16/11/2016
Like an all-female episode of The Amazing Race.

Words by

Eliza Sholly

If you're as addicted to this show as I am, you will be well aware of the fact that each episode usually opens with the 'previously on' hoo-ha that a lot of series follow. If your answer was yes, I'm sure you were as equally surprised as I when it was completely brushed over this episode.

To open, the girls are standing back in the judging panel room, where Meagan is delivering some exciting news. She alludes to the fact that the girls are going on an overseas trip. Tasmania again??? Surely they aren't that lucky. 

The destination is described as the home of pizza, gelato and pasta? It kind of sounds like these girls are taking a trip to my Sunday morning hangover pantry.

Meagan then says something in Italian and the only thing I understand is the word Milan!!! They’re going to Milan!

Understandably, the girls are squealing. They seem equally as excited for Milan as they were when they found out they were going to Tasmania. Both culturally significant hubs in their own right.

A montage of aeroplane footage is underpinned by 'Come on Eileen' as the soundtrack. Quite an interesting choice by producers, but hey, I appreciate the iconic '80s Dexys Midnight Runners as much as the next gal.

All this before the opening credits, something tells me we’re in for a treat.

When the episode begins, I instantly smell a hidden agenda. Someone in the ANTM production team was clearly trying to get their Insta feed on fleek, montaging landscape photos like they’re going out of fashion. Numerous pics of old buildings are followed by a dramatic time lapse, voiced over by our final four.

When I think Italy, I obviously think fashion but I also think food. Sabine however, a self-proclaimed ‘hippy chick from Byron’ seems like she’d be content with a Spaghetti Bolognese from the local La Porchetta. Cleanse your palette sweetheart, you’ve hit the big time.

If I could think of the most Italian entrance possible, Meagan Gale has made it. She greets the girls with a welcome 'bongiorno' (I had to google the spelling), standing in a renaissance-esque piazza surrounded by pigeons. I’m so proud of Federation Square when I see places like this…

She says this week is all about experiencing life as an international model. It’s a miracle I interpreted this however, because the way she just spoke Italian is making me question my sexuality.

Like international models, the girls are thrown in the deep end. With the challenge starting right now, let's hope you paid attention in year 8 Italian girls.

Meagan introduces a Saverio Rotini, a man whose name I cannot pronounce. He is a model-turned-scout that works for one of the most prestigious agencies in Milan.

Meagan and Saverio undergo a foreign exchange. Now my extent of the Italian language is ordering gelato at Messina, and I’m prrreeeettyy sure they’re not ordering a family size chocolate cone, so I’ll just stand back and enjoy the conversation.

The next part, I definitely understood. The challenge will see the girls go on castings. This is what the Americans call ‘go-sees’. It's when the models have an appointment to visit fashion houses with the hope of being booked for an editorial shoot or runway - basically the most vicious and entertaining part of the entire series.

The client today is Gaia Trussardi, aka one of the oldest and most influential brands in the Milan fashion landscape. Lol good luck guys.

Aleyna and Daisy are one team, leaving Sabine and Linnea in the other. Let the games begin.

The challenge opens like an all-female episode of The Amazing Race. Each girl is scanning the map like it’s in another language – oh wait, it is. Linnea points at the only landmark she recognises, Maccas. I feel you girl. Quick detour for a large six nugget meal? Bellissimo. 

Aleyna and Daisy try another route, asking local taxi drivers whether they speak English or not, putting an Italian flair on their English words. It’s very entertaining and reminds me of that Family Guy episode where Peter thinks that just because he has a moustache means that he can speak Italian. In both ANTM and Family Guy, no one is amused.

All four girls arrive on time without any hiccups. Damn.

Linnea is first up.

You know when you’re at the nail salon and you feel like all the manicurists are talking about you, however you don’t understand them so you just sit there and nod like a broken bobble head. That’s kind of like Linnea in this situation. Both the casting girls are muttering in Italian around her and she looks like a stunned mullet.

Brand director Gaia seems tough, she holds her cards to her chest but compliments Linnea on her ability to combat the shyness.

Sabine is next and literally cannot stop smiling. Her positivity is so infectious and even when she stumbles a little on the makeshift catwalk, you can’t help but attribute it to how cute and awkward she is. Gaia however, seems less than impressed: “smiling does not work in fashion. I like you when you’re a bit nasty.”

