Friday, 30 September 2011
Thousands auditioned! Hundreds of thousands then watched those auditions and wondered who the fuck thought this was broadcastable! Then 85 girls made it to boot camp, and 13 made it to the Top Model house, but now only two girls remains: Jade and Juste. It's BintModel!
Terrible titles for the very last time. I'm expecting to feel nostalgia at this point, but really all I feel is a deep, deep gratitude that this is the last time I will have to recap this godforsaken series. Hey, remember back when we were all expecting people like Holly and Stacey to make the final? Ah, funtimes. This is what comes of being sad enough to google "britain and ireland's next top model spoilers". Although, knowing what I know now, a search for spoilers should've conjured up a picture of the entire production team who made this series. Also, I miss Ufuoma.
Voice Of Fearne, who appears to have padded her part again especially for the finale, reminds us that 13 weeks ago, Elle and The Woo-Woo Girls went looking for modelling talent in Britain and Ireland, and three weeks of the dullest television imaginable ensued. Despite the fact that we're all trying to forget the televised auditions ever happened, the show decides to pad out the finale with some audition "highlights" including bloody Tania Roxanna Federenco again, Jessica in her bikini, and the much-missed Bible Brenda. At this point, I think not having a valid passport and thereby excusing herself from this mess was the best thing that could've possibly happened to her.
Eventually, we had a final 13, and they met The Wanted, did some cheerleading, fell off catwalks (that was mainly Juste, admittedly), walked like truck drivers, got dissed by Tyson Beckford, had rows in the house, posed in the altogether, refused to go underwater, and 11 of them got cut in a series of eliminations. In a recap of this process, we're "treated" once again to Katie Price reciting "she doesn't fit the job description - jog on", which seems more and more learned by rote every time I see her say it (and seriously, just how much of a television skidmark is Signed By Katie Price going to be, judging from her performance here?) Thanks to poor production scheduling, most of the eliminations were doubles, so the girls leave two by two, in a sort of fierce reversal of Noah's ark. Now only two remain: "Jade, the 20-year-old insurance advisor from Stoke who believed she was different from the start," and Juste, "the 20-year-old receptionist who moved to London from Lithuania, desperate to make her mark on the modelling world". At this point, I'm wondering if Lithuania's Next Top Model might have been a better idea. She still might not have won (SPOILERS!) but at least she'd have been spared the indignity of losing to Jade.
Voice Of Fearne continues that Juste and Jade will be taking part in a catwalk show for designer Mark Fast, whose work is apparently much enjoyed by Kylie Minogue and Rihanna, but first they're heading to their London hotel to prepare for the big event. They're in separate cars, because this show really has no idea how to make the most practical use of its budget. Jade blathers on about wanting to win, and how winning this show will give her "the best possible start". Sure, because international fashion houses are beating a path to Mecia Simson's door. And I don't know about you guys, but I simply can't step out the door without seeing Lianna Fowler's face. Even Tuffnuh isn't appearing during the ad breaks on Glee any more. Damn you, Sky1! Juste doesn't want to think about the final too much (you and me both, sweetcheeks), but is finding it hard not to. Jade says that it's daunting to have Juste as a competitor, but she knew that Juste was bound to make the final, so she's sort of got used to the idea. Juste can't quite contemplate what winning would be like, which (SPOILER!) is probably just as well.
They arrive at their London pad, 51 Buckingham Gate. Some time after their arrival, Jade walks into the bedroom and does the least convincing "surprise discovery" of an Elle Mail (it's not even E-Mail any more?) I've seen in quite some time. She summons Juste, and reads it: "Hi girls, as a final night treat, I've laid on a dinner for you BOTH, a special guest each. You have one hour to get ready, love Elle." Now, I've noted Jade's odd emphasis of the word both there, but to be fair, even if she had read that like a normal person, it's still grammatically appalling. At least now I guess we've got proof that Elle writes them herself. They go to get ready. These two have absolutely zero chemistry together, by the way. I can handle having two finalists who don't particularly like each other (I can imagine last year's finalists all having sticking pins in pagan images of each other), but Jade and Juste have so little to say to each other, it's like they only met five minutes ago. [I'm sure that this has got nothing to do with the fact that Juste is awesome and Jade is TERMINALLY DULL - Helen]
Voice Of Fearne announces that their special guests are the girls they became closest to in the competition, who conveniently happen to be the two most recently eliminated contestants, Imogen and Anastasija. I think it speaks volumes for how unengaged I feel by this finale that even an Axis Reunion isn't really doing it for me. Jade and Imogen have their meal up on a balcony, while Juste and Anastasija are in a courtyard down below. Jade and Imogen fail to capitalise on the opportunity to gob on The Axis. Imogen tells Jade that she and Juste are both amazing models, but she's a more deserving winner. Juste, sounding a bit bored, tells Anastasija that she's very nervous. Anastasija tells her that she had the best walk in the competition when Alek Wek was evaluating them. "But I almost fell off," counters Juste. Almost?! Imogen tells Jade she has the most amazing face, and just has to work it. Juste is glad to have made it this far. Imogen tells Jade she deserves it more, which is a slight rewording of what she already said about 45 seconds ago. Remember, folks, these were the HIGHLIGHTS of the conversation. Also, Jade has barely said anything. Everyone toasts.
Coming up: Katy B and Miss J. And possibly Malcolm X, Suzy Q, Jessie J, Axel F and anyone else with a single latter at the end of their name.
After the commercials, we're in the Confessional with Jade, who confesses that she's feeling a bit sad to be at the end of the whole competition. Whether she'll feel this way when she actually has to watch it on television is another matter entirely. She interviews that she wants to win and thinks she deserves it. Juste interviews that this is an experience you only get once, so she enjoyed every day of it, and hopes to get a modelling career out of it. Juste seems so utterly defeated this episode. I don't know if it's just not being able to cope outside of The Axis, or knowing Jade's got this thing sewn up, or what, but she's not her usual self. She asks us to wish her luck for later. GOOD LUCK JUSTE!
Juste and Jade get into a car and Juste, feeling Dave Berry's absence acutely, asks Jade how she's feeling. Jade is a bit nervous, but okay. Phew!
They arrive at an opulent, faintly churchy-looking building, as Voice Of Fearne informs us they're preparing for "the biggest walk-off of their lives". Aside from the big walk-off in the opposite direction from the telly we'll all be doing if something don't BLOODY HAPPEN SOON. Seriously, we're a quarter of the way through this episode, and they have done NOTHING yet. If you were going to have this much dead air to fill, you could've kept Anastasija or Imogen (by which I mean Anastasija) around a bit longer. Jade asks Juste if the weird church altar catwalk is what she expected; Juste confirms that it is not. Then: Miss J Alexander enters. Maybe he can salvage this mess! He tells them that they're two lucky bitches, partly because they're going to work with him. He also tells them that they've each got an accessory to work with today, and the accessories are...dogs! He checks to see if they're "nervous" or "allergic", and Juste says that she loves dogs. Miss J is not entirely convinced by her delivery. Juste voices over that she was worried the dogs might try to drag her down the stairs. Jade interviews that if it crosses over her when she's walking, that'll be a problem.
Miss J asks them for a "strong, fabulous, sexy walk with a bit of a dirty edge to it". Jade goes first, and handles the staircase onto the catwalk rather lumpily before making her way to the end and posing. Miss J advises her to take strides that are the right length for her body. Then it's Juste's turn, and her walk is declared "not bad" by the runway-diva-coach-extraordinaire. He then tells them not to overdo the sexiness part of the briefing, and to remember to pause at the end of the catwalk for three seconds.
Now it's time to practice with the dogs. Jade does pretty well, although her dog is not particularly keen to wait at the end of the runway. Juste has slightly more trouble: chiefly because when she, as instructed, feeds the dog at the end of the catwalk, it bites her finger. Tsk, these model dogs and their eating disorders. Miss J tells us that Juste is more confident because she's taller, and Jade is special with her freckles, and her nerves might give her two more inches. I don't entirely understand that.
Miss J introduces the girls to Terry Hart, a show producer who has worked with Matthew Williamson, Vivienne Westwood, and that mad Welshman on the panel. Terry sends them up to hair and make-up to get ready. Juste interviews that she thinks they're both handling things quite well so far. Jade says she's feeling okay after the practices, but she needs to go a bit slower on the stairs and not be so clompy. She says that she's practising a lot in order to get it perfect. In rehearsal, Terry tells her not to pause so much. Juste interviews that she doesn't get complaints about her walk. Terry points out that the catwalk is a tough challenge because they're new faces with little experience, and they've got a ruddy great staircase to climb down. However, he thinks Juste and Jade are great, because they're showing no fear and just getting on with it.
Coming up: the final catwalk, and the judges deliberating. I can barely contain myself.
Commercials. Whenever I see James Morrison, I remember that time I interviewed him and he talked about snot a lot. It's not the sort of thing you forget easily.
