I have a long and distinguished career as photographer, using my trusty Nokia to snap pictures off the TV, but the above image might be my all time favourite. You pretty much have the entire plotline of Friday’s episode right there: Christobelle, Laura and Ruby continued their dominance, and love each other (for now). Victoria just isn’t quite there, though desperately wants to be a part of any gang that’ll have her. Teryl-Leigh and Hosanna are nowhere to be seen.
Anyway, self-congratulatory photo analysis aside, it was a pretty fantastic episode, and one which finally saw my rankings hold something close to correct. Bottom placed Lucy bade farewell to the show, poignantly on the brink of their doing something proper fun. So her final memories of the show will be linked for time immemorial to the musty, overpriced corrugated iron walls of Savemart New Lynn and and a catwalk outside the offices of Universal Music (one of the sexiest locations in New Zealand), while the rest of the models jet off to LA and a date with Nigel Barker. Harsh time to get cut, but really, we couldn’t be taking her tearful ass to America as one of the half-dozen hottest gals we’ve got, could we? It’s bad enough Hosanna’s on that plane…
1. (Last Week: 2) Ruby
She won the week comfortably, and is just brimming with confidence right now, after once again letting her natural charisma outshine the pack. In the same way last week’s show felt a little rigged for Laura, this one came good for Rubes: a cute, smart and talented designer in Abby to work with and an expression, joy, which is hardly a stretch for her. The best moment of a dominant week? How she channelled joy: “I was actually thinking about the time my friend at school fell off her chair frontwards and smashed her head on a desk.” Two lessons in that, fellow models: 1. Schadenfreude comes naturally to Hastings’ finest, so don’t go expecting pity when you’re forced to, say, go braless down the runway. 2. Ruby might actually be psychotic. Which as Naomi Campbell (and Tyra, for that matter) has proven time and again, is by no means an impediment to success in the fashion kingdom.
2. (Last Week: 1) Laura
Ol’ New Tooth surprised me this week with her call prior to the Savemart exploration that she’s “not very good at op shopping”. Every New Zealander over the age of 20 should have a good op shopping background, and prior to the show if I’d had to pick one girl from this bunch to be the best I’d have gone with her. Figured she was a Mighty Mighty kinda girl, the only vaguely ‘alternative’ one of the bunch. But with Rebecca-Rose sightings coming in every week (most recently watching Matt & Kim at Whammy and The Vietnam War at the KA) it seems she’s the K Rd fixture and Laura’s maybe a little more suburban than I’d originally pegged her. Reason she holds so high is because she turned on those emotional wells again in monumental style for her photo. With tears streaming down her face and visions of her boyf in a casket in her mind she came off like Gwen Stefani in the Don’t Speak clip, and wowed everyone involved in the enterprise. It’s moments like that, when she seems able to will herself onto a different planet to her fellow competitors, which suggest she will be right there when the final decision is made.
3. (LW: 3) Christobelle
Holding at 3, and not really making any huge moves, but she’s still light years away from the chasing pack. She remains my pick to take the show, and I’m similarly going to stick to my theory that she’s just doing enough to stay safe right now, intentionally keeping her best moves hidden until they’re absolutely necessary. Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like Grierson-Ryrie is extremely intelligent like that, and knowing Diocesan, she’ll be well-versed in strange, manipulative games and how to win them. Her work on the catwalk behind Benediction (no doubt soon to become a shrine for NZNTM fanatics, part of the guided tours etc) was pretty impresive given that she was wearing what looked like one of those sun visor things people from Botany use to protect the interiors of their Lexus (“It’s the Japanese Mercedes!”) when they’re on the golf course. And the skirt had a strong Tommy Gun vibe. Lucy and Laura had a whinge that she didn’t hit a pose for the non-existent cameras, but seriously, given that she had no straight ahead vision past her top, just staying on the catwalk was impressive enough. I felt she did a big fat fail at playing angry (hers was more disdain), but the judges disagreed, including that mega-innocuous new guy who needs to stay the f*** away from TV. Watch for her to turn things up next week for Barker and AMERICA!
4. (LW: 6) Victoria
She only rises via the complete abdication of the two competitors below her but Blenheim’s strangest hottie (my latest theory: Asperger’s) didn’t have a bad week all told. Particularly because the judges, in what was one of the great jokes of the series thus far, allocated her the extremely specific emotion of lust (Colin: “that’s how I look at myself every morning in the mirror”. He’s too good). This from a woman whose Autozamm-pashing (see below) was pretty much an unabashed disaster. But while she appeared confused and somewhat wounded throughout the shoot, the image they chose worked pretty well, even though it was the kind of lust you normally see in a Cadbury ad. Her bone structure and big, full features work well with the ’50s theme, so she made it through in the top 3, even though the other girls didn’t want to play with her. Incidentally, how ham-fistedly was that anti-smoking message worked in? I’m guessing they got around $100k for that from Smokefree, but they didn’t even refer back to it following the stern initial statements. Odd.
5. (LW: 4) Hosanna
Very, very funny week for Hose (as Aaron Yap delightfully referred to her), who reverted to the country bumpkin stereotypes she’d been vigourously shedding these past few weeks. Quotes like “I didn’t actually know what an eggpant was” will endear her to me long after this season has finished, and when they announced the trip to Australia I joked that Hosanna wouldn’t have a passport… seconds later she was on TV tearfully announcing as much to the nation. No shame in it, obviously, but she does feel like most of her life is and will ever be in the central North Island. After her tearful fears about the overseas travel were broadcast Teryl-Leigh sympathetically chimed in that she could have “a party pooper party for one”. Those guys are such great pals. She hung around watching TL’s shoot, and it got a little sinister for a minute. Kinda Single White Female which was pretty entertaining, and suggests further sparks stateside. Her and Lucy refered to one another as their biggest competition, which was enlightening. They do look quite similar, only Lucy is way better looking. Shows that Hosanna’s guile and work ethic has now seen off a number of more naturally gifted challengers. How much longer the desperation and will-to-succeed will carry her remains to be seen. I’m picking two weeks.
6. (LW: 5) Teryl-Leigh
In some ways I’m surprised she’s even on this list. The way she spat the dummy at the (admittedly pretty hideous) outfit her designer assembled for her was eerily similar to Ajoh and Sarah’s copouts, both of which got ’em sent home. She did make it down the runway, but her walk and posture was, along with Victoria’s, the worst of the week. That pair had pretty great interaction all week, and if either had even sub-normal social skills they’d have formed an old, mumsy-types alliance by now. As it was you had TL complaining “I don’t want to show my tits” on account of how motherhood had treated them, while Victoria giggled about how she’d be happy to. The latter does admittedly have a fairly serious looking chest, so maybe some classy publication like Ribald or NZX will cash up and try and pull the big reveal. Anyway, TL just looked furious about the designer she’d been paired with, and it was an obviously ill-fitting pairing, more evidence of the clear manipulations being pulled behind the scenes now. TL’s emotion was surprise, and she basically just went a little cross-eyed and give the impression that she’d sat on a mince and cheese pie. Which is fine, it’s not easy to pretend to be surprised, but for the most part her bad attitude was barely contained, and if she pulls that shit with Barker she’ll be sailing home alone, even though she on balance should make at least the final four.
Until next week, those were your power rankings. Here’s Autozamm’s monumentally poor music video from last week. Seriously, New Zealand, out of all the mad, pointless music videos we have paid for over the last 15 years (thanks for nothing, NZ on Air!), has there ever been one more terrible, in every possible way, than this?