Nasty? Sabine doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

Aleyna rolls through without much of a hitch. Gaia liked her but thought she was a little quiet. Boring.

Daisy is last and dressed in probably the coolest blue power suit I have ever seen. If modelling is about selling clothes then she is Meg Ryan and I’ll have what she’s having. Her walk isn’t considered very strong but she does score a compliment on her striking features.

As the girls walk into judging, I really hope Sabine has this one. She deserves it.

Meaghan and Saverio (I definitely had to copy and paste that) deliver one-on-one feedback. Each girl receives some positives and negatives however, Aleyna is crowned the winner. Again, shock. WILL SOMEONE GIVE SABINE A BLOODY CHALLENGE WIN FOR HEAVENS SAKE? And some La Porchetta Bolognese while you’re at it.

Gah, hopefully my spirits are redeemed in the photoshoot.

The location of the shoot today is at the Canal Grande. Finally, a word I recognise!!! I order grande pizza all the time!!!!

Did someone say Italian designer clothes? Oh yeah, Meagan did. Dolce and Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci: the girls will be decked out head to toe in some of the most amazing ensembles on the planet. Would probs trade places with Linnea’s big toe right about now.

Up first is Aleyna, strutting her stuff in a high collar Fendi. I am officially drooling. Her shoot seems a little underwhelming. She is clearly feeling the pressure and over-modelling in the face. Some Italian words are thrown around and I become very very lost. Oh well, the dress is still fabulous.

Sabine is up next and I just lost my jaw. It’s officially on the ground. Her Dolce and Gabanna outfit literally looks like it was made for her. This is a far cry from Bay Kebabs in Byron Bay.

She’s finding it a little hard to manoeuvre in between all the foot traffic but her ability to channel a modern Italian woman is v impressive. She honestly looks like a model.

Linnea walks out very boho-chic: sporting the dress that every girl saves to her 'Splendour outfit inspo' folder. Her shoot is short but sweet, positioned atop a handrail next to the canal. Let's hope she doesn’t fall in, that dress is worth more than a modest first home.

Daisy’s attitude has changed drastically. A few weeks ago, I spent most of my recaps bashing her demeanor and passing it off as arrogance. In these last few weeks however, she has really prospered out of her caterpillar shell into a majestic modelling butterfly. I feel like a proud mother.

She really seems just grateful to be there, constantly reiterating what a dream come true this is. She walks out in some glorious embroided Valentino thigh high boots, ready to tackle her photoshoot.

After Daisy basically nails it, the photographer wants to take a group pic. Cue group walking shot that resembles Samantha, Miranda, Carrie and Charlotte strutting down Fifth Avenue. So Sex and the City (shotgun Samantha).

I’m waiting for the soundtrack to cue that Vitamin C graduation song that is played during every farewell moment EVER. Seriously, if I had a dollar.

Vitamin C will have to be cut short, because it’s back to reality for the final four. Judging time.

Jen reveals that today will be a double elimination. Dun Dun. Only two will progress to the finale. As the numbers decline, so does my will to live. Only one more recap after this, how will I get out of bed in the morning?

Linnea is first to be scored. I’m actually really nervous.

They love her photo, with Meagan even comparing her to an angel. However, it always comes back to the awkward hands. Alex calls one a starfish - he just couldn’t let one go, could he. 36/40.

Next is Sabine, trotting up with a smile as big as her heart. When her photo comes up, I’m surprised they don’t end the competition right here and now. Alex’s compliments basically cement her as the goddamn winner. “One day, you will model for Dolce and Gabanna.” Need I say more? She is safe. 38.5/40.

Daisy is next and the judges also love her photo. This episode is full of positivity. More importantly however, she loves her photo. She says that when she looks at herself here, she 'sees a model'. She really has matured hasn’t she? Her score reflects her improvement, receiving a total of 37.5/40.

With this, Linnea has been eliminated. Her big blue eyes just don’t look right with tears in them. How morbid is that?

Aleyna is last to be scored, requiring more than a 37.5 to stay safe ahead of Daisy. The judges are pretty complimentary, saying that she works the clothes perfectly. It’s going to be tight.

She receives a 10 from Alex, meaning she is safe and Daisy gets the boot. No matter, she takes it like a champ and hugs Linnea backstage. No tears, just smiles and great attitudes. This is what it’s all about!!!

Final episode next week, place your bets: Sabine vs Aleyna. WHO’S GONNA BE ON TOP?

fox8.tv

 

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