On our return, the show is about to begin, and the models are getting their final touch-ups backstage. To their make-up and hair, I mean. They haven't got Julien there going "WORRA PAIR OF KNOCKAZZ, WARP WARP WARP!" at them or anything. Juste says she's feeling more and more nervous. Jade, on the other hand, says she's feeling more like a model now that she's got her hair and make-up done. Joining them on the catwalk today will be top model Daisy Lowe, and last year's winner TUFFNUH! Daisy tells Jade to just enjoy herself and to try not to be nervous, because that will give her the right sort of energy. Then Daisy digs Juste out of the crowd, and asks her if she's done catwalk before. Juste says that she's not worried about walking. Daisy says "what about the stairs?" and Juste says that's fine. Daisy giggles that she's a bit nervous about the stairs. Daisy asks Mark Fast if he's got a favourite to win, which he has. They giggle that they can whisper to each other as long as the cameras don't pick it up, but I think we all know that their favourite is Kimberleigh. Incidentally, I am disappointed that we got no words of inspiration from Tuffnuh. "JUST DUH YUH BUST! UH BULUVE UN YUH! UND THUN UFTUH WUH CUN GUHT SUHM CHUPS, YUH?"
Outside, a crowd is forming. Lots of utterly ridiculous high-fashion goons make their way into the building ostentatiously, and the eliminated contestants from this series enter in a more low-key manner. The girls queue up for drinks at the bar, and Holly tells us she wants Jade to win. She asks if anyone else wants Jade to win, and there is a very loud cheer, but it appears to be coming entirely from Tanya. Ufuoma wants Juste to win, because Ufuoma is awesome - although she does say that she loves them both equally [Ufuoma lies so easily it's a crime she didn't go further - Helen]. Anastasija reminds us that she spoke to Juste yesterday and reminded her that she's achieved a lot, whatever happens. See, the entirety of The Axis knows that Juste ain't winning this. It's so sad. Juste's family are here, and her mum says that when she went to school, she wrote that she wanted to be a model. Imogen makes a grab for more camera time to gush about her "best friend Jade" and how much she wants her to win. Jade's mum interviews that she's the proudest mum in the world right now.
Elle and the judges arrive. Grace appears to have come dressed as Elvira. Elle blathers that, upon "reviewing the footage", she's realised that they've all been rooting for these two all along. How convenient! Charley thinks they must be excited. Elle thinks they must be nervous, and asks the others if they've seen the stairs on the catwalk yet. Grace thinks they'll have to work hard to stand out on the catwalk and show what they've learned over the process. Jade interviews that she's getting nervous as she hears people arrive. Juste is feeling nervous too, with all the waiting, but she's trying to be cool.
The judges take their seats, and for some reason get applauded as they do so. Charley waves to everyone like the utter goon that he is. Katy B performs to warm up the audience. I've not been to a lot of fashion shows (okay, fine, I've not been to any, except a charity one run by the Student Union when I was at university, and that was more of a dance recital), but is this normal? We get flashbacks of Juste and Jade's journeys so far as Katy sings. This is all very nice, but can we get on with it please?
Finally, it's time to get going. Terry gives them all some last minute words of encouragement, final alterations are made to the outfits, and then it's time to hit the catwalk. Tuffnuh opens the show, and Jade is sent out after her, telling us that she was trying to focus more on the fashion show than the fact that this was the finale of BintModel. Seems sensible. Jade runs backstage for a costume change, and interviews that she was a bit shaky, but it went okay. Juste makes her way down the stage with confidence, although her outfit is absolutely horrible. She interviews that it was okay, and very exciting, but when she got to the end of the catwalk and posed, everyone was shouting her name. Jade heads out again, in a dress that's far nicer than either of the ones she and Juste wore first time out, and this is the time where she's got to take the dog with her. She interviews that it didn't want to come back once she got to the end of the catwalk, but she gave it a bit of a tug and got it to follow her. To be fair, to the untrained eye, this all happens fairly smoothly, and I doubt I'd have noticed anything was wrong if Jade hadn't pointed it out. She interviews that she nearly tripped on the last step, but she doesn't think anyone saw. Juste has similar problems with her dog, only more pronounced: not only did it not particularly want to walk down the catwalk in the first place, but it also raced ahead of her on the way back, so she just lets it away from her as she gets to the end and interviews that she was acting like that was totally meant to happen. Again: as cover-ups go, it was relatively deft. Tuffnuh walks again. Juste frets about the quick changes backstage. Some lollipop-headed models troop down the catwalk. Finally, Jade and Juste take their last walk side-by-side, getting a standing ovation from Julien and Grace. When they head back up the stairs, you can totally see Jade's underwear through her dress. More importantly, you can see her arse. Jade and Juste have a little debriefing amongst themselves: Jade thinks the crowd were good, Juste didn't see anyone, Jade is disappointed that there's nothing she can do now to affect the outcome.
Coming up: the result, hopefully.
Ad break. I quite fancy the guy in the Zalando advert. [He is fit, but I find that advert really insulting to the sisterhood. God, this show is so dull I'm commenting on the adverts - Helen]
We're back, and the fashion show is winding to a close. Juste interviews that she feels proud of everything she did, and she wouldn't change anything. She hopes it's going to get her through. Jade thinks she's done enough to win, and doesn't think she could've done anything else. She thinks Juste's amazing, though, so it's ultimately down to the judges to make the call. Juste wants them to see her journey, and even though she came in with experience, she's learned a lot. She hopes the judges will see that she can do edgy, editorial and commercial modelling. Jade thinks she's learned a lot in a short time, and still has more to offer.
The judges line up on the catwalk to decide the victor. Grace says that she couldn't tell them apart from the other girls, and then says that their girls were better. Well, which is it? Julien thought they were better than the professional models. Elle thinks that they're both interesting and different, and it's hard to know which way to go. She suggests looking at their body of work, like this is a brand-new concept and not a time-honoured Top Model tradition. Then again, given the general lack of reverence they showed for the format all series, it's nice to see that there's still room for some of the bits we're used to. We start with Juste's boot camp picture, when she had long blonde hair and was posing with Bible Brenda. Grace likes her smile in the picture. We see Jade's picture from the same shoot, and Charley admires her presence. Grace points out that Jade is standing in the background, but steals the shot from the girl in front of her.
Then we have the nude shoot, which Jade thinks is Juste at her best, showcasing her natural intensity, vulnerability and elegance. Julien thinks her body is flawless. Jade's nude shot is shown next, and Grace thinks other women will want to look like Jade. Elle thinks it's sexy, beautiful and natural. From there, we go to the falconry picture, and Grace reminds us that she was unhappy with Juste's stern attitude in this shoot, and she wanted to see more of a surreal nature to the picture. Julien disagrees, and says it's one of her favourite pictures. Elle thinks Jade's picture is one of her best, though I'll have to be honest, I'm not a fan of this one. Her skin looks too pale (not Jade's fault, admittedly) and she's doing that "menstrual cramps" pose, which I hate. Charley says that this was a surprise to him, because she'd only been giving smiley pictures up to that.
Interestingly, the ballet shoot (Jade's only real misstep as far as the judges were concerned) is skipped over, and they go straight to the beauty shot. Charley thinks Juste got this so right, especially compared to the others, and Julien thinks she looks gorgeous. Elle thinks Jade's picture is cool and modern, and Grace thinks it's arresting. Then we go to the Everglades shot, and Julien thinks she looks fantastic, while Elle thinks she looks young and beautiful and feminine. Jade's shot in the Everglades is fresh. Grace opines that if she were a woman buying a product (why the "if", Grace? I don't think either of those clauses are particularly up for debate), then this is the women that would sell it to her. Charley thinks it's an honest shot, but Elle thinks it's "a bit model-by-numbers". Then we have the Miami beach shot, where Julien thinks Juste looks athletic, and Elle says that's the body the supermodels of her day. I'm not entirely clear on this, but I think we're meant to infer from this that it looks dated rather than she looks like a supermodel. Jade's beach shot is shown, and Julien thinks she looks gorgeous, like a Bond girl. [VROOM VROOM... What's that noise Juste? IT'S THE BUS.- Helen]
To finish, we have an end-of-runway shot from the Mark Fast show, with the girls standing side-by-side. Elle thinks they were both so strong and present, and she was drawn to them both each time - Jade was nervous, but her nervous energy was attractive. Juste, on the other hand, had a quiet confidence that attracted your attention. Julien thinks they were both fantastic on the runway, but Jade wanted it more. Grace wants to remind us what she's said about Juste every week - she carries herself like a model. Elle wonders if they're looking for the arc and the journey, or the girl that's consistently delivering. Julien thinks they want someone unique and different, which they've got in two very different ways. Charley awakens from his slumber and mumbles "it's such a tough decision", before rolling over and returning to that dream where he's a spaceman. He's much happier there, let's face it.
After all that, it's time to announce the winner. The families of the finalists, and the previous contestants, are sitting by the catwalk waiting to hear the result. Juste and Jade walk back in, and Elle tells her "gorgeous girls" it's time to have one last look at the prizes. Since this is the final episode, I'll recap: they're competing for a contract with Models1, a six-page spread in Company, a holiday for two to Jamaica, a car, a cosmetics campaign with Revlon, and a £50,000 international campaign with Miss Selfridge which will be featured in over 250 stores worldwide. I know we mock this show a lot, but as prizes go, they aren't too shabby.
Elle says that it's been a magical experience for her, and that she and the judges have loved the whole challenge, but she'd like to hear how the girls have found it. Jade says that she's grown loads and learned what she's doing. Juste says she's enjoyed every day and got a lot of experience from this, and whatever the outcome, she'll continue modelling. Elle declares that the winner's face will be shown on the screen in 10 seconds. And the winner is...
