Saturday, 2 October 2010


Top 3: 27th September 2010

Previously! The girls went out and about in Malaysia and ate durian fruit, which was apparently not a pleasant experience, and went on go-sees with international designers. Joy walked like a Redead and then the girls posed for shitty pictures in the jungle. The news that there would be three girls rather than two in the grand finale was encouraging for everyone except Charlotte, who went home. Also, in tangentially-related news, Sarah Murdoch announced the wrong winner of Australia's Next Top Model (not that that's never happened before), and that's probably why it's a very good idea for our winner not to be entirely decided by phone vote, but all the same, I bet Emma Willis is feeling pretty sick right now. (Also, my favourite part of that AusNTM clip? The part where Kelsey, the girl whose name was announced incorrectly, is having to reassure Sarah Murdoch, the host, that things are fine. That's one classy lady right there, and good for her.)

Impending! The girls go to paradise, but they've never been to me. And then they emulate some of Elle's most famous pictures. Then they prepare for the catwalk finale. Good luck, Joy!

Titles. Y'know, with Alisha in with such a strong chance of winning, Delita and Harleen look much better in hindsight.

Night time, and there is E-Mail, read by Alisha. "Congratulations girls, you are the final three. I am very proud of you, you've all worked so hard. It is time to relax: pack your bags and prepare for paradise. Be ready at 8. Love Elle." The girls toast to the final three. [I'm getting well fed up of all this toasting - Helen]

Colour wash! The next day. The girls arrive at some sort of marina, along a dusty track. It's not exactly my idea of paradise, but that might just be because it does not involve Paul Rudd wearing nothing but an inviting grin. [Hell yeah! - Helen] Alisha sees the boats, and deduces that they are going to an island. "There are 1700 islands in Malaysia," she informs us, clearly angling for a spot on Inside Soap's weekly Facts Amazing box. Denied! They get onto the boat and don their lifejackets. Joy informs us that there were lots of pretty islands that they passed, and she would've been happy to go to any of them. Tiffany, who will be recapped phonetically this week in honour of this being my last BNTM post of the year, says "Whun we arruived at the uiland, it looked like a postcard, it duneven look real. I wuh speechless whun I saw it."

Alisha, finding herself far more entertaining than I have found her all series, attempts to set the scene for us: beautiful trees, tropical birds, tropical fishes, sweet-smelling air, "it was literally paradise." Thanks for that, Judith Chalmers. There's an E-Mail waiting for them at the end of the jetty, which Tiffany reads. "Hui gulls, wulcum to de uiland. Teday you wull be treated like princeses. Musag, eelaxation and sunset cruises await. Unjoy, love Ull." Tiffany interviews that she was very excited about the massages and cruises, and that she thinks they all needed them, especially since she was feeling really tired. Joy agrees that she just wanted to go to sleep. Alisha, of course, for whom fun is a four-letter word, sniffs that Some Of These Girls may have been enjoying themselves, but she was busy being a martyr. Sorry, "using the time to reflect and look at progress." Even with Alisha the killjoy there, I'm still totally jealous of these girls right now. Why is no one massaging me?

The girls arrive at the boat (or "bert", as Joy calls it) for their sunset cruise. Alisha runs up to the top of the boat and snags one sun-lounger, leaving Joy and Tiffany to share the other one. Bitch. She then asks them if they realise that they're on a boat. I think the hull and the gangplank and the SEA ALL AROUND THEM might have tipped them off, Alisha. Even Tiffany. Oh, hang on, she means have they realised they're on a boat, just chilling? Well, they have.

Alisha interviews that she knows she has to win, because winning means the world to her, and she's felt like that since the beginning. Tiffany has "ulways wanted to wun", but recognises that the decision is not up to her. She's given 100 percent, she feels, and there's nothing more she can do. Joy is excited that she could be doing this as a job if she wins, and hopes that she does win. And so do I, because Joy > Tiffany >>>>>> Alisha. [Agreed - Helen]

Back at Paradise Cove, there is more E-Mail, read by Joy. "Hi ladies, meet me at 8.30 in Emerald Bay for your last photoshoot in Malaysia, and your last chance to show me and the judges just how much you've learned. Expectations will be high and you'll have a lot to live up to. Love Elle x". Alisha determines that since Elle is going to be there, they must all go to bed RIGHT NOW.

Adverts. So many face creams! It's almost like this show is aimed at women or something.

