Category Archives: Awards

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings 5

Christobelle, Laura and Ruby are best friends.

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. Continue reading



Filed under Awards, News

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings 4


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. Continue reading


Filed under Awards, News, Playoffs

New Zealand's Next Top Model Fixed Price Odds

"I'm not a stripper, so I didn't go anywhere near that dirty pole."

"I'm not a stripper, so I didn't go anywhere near that dirty pole."

In honour of this week’s non-entity recap episode, featuring about 30 seconds of unseen footage and a whole lot of reiterating what the hardcore ALREADY KNOW, we’ll do a similar thing with the Power Rankings this week. Because I know what you teenagers get up to when NTM isn’t on, and I can’t let the first ever copy of New Zealand Truth Weekly I’ve ever bought go to waste.

Basically this post will attempt to emulate the recap by synthesising the first five weeks of competition into one, and extrapolating the chances of wining the big prize based on that. While the Power Rankings lean heavily on that week’s episode, with a Hollinger-esque ratio taking into account previous wins, momentum and potential upside, the fixed price odds are less results driven than that, based entirely on the remaining models’ chances of actually winning the whole thing.

1. Christobelle $3.50

Watching the recap you got a sense of just how stealthy Christobelle’s rise to favouritism has been. In the early episodes she was just another frivolous, pretty young thing, cracking jokes and cruising through. It was only with the makeover that you got a sense of how bad she wants it, and the way she turned the disappointment into a victory straight afterward pointed at the steel behind those doe eyes. DeadBall can reveal that The Truth’s screaming headline “TV CATFIGHT” uncovered little save a spoiler alert regarding the two finalists (predictable, and almost certainly conjecture). Apparently poor Christobelle’s parents are divorcing, though quite how the juxtaposition of her and the number two on this list with the word ‘catfight’ related to the piece is beyond me. I just hope all those amazing headlines regarding Vice Girls in the past had more substance behind them. In any case, the main reveal was that C-Belle’s surname is Grierson-Ryrie, which sounds appropriately posh I reckon.

Key quote: “I think it was quite mean of me to not care that Hosanna was crying. But I had more important things on my mind.”– Christobelle on Michael Hill Jeweler shoot

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Filed under Awards, Golf, News

Potatoes On Prom Night


Due to an act of vandalism which has rendered my home literally powerless and hamstrung my already limping productivity (not to mention the recent spate of depressing DeadBall headlines), I’ve found myself forced somewhat willingly to place the following post instead of the photo essay from Saturday’s Warriors game. Like a good 80’s film, the clips below contain within a delightfully watchable mix of naivety and life-affirming charm. Both are triumphant, and both speak of the potential that sport (whether amateur or professional) has to energise the spirit of it’s participants, as well as it’s audience.

This isn’t exactly “T-Mac Scores 13 Points in 33 Seconds” material, but hey, T-Mac hasn’t exactly been up to much lately, so let’s not beat up on a bunch of 7th graders just because they have a better free throw percentage than me. That’s right, you’re about to watch 7th graders play basketball – so without further ado, I present the students of Buffalo Grove and Elk Grove:


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Filed under Awards, Basketball, League, NBA, NFL, Reminiscing, Rugby

Liveblogging: The Halberg Awards

It’s t-27 minutes until the start of The Halberg Awards, the venerable sporting institution which has seen off the ultra-crap People’s Choice Awards and according to one press release, turned the Vector Arena into ‘Auckland’s largest dining room!’ Which you must admit would almost border on mildly interesting if you were at a doctor’s waiting room and they only had dated back issues of NZ Home & Garden to distract you.

Anyway, just while we’re filling in time, here’s a picture of Murray Halberg, the man who started at all, and one of the original gangstas of New Zealand’s killer athletics era. There’s some talk that Vili’s gold will lead to a wave of nostalgia for those glory days and get her the overall Halberg, but let’s just state for the permanent record that DeadBall (or at least Duncan. Dave is here but I’ve not asked him) is opposed to any such award. As well as she did, the Brickyard is history, and anything other than a Scott Dixon Supreme Award will PISS. ME. OFF.

One final thing before we get into the awards proper: I do think it’s super cool that there’s a Supreme Award winner. They don’t do that anywhere, not the Oscars, Crufts or the VMAs… That’s all of them right? Actually they do in Crufts, but I’m pretty sure they don’t do that very often at other awards ceremonies, and it’s definitely cool. Continue reading


Filed under Athletics, Awards, League, Motorsport, News, Rugby league

Deadball Awards: Biggest Fall From Grace 2008


When Tom Cruise let go of his publicist in 2004 and hired his sister in her place, he let go of the one person holding him back from tearing his carefully manicured dignity to the ground. In a matter of months the patiently crafted movie star detachment was gone, revealing a small, crazed and bizarre man standing behind the curtain. By 2005, he was jumping on Oprah’s couch declaring his undying love for Katie Holmes (I had a similar reaction after watching a particularly revealing scene in The Gift) and taking shots at the unimpeachable Brooke Shields. For our purposes, Tom Cruise’s fall from grace, and in particular its coming out party on the Oprah show, is only important in relation to the decline of another once great figure – Kevin Garnett. Continue reading


Filed under Awards, Basketball

DeadBall Awards: Greatest Game 2008 (and/or Best Individual Sports Match 2008)

Individual and team sports are very different animals. Teams sports originate as a metaphor for war between villages and work as a training ground of societal virtues. While excellence and leadership are valued highly; togetherness, mutual benefit, and a responsibility of the individual to use their gifts to benefit the group are paramount. For a team to be great, the whole must be larger than the sum of its parts. It just doesn’t work otherwise. Behind every Michael Jordan there’s a Scottie Pippen. For a team to be good, all it needs is a star. For a team to be great, it needs a lot more, regardless of whether or not that ‘more’ gets headlines or not.

Individual sports on the other hand, are the fight and not the war. They are beholden to the pursuit of personal achievement and individual glory. Individual sports know nothing of passes, assists, caring, sharing, of leadership, example, SOCIETY. Individual sports are an existential staring competition with personal failure. There is no modesty, no blame, no ‘the boys’. There is only you, the Other, the winning, the losing.

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Filed under Awards, Tennis