...Jade, duh. Jade weeps, and her family screams. Jade steps forward to hug Elle, and is entirely lost for words. Juste is a bit tearful, but Elle assures her she's going to work, and work, and work. Juste interviews that although she lost, she didn't really lose because she's going to keep going. "Second place is not the worst - I'm happy I got that far," she assures us. She says that her biggest highlight was meeting Anastasija. Mine too - I shudder to think how we'd have got through this series if we hadn't had The Axis to entertain us. Juste fades out of the group shot, leaving Jade alone.
Jade can't believe that she's won, and she's ecstatic and numb. She says that the ups and downs of the competition have all paid off. Julien thinks that she was very quiet and nervous when they met her, but she's learned how to become a top model, and that's why they love her. Grace says that Jade is like her name - a rare and precious stone that they found in the rough and polished. I like that Grace uses Jade's win as an opportunity to make it all about herself. Charley says that Jade is a fantastic winner, in much the same manner that Krusty the Klown would say "I HEARTILY ENDORSE THIS EVENT OR PRODUCT." Elle is pleased that Jade won, because she's unique, and that's what the show was looking for. We get another look at Jade's journey through the competition.
And that's the end! It was a lethargic end to a hugely disappointing series, but I guess I'm okay with the winner. She wouldn't have been my personal choice, and I'm still not entirely convinced that it wasn't just an attempt to get more people to go to BintModel Live by convincing them they'll be spotted and win next year's series, but she had a strong portfolio and did well in the final catwalk show. And importantly, she's not Alisha. I know Alisha wasn't even in this series, but I think it's important to remember that when considering your feelings on a winner.
So I'm all right with Jade winning, but that doesn't change my feelings on the series as a whole, which is that it's been a horrible, clumsy mess. If it returns next year, and I'm assuming it will, then I would like to request the following, please:
- Go back to holding the auditions off-camera, because they really don't make good telly in the slightest
- Work out a production schedule where double eliminations are a rarity, not the norm
- Have a desk in the judging room again
- Go back to having the girls remain in the judging room after they've got their photos. Sending them out to the dressing room always just looked so cheap.
- Replace Charley Speed with someone who actually cares.
- Proper go-sees, none of this "one appointment only, to which you are ferried by Grace" nonsense.
- Have three people in the final again. It's just too much airtime for two people to fill adequately. [Amen - Helen]
I might even send that list to Sky Living and see if they pay attention. Thank you for reading, those of you who did, and fingers crossed that next year's show irons out some of these kinks, eh? Otherwise I'm not sure any of us will survive an entire series.
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Top 4: 19th September 2011
Hello and welcome to the penultimate week of this current series. As far as we know it’s the penultimate week but they seem to be making it up as they go along so WHO KNOWS. The good news is that there’s no live final this year. This is a good news/bad news situation as the good news is that not one of us three has to recap an hour and a half of the most cringeworthy television in existence, but the bad news is that without David Berry there to ask everyone every five minutes, how on earth are we going to know how everyone is feeling?
And so to business. Last week, the only thing that matters was that Jessica was thrown under a reality TV bus. Well, more of those juggernaut tour bus things that you get in America. Anyway, this bus had “COMPANY MAGAZINE” written all over it, who have never made a secret of the fact that they think she has a bit of a Florence and the Machine oldface vibe about her so a shitty photo was procured and excuses made up. But this programme, particularly this series, has never had a vibe of the truth about it so I don’t know what I expected. Anastasija came back and only her partner in evil was happy about it. [By which you mean me, yes? - Steve]
This week: REAL REALITY GO SEES. Someone doesn’t know their size, fashion shows with professionals, Elle makes everyone cry and a beach shoot in swimwear.
Prizes! Far too many shots of Tiffunuh. [You can NEVER have too many shots of Tuffnuh. - Steve]
We are told who the top four are. Will it be Imogen, Jade, Anasasija or Juste eliminated tonight? There’s only one way to find out...
Shit titles. Is it possible that they have aged ten years in the course of the series? They look worse than the ones from the first couple of seasons and that’s saying something.
We see Jess getting hit by that bus again, Final destination style. Anastasija interviews that her being in the final four is fantastic for everyone but especially her <3. We see her high fiving the others in a grainy segment that indicates it’s from last week. Imogen high fives her without looking at her. They then have a group hug in which Imogen does not change her expression from “I R BOARD”. Jade wins the Miss Disingenuous prize for pulling a face of blissful happiness. Oh Jade, I hope you got a good deal on your soul.
Jade tells us AGAIN that she was scouted at the Bintmodel live show; just to tell us all that IT COULD BE US NEXT YEAR. I feel that it’s pertinent at this juncture to tell you a little story about a girl named Saleisha. Saleisha entered America’s Top Model in Cycle 9. Saleisha only had the confidence to enter ANTM because she’d been to Tyra’s Confidence Camp. (That is actually a real thing). Saleisha was a bit rubbish. We were repeatedly told that Saleisha wasn’t rubbish at all. Saleisha won because of the power of Tyra’s Confidence Camp. Saleisha basically won as an extended advert for team Tyra. They are doing this to Jade to fill seats in the Excel centre so they can make lots of money and line the pockets of Sky Living. Jade is a beautiful girl and I’m by no means taking away from her beauty and her modelling Skills but she is by no means he modelling powerhouse we’re being told she is.
Rant over. [If I may just add a footnote, I think it's also worth adding that Saleisha is arguably the least popular ANTM winner of all time, including Nicole from cycle five who was liked by precisely no one, so this does not bode well for Jade. - Steve]
Juste thinks that it’s an achievement just to get into the competition and is happy to be in the top four, as is Imogen. She just wants to win it now, and every person she knocks off just takes her further. You can only do Charley once, Imogen.
Gratuitous Miami Shots.
Cut to Juste just holding the E-Mail. They’re not even giving any pretence now. It reads “Hello girls, tomorrow I thought it would be fun for you to “go see” some more of Miami. Be ready for nine O’clock” I see what she did there, as do the girls. Juste announces she’s not eating until tomorrow. Healthy.
Jade interviews that Juste is probably her biggest competition as she’s done them before. Juste thinks that Jade will do well because she has a different look and she thinks that they’ll like this in Miami. If that little soundbite from Juste had a smell, it would be ‘duress’.
*Song 4 Mutya Klaxon*
The girls take ‘Be ready for 9’ as ‘Sit in some sunloungers in slightly different clothes facing away from the doors and wait’. Grace arrives in the apartment and greets them with a “Hello Pussycats”. She’s here to leave them with a map, a compass and a survival kit I hope. Grace tells them that they probably know that the way they behave and perform at go-sees is as important as anything else, so bearing that in mind they’re going to see Next agency, which is one of the biggest in the world, followed by Red Carter Swimwear who are, you know, cool. We’re told the challenge winner will be getting a two thousand dollar shopping trip. Everyone looks stunned at this, apart from Anastasija who just looks at Juste and laughs. Anastasija is probably well used to Russian millionaires spending that kind of chump change on her. Juste’s shocked face is a thing of beauty and entirely hammed up for the camera.
Grace hands them their portfolio and wishes them luck. Anastasija thinks that it’s the best challenge so far and Juste HAS TO WIN. We see them sat in the modelcar. Juste, Jade and Imogen sit together in the middle row whilst Anastasija is on her own in the back. Jade tells the other girls she’s excited about the go sees. Imogen just says “yeah”. Juste is more interested in her portfolio. She says that it’s interesting to finally have them because she hasn’t seen some of the pictures. She announces that she’s going to change the order of them and Imogen and Jade look like they think they should too. Imogen interviews that Juste was very confident on the way over and Jade interviews that Juste thinks she’s won the competition already. Imogen interviews that Juste didn’t even seem bothered.
First go see is with Next Model agency. We meet Grace Puc and Ron Gerard. At this point I am incensed by the fact that 1. The girls get delivered to the right place on time in the modelcar, and 2. Grace is with them. THIS IS NOT THE ORDER OF THINGS. I want a time limit. I want overt sabotage of each other. I want someone getting a LOOK OF DOOM for daring to get stuck on the underground and missing the deadline by seconds. [Agreed. What kind of fuckery was this, exactly? I know this year's winner gets a car to "drive to those all-important castings", but at the very least they should have forced them to get stuck in traffic, because Lord knows if they're planning to drive to modelling agencies in central London, that's what they've got to look forward to. - Steve]
Grace P and Ron ask for the first girl. Anastasija leaps up and hands over her portfolio. She interviews that she was very happy and smiley because they like that in America. Jade next. Grace P loves her freckles. They ask her how long she’s been modelling. She replies that she’s only ever done it for the competition. “Oh wow” says Ron. Grace leans on the wall with her arms folded the entire time with a pimp look that says “how do you like my bitches”. Juste is up next. Ron asks her how long she’s had short hair for. She says one month and she used to have long blonde hair with a faraway look in her eyes. Ron asks her if she likes the change. She lies. Grace then asks Imogen how her hair used to be. She tells them. Ron asks her if she misses it. She says that she only notices when she brushes her hair, but quickly adds that she loves the new look.
