I am watching this show literally yelling “I CAN’T” at the TV.

Words by

Eliza Sholly

If you’re one of the three people outside of my immediate family that keeps up with my recaps, you’ll be all too familiar with how sponsorship works in this show. Does the name COLGATE OPTIC WHITE HIGH IMPACT WHITE mean anything to you? Obviously it does because it’s still ringing in my head from two episodes ago.

While I love ANTM, the show isn’t shy on plugging its sponsors. And for that, you’ve gotta love ’em. Episode 5 opens with the girls shuttled in a three-car lineup that resembles a scene from The Italian Job. The girls exit these MAZDAS in slooooow moootiiooonn. Now, I know the editing is all done during the post-production phase, but how amazing is it to imagine a group of nine girls attempting to exit a car and walk in slow-mo. Gets me every time.

Daisy is first to talk, reiterating just how BIG and IMPORTANT these challenges are getting. Nothing gets by her does it.

The slow motion walking continues and Jen greets the girls in a white leather jacket: the eternal fashion sin in my house. I remember once my Dad told me that if my mum had been wearing white leather when they met, he wouldn’t have approached her some 35 years ago. Something tells me Dad’s cardinal dating/fashion rule wouldn’t apply to Jennifer Hawkins, however. In either circumstance, she looks bomb and I wish I was her.

This week is all about iconic fashion, iconic people and how to become an iconic model. YOU ARE ICONIC JEN ILYSFM.

Judging the challenge today is one of Australia’s most iconic models. Wow, they have really let the budgets soar this season. It must be all the sponsorship funds from COLGATE OPTIC WHITE HIGH IMPACT WHITE and MAZDA.

THE GEMMA WARD enters and wow, she hasn’t aged one minute since I saw her on the cover of Dolly ten years ago. Daisy uses this moment as an excuse to put a cringe pronunciation on the word flabbergasted and I shudder at idea that Gemma’s beautiful ears might have to hear it someday.

Gemma Ward is truly iconic. She inspired a whole generation of baby doll face models AND she starred in on of my favourite Australian films: The Black Balloon. That’s right, I am cultured enough to watch local cinema (notice how I even use the word cinema in the correct context.) Some may say I only watched the movie because my favourite hot guy from Home and Away was also in it, however I stand by the fact I knew she was the next big thing.

The challenge today has something to do with a screen test and something to do with a little black dress? I’m not entirely sure. However, I am sure that there will be stuttering and there will be stuff-ups.

Let’s go:

Linnea in this situation is basically me. She *literally can’t* at the sight of Gemma and basically self-destructs when she sits down next to her. I feel ya sister, I really do.

Gemma’s pep talk could give the Stenmarks a run for their money. (Just kidding Jordan and Zac. If you’re reading this, I was just kidding. You’re the best pep talkers in the business. Please love me.)

Jessie is first up in her screen test. She seemed to know her shit about the LBD, so we’ll see if her knowledge impresses Gem and Jen. (Nickname basis.)

Okay, so there are two things I simply cannot watch. The first is when someone confidently sings in front of a crowd and they’re really bad. The second is a situation like this. When someone is trying so hard at something, but their nerves are overpowering them. Jessie’s script is really good, but she just cannot get it together. GAH.

She pushes through.

Second is Christy. Same thing. I am watching this show literally yelling “I CAN’T” at the TV while she squirms and stutters on her lines. Mind you, I would be 10 times worse than any of these girls, but it genuinely pains me to watch them struggle.

Aleyna nails it, as does Kassidy, Vitoria and Sabine. They all get nods and smiles from the Stenmarks. So jealous.

Linnea is stressing before she goes on. My eye is twitching.

What was a strong start is quickly overshadowed by a lot of stuttering and nervous twinges in her voice. I’m feeling for her, I really am. Imagine doing the craft of your idol, TO your idol. I know how nervous I would be if I had to host a talk show with Ellen DeGeneres, or you know, sing, dance and act with Mr G. Getting nervous sweats just thinking about it.

Jen and Gem are so sweet. They calm her down and onto the next.

Belinda follows and her awkward trench coat throwing is reminiscent of me trying to sexy dance after a bottle of wine. But she’s cute so we let it slide.

