Ladies and gentlemen – your 2010 New Zealand’s Next Top Model Champion – Danielle Hayes. Now that it’s over, I can appreciate her for what she is – the one thing which stood between boredom factory Michaela Steenkamp and the title. For that alone she deserves all the good stuff that’s coming to her.
Actually that’s not entirely fair – there’s more to her than just that-girl-which-stopped-Michaela-winning. She was accurately described by Chris Sisarich (I know! But it’s true!) as having a very global look. As if the entire world had sex with each other at the same time but only had one love child. In a good way, obviously. I genuinely feel like if anyone has a shot at being a real, bonafide working international model it’s Danielle. She just has that attitude, she’s tough and funny and cool, and it will play well overseas. When she was announced as the winner the 10 or so people at my house all shrieked like they’d been electrocuted. I don’t think it was because they’d been Danielle fans all season, but more because they felt like she was someone they could relate to, a real human rather than some weird TV droid. But, as pretty a picture as she takes, it’s hard to avoid the elephant in the room – that Danielle Hayes did not by any fair evaluation win New Zealand’s Next Top Model. Continue reading
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
The episode opened with a sweet little letter from last week’s evictees, Eva and Lauren, read aloud to add poignance to their absence. Sample line from this week’s missive: “Danielle and Holly: I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you two – you have such interesting personalities.”
That might be one of the better backhanded compliments I’ve heard, at least in reality TV land, where back-handers tend to be very literal. And it turned out to be as portentous as the orange jacket incident from a couple of week’s back, with Holly taking her dead, Mako shark eyes home to her baby and (as she was so fond of telling us) ridiculously hot boyfriend. You could not argue with the result, and there was much cheering at DeadBall HQ when they finally cut her – but I for one feel a little hollow inside.
For better or worse she provided 60% of the drama on any given Friday. And while it had begun to feel rote and repetitious there was still a tension in the air whenever she was on screen. With one notable exception the girls remaining are so damned nice (exemplified by the twins deranged fawning over one another at the birthday dinner) that we might have to work hard to find much in the way of teeth going forward.
This will mean a heavier reliance upon two people: Dakota, who took her possessed mania to great heights without having the wax melt as in episodes prior; and Colin-Mathura-Jeffree who delivered what was probably his best all-around episode yet*. So maybe we’ll be alright after all.
The brutal axing of two of the strongest models in one week has shocked the Model-watching world from its slumber. Despite Lauren and Eva’s pre-show rankings of three and six respectively, they are now banished from the house, and must live once more amongst the humans in RL.
“It really makes you think,” said one observer. “If someone as pretty as Eva or with a haircut as appropriate for her face as Lauren can be eliminated, no one is safe. NO ONE!!!”
Crap quasi-news story intros aside, the decision to send the two youths home at once was probably quite guttering for all those who remained. Losing 20% of your colleagues at once would be traumatic for any workplace, and it has the effect of fast-forwarding us to business time – due to the strength of this cycle’s field all those still standing are either bonafide contenders or Holly.
The latter is clearly being carried now – she’s pure bitch appeal, and must on some level be aware of it – a minimum of four objectionable comments per episode to retain her place. As long as she keeps delivering the condescending, joyless lines she’ll keep getting plumb assignments like putting makeup on Courtenay’s eyes (to paraphrase CMJ, a blind person could’ve won with that draw), leading to cheap wins and evading the axe for another week.
Other than the extra shrinkage the main talking point* was the abysmal styling of the photo shoot. They took a bunch of bubbly adolescent girls and turn them into the most frightening kind of Howe Street hookers – truly the worst look of the franchise’s short history. Anyway, aside from the two eliminations there have been a number of big moves, so let’s rank them.
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
Sara Tetro with an expression airbrushed onto her face
There was a chorus around the internet saying that first episode of cycle 2 of NZNTM was a little underwhelming (or at least Katherine is Awesome said as much, and her commenters agreed – probably not technically a chorus, but nevermind). And while I certainly didn’t have that problem with the first installment – feeling that it had more than enough of the jaw-dropping reveals, regional accents and (mostly) unintentional host humour to work – the second was a different story.
Because it just coasted for the most part – the Glassons set up was a good premise squandered by a couple of fairly wooden company reps; no one had the abject fear-of-heights they were clearly hoping for up the bridge; and Rob Trathen was too competent and non-sleazy to get that train-wreck shoot going. Still, amidst the ho-hum there were embers which will flame out in the coming weeks, not the least of which was the astonishingly breezy enmity of the youths toward one another. This is a generation schooled on ‘reality’, even more so than the last, and while they mightn’t be able to walk in heels or strike a pose, they can certainly tear strips off each other without appearing remotely concerned with human emotion. And that is good television, folks.
Filed under Reality TV, TV