Sunday, 8 August 2010

The choccy horror show

Top 10: 2nd August 2010

Previously: Alisha impressed Elle in a mentoring photoshoot, nobody reacted to the appearance of Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts, and Harleen got booted out for a general lack of photogenicity, which would admittedly be a bit of a handicap for a print model.

This week: well, I'm about to tell you about that, aren't I?

Titles. Hannah even looked uncomfortable shooting these, bless her.

We flash back to Amelia's near-elimination from last week, and Amelia admits that she was quite surprised not to have been sent home. She has -- surprise surprise -- realised that she needs to work hard this week to justify her inclusion. Night time at Top Model Manor, and there's a letter from Harleen, which Charlotte reads out. Harleen has given them all a paragraph to themselves, and she has written something lovely and complimentary about everyone. Except Kirsty. Kirsty's reads: "I know your intentions are good, but I don't think you realise how patronising you are. Try to be a bit nicer." Wow. One of the girls even comments "woah, bitchy", and, well, yeah. Congratulations, Harleen, for actually managing to make yourself less likeable without even appearing onscreen. That's quite a skill. Also, "I don't think you realise how patronising you are, try to be a bit nicer" is a little bit like someone who lives in a glass house firing boulders from a catapult, surely? Charlotte is rather embarrassed to be the one reading it, but cracks up about it in a post-incident interview. Kirsty's all "well, that's her feelings", but I suspect she's rather bruised even if she's trying not to show it. Anyway, it appears that Kirsty will now be getting a single episode Bitch Edit in much the way that Amba did last week.

Later, there is E-Mail. Joy reads it out in her trademark monotone. The girls are instructed to get some rest, as they will be "getting on your bikes" tomorrow. Amelia thinks they will be bikers, "Elle's Angels". Please God, no.

The next day. London's Trendy Carnaby Street. The girls are met by Olivia Fletcher, the marketing manager of Merc Clothing, and Dave Berry, aka Mr Heidi From The Sugababes. Before he can introduce himself, Alisha blurts "I know who you are!" and everyone laughs at her. Deservedly, I might add. Seriously, girl, I know you're outside right now but that doesn't mean you can jettison your indoor voice entirely. Dave tells the girls that they will be modelling with a male model on a Vespa, and they have to make the male model (Sid) look good as well as the clothes. Hmmm. Surely it is the male model's job to make the male model look good? Charlotte's up first, and says that having lots of people watching them made for added pressure. She's wearing a skirt and has a bit of trouble getting on the scooter, but does fairly well. Joy reclines on the back and does quite well. Nicola interviews that waiting to go up was just as bad as the task itself, as you could see everyone around, and then she overbalances the scooter when she sits on it. Oops. But she recovers and does well. Kirsty clambers all over Sid, and actually does some quite imaginative poses. DELETE HER complainterviews that Kirsty is too confident, and there is no need for such confidence. Suddenly I'm having a flashback. Amba has to go after Kirsty and admits that's quite an act to follow. She struggles a little bit. Tiffany seems a bit out of it as well, and grouses later that she felt silly doing it. Memo to Tiffany: you are on a reality TV show about modelling. If modelling makes you feel silly, perhaps you should've auditioned for The Cube instead. I hear Philip Schofield is lovely. Alisha drapes herself all over Sid and gets good feedback. DELETE HER poses similarly. Amelia kneels on the back and looks pretty cool, I think. Olivia (Fletcher - seriously, why must all the people on tasks have the same name as a judge or a contestant? It makes my job needlessly difficult) thinks she's great. Model Olivia is also concerned about her skirt and worried about showing her vadge. Dave tries to tell her that her pose is good and she should hold it, but Olivia instantly flinches and tells him "I thought you were going to say something was hanging out!" Classy. [I'm shellshocked that Dave Berry called it a nu nu. And embarrased for Heidi - Helen]