Back to Anastasija. Grace P tells her, in a suddenly Mancunian accent, that her hair looks a little over-processed and it’s yellow at the back. She resists blaming it on Julien. Grace then goes on to ask the rest of the girls their measurements. None of them know. Imogen has a stab. Ron tells them all that they should know. Imogen then interviews that she should’ve known her size and she should have thought about learning them, but she wasn’t to know they were going to ask but she should have thought about it. Eh?
We then see Grace W chatting to Grace P and Ron. They are mainly all about the girls not knowing their size whilst Ron tries not to look at Grace W’s chest. They liked Anastasija, think that Juste is a bit too severe for their market and is more Milan than Miami. They love Jade for Miami and they’re not sure about Imogen.
Outside, Grace is in full pimp mode and asks all the girls to turn round. Jade is the only one that shows any indication that she realises the absurdity of this request. Grace then punishes her bitches by smacking them on the bum for not knowing their sizes.
Back in the modelcar, Anastasija is still in the naughty seat. Jade announces that they’ve never done swimwear before, and she thought that they would’ve by this stage in the competition. Who needs the Fearne the pointless voiceover with little unscripted moments like that, eh? We see swimwear on the rails with the Red Carter label on them. Imogen interviews that it was great to meet Red because he was strange and quirky. Red introduces himself. He is quirky. Jade interviews that he was short and ginger, presumably because we don’t have eyes. She thinks the ginger might go in her favour.
Red asks Juste what size she is. She parrots off all her sizes but in centimetres. Everyone knows that’s not how it’s done in America. Grace does a proud face. Daddy is pleased. Juste interviews that she did her best and gave him a walk with the emotion that he wanted. She did everything. On to Jade. Red loves her freckles and wants to know about her tattoo. Jade says that she wants to have it removed. Red thinks it’s lovely. Jade is happy to have done well in the challenge as she’s mostly mentioned as someone who stands out but she’s not a winner. Anastasija next. She’s taken the Pimps and Hoes element of this segment too far and does a walk that can only be described as Hoochie. Red tells her that she’ll have to work on her walk and give it a little less leg and make it stronger. Anastasija interviews that this was the FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE she has been criticised. On my walk, she adds quickly. Imogen thinks she should take this advice on board. Like you’re in a position to criticise anyone, Imogen. She’s next. She reels off her measurements like a good girl. Red just thanks her.
Grace and Red have a little chat about her girls. Red thought Anastasija would blow him away but he didn’t love her. Jade resonated for him because her tattoo gave her a personality. [Because there are no boring people with tattoos anywhere in the world. - Steve] Juste surprised him because she didn’t have a swimwear body and he thought that Imogen was commercial and sassy but he wanted more attitude. Grace thanks him and Red thanks her for coming because it was exciting.
Coming up! The Axis do some bitching (yay!) and Julien surprises the girls at the catwalk shoot (meh) and Jade cries (yawn).
Adverts! Elle's advertising Revlon. That Sainsburys advert with the wee boy and his dad makes my ovaries hurt. ANTM! Tyra is ditching casting week. LEARN FROM THIS, BINTMODEL.
And we’re back.
Grace and the girls are back at the hotel. Grace calls them her kittens and tells them how pleased she was with them today. Jade looks smug. Juste looks doubtful. Grace tells them that Next loved Anastasija and Jade and that they could both work well in Miami. They thought that Juste was more edgy and would work better in Europe. Imogen isn’t mentioned. She tells them that Imogen was Red’s second choice but that he loved Jade above them all. He loved both their bodies and their attitudes. Hang on, didn’t he say not five minutes ago he felt that Imogen’s attitude was lacking? I can’t keep up. Grace tries to inject some tension into proceedings but it’s clear that Jade has this in the bag. Next models said that they would offer one of the girls a contract regardless of the outcome of the competition. It’s Jade. Surprise. Grace announces that she can take a friend shopping and Imogen jumps on her. So, she’s taking Imogen then. Grace tells her that it’s a big deal that she’s been offered the contract. You can imagine the faces of The Axis. I do not have the skill to paint you a picture in words, but it’s beautiful. Jade just can’t believe that she’s won something at this important stage of the competition and she’s happy to have one over Juste. She thinks that Miami is more her market because Juste is more editorial.
Imogen cheerfully bitches that Juste is good, but sometimes she’s put up there as the top but she isn’t this time. Juste interviews that it isn’t even Miami’s Next Top Model anyway so there’s no point getting it all twisted and shit, yeah? She’s not sad that she’s not suitable for Miami. Anastasija isn’t that bothered anyway because Jessica won two challenges last week and got sent home so it doesn’t mean anything, yeah? Good show at not being bitter, The Axis.
Cut to Jade and Imogen screaming in the back of the Modelcar. They have $2000 each to spend at the mall. Imogen tells Jade that she loves her too much. Jade is happy that it was her and Imogen in the spotlight for once and that Juste thought she had it in the bag when she plainly didn’t. “One of us could win this” says Imogen. Yes Imogen, just not you. We see the two of them walk through the mall with maps.
Juste has the decency to look embarrassed when she interviews that whilst they were out shopping they went through their portfolios. Nothing Special. What happens next seems to be a pilot for Axis Television. We get a split screen of the Axis and the photos that they are bitching about. They start with Imogen. They laugh at her underwater picture and call her fruity tea picture a disaster. Her shot from last week is “weird”. Cut to Jade and Imogen trying on hats and buying stuff. Jade was happy not to worry about what she’s spending.
Over on Axis Television, we are now on Jade. Her nude shot is “nice”. They discuss that Jade doesn’t like her ballet shot and they agree with her. Her beauty shot is “beautiful but not that beautiful”. Juste announces that they’re going to put their portfolios back so nobody will know. Oh The Axis... Can you be judges next year please? [I hope at least one of them gets recruited for next year's X Factor panel reshuffle. - Steve]
Next thing we see, The Axis are in their dressing gowns and there’s an E-Mail on the table. Elle has arranged for them to have a walk around Ocean Drive. Imogen thinks it might be a catwalk. Jade thinks it might just be a walk. Bless.
The girls arrive at the beach to be introduced to Lisa Hollister, who is played by Kristen Johnston. Lisa tells them that they are to take part in a monthly fashion show called “What Women Want” and introduces them to fashion designer Emma Roja, who has designed for such luminaries as Katy Perry, Tyra Banks and Paris Hilton. Emma tells them that the clothes have been designed for the show and they will be walking alongside professionals with no rehearsals. Ulp.
Anastasija is excited because she loves doing catwalk and she thinks it’s her strongest part. Jade is worried about walking alongside professionals who know what they are doing. Hair and makeup montage!
Anastasija interviews that the other models were bitchy. Bitchy models?! GEDDOUTAHERE. Imogen interviews that there was no connection between them. Cut to a model giving them a dirty look. Jade interviews that none of them introduced themselves or smiled at them. Boo! Hiss! Jade thinks that they might be intimidated by them. Helen laughs herself off the sofa. They’re even too much for Juste who doesn’t think that they are professional. Cut to the Axis discussing the other models. Anastasija asks Juste what she thinks. Juste makes a *face*. Anastasija tells her not to say a word.
The girls are all sitting round discussing their makeup when Julien walks in to shit them up a bit. He tells them that there are thousands of people outside waiting to see the show, and that it’s their time to shine. He tells them to be strong and confident but they’re not to forget to have fun. He’s wearing pink trousers. The thousands of people look more like twelve as the girls gaze out over the balcony. Julien and Grace are sat on deckchairs surveying their kingdom.
Juste interviews that they didn’t have a rehearsal but the designer explained what she wanted so it was ok. Anastasija interviews that she was nervous because she was the last one in the line, but she can’t imagine how Juste felt because she was first. Juste enjoys the feeling on the catwalk because everyone is looking at you and the dress and you have to be confident. She slams it and Julien whoops like he’s on Maury. [Julien whoops like he's on a lot of things. - Steve]
Jade is next. She gets adrenaline and she goes with it and it goes really quick. Imogen walks out and one of the professional models says “That was cute” and they all descend into giggles. Imogen hams it up incredibly. Imogen says she phased out the crowd and focused on what she was doing. Anastasija interviews that she smiled because when you smile it makes the crowd whoop. Backstage, Anastasija and Jade whoop about how amazing it was. Imogen interviews that the changing room was tiny as we see the tiny changing room. Anastasija shouts about needing shoes. Jade interviews that Anastasija was really stressed out about the shoe situation and was pushing everyone around. We see her do this. She finds her shoes eventually.
Imogen interviews that one of the other models who was behind her told her she was doing it wrong but she just ignored her because she knew she was doing it right. Anastasija interviews that the girl who had a go at Imogen was “swearing and crazy”. We see the girl try to have a go at Anastasija backstage. Anastasija gives her a little smile whilst Juste shoots daggers at her back. Imogen tells us that she also had another go at her. Imogen thinks it’s embarrassing that a professional model didn’t even know what she was doing and that she shouldn’t act like she knows what she’s doing when she clearly doesn’t. This is what passes for drama these days.
We finish with our four finalists on the catwalk whilst Julien and Grace are out of their seats a whooping and a hollerin’. Jade starts a high five session whilst a girl walks behind them with her boobs out.
