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Australia’s Next Top Model – Episode 1

The new crop of models were divided into the not so bright, and the wannbe intellectuals.

Alexandra Girdwood the 20 year old Uni student from Sydney started off the episode reading Kafka (well if having it over your face whilst sleeping is considered reading), but by the end had revealed she wasn’t as articulate as first thought. When she was talking about her inability to talk to the other girls about fashion as they shopped at Westfield rather then trendy boutiques she said she did not “breach these conversations” with the other girls. MMM I think the word she was looking for was broach.

I must admit I was shocked that quite a few girls did not know who Winston Churchill was. Now I know we have quite rightly moved away from our British centric school history curriculum but really this is ridiculous.

Anyway this isn’t a quiz show and IQ is irrelevant it is about having the looks, figure and personality to be a top model.

One thing I found about the girls tonight, and to be fair it was the first episode, were their lack of personalities, only two really stood out, Belinda Hodge an 18 year country girl from Melbourne her kookiness, and Alexandra because of her bitchiness. The other girls just seemed very young. In fact 16 year old Demelza seemed more mature then some of the older girls like Rebecca, and Alyce.

First up they were called before the panel of Jodhi Meares, Charlotte Dawson, Alex Perry, and Priscilla Leighton Clark in pairs. In America’s Next Top Model Tyra Banks dominates these situations, whereas Jodhi has a more laidback role with Charlotte spitting out the one liners.

Leiden Kronemberger a 19 year old unemployed girl from Sydney and Jamie Lee a 21 year old office assistant from Adelaide who has a tanning addiction were first.

Jamie who does have a good body wants to model Victoria Secret, and Leiden want to bring a new fashion look in.

They then had to get into Tigerlily bikinis for an all over body assessment. Charlotte Dawson like Jamie “better with her clothes off.”

Then it was off to shoot ten frames with a photographer.

Leiden as Charlotte put it “Looked like she was told to look like a dog giving birth to puppies.”

Kamilla Markowska a 17 year old law student from Adelaide, and Alamela a 17 year old student from Byron Bay were next. Kamilla was a bit bland and also looked like she had an eating disorder very bony in the bikini but the judges gushed about the body. Whilst Alamela looked very thin also, and she did appear as if she were an intelligent model, but her manner slightly irritated me.

Rebecca an 18 year old customer service from Wollongong and Alyce unemployed from Kiama who are friends were next in and they were told they had two of the best walks.

Caris Eves a 19 year old Uni student and Demelza a 16 year old student were told they needed to lose weight otherwise they would not get work if they did not fit into a size 8. Yes Caris probably did have a little bit of flab on the thighs but gee it wasn’t too bad, and I have know idea what was wrong withe Demelza’s body.

Alexandra when it was her turn to front the panel again showed her lack of intelligence or savviness when she went before the panel by saying her favourite Australian designer was Josh Groot. Real smart with Alex Perry fashion designer with ego sitting right in front of you. He duly noted the slight.

Also her answer when asked to outline five things where she was more superior then Samantha Downie a 20 year old uni student from Melbourne, the girl who was before the panel with her and she said she was whiter then her. Charlotte Dawson thought this was an offensive thing to say.

Then it was off to the Port Hacking mansion, where the girls were having to sleep in bunk beds. The over 18’s in one room, and the under ’18’s in another. On the beds were the product placement goodie bags. If I was the shoe company I would be a bit peeved as their was no camera shot of the shoes brand they were holding up.

The first challenge was to shoot the promotion advertisement for the show.

Johnathan Pease was to be style director. He is no Jay Manuel. The person directing the shoot was Travis Keneelly the Fox 8 creative director. I didn’t really see them giving the girls much direction when they were doing stuff the directors were unhappy with.

The girls all had a superhero character to play as the promo was a spy theme. The challenge winner would obtain an exemption from this weeks elimination.

Rebecca had the difficult job of have a snake draped around her as she was jungle girl.

Emma was a pilot and her modelling inexperience showed.

Belinda snowboarded and with her glasses off and make up on she really reminded me of Sophie Monk. She absolutely nailed her shoot.

Alamela played a ninja schoolgirl, but she just wimped it and couldn’t get aggressive enough. Travis was not impressed by the amount of film he had to use to get the shot.

Alyce playing a commando did her shoot in one take which made her look good to Johnathan and Travis.

I thought this pair were not giving enough direction to the girls. Johnathan and Travis were bitching between each other more then telling the girls what they needed to do.

Alyce was the winner of the challenge.

Alyce later that night had a nervous breakdown that some one did a number two in the upstairs toilet. The house rule were you could only do them downstairs. There was fear and loathing and people were woken up. I don’t know why they thought it was a model it could have been one of the camera man.

The next challenge was a shoot for the Vogue forums wearing Collette Dinnigan clothes. It was to be a group shot and as Vogue editor Kirstie Clements said ” No over posing or overacting”.

Belinda went and talked to Kirstie Clements which resulted her in saying “I thought Belinda was an interesting prospect.” She meant that in a positive way.

Emma whose height and legs were fabulous as the judges said ” she did not know how to work it.”
Kamilla was “Very pretty but boring”

Kirstie Clements favourites were “Belinda as she has a modern look,” “Caris a dark horse,” and Leiden “surprised her and not a bad look.”

It was judgement day the usual suspects of Charlotte, and Alex were there and the two guest judges were Kirstie Clements and Vogue photographer Jason Capobianco.

The girls were asked to nominate three contenders in the competition. All included themselves in the answer except Belinda “as she needed to learn more”. Good modest answer which went down very well with the judges.

Jodhi then told the girls one by one who was safe whilst reading lines from a clip board. I note Tyra appears to do this off the cuff.

The last two standing were Emma and Kamilla no surprises there, and Kamilla the 17 year old law student from Adelaide was gone.

The first episodes are always hard to assess as you are still getting to know the ‘characters’ it would appear Alexandra is setting her self up as the Paloma of the series which should make interesting viewing.

Also the comparisons to the US version is inevitable, yes Tyra can be irritating but at least she has a presence which is something I think Jodhi Meares lacks.