And then there were three. If I was saddened and embittered by Dakota’s elimination last week then Courtenay’s departure left me completely dumbfounded. She definitely had a soft episode, but I’m starting to suspect some grand conspiracy to hustle Michaela to the finale. She has never at any point looked like the winner, whereas Courtenay had poise, a walk, a variety of different facial expressions… all that modelly stuff that those who make it to the finale tend to possess. For her to come crashing down because she can’t read a map seems rather cruel.
But life is cruel, and the designers were unremittingly cruel in their assessments of her. When she slipped up at World and “when I become a model” fell out of her pretty little mouth the writing was on the wall, and if you want metaphors for this episode’s performance you only had to watch her ask her driver to pull over on the motorway. Her campaign had been slick and well directed, but as soon as reality (or as close to that substance as you’ll get on this show) bit, in the form of actual clients and deadlines, she was done.
Aside from that the highs came from Ford. And by ‘highs’ I mean the kind of brain-meltingly stupid moments that makes this show so great. Like the super-dated, incredibly embarassing graffitti-d Fiestas for the mods to get around in. Or their marketing manager sounding exactly like David Brent at his most over-weaningly desperate-to-be-liked. Or the fact that never in the hsitory of brand-personality alliances has their been a less well-matched pairing than Ford and Danielle. Watching that one flame out will be a good time. Rankings:
“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:
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
"In my life/ There's been heartache and pain..."
“Chinese go home,” said the man in the orange jacket*, and while at the time it just seemed like garden variety New Zealand racism, as events unfolded it took on the air of a premonition – albeit one which mistook Amelia’s ethnic origins. Actually it was pretty horrid, but I did quite like the way the judges drew a line between that kind of abuse (which sucks, but is part of life) and your friend dying in a car crash, the latest misfortune to be visited upon poor Danielle.
Amelia basically got told to harden up, and that’s something all the girls would do well to learn. Even by Top Model standards there were a lot of tears this episode, by my count at least five girls turned them on at one point or another. To be fair though, they all met Dave Gibson for the first time in this episode – which is an emotional experience for any human.
That anti-smoking thing was comedy gold, but between Dan Carter’s 4 Everyone water, the Herbal Essences conditioner and Not Our Future it was an episode which blended a little too comfortably into the ads. That being said, those scenarios did conjure up some pretty amazing moments – and violently re-shuffle the rankings – so maybe it’s not such a bad thing.
Makeovers week is always the highlight of the early rounds of Top Model, all those PYTs with great clumps of hair around them and tears streaming down their faces. I did think it was a bit gratuitous when they callously handed Lauren her ponytail (see above) – but it was she who underwent the most dramatic transformation, and while she was initially mortified once she got over the shock and realised what an improvement the look was (from next-for-the-chop to top eight) it elevated her performance no end.
But while the makeovers were, on the whole, both relatively subtle and rather good, they did have the unanticipated side effect of leveling the playing field somewhat. Which is to say that the girls with disastrous hair were pulled up close by those with lovely hair. And thus Aafreen, one of the stars of the show prior to now and possessor of thick, luxuriant locks, got sent home. But not before Colin had his fun with her one last time:
Aafreen (at CMJ’s behest): “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I’m the hottest Indian of them all.”
Mirror (played by CMJ): “No you’re not, it’s still Colin.”
That was my favourite Colin of the series so far, even if it seemed a little cruel in light of subsequent events. Still, the joke was on Colin’s face at the end of the show. That was one truly awful beard:
Anyway – rankings:
"Amazing. You've got beautiful..."
Up until now, if I’m honest, I’ve just been fucking with Sisarich. I get it – he’s our Nigel Barker, only less charming and talented. But he is amost as creepy as Barker, and knowing that his American counterpart is renowned for running trains on the cast of each cycle, it was fun to just imply that Sisarich was doing the same. Particularly when he gave us some pretty fine material.
But this week? I am convinced. 100% sold on his being a lech and up to all types of dirty ass shit with these young women. There’s that photo up top, for sure. And the line which accompanied it, which I had to rewind five times to make sure I hadn’t misheard it. But that was hardly the only misdemeanour. How about this combo: Continue reading