Tag Archives: Ruby

New Zealand's Next Top Model Finale Recap Thing

The moment of truth

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



Filed under Announcements, Playoffs

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings 8

Christobelle, Ruby and Laura look adoringly and respectfully at their friend and mentor, Hosanna

“She’s nuts. She’s insane. She’s crazy.” – Laura.

And now she’s in the final. You have to hand it to the girl. Hosanna’s had a sea of doubters from the start, and only weird teenage boys who’ve looked too hard at too many surfing magazines (if you know what I mean. And if you don’t, I mean masturbated over the Quicksilver and Rip Curl ads in surfing magazines. OK? That’s what I mean) think she’s remotely attractive. And she’s left our darling Ruby, the people’s champ, in her dust. For those who’ve forgotten/intentionally-deleted-such-information-from-their-memory, this is what the two ‘models’ look like side-by-side.

The beautiful and entirely sane HosannaRuby, a pretty girl, but not nearly so pretty as Hosanna

Thankfully the judges spared us the embarassment of having a minger like Ruby in the final, and instead we can feast our eyes on that magnificent example of the female of the species this Friday.

In all fairness, this week Hosanna was not the fourth-best model. That would be Laura, who for the second week running limped through the episode sulking and snarking, and was somehow spared the axe. You get the strong feeling that the twin imperatives of the show are in conflict here. Because she’s clearly at least the second best model on the show, but equally clearly not amongst the three best Top Models. So she gets to stay because the fashion end of this wants a usable champion, Hosanna stays because she pulled out some huge performances based on a brain which is programmed perfectly for this one thing alone. Ruby loses out, though as predicted she hardly cared. It will be a fantastic final, and infinitely better TV because The Hose™ will be there to make it so, but were it not for the certainty that we’ll see more of Ruby I’d be a lot sadder than I am. A-nyway.

1. (Last Week: 1) Christobelle

She had the worst photo of a very strong week of images. Atip, who I thought was just ridiculous last week, redeemed himself with the cyborg-warrior-princess feel in the ring, and Christobelle’s Mad Max post-apocalyptic outfit was the best of the bunch. Unfortunately, perhaps distracted by her looming Nivea feature (what an amazing prize! A no-pay shoot in a old lady magazine! Lucky!), she never got her head into the shoot, was limp and posed where the other girls leapt (sometimes too ferociously – I’m looking at you Hosanna/Laura) into the fight with real abandon. But there was a reason she won the Nivea challenge, and that was because she was the only remotely decent performer in that segment, which saw Ruby babble cutely but nonsensically when she should’ve just destroyed it. So she gets a pass, and a first ranking here, more through the other girl’s abdication than through any dominating performance of her own. She was as average as everyone else with Wendyl Nissen’s risible ‘media training’ segment, but I felt that was as much due to Nissen’s bizarre showboating as anything else. Maybe that journalist-as-starmaker attitude flew in the ’80s when there were like two magazines and a radio station in the whole country, but just check the scramble for models across any different platform you care to pick right now… The game’s changed, lady, and you’re teaching them the old rules. With Ruby’s departure Christobelle becomes both the new people’s champ and the overwhelming bookie’s fave for the title, and as the Hastings’ gem (see what I did there? RUBBISH) was the most similar to her strength-wise, she should romp home in the final.

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Filed under Fandom, News

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings 7


After the tumescent glory of the American excursion, it was inevitable that the return home would be a little limp. Sans the enervating foulness of Teryl-Leigh’s temperament, the show just drifted along, as if we were all in mourning for her cantankerous venom and general sense of bitter, brawling life. Without her it was just a bunch of schoolgirls running around and making little half-hearted jabs behind one another’s backs. Where was the bald-faced meanness? The low-voiced taunting? Where was the hate, dammit!

It was gone, and we were all a little flat as a result, but it was also in a sly way the most shocking episode thus far. What did we learn, children? Nikki Phillips told us what a Go See was, but to paraphrase Chelsea Handler, you don’t need an explanation when the definition’s in the name. But there was a further revelation, and to keep with the paraphrasing, should someone nuke us all, you can add Hosanna’s name to the list of those who’d survive a nuclear apocalypse, alongside cockroaches and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The girl just stares blankly into certain doom every week and feeds off of its malevolent advances. She won this week. WON! I don’t know about you, but the other girls need to start getting properly scared of her about now, Ruby in particular.

1. (LW: 1) Christobelle

By the skin of her pretty, perfect Dio teeth goes she. After wearing the wrong gruts and taking a tumble in front of the sprawling menopausal matriarch of the New Zealand fashion scene, Trelise Cooper, C-Belle could easily have fallen apart. Instead, like Chumbawamba implored all those summers ago, she got back up again, and wowed Huffer with her legs and charm. The girl remains the obvious choice for the overall win, one who could easily work in the industry (the first champ can’t be a sentimental fave figurehead, which is why, much as I love her, Rubes is making up the numbers) with her slender frame and slightly sleepy eyes (you need a hook like that these days). But the chatter about the make-up she plasters on is rising, when she needs everyone to be focusing on her pins, which is a worry, albeit possibly a contrived one. Regardless, she needs to bring her A game every week from now on, even when on a motherf***in’ boat. Because sharks are circling, kiddo, and the biggest of the lot is now directly underneath her. Continue reading


Filed under Fandom, News

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings 6


If ever an episode cried out to be spread thickly over two nights, so we could luxuriate in its gratuitous modelity it was our ‘ relocation to America. Every single second was outrageously good, so you’ve got to think we missed some incredible stuff in editing. But full credit to the sublime judge’s table machinations that put mortal enemies Teryl-Leigh and Hosanna in the bottom two, then sent home Teryl-Leigh – this was an act of outrageous cruelty in the service of great TV, and one for which we should all be forever grateful.

The episode was also notable for the frankness of the guests. They didn’t muck around in delivering their verdicts, with Alexis Borges of Next LA popping Ruby’s balloon, and allowing TL to drop another of her classics on us: “I’m really pleased with that, because obviously I can lose a couple of inches of weight. I can’t grow a couple of inches.” And while Hosanna may’ve got the last laugh (literally, see the instant NZ TV classic moment above), Barker and Borges assessments of her had a necessary brutality which provided a true reality check for the Hose, one she’s needed for weeks and never quite received in our friendly isles.

1. (Last Week: 3) Christobelle

As predicted in last week’s rankings, she turned it on for the US big dogs, but no one could have foreseen the force with which she took back the lead. She won all three challenges, the variety of which (styling/ TV ad/couture) should have proved impossible for any one competitor to take. This served to show her breadth at a critical time, and send a message to model-come-latelies Laura and Ruby that when she puts her mind to it, she can do anything. After indifferent work on the C4 audition a couple of weeks back few would have predicted her sunny confidence in the Cover Girl shoot, and the way she transfixed Barker (who’s seen some wannabes in his time) speaks volumes. There’s daylight between her and second place again, and with a month to go she’s picked the perfect time to make her run. Continue reading


Filed under News, Reminiscing, Rugby

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