After the tumescent glory of the American excursion, it was inevitable that the return home would be a little limp. Sans the enervating foulness of Teryl-Leigh’s temperament, the show just drifted along, as if we were all in mourning for her cantankerous venom and general sense of bitter, brawling life. Without her it was just a bunch of schoolgirls running around and making little half-hearted jabs behind one another’s backs. Where was the bald-faced meanness? The low-voiced taunting? Where was the hate, dammit!
It was gone, and we were all a little flat as a result, but it was also in a sly way the most shocking episode thus far. What did we learn, children? Nikki Phillips told us what a Go See was, but to paraphrase Chelsea Handler, you don’t need an explanation when the definition’s in the name. But there was a further revelation, and to keep with the paraphrasing, should someone nuke us all, you can add Hosanna’s name to the list of those who’d survive a nuclear apocalypse, alongside cockroaches and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The girl just stares blankly into certain doom every week and feeds off of its malevolent advances. She won this week. WON! I don’t know about you, but the other girls need to start getting properly scared of her about now, Ruby in particular.
1. (LW: 1) Christobelle
By the skin of her pretty, perfect Dio teeth goes she. After wearing the wrong gruts and taking a tumble in front of the sprawling menopausal matriarch of the New Zealand fashion scene, Trelise Cooper, C-Belle could easily have fallen apart. Instead, like Chumbawamba implored all those summers ago, she got back up again, and wowed Huffer with her legs and charm. The girl remains the obvious choice for the overall win, one who could easily work in the industry (the first champ can’t be a sentimental fave figurehead, which is why, much as I love her, Rubes is making up the numbers) with her slender frame and slightly sleepy eyes (you need a hook like that these days). But the chatter about the make-up she plasters on is rising, when she needs everyone to be focusing on her pins, which is a worry, albeit possibly a contrived one. Regardless, she needs to bring her A game every week from now on, even when on a motherf***in’ boat. Because sharks are circling, kiddo, and the biggest of the lot is now directly underneath her.
2. (LW: 5) Hosanna
Seriously, I thought long and hard before keeping her off the top. She had a stupendous week, all the more incredible given how badly she bombed in the US, and Hosanna appears to be thriving on the bile. Was it pure hunger to prove TL (“she’ll be going home next week”) wrong? Or something deeper – that desperation which has thrust her beyond her natural limits every episode? Whatever it is, the mad scramble between prosaic locations (how depressing was it seeing Parnell Rise and Fanshawe St sub in for Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive?), with her looking drunk on the moment, never showed through in her Go Sees. She sailed through them for the most part, composed and elegant, safe in the knowledge she had nude undies on. It’s the little things you know, and when she realised one little bit of model nerdery was going to pay back in spades (Trelise even called her a “beautiful model”!!!) that day it pushed her to a scarily good performance, culminating in a shot which deserved its win. Because, let’s face it, Hosanna lives in the mid-’80s, and as poorly conceived and executed as that shoot was, The Hose made the most of it.
3. (LW: 2) Laura
So Laura really is in a hole. Until this week I half-suspected I was manufacturing her woes, subconsciously projecting my annoyance at the organiser’s tooth-fixing (match fixing? If modeling was an Olympic sport – and it should be – machinations of this nature would be outlawed) onto the poor girl. But this week proved irrevocably that she’s got a proper chip on her shoulder, seeming genuinely miffed about the Hose’s win in the Go See’s, and letting all that tremulous petulance show through in a truly abysmal photo. How does a model with her asymetrical hair tank in a Duran Duran-themed shoot? Seriously, the most mystifying non-performance of the event so far, and one which suggests Cb could do this at a canter. You know, this shit’s gotten to the point where I almost want that hellspawn Hosanna to win, just to show these entitled city kids what that raw will trumps natural good looks any day. But Laura is safely in the bunch, and unlikely to be eliminated before the final, so she has a sliver of time to get over herself and resurrect a once-promising bid for immortality.
4. (LW: 3) Ruby
The one-time front-runner is slipping faster than she knows. Complacency’s a bitch, huh Rubes? Maybe it’s because she’s already mentally moved on to her inevitable career as a TV presenter. Someone needs to confirm that C4 rumour, because I have to know where my next Ruby fix is coming from, when she gets the inevitable gong. I can already picture her nonplussed ambivalence in her final interview. She just knows that this is a footnote on her pathway to stardom. Ruby is just that amazing, New Zealand, and we need to officially acknowledge that in some way. Is it too soon to call for a national holiday in her honour? Queen’s Birthday’s coming up, and no one cares about that, right? Think about, that’s all I ask.
She was the most lively of the suddenly tight foursome who bandied together to beat Hosanna, gamely trying to drown the rat, but giving up, probably through disinterest as much as anything. She’s down in the basement, though, because she had a big fat fail at the Go Sees, principally due to wearing flats and a scarf to them… Which just made her look glamourous and nonchalant to me. Anna Fitzpatrick though, turned full-on bitch mode, and went to town on her, and that bled into all her meetings… Even though she looked like an Amazonian princess at Huffer they panned her (probably got some Saramail to that effect) and plumped for Chrisobelle and Laura. She did recover for a photo which was pretty amazing, all distant, mysterious, unattainable – Atip (who really missed the mid-’80s mark I thought) said she was the best so far – but it wasn’t enough to recover from her horror show at the designers. Next week she’ll either hammer the competition or bow out. There is no middle ground with this girl.
PS – Other things that happened this week: Colin very sweetly turned down my request for the matchless honour of Facebook friendship, because, as you can imagine, it’s getting out of control. He’s by far the finest judge on the show, wit, poise, and a thousand yard stare which completely disarms the models while being entirely inscrutable at the same time. Sisarich has disappeared into the background, Sara never really figured out whether she’s camp mother or an ice queen… But CMJ has been superb every week. One day we’ll be virtual friends, and it will be the proudest moment in my news feed’s life… Amelia Hunt gave us her second lifetime model sighting, Victoria (how nuts is it that this is the first mention of the eliminated in this week’s column? She just went out that limply – the way Ruby tipped that bucket of water on her with a resigned shrug kinda summed the week up for her) going down as she went up on the escaltors at the Rialto in Newmarket – V’s spiritual home. She was wearing a t-shirt with tights, so the exhibitionist in her is fusing with last season’s trends, a toxic mix… And I’ve got to give credit to commenter Lucy’s sleuthing on TL, who’s apparently going to join the legal profession, so she can get a house like the Top Model one. I, for one, would certainly launch some spurious case for the privilege and sexy honour of sitting in the same courtroom as the Otara firebrand… One last thing: how limp and forlorn does the chorus of ‘Saramail’ sound now? The joy was gone this week… OK, I should give the last word to Victoria, whose closing quote was as impeccable as her tenure was bizarre:
“I just hope that the girl that beats me is so intelligent… That’s why I can’t believe Hosanna beat me!”