I sense an “end of the day” speech coming from Julien. Ah, here it is. At the end of the day he was very happy to see ‘their girls’ standing up against the Miami professionals and be better. Grace agrees, and it’s clear which girls are the ones that can do it all. Julien can see the winners from the losers. Grace then does a comedy Welsh accent which Julien is clearly not pleased about. Grace declares herself a winner and Julien tells her to get back to the champagne and he’ll get back to the girls.
Coming up! Elle makes everyone cry, Julien thinks someone is bleep gorgeous and a beachside elimination.
ADVERTS! Bintmodel live! Lighterlife! Bread. These adverts are confusing. Plus, Avon. Anew Genics sounds a bit too much like Eugenics for my liking.
We’re back! The girls return from the fashion show in eveningwear to another E-Mail. They’re heading down to the Florida keys for THE MOST IMPORTANT SHOOT OF THE COMPETITION. They need to be ready to leave at 6am. Jade says she felt her heart go as it will be the last shoot of the competition. Anastasija is feeling the pressure. Juste reckons that all four of them are strong in their own way and she doesn’t know who the winner will be. Imogen reckons that she’s got the personality to push herself and get noticed. If you do, dear, then why haven’t you used it? Jade reckons she deserves to be in the final and will be heartbroken if she doesn’t make it. Juste always wanted to be a model, she was even one before the competition, but it didn’t work and she wants to win to get a step up in her career. Imogen reckons she could take on everyone and is ready for a fight.
The girls arrive in the Florida Keys and meet Joseph Montezinos who is their photographer. Joseph wants them to have a lot of fun posing in their swimwear. He wants to see them running, splashing and jumping. I’m sensing he and Charley have had a chat before the beginning of the shoot.
The Axis have set up a temporary headquarters round the side of the makeup room. Anastasija says that the setting is very beautiful but she doesn’t think that it’s going to be a straightforward photoshoot and there might be a twist. Anastasija says that they better do great because they don’t want to go home. I love how they are considering themselves as one now.
The girls are examining swimwear when Elle arrives. Elle puts on her doom voice and tells them that this is the most important shoot of the whole series and is coincidentally the last Miami shoot. Elle tells them that she will be watching the shoot to see how they do on set and to see how they’ve progressed on their journey. Elle has brought some familiar faces to help with this. Surprise! It’s the other judges. Elle says there’s one more thing she didn’t mention... Two girls are going home to London today, because London *is* Britain. The two remaining girls will go on to ‘Celebrate’ in a fashion show by Mark Fast and the winner of that show will be the Bintmodel.
“We’ll be watching” says Elle ominously. The girls look stunned and cry over a soundtrack of Massive Attack. Anastasija is sad that her time on television is nearly up. Juste wonders why she’s crying. Anastasija says she’s sad and they hug. Imogen and Jade are comforting each other. Imogen didn’t even question that there would be less than three in the final and she can’t take it in because they’re all so close. Back to The Axis, Anastasija just keeps saying that she’s sad. Jade cries in the makeup chair then gets told off by the makeup lady for ruining her makeup.
The judges are assembled and discuss how it’s going to be hard just to watch and not direct. Not for Charley. The other judges say that they’re going to chain down Elle to stop her. The judges agree that they’re all nervous. They have four chairs set up in the sand presumably so they can watch the action and have a bit of a bitch. Grace says that she wouldn’t like to be the girls today. Julien remarks that this will be the first time that they have seen them work all together, so the pressure will be on.
Imogen is pleased to be going first and is happy because nobody will have the chance to psych her out. She’s going to give it her all because she really wants to get into the final two. Joseph introduces himself again, and tells Imogen that this is like her Vanity Fair shoot, the shoot that premieres her to the world. So no pressure, then. Imogen is in the sea. She does some Baywatch running and plays with her hair. Grace remarks that she’s quite athletic. Elle likes her face but not her poses, which are a bit samey. Julien wishes he looked like that in his bikini. MANKINI, bellows Grace. [Way to step all over the punchline, Grace. - Steve] Elle thinks that she needs to learn to be less cheesy. Imogen hopes she’s got a good photo. She’s relieved, sad and emotional that this is the last shoot.
We see her photo straight away. It’s a head and shoulders shot, which probably isn’t much good for a swimwear shoot. Elle says that the more she sees Imogen in Miami, the more she appreciates her face. Grace doesn’t feel that she’s high fashion or edgy, but the photo is wow and there is a place for her. Charley thinks that she took direction well. Why must everything you say come across a little bit creepy Charley? He thinks that when she gets the right angle on her face she’s really pretty. Julien thinks that if he saw her on the beach he would think she was a supermodel but she doesn’t have the knockout factor. That makes absolutely no sense Julien, so we’ll move on. Grace wants to know what the point is of having a fashion model that is only good in the face. That’s what a sensible point looks like, Julien.
Jade is next. She’s pumped up and ready. She loves the styling and the hair and she’s going to go out there and work it. She’s taken aback by the scenery and thinks it looks like it’s off a postcard. The Flood strikes up in the background, just for Steve. Jade’s going to be the model in the postcard.
Joseph puts her in the water and wants her to walk to the camera. Immediately, Julien remarks that she’s sexy and all the judges agree. Julien says that if he saw her on the beach he would think she’s *bleep* gorgeous. You are seeing her on the beach, Julien. Jade touches her hair. Julien remarks on her twisting hips and Joseph tells her she’s pretty. Elle wants more Bond girl than bouncy girl. Joseph is happy and high fives her. She interviews that she wants to be in the final to make everyone proud and because she’s got nothing else to do with her life. I sense this may be a bit dramatic, but I don’t know. Elle thinks she’s a wonderful juxtaposition because she’s got a sweet face and a rocking body. Julien Vogues and says that she looks like she’s on the cover of a magazine. Her photos are amazing. Charley admires how she can go from bubbly and smiley to ultra fierce. Grace agrees that this is rare and girls are usually either/or. Julien thinks that she’s modern and edgy and completely unique. Charley remembers that she has up and down weeks, presumably to stop this episode from being a complete Jade love-in. Elle remarks that there is a huge disparity between being fabulous and not being fabulous. Well, DUH.
Coming up! Juste and Anastasija presumably. Fate awaiting and the revelation of the final two.
Advertising break. More Than Freeman, like most things that aren’t falling over, was only funny the first time.
We’re back. Juste is next. She’s nervous because the judges are watching but she’s going to pretend they’re not there. We get a shot of her looking at the beach. It’s cheesy. She thinks the background will make the picture look amazing but she can’t forget that she’s in it. Joseph says hi to her and they start straight away. “It’s just me and you” says Joseph. Creepily.
Julien remarks on how professional Juste is. Elle agrees and says she loves that she’s elegant. Charley thinks it would be interesting to see a smiley shot from her as he’s never seen one. Joseph wants a knowing smile, before high fiving her and calling her dude. Juste gave it all she had and tried very hard to be better than all the girls. She’s sad because the competition is almost over and she sheds one solitary tear because she’s going to miss the competition.
Julien then does a complete turnaround once Juste’s back is turned and says that he is disappointed because she’s not what he thought she was going to be, apparently because all of a sudden she’s too broad for clothes. This is the same Julien that loved Jessica. Go figure. Elle points out the absurdity of this statement and Julien answers that he’s never seen her in a bikini before. No Julien, but you have seen her nekkid. He has now realised that she’s got a weird pigeon chest and is ‘big’. Grace stops the madness by saying that it was a joy watching her work. Charley loves her serenity, but Grace hasn’t seen any growth. Charley thinks she must be good to work with and Elle thinks that her body of work has to be taken into account, as does the fact she has been consistent.
Finally, Anastasija. She does the talking to camera walking down to the beach and the surveying of the beach scene like all the other girls. She thinks it’s sad that it’s the last photoshoot, but she doesn’t want to be one of the girls going home. Elle is sick of all the girls touching their hair when they walk. Elle doesn’t want her to do it. Julien thinks that it might be because she’s nervous. Elle thinks it’s because she doesn’t know what else to do. Julien thinks that Anastasija has the best body in the competition. Everyone agrees. Julien remarks that Anastasija has a personality. We all do, Julien, though you perhaps demonstrate that there are degrees of personality.
Anastasija can’t believe it’s over and that two of them are going home. She’s worried, though she thinks she’s done well in the photoshoot. She does remark that sometimes the photos don’t turn out the way you think they will. Here comes the bus, Anastasija! They pick a dreadful photo of her. So dreadful, in fact, it makes her look like Kirsten Dunst. Julien has always loved her, and would put her in his show. Charley thinks she needed direction and she wasn’t as much of a pleasure to watch as the others. Grace thinks her personality stands her apart because she can do bubbly and nice. Charley thinks the niceness helps her on set. Elle loves her personality but she doesn’t have as strong model skillz as the other girls.
Back at the beach hut, the girls discuss the competition. Imogen says it’s been the most amazing experience of her life and Miami has topped everything off. Juste doesn’t want it to be over and Jade remarks that nobody wants to go.
The judges are all sat round a screen looking at the photos. Elle says it’s been tough, but looking at the images it’s clear that two girls stand out and it’s now time to tell them.
The judges all walk out on to a pier. The girls file on to said pier but The Axis are separated. Jade, Imogen and Anastasija hold hands whilst Juste stands on her own twiddling her fingers.
