Grey matter a curse for the catty people
‘ I don’t have a filter between my brain and my mouth. It’s just brain vomit’
Australia’s Next Top Model 7.35pm, Fox 8
PRETTY soon they’re going to have to ditch that Top out of the various editions of the Tyra Banks reality show. The original US show is in its 10th season and we’re up to the fourth of Australia’s Next Top Model , and the most successful winner is Adrianne Curry, who won the first US season. And she’s only famous because she keeps making reality shows about being married to Peter Brady.
Some contestants do make a living as a model, but top model? Let’s just say that Gisele Bundchen — the world’s highest- paid model, according to Forbes — ain’t losing sleep.
However, if any of the young hopefuls who audition for the show do make it big, I’d wager they will come from the Australian rather than the US edition. The US edition may have greater exposure as well as the might of Tyra, but the local version has something better: girls who actually have a shot at modelling.
The minimum age requirement for the US version is 18, while to enter the Australian version, you only have to be 16. US contestants have been as old as 26, while the oldest local contestants in this season are 21. While I have issues with people who go on reality shows before they’re done with school, in modelling the truth is that, as the TISM song goes ‘‘ if you’re not famous at 14, you’re finished’’, so there’s more credibility right there.
The show also focuses on training the girls for modelling, instead of making high- concept artistic photos that may be interesting to watch but reek of running before you can walk in your six- inch stilettos.
Which is not to suggest that Australia’s Next Top Model doesn’t deliver what any good model reality show needs, and that is wannabes who say dumb things and at least one or two geeky contestants whose makeover into glamour pusses provides for maximum contrast.
This season looks particularly promising. My favourite so far is 17- year- old Belinda Hodge, whose occupation, according to her caption, is ‘‘ a country girl’’. She introduces herself: ‘‘ I don’t have a filter between my brain and my mouth. It’s just brain vomit ( pause) bleaughhh.’’ But this isn’t in a ‘‘ you can’t possibly be offended by the mean thing I just said, because I’m just saying what I think’’ way, but an endearingly off- with- thepixies thing. She almost appears to be channelling Selina Kyle, Michele Pfeiffer’s bookish Catwoman alterego in Batman Returns , although she may need to get some claws to deal with her housemates.
Another standout is 20- year- old university student Alexandra Girdwood, who reads Kafka, or at least sleeps with a copy of the book over her head, and thinks it makes her so much smarter than the others. Which may be true, but given that one of the other girls talks about Winston Church- chill, that’s really no reason to be smug.
Clamour for glamour: The contestants in this year’s Australia’s Next Top Model