Post-task, Dave tells the girls that the challenge winner's picture will be uploaded to the client's website. The winner is Amelia, who's shocked and excited. She interviews that she really needed that pick-me-up, and good for her. Back at the house, there is more E-Mail, this time read by Olivia. Elle has a message from "someone you may recognise", so they turn to the TV, and it's Beyoncé with a generic pre-recorded message that causes the girls to collectively lose their shirt. Yonce pretends to be excited that one of them will eventually win (there's a reason why someone else got the Oscar for Dreamgirls, btw) and tells the girls that their next challenge will be to promote her "sexy new fragrance" Heat. They will need to convey a strong sexy and powerful image on camera, and she wants to see them express the fire within. Yeah, like Beyoncé is ever going to watch those commercials. They react ecstatically to the news and burst into a spontaneous and generally tune-free rendition of 'Single Ladies'. Charlotte is excited, but then Charlotte's always excited. Kirsty interviews that it's the best thing that's ever happened to her. What, even better than reading Harleen's letter? Amelia forgets the words to 'Single Ladies' and strikes a pose instead.


As we return, the strident sounds of 'Crazy In Love' play on the soundtrack and the girls meet with Karl Plewka [the Top Model shows have all the best surnames - Helen], who's the creative director for the day. He's worked with the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Vogue, apparently. Kirsty wants to get this one perfect, because it's for Beyoncé. Karl tells the girls that they will need to glamorously walk down the carpet and deliver a line sensuously to camera. Anyone else curious to know what Tiffany's sensuous voice will sound like? The girls are sent off to hair and make-up and to learn their script. I always love any Top Model challenge that involves learning lines, because it invariably leads to chaos. Like this. Okay, sure, there was a language barrier there, but I think anyone who watched ANTM cycle 10 knew that even in English, Dominique was a fruitloop. The girls learn their lines, which appear to amount to "set your world on fire with this new scent". BNTM commercial dialogue is always so half-arsed, isn't it?

The red carpet has smouldering black torches lining up down each side of it. DELETE HER walks into the studio, and is introduced to Lorraine Clough, who is "representing Beyoncé's fragrance today". BEST JOB EVER Y/Y [Y - Helen]. Karl explains the commercial to DELETE HER, in that she must walk down some steps, remove her jacket halfway down the carpet, reach the end and then deliver her line to the camera. DELETE HER goes for her first take. Her walk is a bit galumphing, but she does do a reasonable job of sounding sensual and mysterious when delivering her line. Of course, the bit that no one's warned any of the models about is that as they finish their line, the torches will suddenly burst into life around them. DELETE HER manages to retain her composure, more or less. We see montages of the other girls attempting it. Charlotte loves the red carpet aspect of it, and gets good feedback from Karl and Lorraine, but can't quite hold her in her surprise when the torches erupt. Alisha doesn't remove her jacket on one attempt, but does a much better take and is commended for smiling. Olivia seems to do quite well. Tiffany mumbles her way through it but gets good feedback all the same. Amba is wearing a Julien Macdonald dress, which she loves, but she's nervous because it puts more pressure on her. Karl feels that the dress didn't give her the confidence boost he was hoping for. Nicola is "wooden" and "scared" according to Lorraine. Amelia looks awesome, but Karl is not impressed with her voice/accent. Kirsty models a bizarre headscarf in her interview, but Lorraine thinks that she embodied Beyoncé on the red carpet. Joy fares less well, falling down the stairs on her first take. That rather shatters her confidence, and she keeps stumbling and walking poorly, "and swearing a lot", she confesses. Oh, and she can't remember the line either, delivers a vague approximation of it in a bored voice, and reacts in absolute horror when the flames go up. Hee. Karl's "heartbroken", because she has the look, but can't back it up. Outside, Joy sniggers over her terrible performance.

Afterwards, Phil informs the girls that some of them struggled, but two of them shone: Charlotte and Kirsty. But there can only be one winner, and it's...Kirsty. She wins a night out at Jalouse Club in London, and the other girls are unimpressed. Charlotte is disappointed to be "close but no cigar - again". Kirsty is allowed to choose two friends to accompany her, and picks Nicola and Amelia, or as she says it, "Nic-Nac" and "Meems". Ye gods. Kirsty thinks she's picked the right people to come with her. A chauffer-driven Bentley arrives later to pick them up, and Nicola is glad to escape the tension in the house. Kirsty interviews that she's not going to get too drunk because they still have a shoot to do. Amelia hasn't been out in London before, so this is a novelty for her.