There are four beautiful models in front of Elle, but there’s only two spaces in the final. Elle takes the opportunity to say thank you because the judges have enjoyed the process and seeing the girls blossom. WELL I’M GLAD SOMEBODY HAS.
The first girl through to the final is...
But wait! There is another place. It goes to...
Cue lots of hugging. Imogen and Anastasija walk off hand in hand. Imogen interviews tearfully that this has been the best experience of her whole life and she’s not going to give up because she’s had a taste of what it can be like. She’s going to knock on some doors until someone takes her.
Anastasija interviews that there can only be one winner, and she can’t redo the shoot so she’s not going to be too sad. She tried, but she’s not good enough to be in the final and there’s nothing she can do.
RIP THE AXIS :((((
They fade from the photograph. Jade says her mum is going to be proud. Juste says the obligatory thirteen to two bit. It’s the best day of Jade’s life and she can’t believe it because she’s an amateur model up against a six foot Juste. Juste thinks that Jade is big competition but they’re both strong and different. She thinks she’s learned a lot and is stronger. She cries.
Fearne the pointless then recaps the whole competition. *yawn*, but it’s not all bad because MISS JAY is on next week. Can’t we just ditch the last episode and have Miss J pwn Julien for an hour? Cos that would be AWESOME.
That’s it from me this series. Join Steve next week for the final to see Jade inevitably crowned the winner. If I could have one final word for this cycle, it would be stop messing with the format, but I’m not going to labour it any more. I think I’ve made my feelings clear. So until next year... Goodbye.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Previously on BINTModel: America declared its intolerance for The Axis and declined to accept Anastasija's passport. Other things happened as well, but really, that's the only thing I care about. Will she manage to get her immigration issues sorted in time to continue in the competition, or will she get Bible Brenda-ed back to the UK? Let's find out.
Coming up on tonight's show: tall drink of water Tyson Beckford. Again, other things may also be in store, but I choose just to focus on the really important ones.
Crappy-ass titles. I genuinely had to think hard to remember which one Amy was when I saw her this week. Without the witchy weave, she's unrecognisable. Whether that's a good thing or not, I shall leave to your own personal judgement.
We're still in Miami, and the show opens with Imogen expressing her gratitude that no one went home last week, because "I don't think it would've been fair to cut it down to three so soon". Oh, Imogen. Because of those stupid, hateful audition episodes, we've had double eliminations in this series more than we've had single eliminations (for anyone who's keeping count: three doubles, two singles, and one non-elim). You should be thankful they didn't decide to arbitrarily cut all four of you and declare Anastasija the winner in absentia. It'd make about as much sense as anything else has in this utter mess of a cycle. Jade expresses her relief about Anastasija's customs woes, because she thinks that she might have been the one going home if there had been an elimination. Juste interviews in her typically brusque fashion that she pretty much agrees with this assessment, because Jade sucked last week.
There is E-Mail, read by Juste: "Well done to all of you for making it through. Life can often be a drama, and tomorrow you will be living it Latino-style. Love Elle." Shouldn't that be Latina-style, given that none of them are men? Or just Latin-style, since none of them (to the best of my knowledge) are Latina? Jessica starts dancing, assuming that Latino-style has something to do with music, and Jade joins in excitedly. Imogen, however, is hung-up on the "drama" part of the note, and this makes Jessica wonder if, in fact, they might have to perform in a telenovela. None of the others know what one of those is, so she has to explain it to them. I think Jessica might be too smart to be on this show. [I think everybody's too smart to be on this show. Except Grace - Chris] Imogen asks Juste if she can act, and Juste responds "can I act?!" in umbrage, miming tearing up the E-Mail. Quite what this is supposed to prove, I am not entirely sure. But if tomorrow's challenge involves painting your face white, wearing braces and pretending to be trapped in an invisible box, Juste's going to walk it.
The next day, they arrive at Telemundo Studio, and are greeted by Raoul Arrieta, the acting coach who will be teaching them the ways of the telenovela. He informs them that they will be acting out a scene from one of their "future shows" (The Jetsons, maybe?) and it will be in Spanish. Everyone looks nervous, except Jessica, who looks kind of smug right now for reasons that will become very clear shortly. They are taken to watch the scene they will be performing on a teeny tiny monitor, which gives them English subtitles. It's a typically overwrought telenovela scene with heightened emotion, lots of shoving, and a big kiss at the end. Jessica notes that everyone else's face fell when they saw that bit. [Juste's just sad that Anastasija isn't there to rehearse with - Chris]
They attempt to read through the scene, one by one. Imogen's delivery of "ay ay ay, imbécil!" is hilarious, though doubtless unintentionally so. Advance disclosure: the only Spanish I know is the middle eight of Geri Halliwell's 'Mi Chico Latino' and that time my friend Sara taught me how to say "don't worry your head about boys, they're all the same, they're not worth shit", so my ability to interpret what's going on for the next five minutes or so is not going to be brilliant. Juste trips over the Spanish, as does Jade. Jessica reads it very well. Juste asks if it's absolutely imperative that they kiss the guy at the end. Raoul wonders why everyone is so uptight about this bit.
They go off to practice, and Juste admits that she's basically just learning sounds at this point. She screams "Nada! Nada!" over again at Jessica like she's drunkenly cheering on a Wimbledon men's singles final, and Jessica cracks up. Imogen tries to warm up her vocal chords by enunciating "Tuesday" repeatedly very loudly and clearly [Gotta get down on Tuesday - Chris]. It doesn't appear to assist much with her Spanish, sadly. At this point, an interview with Jessica clears one interesting detail up: she has a degree in Spanish, and apparently Jade viewed this as an unfair advantage and planned to tell everyone about it. I'm sure that understanding, benevolent attitude will carry her a long way in the real world, and that there will not be any other models backstage at Fashion Week slipping fire ants in her shoes or anything. Juste practices for the kissing scene by trying to eat Jessica's face. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm totally aroused right now. Jade announces that she's not kissing anyone. Again, good luck finding all those modelling jobs which will not require you to fake intimacy with a person who is not your significant other. If that bothers you, dear, you may be in the wrong industry. Perhaps consider taking religious orders instead, or working in a call centre. That's just about the least sexy profession in the world, and I speak from considerable experience. (Unless you work on one of those phone lines, obviously.)
Time to film the scene. I never thought I'd miss Tanya, but I must admit I do feel slightly disappointed that we never got to hear her attempting to drone in Spanish [If only we'd seen Tiffany and Joy try this. I can only imagine and it's beautiful - Helen]. Imogen goes first, and doesn't start out too badly, but soon forgets her lines and starts giggling. To her credit, though, she manages to make it to the end of the scene, and really goes for the kiss, prompting lots of primary school-style "ugh, boys!" expressions from the others. I really wish Anastasija were here to see this. I can imagine she'd have much to contribute. Juste is next, and interviews that she could only remember three words: "¿Que?", "¡No!" and "¡Nada!" She's not wrong: these are literally the only words she says in the entire scene, much to the consternation of her co-star, who can only stretch his ad-libbing skills so far in the face of such limited Spanish. Seriously, it's hilarious. I could watch this over and over and over again, and indeed I have done. She's also not really into the kiss at the end, although her reluctance sort of works in the context of the scene. I'm being overly generous here, but after the comic gift that was the what-can't-nothing dramatic sequence, I think she's earned the benefit of the doubt. [I love that her vocab was shit, but her accent was impeccable - Chris]
Up next is Jade, who does a better job of remembering her words than the other do, but only barely, and her Spanish accent is non-existent. She goes through with the kiss [she bloody doesn't, she just bounces off his face - Chris], but again only barely. She interviews that she does not want to be an actress, so she found the kissing scene really difficult. Again, I encourage her to look at any number of fragrance ads or underwear campaigns and then try to tell me that being a model will not require her to kiss someone she's only just met at any point. [Jade's not going to do that modelling. She's just going to do shots staring down the camera like she's trying to set it on fire with her brain - Chris] Jade sniffs that everyone struggled with the challenge, apart from Jessica, who speaks fluent Spanish. And is presumably no stranger to acting, given that she was in an episode of The Hour about a month ago. Playing someone who spoke Spanish. Jessica goes next, and Sudden Bitch Edit Jade interviews that "even if she did forget her lines, which I think she did, she could just improvise". To be fair, it does look a bit like Jessica forgets her lines at one point, but Jade's been kind of an insufferable snot for this entire sequence, so she can fuck off. Jessica interviews unconvincingly that being able to speak Spanish was not an advantage, it was "just a thing". Nice try, Jess. Juste interviews sunnily that regardless of the language thing, Jessica was a good actress anyway. Juste and Jessica seem to be BFFs all of a sudden in this episode, which I don't recall being featured at all prior to this. It's interesting. Jessica goes full on for the kiss, as well. Afterwards, she tells Jade that she felt she really had to do well, because the others had been needling her about speaking the language and would laugh at her if she failed.
