New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings: Cycle Two / Episode Nine

“I knew there was no constellation prize,” said Dakota after losing the charity challenge, and on her way to an inevitable, intense elimination. Her star had finally fallen, and even given the spectacular loathing for her that exists around the country, I think few could deny that the girl wanted it more than anyone else on the show. Compared to the emotion shown by previous evictees – which was more on the level of getting to McDonald’s drive thru at 10.35 when you wanted a McMuffin – Dakota was convinced that she had been thrown straight onto the human garbage heap, and high class hooker was her ceiling. I happen to think that with some of her wilder impulses toned down she could well become a Nightline reporter or children’s TV presenter. Sure, we’re talking a few years of humanity integration, but she can penetrate the camera and her enthusiasm, when channeled in the right direction, is very infectious. Either way, putting her and Elza, the co-winners of the first challenge, in the bottom two was really poor form, and I think the judges kicked her out at least a round too early from an entertainment perspective.

All that being said, it was a terrific episode, almost making up for the debacle in Phuket. Things didn’t start well, with that atrocious Nivea informercial chewing through the early minutes. You know you’re watching bad TV when the highlight is two pretty teenage girls complaining about stress pimples. But the charity thing was a genius concept, which a couple of the girls totally nailed, and the shoot was fun, though perhaps not the best way of showing their strengths as models to probably the most qualified judge we’re likely to see this cycle. Regardless, I had a fine old time on Friday, and if my fave reality TV villain of recent times had to go, at least she slung a few arrows and threatened to stab someone along the way. Rankings:

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DeadCast: Balls! 32 feat. Sonny Bill Williams, The Ranfurly Shield, The Black Caps and Liverpool

Aaron Hawkins from Radio 1 in Dunedin and DeadBall’s Duncan Greive discuss the week in sport, including a spectacular effort by the Black Caps in Bangladesh and the unveiling of yet another new schedule from the ICC. We also go at Sonny Bill Williams attempts to become the least likable sportsman in the country, the Stags’ Shield loss and the way Liverpool’s recent travail’s illustrate the danger’s of becoming a millionaire’s toy.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F6087762%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-j4AsY&secret_url=false BALLS! 032 by Deadball

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The Skinny Post: Meat Of The Week

Due to time contraints we move ahead in this week’s NFL coverage:

FEATURED GAMES

ATLANTA FALCONS v PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Falcons are very good, and look to go a lot further than Atlanta’s baseball team managed. The Eagles will still be a Vick-less wonder, but are at home.

ATLANTA WIN

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS v CHICAGO BEARS

Both of these teams can be terrific, or utterly, completely awful. However Chicago look like they’re beginning to gel. I hate Jake Cutler with every fibre of my being: he seems smarmy, whiny and full of himself. But he’s seeing the field the way co-ordinator Mike Martz wants him to and you will see a monster game from him at some point this season. This may well be it. Pete Carroll’s doing a very good job with Seattle, but he’s a long way from finished yet. Continue reading

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New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings: Cycle Two / Episode Eight

It was my birthday on Sunday. If you want to know what it was like for me, cast your mind back to the twins’ birthday a few weeks ago, with me making the emotional speeches and Nellie’s part being played by a mirror. The whole day I was looking forward to the ep of NZNTM I had stashed away on the MySky, both because when you’re in your thirties that’s pretty much all there is left, and because it was the overseas ep.

Remember last year’s trip to LA? That was one of my favourite TV hours ever. By heaps. Teryl-Leigh complaining about the absence of Number 1 Shoes from Rodeo Drive? Hosanna comparing herself to Kate Moss being trumped by Victoria comparing herself to Tom Cruise? NIGEL BARKER flirting with Christobelle?! Some shit hot television.

But this week was flat as. Two quarter pound patties of Sisarich-as-beefcake with only a thin sliver of CMJ’s processed cheese between (his regal fan-waving was my fave part) was part of it, but I think the main issue was simply the location. Phuket (were I Paul Henry I’d be shitting my pants at that hilarious name right now) just isn’t LA. It isn’t even on any fashion radar that I’m aware of. It’s just a nice place to go and have a lie down. The lack of a sense of glamour or history-spurring-action severely impacted on the episode, and as a result I was empathising with the elephant by the end, in being entirely “tired of posing with girls from New Zealand.” (thanks Kane for the quote). Rankings: Continue reading

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Run Out Groove

It’s been a couple of days now since I got the phone call from Sam, announcing that the forthcoming issue of Real Groove was to be its last. It’s being spun as a merger with its sister weekly publication The Groove Guide, but seeing as the new venture will retain the name, frequency and price tag of the latter I think at this point we can safely say that Real Groove is gone. I sincerely hope that the new publication manages to retain a lot of what made Real Groove matter to me and others, and would hope I’ll end up writing for it too – but while public relations demand that this be sold as a merger, common sense dictates that we call it what it is, and salute it appropriately.

Real Groove died on its 18th birthday – going out with the forthcoming Leonard Cohen issue and therefore having some kind of generational symmetry with its first incarnation, a two colour news-print in-store publication with Warren Zevon on its cover. While it initially focused on the blues and roots music which was its parent company Real Groovy’s bedrock, there was always room for everything within its pages – that same debut issue also featured Kerry Buchanan writing about Jimmy Cliff, hip hop and dance music.

While the blues/roots thing remained dominant through the first few issues, it wasn’t long before it started to mutate. As long-time contributor and columnist Gary Steel notes in his meditation on the magazine’s passing, each editor brought their own take on what mattered musically to the table. But I think what made the magazine special, at least to my eyes, was that for the most part it never valued one style of music over another, and fought the good fight for provocative criticism and artists who were either ignored, marginalised or derided by other publications. Continue reading

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New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings: Cycle Two / Episode Eight

Just knowing it was coming didn’t make it any easier to take. All week they’d been running a fantastic promo portending extreme emotion, as good as signing Nellie’s death warrant. But, like one of those fancy movies where they start with the ending (say Titanic, or The Butterfly Effect), once we were rid of the suspense of wondering how things would turn out we were free to soak in the plot, and decry the injustice of the whole thing at greater length.

Because Nellie did not deserve to miss out on a trip to Phuket (budget non-fashion destination it might be, but it’s the principle). Not when Mikaela took a disastrously empty photo, and Elza nearly hospitalised herself with a very high grade freakout.

In the end, though, it had to happen. You could argue for Nellie being top five, but not top four. So she was going to get kicked out anyway. And if you’re going to get got, it might as well be in the best episode of the cycle so far. Truly this was a near masterpiece of reality television, and one with so much visual appeal I put together a small, badly shot series of images at the bottom to commemorate its glory. Before then though, we have models to be ranked… Continue reading

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The Skinny Post: The Mad Dog is Back!

Usually I write this column on a Tuesday. The reason being I like to be ahead of the other 9,000 people making picks for the weekend, and its the day I usually make my bets. I bet early because the odds are usually so much better if you do what I do, which is bet favourites. Lines on favourites tend to tighten closer to the weekend in the NFL, as exposure to 400 hours of various forms of NFL Countdown tends to convince people that potential upsets are possible. When Keyshawn Johnson tells you that there’s no way 2010 Tampa Bay win more than 4 games this year (they’re 2-0 right now) people rightly tend to herd in the other direction.

“and who else has an injury? Peterson? Who does he play for?”

My strategy is even worse – in fact its actually anathema to the spirit of gambling.

I only bet likely blowouts. Continue reading

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