When we return, the girls arrive on a luxurious-looking beech, where they are greeted by Elle, who's up on a balcony all Evita-like. Alisha is nervous because Elle is looking exciting. Tiffany thinks Elle looks stunning, but wonders what Elle's got in store for them. I love how Alisha and Tiffany both seem to view Elle as some kind of benevolent sadist. Joy thinks it was like a dream, because she can't quite believe Elle Macpherson was waving at her from a balcony. Elle tells the girls that they will be doing a bathing suit challenge on the beach, and she's picked a photograph with each of them in mind for them to study and emulate. Alisha has a picture of Elle in a one-piece, kneeling on the beach with her head-tilted back. Alisha agrees that this pose is very much suited to her. Tiffany has a picture of Elle in a kind of leotard-wetsuit and flippers, looking like a mermaid. Tiffany worries that this will be hard to pull off. She thinks it will be difficult to "cumpare maiself to Ull and trui to get a shute as gud as hoi." Joy's shot is a shot of Elle reclining in water with her back arched, wearing some tiny panties and a floral garland. Joy's response to the picture? "Whoa! Titties!" And that is why Joy is the best reality show contestant ever. Joy thinks the pose will be difficult.

The girls go off to study their pictures. Elle says that this will be the last photoshoot of the series, so she expects to see a lot of progress, a professional attitude, and really embracing these images as new ways of working. Alisha thinks this is "the biggest photoshoot we've had since we've been here." Tiffany is upset that this will be their last photoshoot. "Um uxcited cuz irilliwunna gu ut thur und guve ut mui ull." Tiffany has extensions, and MASSIVE ROOTS. Seriously. Joy is a bit nervous, but she really enjoys the photoshoots more than anything else.

Alisha is up first, and meets Aaron Lee, the photographer. Elle thinks this picture works for Alisha because it's a "strong sensuality". Alisha explains that Elle wanted her to pull her pelvis right in so it was almost like she was "cut in half". Elle explains that when she wants to show strength, she doesn't curve her back, but rather sucks her stomach in. Alisha decides to break her pelvis if that's what's necessary. She looks kind of constipated. But she does have a great swimsuit body, I'll give her that. She says that she wanted her picture to have "the Alisha sizzle", which presumably comes from the fire that she's always going on about. Elle give Alisha a free rein for the last picture, which Alisha takes to mean that she's got it in the bag. Elle thinks that Alisha will have a modelling career. Alisha tears up in an interview because her winning means a lot to her mum, because she just wants the best for her, and if Alisha wins, she'll be happy. [She may be the only one - Helen]

Tiffany is next, and will "nuvur buh urble to purse like Ull", she thinks. Elle advises her not to get the suit wet, because it will change colour. Tiffany wants to get the picture as close as possible and please Elle. Elle advises Tiffany to treat it like a push-up, Elle tells us that this gives Tiffany a chance to show a different side of herself that we won't have seen in the competition so far, it's still sexy, but in a strong way rather than in a cute way. Has Tiffany ever been cute-sexy? I thought the whole point of the pixie cut was to make her EDGY. Anyway, Tiffany looks great, as far as I can see. The long hair really does suit her better, if you ignore the roots. THE ROOTS THAT WILL DEVOUR US ALL. Elle tells Tiffany that she's got the body position right and just needs to feel confident. The shoot is over, and Elle explains that it was a hard shot, because Tiff had to handle the waves, the flash of the camera, and the time of the day. The trials of a model's life, eh readers? Tiffany interviews earnestly that she's sad this is the last shoot, because they've been on such a journey (drink!) and she's had so much fun and is lucky to be here. Tiffany returns to the others, and Alisha tries her usual psych-out strategy of asking what feedback Tiffany got. But Tiffany got good feedback, so there's nothing doing.

Joy is next, and with her hair all slicked back looks a little bit like Charlotte. She's perching on the side of a pool, and has sun cream on her nipples (tee hee). Elle helps Joy to get into the position because it is quite hard to do on the side of a pool, and tells us that she chose this shot because we've seen so much of Joy's face, but this gives her a chance to rely purely on the shape of her body. It seems to be going well, and Joy interviews that she enjoyed herself. She's posing right to the end of her toes, bless her. Then Elle gives her the same opportunity she gave Alisha: to do whatever she likes with the shot. So Joy tries a variety of poses, and hopes that she's done the best that she can do to impress Elle. Joy interviews that she thought the shoot went quite well, but she realised that it looked easier in the picture "until you realise that you're, like, balancing on your head."

The trio meet with Elle, who tells them that she is pleased with the job they've done, and now they have to go back to "KL" and get a lot of rest, because tomorrow is the grand finale, where they will be walking in a fashion show.