Daisy is last and as much as I hate to say it, she nails it. She even added a rhyming twang on the last line of her script. Dammit, she wins the challenge. However she ruins it by gloating and calling herself the ‘Crowned Champion Daisy’. Five steps forward, 10 steps back.

Gemma leaves with the parting advice of “fake it ’til you make it”. Funny, because that’s what I want engraved on my tombstone. We are two peas.

Jen then tells the girls that ICONIC models often get to work in ICONIC places. OMG. Where are they off to? TOKYO? PARIS? LONDON? MADRID? 


CLOSE ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!

Pack your (overnight) bags girls. You’re headed across the Bass Strait.

The pure hilarity of it all is emphasized when Sabine justifies her excitement by pointing out that Tasmania is “technically overseas.” I have honestly come to adore this bunch of grateful angels. 

To be fair, when they arrive at Cradle Mountain, it is pretty beautiful. I think these are the #Views that Drake is paying homage to.

It’s minus two degrees and boy are they not letting us forget it. I think every girl has made a comment on the weather. Lets hope it’s a bikini Photoshoot.

While not bikini, majority of the girls will be wearing next to nothing. The brief is to embody a “warrior princess” – whatever that means.

Jessie is first and is placed atop a log. She seems channel more ‘graceful ballerina’ than ‘forest warrior’, but you have got to give her cred for her pointed toes. The photographer says he isn’t really “believing it.” Uh-oh.

Second is Linnea. She has been picked to run through water – great news for her in this below-freezing weather. While she starts a little slow, she ends up channelling Jesus and basically walking on that water.

While the rest of the girls are being photographed, we see what the producers have been gearing us up for: the medial emergency. Poor little Belinda has a rapid heart rate and shooting pains. Her already porcelain skin is appearing more translucent by the second. The paramedics want to take her, but all she wants is to complete the challenge!!!! Won’t somebody please think of Belinda!!!!

She is escorted out in the most dramatic of fashions. All I can think is how wide-eyed the producers would have become when they thought of how much they could milk this when the episode aired. Cha-ching.

As the panel begins, none of the girls feel safe. And nor should they TBH, because Alex is wearing the shade-throwing glasses.

First up is Belinda; she is back from Tasmania and looking more stunning than ever. Seriously, this girl looks like an adult version of the Teletubby sun. She just glows.

Because of the whole hoo-ha at the Photoshoot, she has been exempt from judging and will automatically proceed to next week. A free ride some might say. Why do I get the feeling that Daisy is going to fake a medical emergency the next time she underperforms?

Speaking of, Daisy is up next. She actually looks fierce AF in her photo and receives no negative mouth comments. Phew, I can sleep tonight.

OMG. The highlight of this episode (and my life) has just come. Megan Gale has just referred to Alex Perry as PEZ. What a time to be alive. She has also just become the ultimate object of my fantasy because she is on the level of friendship with Alex Perry that I one day hope to be. I wonder if he gets her discounts at Specsavers?

Aleyna, Vitoria, Kassidy, Sabine, Linnea all good. C’mon Alex you’re not on this panel to give out 10s. You’re here to give me material!!! You’re making my job very hard this week, Pez. (Too far?)

When Jessie comes up to score, the sound editor has made it clear it’s not looking good. The music is somber and basically foreshadowing what’s to come.

As I predicted, her photo isn’t great. Although her toes are beautifully pointed and the judges consider her to be the whole package, she just doesn’t meet the brief. Ouch. While she looks disappointed, Vitoria behind her looks twice as upset. These two have become the ANTM version of Megan and Tiffany from The Bachelor, BFFs for life. Even if they don’t win, at least they found one other.

Last to be scored is Christy. She receives equally somber music and it becomes clear that it’s between her and Jessie. Vitoria looks nervous enough to eat her own hair.

When Christy breaks down crying, Jessie comes from the back to comfort her. She is pumping her up so much it’s kind of breaking my heart. Mature and gracious to her competitors – it says a lot about her character, really.

Unfortunately, as Jen keeps reminding us, this is a competition, and the nicest don’t always come out on top. Christy receives a higher score so it’s Jessie who is sent packing. While I’m finding it hard to verbalise my grief, Vitoria is crying enough for the whole damn country. This is so hard to watch.

I always say my only true friends are the ones that stood by me during my front fringe of ’09, so Jessie, I salute you, and your ability to pull off a front fringe.


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