The girls arrive at Jalouse, which appears to be next to a building site. G-L-A-M-O-R-OUS! They party in the VIP enclosure and generally have what looks like an awesome time of things. Back at the house, Alisha is bitching about Kirsty. She doesn't think Kirsty is real, and doesn't trust her because she can't read her. Hmm. Presumably by that standard, Alisha also doesn't trust Salman Rushdie novels. Everyone joins in the bitching, but Alisha seems to be leading it. The main problem seems to be that Kirsty thinks she has already won. Once again, it seems that confidence in women is something to be depised on reality television. Charlotte interviews that it may have sounded like a bitching session (that's because it was), but it was also a very productive conversation. Hmm.

Back at Jalouse, the girls are clearly hammered and dancing on a podium. Back at the house, Joy comes up with the excellent and not at all pathetic and juvenile stunt of putting a mannequin in Kirsty's bed. Everyone's all "YEAH! AWESOME! THAT'LL SHOW HER!" They dress it in Kirsty's clothes for added effect. Later, the drunken trio return home after everyone's gone to bed. Amelia tries to read the E-Mail, with some difficulty, which appears to describe something "sweet" in the imminent future. They find the mannequin in Kirsty's bed. "I don't know if they did that out of spite, or for a laugh, but we were too drunk to care, to be honest," admits Nicola. And seriously, if this as an attempt to puncture Kirsty's ego, it's kind of an epic fail.

Commercials. Impending chocolate.

London Porn: Piccadilly edition. Amelia interviews that the night out was awesome, but they're all totally hungover. Kirsty in turn interviews that she's feeling too ill (/hungover) to even notice any animosity amongst the girls. They troop off to their photo shoot, where they meet Rachel Higgin, from Palmers Bodycare, and Rhys Frampton the photographer for today, who's kinda hot [agreed - Helen]. Rachel explains that they'll be promoting the Cocoa Butter Body Lotion, so the only item of clothing they will be wearing is a skin-coloured thong to protect their modesty (pffft), and the rest of them will be covered in chocolate. Hungover Nicola is alarmed by the chocolate. Tiffany slurs that she would never usually do nudity for any sort of modelling. Joy gives it her standard shrug, justifying it in that "it's not like you've got your tits out", and correctly deduces that if you want to win, you have to shut up and get on with it. I'm starting to really like Joy, y'know.

The girls head off to make-up, and Kirsty has to leave in the middle of her make-up session to throw up. Oops. Charlotte's first out, and admits that she was very nervous. She squeals during the application of the chocolate, but confesses in a post-incident VT that once the chocolate's on, it feels like a layer of clothing anyway so she didn't feel all that naked. I'm not entirely sure I'm convinced by that argument. She says that the shoot was difficult, but she seems to be doing well. Afterwards, Rhys thinks she did well. Nicola's next, and copes surprisingly well with chocolate all over her face. Rhys and Rachel agree that she nailed the shoot and they'd be happy to work with her again. Alisha's next, and VTs that she's not afraid to show her body, and ultimately forgot she was naked anyway. Alisha works the shoot, and points out that since the chocolate more or less matched her skintone, it looked like she was wearing a catsuit. Seriously girls: you can make all the "it wasn't like we were really naked!" arguments you like, but I remain unconvinced. Rachel and Rhys are very impressed with Alisha, anyway. Amba was fine with the nudity, and Rachel thinks she's in her element. Is "naked and covered in cold chocolate" anybody's element? Amelia is told to soften her expression, but then seems to get it. Rachel thinks Amelia is beautiful, but Rhys thinks she only has one look and doesn't give anything else. Kirsty VTs that she thought she'd throw up as soon as they poured the chocolate over her, but manages to overcome it and work her shoot. She says in an interview that weirdly the whole process actually helped her to feel better, but then she makes the rather ill-advised move of telling the photographer and the client that they're helping her recover from her hangover. The look on Rachel's face is unimpressed, to say the least. However, Rachel thinks that "from a creative point of view", Kirsty was great. DELETE HER is next, and struggles, but seems to get it after a bit of direction. She confesses in an interview that she was finding it hard to focus on her body and her face at the same time. Rachel thinks DELETE HER came to life when she was told to smile, but she didn't give as much variety as the other girls. Joy is advised to give more variety and a warmer expression, but doesn't really seem to do "softness in the face" so much. Olivia is still here, even though I constantly forget she exists. Rachel keeps asking her for more energy, which worries Olivia. Tiffany complains (SHOCKER) in an interview that the chocolate was getting in her eyes and she found it difficult to get the facial expression right. Rhys doesn't think she delivered. I would like to offer my in-depth opinions to Rhys the photographer after this complex and controversial shoot. Perhaps I should give him my phone number. (What? Fine, I'm shallow. Like I'd be watching this show if I weren't.)