After an ad break, we're back at the Kuala Lumpur penthouse, where Alisha is practising walking in her heels. Joy is doing likewise, and getting herself into a bit of a state because she knows that catwalk is not her thing. Tiffany is practicing too, and thinking she will have to do the best catwalk she's ever done and look stunning in the process, because this is her last chance to impress the judges. Later, the girls head off to view the catwalk, which is outside and spans across a small pool. Joy notices that it's not as long as she expected, but it's "kind of slippy". Alisha notices that it is outside. No flies on her, are they? Noted fashion designer Bernard Chandran tells them that they will be doing a catwalk show for his label, and he wants them all to be sexy, strong and confident. Choreographer Andrew Tan tells them he will be showing them the various walks he wants in the show. The girls head off to make-up and fitting, and Alisha's first dress is quite tight around the legs, which she finds slightly restricting. Bernard tells her that he doesn't want her to cross her legs over when she catwalks, which flies in the face of everything they've been taught so far, apparently. Tiffany likes her first dress, and she's pleased that Bernard thinks she can carry them off. Joy is pleased that they are not long dresses, which she was apparently dreading. Bernard assess everyone's walks. Joy thinks her rivals look good in their outfits, and they look like proper catwalk models, but is not sure she fits in.

Alisha goes off to rehearse with Andrew, because she's on first. For some reason, she's got one hand under her skirt, holding it up as if she's about to flash us. Alisha gives the thumbs-up after her rehearsal. Then it's Tiffany's turn, and she gets told she is very good. Tiffany thinks her walk is not weak, and if the designer is happy with it, then that's fine. Andrew tells Joy to relax and not be so stiff. Good luck with that, Andrew. Joy gets back off the catwalk and spits "fucking hate it" at the camera. She bitches to Tiffany about being told to relax: "What do you want me to do, flop all over the stage?" Tiffany likes Joy a lot as a friend, "but thus us a cumpuhtution, und fur me ut's butter uf she doesn't wunt to do ut." A tearful Joy interviews that catwalk is not what she wants to do, but she's trying. Alisha bitches that she's not going to feel sorry for Joy, because apparently all she's done through the competition is prop Joy up. That's Alisha for you! She's selfless! She's a giver! She's full of shit!

Tiffany poses artfully by the pool, and says that she hopes she can do really well when they have to perform for the audience. Alisha says that she can taste being Britain's Next Top Model, but now she wants to live it. Joy is frustrated because she knows she can't do catwalk, but she wants to try to get it right and just get on with it.

One hour to the show! Canapes are handed out! People are drinking! Hair is being arranged! Models are putting clothes on! 30 minutes to go! People are sitting down! Wow, this is like an episode of 24. Alisha is wearing blue lipstick, making her look like she's a victim of hypothermia, and brags that she's going to work it even though she's got two blisters. Tiffany has yellow lipstick, which makes it look like she just ate Big Bird. Joy appears to have nude lipstick. The judges arrive, and the humidity in Malaysia is not doing Julien's hair any favours. Oh, now Joy is wearing lipstick, and it is green. Mmm, sprouts.

Alisha says that she was praying not to make a fool of herself. I can only assume that God was not offering a long-term plan that covered the entire series. Alisha wobbles down the catwalk, but interviews that she felt amazing and forgot all about the heat because she wanted to be the queen. She finds it quite bizarre to have hundreds of people backstage with her getting her changed. Joy interviews that she can't remember her catwalk, as it was all a blur. Her walk isn't terrible, but it's a bit Saturday-night-in-Wigan-high-street. Tiffany goes out, and probably has the best walk of the three so far. She interviews that she could hear the judges cheering, which was an encouragement. That's pretty much the point of cheering, isn't it? Backstage, Tiffany tells the cameras that it went well, "but un the nuxt wun uh wunt tuh do even butter." Alisha goes out again, and I'm really not a fan of those spider hands she keeps dangling around her pockets. Joy comes out again, and her walk is possibly worse this time. Tiffany makes her third trip out, and really looks good on the catwalk. If it comes down to a motherfucking walk-off, she'd totally take it. Grace (without her glasses!) interviews that they've improved insanely, and we wouldn't know them from professional models. Charley thinks they "smashed it". Julien thinks he couldn't "falter" any of them, and didn't even recognise them sometimes, but that's probably just because he doesn't care.[CLUE JULIEN - Alisha is the one that 's a different colour to everyone else - Helen]. Elle thinks she had three models in front of her, who have come a long way through their own diligence and passion.

Adverts. Zac Efron or no Zac Efron, I'm not really sold on The Death And Life Of Charlie St. Cloud, y'know.