Raoul says that the winner will receive a pampering massage session at a spa, and will be allowed to bring a friend. Unsurprisingly, Jessica wins. Imogen interviews that they knew this would happen, and that Jessica would pick Juste to join her. Again, since Jessica and Juste's tight-knit bond is such common knowledge to the contestants, it'd be nice if the viewers had any idea it existed before this episode. Raoul tells Jessica that she connected with her partner in the scene, and that's why she won. Because it was totally a close-run thing, honest. Juste interviews that it's totally fair Jessica won, because she was the best. Sure enough, Jessica picks Juste to join her, and Imogen and Jade pull stank faces about it. Jessica is sad that Imogen and Jade can't appreciate her acting skills. Don't worry, Jess, they'll probably be well jeal when they see you on BBC2 standing next to Dominic West. I know I was.
Back at the apartment, there is further E-Mail, read this time by Imogen. "Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Be ready at 8am tomorrow, love Elle." They deduce that this challenge involves cheerleading. Jessica and Juste go to their spa appointment, which is in the same building that they live in. Jade and Imogen sulkterview that they would've loved to go to. Then suck less, either as actresses or as human beings. I really don't think we can judge Jessica for bringing the person who is nice to her instead of the two snotty cows making catty, dispiriting statements in the background. (I genuinely never thought I'd write a sentence referring to "the two snotty cows in the background" that wouldn't be referring to The Axis.) Imogen snots that it's hard to compete against someone who is speaking fluent Spanish. And sure, I get that, but it's not like any of you tried very hard. Or did you just figure that laughter was the universal language, like Esperanto? Meanwhile, Juste and Jessica feed each other pineapple from cocktail sticks. I know which clique I'd rather be in. [Bagsy me in the hotel room with Anastasija playing Travel Pass The Pigs - Chris]
We return from the commercial break, and the girls are heading to Sunlight Stadium, and the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Dance Studio, where they're met by Senior Director Dorie Grogan. Jade is pleased, because she thinks cheerleading is something she can do. (Spoiler: she's wrong.) Jessica finds the whole thing surreal. They will have to learn a routine and perform in front of a live audience. Juste looks distinctly unimpressed. "Those other girls are dreaming of becoming cheerleaders," she interviews. "For me, I'd rather play American football." I love Juste so much. The girls are kitted out in ridiculously tiny cheerleader uniforms. Juste doesn't like the boots, and Jessica's big feet are a problem "again" (I don't recall them being a problem before, but admittedly my emotional investment in this series is pretty minimal, so I might've just forgotten), so she opts to rehearse in trainers. Jade interviews that the routine is very fast-paced, and Juste says that she was "moody, doing the steps like a machine". Jessica, at least, got into it and enjoyed herself, as did Imogen. Jade interviews that she had the spirit, just not the moves, and that the choreographer kept telling her that she was the worst. I hope she meant "in general", and not just "at cheerleading". Juste's hatred of the entire experience is written all over her face. They go to put their uniforms on, and Juste is horrified that her tights are about twelve shades darker than her skin (and the choreographer snots at her that "there is a thing called spray tan" - like, fuck off, cheertator), and notes with derision that some of the others wanted to keep their uniforms, adding "where are you going to wear it?" I think that's a question we'd all be better off not knowing the answer to. The girls troop off to an indoor stadium where they are to perform, and as Jessica pulls her too-small boots on, she interviews that Imogen and Jade in particular wanted to do well, "because they fancy themselves as little cheerleaders". Miaow. Imogen interviews that she was trying very hard to beat Jessica, as this was her dream challenge. I don't know why they're seeing Jessica as such tough competition all of a sudden - as far as I can recall, she hasn't won any challenges prior to this episode. [Also, who gives a shit about challenges? - Chris] They watch the professional cheerleaders go through a routine, which Jade admits was "a bit embarrassing", and then Dorie introduces the girls to a bunch of randoms constituting the live audience we were promised (judging by the ticket-stickers they're all wearing, I'm assuming they're all auditioning to be cheerleaders themselves, although since the show never bothers to clarify this, they could be a women's football league or the Future Accountants Of America for all I know) as "the top four of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model" (spoiler: no they aren't) and our girls perform their routine. Jessica interviews that she had the routine down, she just had to focus on the boots, and Juste interviews that her boots were too small as well, and they had to "smile through the tears". Juste's a couple of beats behind everyone else, Jade's hopeless, but Imogen and Jessica both seem pretty good - Jessica is probably edging it just because she's got a great smile and actually uses her whole body when she moves, not just the limb that's supposed to be shaking at any given moment. Jessica interviews that there has to be a winner, and the choreographer informs the group that the winner is...Jessica! Because of her warm smile. She wins a goodie bag of Dolphins stuff. What a shit prize. Jade and Imogen whineterview about Jessica winning again, having decided to blame their ineptitude on someone else. Juste is just happy to get those damn boots off. Jade decides to vocalise her frustration ("jokingly") at Jessica's wins, and Jessica replies "what, twice? In the whole competition?" SERIOUSLY. Let it go, Jade. And you, Imogen. You are both awful people. Jade interviews that she's worried that the judges will look favourably upon Jessica's two challenge wins. As Willow Smith's 'Whip My Hair' lines up on the soundtrack, Imogen confesses that she "threw a bit of a strop". Looking alarmingly like Jessie J, she snarks to the camera that if she'd just put in a big set of false teeth, she would've won. Yes, it truly is terrible that in this MODELLING COMPETITION, people win challenges based on their physical appearance. What is the world coming to? Jessica looks through her bag of useless tat, and Imogen whines that she wants all of it. GET A GRIP, WOMAN. A rather sad-looking Jessica interviews that yes, she had previous dance experience, but so does Imogen, and that she won because she gave it her all. She danced through the PAIN OF TINY BOOTS. Juste interviews that while Imogen loves cheerleading, Jessica was better. This whole challenge was so fucking pointless, I can't even tell you. At no point did anyone pretend it had anything to do with modelling; it was just a blatant way of filling ten minutes of airtime and coaxing Imogen into that snit-fit that had been brewing for the past day or so. (So perhaps not entirely wasted time after all.) There is an E-Mail on the car, read by Jessica. "Hello girls, hope you kept up with the beautiful cheerleaders. Now it's time to head home, as tomorrow you'll have a chance to work harder, but beware of the alligators. Love, Elle." You known on ANTM the Tyra Mail at least makes a vague attempt to be cryptic? I miss that. [I don't - Chris] Jade applauds for the alligators, and interviews that she needs another photo to prove that she deserves to stay, because she thinks she's going home if she doesn't get one.
The next day, a long car ride later, they arrive in a "swamp area" called ["Grace's va...joke redcated - Chris] Coopertown, where they're greeted by Jenny Swire, the fashion director for Wedding magazine, who tells them they must forget their preconceived ideas about bridal fashion (BUT I HAVE SO MANY OF THEM!), because they're doing an extraordinary fashion-forward shoot in wedding dresses. Oh, and there's one more thing before they get going: a special guest will be joining them. An airboat (or whatever they call those things that you always used to see on Gentle Ben) appears on the horizon, and everyone squints trying to see who it is. Jessica interviews that they thought it would be an alligator or a snake (spoiler: not far off), and Juste interviews that she saw a blonde girl and wondered if it was Paris Hilton (spoiler: it's not). As the airboat gets closer, the mysterious blonde makes herself known: IT'S ANASTASIJA, BITCHES! Jessica wonders what Anastasija is doing in the everglades. A flashback reminds us of Anastasija's travel troubles involving her passport (according to internet rumour, the trouble was that she had a valid EU passport, but that it was an old one without the electronic chip, and US passport control wouldn't accept it - no idea how much truth there is in that, but it seems as valid an explanation as any), which are apparently all resolved now. Anastasija is impressed that there are still four of them: "I thought you would be less." Hee. Juste cries a bit, and THE AXIS IS RESTORED. HOORAY! [It was a beautiful moment. I was moved. - Helen]
Adverts: primarily make-up and weight-loss solutions. Read into that what you will. Also, Secret Circle looks like a mash-up of The Craft and The Covenant, except less fun than either of those.
Jade interviews (not entirely without glee) that she thinks Juste and Jessica's friendship will be affected by the return of Anastasija. Juste notes that not everyone is thrilled about Anastasija's return, and guess who is first amongst them? That's right: Late-Blooming Bitch Imogen, who snarls that Anastasija's going to come back and just to one photoshoot, and that'll be fine? Well, it'll probably be better than your picture, Imogen, because you have a face that looks like it was drawn on a Nintendo 64. Imogen predicts another double elimination tomorrow.
Jessica's first to do the photoshoot, which she admits she doesn't really like. Photographer Michael Philnow (who's been here for ages, but we only just got his full name) asks her to work all the positions. What, all of them? Jessica perches on the airboat and looks a bit nervous. She tell us that she doesn't think she fully clocked the "danger" at the time of all the alligators in the swamp, and Michael decides that he likes the look of Jessica in profile, and that it'll be a tough edit because there's a lot there. (Spoiler: the producers are going to just pick a crap one anyway.) Jessica decides not to tell the others how her shoot went.
Imogen and Anastasija are both sent out to their location together, and Imogen is a bit alarmed by all the alligators. Anastasija is, of course, not threatened by the alligators. She defeat them, make lovely handbag for all her friends. Anastasija is given a piggy back across the muddy swamp to the two planks she has to stand on (not Imogen and Jade, just in case anyone's wondering) for her shoot, and the poor man carrying her actually gets trapped in the mud. Anastasija looks amazing, and seems to be taking some great shots. Imogen quietly watches Anastasija working, from a distance. Anastasija says that she hopes she's got the shot, but she's concerned that the judges keep telling her to give them a different face.
