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
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:
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
Duncan has been in Tonga all week ‘honeymooning’, so Aaron had to tell him what happened sports-wise. we discussed NZ’s rise to number two in the ICC ODI rankings, and Martin Crowe’s poo-pooing of that form’s future. Then we talked about provincial rugby’s rise-and-rise. Then we started talking about New Zealand’s Next Top Model, and that kinda took over the podcast. Pretty fun stuff for us, and hopefully for you too.
http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fdeadball%2Fballs-024-1&secret_url=false BALLS! 024 by Deadball
“My whole body is filled with happiness,” said Dunedin identical twin Elza at the end of the first episode of cycle two of New Zealand’s Next Top Model, and she neatly summed up both my own feelings at the return of this incredible spectacle, and (in all likelihood) the sensation felt by Elle as Chris “all hands” Sisarich gave his pretty, empty love to her. And just as Elle (hypothetically) learned the pitfalls of giving it up too swiftly, so the first episode of this new series mirrored Navjot Sidhu’s thoughts on statistics being like bikinis: what they reveal is tantalising, but what they hide is vital.
Which is by way of saying that while it’s fantastic to have the crew back on screen, I feel pretty mystified about what to make of the new batch. There are a few standouts (Dakota, Aafreen, DANIELLE, Michaela, Holly) and a lot of MOR kids who need to pick up their game – assuming they have some. But it takes a while to figure out where the gems lie, and for the most part it was the hosts who provided the most noteworthy performances.
They played to type something chronic: Colin’s zingers burned brighter than ever (the first, regarding their coastal heel-stroll – “don’t worry if you fall over, it’ll be better than your walk” felt like home, ‘Like a Prayer’-style); Tetro’s emotional void was a bottomless chasm and Sisarich was the same banal lech we yawned through last season – only more so. But we have a fresh crop, and even with definitive statements a few episodes away they must be powerfully ranked. So that’s what I’ll do… Continue reading
The finale (read our scrappy liveblog here) was more of an elaborate coronation ceremony for Christobelle than any form of competition. It seemed pretty clear from very early on in the series that when it came to temperament, talent and The Look, Christobelle Grierson-Ryrie was what the judges wanted. She will now go down alongside NZ Idol winner Ben Lummis as our first champion in an odd local equivalent to an overseas reality tv phenom. Though it’s to be hoped she has a greater ceiling than the singer, who’s currently attempting a second comeback with a single named Smooth Lady. Nice.
In another eerie parallel with our Idol debut, the people’s champ, and the most idenitifiably ‘New Zealand’ contestant came fourth. In an ideal world, Ruby would be introducing the first single from the third Luke Whaanga album on TV in 2010, but it seems entirely possible that she will fade from public view as swiftly as the beatboxin’ belter did – the word is now that the mooted presenter’s job on C4 is no longer likely. Which troubles me somewhat, as while the show was airing I was utterly convinced that her starpower was such that she would outshine the show. Now, with Christobelle being wheeled through various media outlets (or, occasionally, Laura being subbed in at the last minute, as happened to a bemused Charlotte Ryan on bFM this morning), Ruby’s future celebrity looks far less secure.
But the show itself has been a smash hit, and aside from Christobelle, the guaranteed stars of the piece are the three judges, who’ve all gone from relative obscurity to centre stage in a few short weeks. Which makes being able to publish these beautiful images all the more exciting. Because as, poised and stylish as they are now, it was hard road here, and all had to pass through the treacherous ’90s to get here, with none emerging unscathed… Continue reading