Dog days for local catwalk competition
MAKE you a supermodel? That’s a pretty big ask. Perhaps Make Me Someone Who Points Delightedly at Socks in the K mart Catalogue was changed for length.
But the title is the least of the problems for this reality show in which 14 men and women compete for a modelling contract. It faces the formidable strength of an actual supermodel, Tyra Banks.
Banks’s America’s Next Top Model was not the first reality- TV model competition but, as the best known, it’s the benchmark. This means that when you do something different, everyone says they prefer the original, while if you do something similar, you’re just copying. Although I am a little suspicious that contestants here had to pose with fish so soon after the America’s Next Top Model girls had to don meat.
Despite its ludicrous excesses, America’s Next Top Model has credibility for what Banks achieved as a model and for attracting some name designers for the models to wear.
Consequently, Make Me a Supermodel made a misstep in making Jennifer Hawkins the host. This is not a slight on Hawkins, but while she was a model before she became Miss Universe, it’s pageants she’s famous for. Both involve looking beautiful for a living, but it’s edgy versus girl- nextdoor beauty. I’m not sure the fashion world sees her as one of its own, and these shows already have a hard time establishing legitimacy as anything other than spectacle.
Perhaps the reason Tyson Beckford, co- host of the US edition with Ralph Lauren, was flown out here to share host duties for a few episodes was to bump up the fashion cred. But not only is he not that big a name, he stripped naked with a male contestant
In search of fashion cred: Hosts Tyson Beckford and Jennifer Hawkins
The title is the least of the problems for this modelling reality show
and jumped in the pool at a Marie Claire party at which they were supposed to be networking, which killed any notion that this competition is serious.
And having a public vote to decide which of the week’s bottom three contestants is eliminated means the show becomes more about who the audience likes than any actual modelling talent.
If all that isn’t enough, why is Stephanie Rice there advising the contestants, other than that she is flavour of the month after the Olympics? It makes about as much sense as asking Elle Macpherson to be a professional swimming coach.
So despite the best efforts of judges Martin Walsh, managing director of Chadwick Models, and Jackie Frank, Marie Clare editor, to pretend this show is about modelling, Make Me a Supermodel becomes a show about squabbling gen Ys sharing a house. And wasn’t Big Brother axed because we were sick of watching that?