Back at the house, there is E-Mail, read by Olivia. Tomorrow there is judgement and panel and the elimination of another contestant. Olivia interviews that she thinks she may be going home, following her performance this week. DELETE HER wonders if they'll be looking at the performance in the commercial as well as the shoot. Joy says that she's always nervous because she doesn't know who'll be going home.

After the ad break, there is panel. Elle tells the girls they're all looking wonderful, but she still has to cut one of them anyway. She introduces the judges, and this week's guest judge is Karl Plewka. Elle tells the girls that this week was all about expression, and plays them another generic message from Beyoncé pretending she cares. DELETE HER is called up first, and they watch her clip. Charley likes her energy. They look at her picture, which is okay, but Elle informs DELETE HER that Rhys The Hot Photographer basically thought her whole shoot was terrible, and this one (the final shot) was the only usable one. Elle tells DELETE HER that she can't just be a scared little girl every week. Alisha's next, and they skip her commercial and go straight to her chocolate shot. It's pretty good. "Grace Jones watch out!" says Grace. Somehow I doubt Grace Jones, of all people, is scared of Alisha. Grace Jones would eat Alisha for breakfast. Actually, Grace Jones would just eat breakfast and then use Alisha as a toothpick. Julien thinks the picture is aggressive-looking, but Elle thinks it's gentle. Charley likes her body shape.

Olivia is summoned down, and Elle says "let's have a look at your chocolate shoot", at which point my boyfriend and I started cackling about how much it sounded like "chocolate chute" and all of the euphemisms that might result from that. Just imagine: Elle Macpherson, Rectal Examiner. Anyway, Olivia's picture is fine but really bland. Elle likes the quirkiness of the shoot, but Grace thinks having her mouth half-open is not a good look for Olivia because her teeth are not her best feature. Tiffany's commercial is examined, and Karl says that both he and Lorraine, The Representative Of The Smell Of Beyoncé, thought she was rather cold on set. Tiffany is surprised by this, but vows to change this in future. Her chocolate shot is awful and makes her look pregnant. Elle thinks she looks beautiful, but she's sick of seeing that same expression. Joy's commercial is terrible, and Elle actually cackles at how bad it is. Karl tells Joy that he was so upset that she performed poorly because he thought she was perfect before that. Her chocolate shot isn't great either, but Elle likes it. Julien tells Joy to get it together, and Elle says that they want to see her want it. Julien tells her that she can do it.

Amba's next, and her commercial is fierce. Julien is pleased that she wore his dress well. "I'd like to have a look at your chocolate shot," says Elle. At this point, my childish sense of humour has me on the floor in hysterics. Grace thinks Amba looks like a working model in this shot. As opposed to a malfunctioning model, perhaps? "ERROR 404 - FIERCE SMOKEY EYE NOT FOUND." Amelia is next, and her shot is not great - she just looks spooked in it. Elle says that she loves Amelia's face, but doesn't love her body in the picture, and Amelia agrees. Julien says that she looks "sausage-y" and needs to work with her angles. Elle says that she's not offering anything different from the usual. Nicola is summoned, and is holding some glasses. Elle says that they've not seen her with glasses before, and Nicola says that's because she lost them as soon as she got on the show but she's just found them. Elle asks her to put them on, and Nicola warns that they're not very nice. They're not exactly high-fashion, but Grace tells Nicola she'll take her to her "glasses person". In most people's world, that would be an optician, but somehow I expect in the glamour of Grace's world it's something very different. Again: I wish I were Grace. She's awesome. Her shot is really good, and Elle says that the client loved her shot so much they're going to use it in an ad campaign. That is pretty brilliant. Charlotte's next, and murmurs that she hates her picture. Elle says that they love her bottom(!) but, Grace thinks she should have stretched it out. Charlotte says she was trying to, and Grace tells her that the rest of the picture is amazing.

