photo was awful, her jaw seemed detached from the rest of her face in a shoot which should have worked for her, so maybe she deserved to go. Plus she totally tanked in the Vodafone Select Live assignment, and then had the breathtaking lack of self awareness to tell us “I surprised myself today. I may have that x-factor”. So she gets some comedy points. Before we get to the rankings can I just say that the NZ Music Month stuff on the show was somewhat ridiculous. Hosting a TV show is not remotely a modeling assignment, and how Autozamm got that gig I will never know. Their whole career is a mystery, and that spot required star-power on a scale they simply don’t possess. Oh well. To the rankings!
1. (Last Week: 1) Laura
In many ways it was a turning point for Laura. No longer was she the underdog, and it showed. The way the judges got her tooth fixed was, frankly, bizarre. Lucy, TL and Ruby spoke up about it, and I think they had a point. It looked like favouritism, but worse, the crooked tooth was a core part of her charm. They airbrushed Cindy Crawford’s mole out in her early shoots, before it became what she was famous for. I feel like the tooth was Laura’s mole, and am correspondingly less enamoured of her as a result. She did have a strong week though, superb photo (though the tears afterward were entirely superfluous) and while she was sorta vacant in the TV spot she wasn’t as achingly awful as many of the other girls. She’s now in the driving seat, and the new tooth just put a big target on her back. How she responds will decide her fate.
2. (LW: 4) Ruby
Ruby had an outrageously good week. She’s firmly in control now, and you needed no more evidence of that than the way she effortlessly outshone Jermaine in the TV spot. The girl is going to be extremely famous, and this show will just be a footnote in her bio in a few year’s time, just like True Bliss for Jo Cotton… only entirely different. The way she oh-so-innocently needled Rebecca-Rose in the bathroom about her near-elimination last week was masterful, and pointed to the intelligence behind her pug nose, and her photo was outrageously good. The latter was all the more notable for her dealing a three-part bug-in-eye situation that would have had Lucy vomitting with raw terror, but Ruby just seemed to think it was funny. I’m starting to think she has no chance of winning; the “treadmill” comment from the photographer was too telling, and I think they’d be wise to pick someone more pliant as the inaugural winner.
3. (LW: 3) Christobelle
She’s in the midst of what by her standards rates as a slump, but is still putting up All Star calibre numbers every week. So at this point it almost looks like a calculated retreat from the hot seat (remember this ‘slump’ coincides with her being outed as the key competition from every other girl in the house). She’s relaxed and playing the schoolgirl she still is at the moment, charging her batteries for the final weeks when it will be all on for young and old. She handled herself well during that horrific video shoot, despite being paired with Autozamm’s keyboard player, who must be in his sixties. Very strange looking band, even by New Zealand standards. This week’s shoot required a camp sexuality which is maybe a stretch for 16-year-old, but she still played it well, and I feel like she’s about to go on another hot streak. The competition better brace themselves.
4. (LW: 6) Hosanna
How this happened, I’ll never know, but while the top three are established and comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack, Hosanna was a clear fourth this week. She’s somehow transcended that desperation, internalised it and is channeling it as a barely-forced enthusiasm now. The way she eye-fucked the shit out of Jermaine in the TV spot was actually kinda intense, and though he joked about it afterwards he was obviously affected. The more B&D elements of the shoot were tailormade for her OCD controlling elements. “If they tell me to strangle you, I’ll strangle you”, delivered with a slightly manic lilt was one of the best lines of the episode, and the photo was actually pretty amazing. Still no way she can win this thing, but she keeps surprising us, and maybe feels like, having outlasted Ajoh and now RR that she’s proved her point, and anything from here on in is a bonus. That’s a dangerous attitude for the other competitors, and could see her lasting a few more eliminations yet.
5. (LW: 2) Teryl-Leigh
She’s an enigma, this one. One minute she’s kinda stunning, looking mournful and verging on a ‘great beauty’, the next she’s saying “sometimes people reckon I sound like a zombie” in that terrible voice and you’re not even sure how she made it on that show. I think there’s a duality to her. On one hand she had to grow up early with the two kids and all, which leads to her detachment from the group as a whole, and that stern, matronly tone she adopts. But then you dress her in a gorilla suit and she’s having more fun than anyone else, genuinely loving running around with a pair of bananas in her hands and having a bash at the drums. The reason she’s down here at five was the shoot, and her complete inability to engage with the best concept thus far. Now that she’s got two looks (painfully depressed and slightly less painfully depressed) she feels compelled to use the new one all the time, and in this case if she could’ve had some of that old cold aloofness she might’ve nailed the shot. It was all a bit meek, and unless she steps up she might make a return to the bottom two shortly.
6. (LW: 5) Victoria
I’m pretty sure that Victoria is an 80-year-old Croatian woman trapped in that admittedly pretty swell body. She’s extremely conservative, and didn’t handle the raunch of the shoot well at all. Looked kinda creeped out by those admittedly fairly creepy dudes. But the other girls are starting to pick up on it, Ruby’s call was dead on: “I feel like some of the older ones have no clue what’s going on.” She seems to think it’s some caring, sharing, altruistic situation, when really they all should be working for one another’s downfall, whether overtly or covertly. Watching her dance was absolutely terrifying. Plus who the hell would say this, even under duress? “I never thought I’d get to do a video, let alone with Autozamm.” On national TV, acting like Autozamm are Coldplay or something. Totally mental. When she pashed the singer it was cringingly bad, she looked violated over an extremely innocuous liplock, and carried that on to the shoot, which she failed at miserably. She actually looked scared in her shot, and the judges commented tellingly on her “odd personality”. Which was putting it mildly. If Lucy had done anything at all since playing dress ups at Max she’d be bottom.
7. (LW: 8) Lucy
I honestly have no idea why they keep her on. Consistent mediocrity is her watchword, and she seems bewildered by the entire competition. I’ve been picking her to go for three weeks now, and the fact she’s still there would imply that she’s pulled out some huge effort to save things, but her photos have been pretty poor every week, that angry, cross-eyed look she pulls out is pinched and baffling. The fact she wasn’t even in the bottom two would give the average person a false sense of security, but Lucy seems so broken down by the whole situation that she could win a comp and still burst into agonised tears over it all. Her complaining over Laura’s tooth job was typically small-minded, and she could do with a dose of her sister’s frivolity. I feel a litle bit rough saying all this stuff, because she’s a very pretty girl, and off the show is probably great. But NZNTM is a competition, with one winner and a bunch of losers. To even be in the manouvering for victory you need to make some plays, to have the instinct for survival. For whatever reason, it’s not in her, therefore it’s only a matter of time til she joins her sister back in Dunners.