Post-ads, the girls are packing their suitcases. Alisha knows that only one of them can win, but she feels it can be her. She feels she's one of a kind, especially in an industry with not a lot of black models. She's ready for the industry, "but is the industry ready for me? That's the question." I suspect the industry is not caring a lot one way or the other right now, to be honest. Joy thinks she's improved so much, and in normal life she's quit a lot of things, so she's proud of herself for sticking with this, and will be devastated if she doesn't win. Tiffany has wanted this since she was a young girl, she's always watched the show and always wanted to take part, and is excited that she's so close to winning. "Ut wuld be thuh puhfect unding," she smiles. Not for Joy and Alisha, it wouldn't.

Malaysian judging. Julien greets the girls "hi, top models!", while Grace goes for "hello, minxes!" Charley opted for the standard "hello girls!", just in case anyone's wondering. Elle tells the girls that they've had an amazing final week between the photo shoot and the fashion show. Joy's up first, and Elle asks her how the show went for her. Joy admits that she was really scared and "freaking out", but she didn't think she walked too badly. Elle thinks she looked much more relaxed on her final pass. Julien was worried about Joy beforehand, but was surprised by how good she was. We see Joy's recreation picture, but first we see Elle's for comparison. Joy's picture is great - her back is not so arched, but she looks long and slim and stunning in it. Elle thinks it's better than her shot. Charley points out that that should be a massive confidence-booster for Joy. Elle asks Joy how she would wrap up her experience of the competition; Joy thinks she's been very lucky, and is proud of herself for getting through it all. She says that she would never have given up on this because it's what she wants to do.

Next we have Tiffany. Tiffany tells Elle that she felt confident at the show, but knows she can still improve on some things. Charley tells her that her technical walk is very good, but she needs to be a bit stronger with her final pose at the end of the catwalk. Grace tells her to be "less filler, more killer". Julien says that he's a designer and she would look great in his clothes. Elle says she had lots of fun working with Tiff recreating her picture - we see Elle's original shot, taken in the Bahamas. Then Tiff's, which doesn't quite have the composition quality that Elle's does, and looks more like the promotional poster for a children's movie about a sassy mermaid. Elle thinks it's a gorgeous picture of Tiff. Charley thinks she has a cute face but sexy eyes, which is a great look that she hasn't done before. Grace commends her on making flippers look sexy. Julien thinks every girl in the world dreams of looking like Tiffany in that picture, though I would imagine they'd picture themselves with LESS OBVIOUS ROOTS. GOD. Tiffany says she feels lucky and "unured" to be here, meeting all these people from the fashion industry and it's really "uwurlming" (that's "overwhelming", by the way).

Finally, Alisha. Elle loved Alisha's spaghetti arms. I did not. Grace says that Alisha let herself down because all of the other girls had their arms behind their backs, and this is a case of Alisha not hiding her weaknesses. Charley liked her attitude, which was very strong. Julien thinks Alisha is gifted: "praise the Lord, a star is born". We see Elle's original beach picture, and then Alisha's, which is actually pretty good, though there is still a slight air of "just had a really good poo" about it. I think it's the tension in her face. Grace tells Alisha that she brings an editorial quality to the shoot, and this is the sort of thing she expects to see in high-end magazines. Charley thinks the picture is beautiful. Julien: "you epitomise everything about what you are." He really takes a long time to say nothing at all, doesn't he? Alisha says this has been an amazing experience, and she regrets nothing. She doesn't feel like a south London girl any more, she feels like a model, and she can't wait to show the world what she's learned.

Alisha returns to the line-up, and there is a tense, dramatic pause. Elle looks at the rest of the panel. "We're doing to do it," she says. Elle stands. "I, um, I can't decide. I can't decide who should be crowned Britain's Next Top Model," she declares. "So the judges and I are going to do something we have never done before. We've decided to take all three of you back to London to compete in a live television event." The girls all grin. Elle continues, sounding more natural now that she's not having to pretend that she just thought of this idea right then: "This is an amazing opportunity, and it's incredibly special - we have never done this before, and not only will you have a live audience, but you'll have all the viewers at home that will be able to share in the moment we crown Britain's Next Top Model." Joy clarifies: "so we don't have to go home yet?" Alisha is thrilled: "an extra day!" Surely an extra couple of months between the wrapping of filming of this series and the actual live final. The waiting must have KILLED her. Or is that just wishful thinking? Joy can't believe there's going to be a live final. "My mum can come and watch. Yay!" I love her [Me too - Helen]. Tiffany thinks it's amazing that all three of them have another chance. Alisha says that everyone she knows is going to be watching this: "my friends, my family, people that hate me." I would say one of those groups vastly outweighs the other two. "This is the best thing that can ever happen on Britain's Next Top Model."

And so the lines open up: do we want to vote for Alisha, Joy, or Tiffany? Helen will be here to guide you through the live final next week. Should be fun! [Unless Joy doesn't win, then things will be BROKEN - Helen]

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