Friday, January 20, 2006
Australia's Next Top Minger*
As I may have mentioned before, although America's Next Top Model ended a few weeks ago, down under we now have a whole new season of Australia's Next Top Model.
Despite all attempts to imitate the original American version, the show ends up having a really different vibe. And I can think of no better way to illustrate those differences than a session of Upgrade/Downgrade, so here we go:
There's No Tyra - Okay, so we all know that bitch is annoying as hell, and some would even say she just isn't that pretty and kind of looks like an alien with a forehead you could land a jumbo jet on. She's a megalomaniac who seriously overestimates her worth to society, and we often want to get up and smack her a few times, if only we could get into that television screen. But never underestimate the need for someone to hate on a show like this. Instead we get Erica somebody or other who is supposedly a former Australian supermodel, but I've never seen her before and she's rather boring most of the time and totally lacks Tyra's fiercocity. Besides, "Ooh we got EricaMail" seriously just doesn't have the same ring to it. I miss you, TyTy! Downgrade
People Are Mean - Generally I find Australians to be really pleasant and nice people, but people are downright nasty on this show. Photographers tell the camera "What can I say, the girl just has awful skin!", models in the confessional room say "She needs to work on her legs...work on keeping them closed, anyway" (kudos for managing to not-so-subtly imply that your competitor is both fat AND a slut in one go, ladies), and one girl even shaved off another's eyebrow while she was passed out drunk in the livingroom. Granted there's plenty of bickering and a few bitchy comments on the American Top Model, but I think the bitches from down under clearly win this one. Upgrade
Ugly Models - Um, yeah, this is a bit of a tricky one. You think models, and you think hot, right? Apparently not down here. And I'm not talking edgy looks that some people find attractive and some won't -- some of the girls who made it to the finals were downright gross. Somehow the photographers work magic and make them all look pretty good in their photos. And fortunately the biggest uggos have been eliminated, but none of us can figure out how a country with so many attractive people could end up with this lot as their choice for next top model. Downgrade
Drunk and Naked - You know you're in for a treat when it's the second episode and all the girls are running around topless (yay for Australian TV showing us the titties!) and drunk and making out with each other. As we already knew, shame is a very American thing, and the lack of it makes reality TV that much better. Upgrade
Shit Theme Song - I didn't realize how horribly awesome that "Wanna be on top?" theme song was until I didn't have it anymore. Instead we get some knock off with someone singing "I feel the change!", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. Then again I suppose it is rather representative of my feelings about this show. Downgrade
In the end the biggest kick is the novelty of an Australian version of one of my favorite shows. God forbid they ever air Uzbekhistan's Next Top Model, because I would then be able to die a happy man.
*'Minger' is Australian for someone really ugly, it rhymes with 'ringer'. Use it liberally.