Kirsty's last, and we see her winning clip. Elle says that Kirsty is like the model student (see what she did there?) and that probably irritates them. Then there's a pause, and Kirsty goes to speak at the exact same time that Elle goes to speak. It's unfortunate, and nobody's fault, and to Kirsty's credit, she immediately apologises for cutting in. However, and this is where I think she specifically makes the mistake, she then continues to speak rather than letting Elle finish, at which point she gets chewed out royally by Grace for interrupting Elle. Grace tells her that she needs to listen to Elle or she'll fall flat on her face from (say it with me) being too confident. Kirsty's chocolate shot is all stretchy, and Elle thinks she looks the most beautiful that they've ever seen her. Julien likes that she's in this competition to win it, and tells her there's nothing wrong with being arrogant. Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? Elle interrupts him and quite correctly points out that there's a big difference between being confident and being arrogant. Elle thinks this is the best shot she's seen all day, and Julien says that in that case, it doesn't matter how she got there.

Deliberation. DELETE HER only had one good shot, and Charley isn't sure how much further she can realistically go. Elle thinks she has "zero star power" in person. Alisha's shot gets rave reviews. Elle likes Olivia's face, but Charley thinks the expression is wrong. Elle wants to spank Tiffany for looking sullen all the time. Join the queue, Elle. Joy is beautiful, but doesn't do anything with it. Grace think she doesn't need to do anything with it, but Elle disagrees. Karl thinks she could be on the cover of Italian Vogue. Grace is impressed that Amba looks like she's enjoying herself finally, "because she's been so dull". Hee. Amelia has a great complexion and great skin, but needs to work on her body, Julien thinks. Nicola's picture is loved by everyone. Julien says he never believed in Charlotte until he saw this week's picture, and Grace thinks she could do a high-end make-up campaign. Then there's Kirsty, and her attitude is discussed again: Elle doesn't think she's arrogant, but that she thinks she doesn't need to learn from the competition.

There are ten beautiful girls in front of Elle, but she only has nine pictures. Nicola gets first call-out, and is followed by Charlotte, who is singled out as having done really well, then Alisha, Kirsty, Amba, Olivia ("I'm really happy you're here," Elle tells her, inexplicably), Amelia, and Joy. This leaves DELETE HER and Tiffany in the bottom two, so we all know exactly who's going home. Elle tells them they're both there for the same reason, that their nerves get in the way of their work. I wouldn't have said nerves were Tiffany's problem - her problem is that she's a pain in the arse. DELETE HER is told that every week they get the shot from her, but it's usually her last one. Tiffany is told that every week they get the shot from her, but it's the same one. Oooh, burn. Who gets the picture? Tiffany, of course. Elle tells DELETE HER that she's done an amazing job, and is going to go a long way. Yes: back to Liverpool. DELETE HER cries and thanks everyone for the opportunity. Back at the house, she says she's made it this far, but she's obviously not good enough, but that's fine because the best girls get through each week and in this case, she wasn't one of them. I rather like that approach. She vows to come back down to London and try again [This thought is keeping me up at night, DELETE HER, on her own, in London. If she could get in touch and tell us that she's okay I would be very greatful - Helen]. We flash through her portfolio, which is not great, and then she fades away.

Next week: the girls meet "R&B diva Alesha Dixon" (I would love to meet the person who wrote that piece of script and point out to them that just because Alesha is mixed-race does not automatically mean her music is R&B), do some shopping, and do a bit of jet-setting. Helen will be here to walk you through it [in a FIERCE WAY - Helen], and I'll be back the week after. See you then!

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