When she's done, they hop back onto the airboat to take Imogen to her location, where she's sprawled in a chair. Michael tells her to smirk; oddly enough, this is a direction she has no problem taking. Imogen worries about the alligators eating her feet, because she has to walk across the swamp for some of her shots, and worries about standing on an alligator or falling down a hole or getting sunk in the mud like the dude who was carrying Anastasija. Jenny thinks Imogen is "just a great model - possibly one of Britain's best top models." I hope One Of Britain's Best Top Models is among the titles they're considering for next series.
Anastasija and Imogen return and tell Jessica about all the alligators they saw. Meanwhile, Juste is getting all dolled up in her wedding dress. "You look like a woman!" exclaims Imogen. Juste interviews that this was one of the best shoots they've done, because it was really exciting. Jenny tells her that her dress is a Vera Wang, so it's very special. Juste poses by a tree on a little jetty, and seems to be doing brilliantly. She interviews, with a little disappointment, that she didn't see any alligators.
Finally, we have Jade, who tells us that she's not scared of alligators at all, just of getting eliminated. She too is posing on a jetty and doing that "menstrual cramps" pose that seems so popular on this show. Michael asks her to do a little smirk, as well. Presumably, between her and Imogen, the theme of this bridal editorial spread is "Ha Ha, I'm Getting Married And You Are Not". Jade hopes that the judges will like her pictures.
Back at the apartment, there is a table full of sweets, and another E-Mail, telling them there is another elimination tomorrow. Imogen takes this opportunity to talk vaguely yet pointedly to Jade about how the judges will have to "think carefully about what they're going to judge on", or there will be "some complaints and some sort of disruption". I kind of want them to send Imogen home now, just to watch her kick off and The Axis beat her down. Meanwhile, Anastasija tries out the pool and interviews how happy she is to be back, and how she hopes she won't be getting sent home tomorrow. Back indoors, Jade stirs that when she went upstairs, Jessica was on the bed by herself, while Anastasija and Juste were outside, and Imogen deduces from this that, with the restoration of The Axis complete, Jessica is now minus one BFF. Jessica herself interviews that three's a crowd, because Jade and Imogen are close, and The Axis are close, and she's sort of in the middle by herself. I give up trying to track the relationships on this show.
The next day. Sunburnt men jog on the beach in Miami. It's elimination day, and the judges are being joined by male supermodel Tyson Beckford. He is a handsome, handsome man, but I interviewed him once and it was honestly one of the hardest interviews I have ever done in my life. Handsome man; not especially talkative. Grace introduces herself to him, and swoons. Backstage, Jessica asks Anastasija if she's nervous, and Anastasija says she isn't, but she will go home if it's her time.
Again, the judging takes place in one of the apartment suites, which just looks utterly, utterly ridiculous. WHERE IS THE MOTHERFUCKING CATWALK? DOES NO ONE EVEN CARE ANY MORE? They all sit on the cramped sofa, opposite the judges who are all sprawled inelegantly on chairs. It really just looks so very awful. I'm embarrassed to be watching this show right now, and I say that as somebody who considers the Top Model franchise to be a genuine pleasure rather than a guilty pleasure. Elle welcomes Anastasija back, and introduces the judges. Tyson tells the girls that the pictures don't do them justice. This does not speak highly of the show's production values, does it?
Voice Of Fearne reminds us of the prizes, and then we begin the judging with Anastasija. Her shot is quite serene, if you ignore all the mud beneath her feet. Julien thinks she has a natural, raw beauty. Anastasija thinks she has given different face in this picture. Tyson wishes she was facing the front more, because the back of her legs are great, but he'd rather see the front. Elle appreciates what Anastasija was trying to do, but thinks it's not her best shot. Elle asks if the others were happy to see her, and Anastasija responds, as diplomatically as possible, that Juste was, while the rest of them were less so. Elle replies that this is because she is COMPETITION, duh.
Imogen is next, and Elle thinks she looks very animated on her entrance, and wonders if that translated to her acting challenge. We watch the recording of her acting, and everyone laughs, including Imogen. Imogen makes sure to get in that Jessica had an UNFAIR ADVANTAGE from being able to speak Spanish while poor defenceless Imogen was all on her own. We see her best shot, which is admittedly quite lovely. Dammit. Julien thinks she is surprising him every week. Charley says that he doesn't like her right hand, which Tyson agrees is "goalkeeper-like".
Mid-judging commercial break. AARRGH I THOUGHT WE'D GOT RID OF THESE.
When we return, Juste arrives in a dress which a very high hemline, and Elle commends her skill on being able to sit down without presenting herself for a gynaecological examination. They watch her acting challenge video, all three words of it, and laugh like drains at her (lack of) command of the language, but Elle likes the kiss at the end. Tyson agrees that the kiss was believable and in character. Her shot is beautiful and demure, and Tyson loves her body proportions and the way she uses her arms. He thinks she has definite model potential.
Next is Jade, and Elle is pleased that she looks fresh and gorgeous. Asked how she got on this week, Jade explains that at the Telemundo challenge, she struggled with the lines and the kiss. Again, everyone cracks up watching her attempting to act, and not doing the kiss. Elle thinks she photographs better than she acts, and brings up Jade's best shot to prove it. Tyson likes her attitude in the picture, and Grace loves that the picture still has a softness. Tyson, by the way of nothing, asks Jade what her life was like growing up, being "different". He asks if she got teased a lot, and Jade says that she did. Tyson replies that he did too. I'm glad that's sorted. [Different how? Mixed-race? Freckles? Humourless prig? - Chris] Jade returns to the holding room feeling pretty happy, while Anastasija frets that everyone so far had a good picture except her.
Finally, we have Jessica. We watch her acting challenge, and for once there is no laughter, except at the end during the kiss. Grace wonders why Jessica is cringing like she can't watch, because her performance was outstanding. Julien says she's a mystery to him, and has got to him big time. Her best shot, however, does not get rave reviews. Charley says it's not bad, it's just not that strong. Grace says that when Tyson saw the picture for the first time, he called it "modelling pose 101". That's nice, Grace, but how about developing your own opinions and letting Tyson speak for himself? [I like Tyson's better - Chris] Also, I liked it better when we pretended the judges hadn't been staring at every shot backstage and eating Curly Wurlys for the two hours before this sequence was shot. Tyson asks if she reads a lot of magazines, and says that he can tell, because he felt like this wasn't her when he saw it, despite not even knowing her yet. He thinks she should've tossed the umbrella (fnar) and faced the camera. Elle says that Jessica has an ability to transform each week, and she loves that about her.
Time for the judges to deliberate. Anastasija is beautiful in person, but her look is samey, and when she tries to be different, it doesn't always work. Julien thinks she is "not the worst". Elle thinks it's late in the competition to still be "wanting". Imogen has really grown on Julien, and Elle thinks her journey has been interesting. Tyson is impressed, and thinks she has a career ahead of her. Grace thinks Juste hasn't really evolved because she's always been at this level, and that she's "ten-a-penny". Actually, I think I preferred it when Grace was parroting Tyson's thoughts; at least she made a bit more sense then. [See? - Chris] Elle thinks Juste would be well-received in the market. Tyson liked that Jade was different, with her freckles and red hair, and thinks she's marketable. Elle loves her energy and presence. Julien thinks Jessica has more personality than modelling ability. Tyson thinks she's a smart girl, but doesn't know if she can represent them on the highest level. He asks if they'd send her to British Vogue. "In a certain circumstance, yes," replies Grace, unconvincingly. [To take the bins out? - Chris]
Five girls are sitting on a sofa in front of Elle. Only four will continue to the next phase. First call-out is Juste, who is NOT EVEN GIVEN A FUCKING PICTURE, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? They're all just sent out, one by one, entirely pictureless. This series has no respect for tradition at all. Imogen is through next, and hugs Juste. Jade is the third girl through, leaving Anastasija and Jessica in the bottom two, obviously. Elle does that early Tyra thing of saying "the name I do not call must go upstairs and pack her bags", like the name's capable of doing that independently from the rest of the body or something. She says it's been a difficult decision and that they were very divided, and it's not about who's the worst, but about who's the girl who best represents what they're looking for. The girl who's still in the running is...Anastasija. Nice to know that all those challenges we had to sit through in this episode had no connection whatsoever to what they're looking for in a winner, then. I don't feel like my time has been wasted in the slightest.
Anastasija is grateful, and hugs Jessica, who is down in a subdued fashion. Elle summons Jessica to sit next to her, and tells her that they're all very proud of her, and she's inspired them and surprised them every week. Julien says that she's changed the way he looks at women (has she made him straight?) and she's an amazing person. She gets a kiss from Tyson Beckford, so it's not a complete downer for Jessica. She heads into the holding room and breaks down as she hugs The Axis goodbye. Backstage, she weeps that she's never felt confident because of her size and her age, and that to go from doing well to going home really hurts. We see her portfolio, which does actually have some nice shots in it, and then she fades from the group shot, as everyone must eventually.
Next week: go-sees, and a shock announcement! I bet you anything you like it's another sodding double elimination. See you next week.