If you turned on Australia’s Next Top Model for the first time this week, you'd probably be right in mistaking it for a show about mourning, rather than modelling. The combination of brooding music, pastel sunsets and Aleyna emotionally discussing the loss of seven girls makes me question what this show is actually about.
No matter, the extremely staged aerial breakfast scene puts us back into modelling motion. The sponsorship payments have definitely been rollin’ in because someone has definitely paid for a drone.
What really sets us back into modelling motion, however, is the cattiness BTS. (That’s ‘behind the scenes’ for those who don’t follow fashion bloggers on Instagram.)
Kassidy explains that Aleyna is the only one who is threatening her place in the competition, but she definitely has what it takes to beat her. This is coming from the same girl who shaded Alex Perry on his fake lips, so she absolutely does not hold back.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong but three paragraphs up I mentioned my and ANTM’s favourite word: sponsorship. Now I know how they can afford the drone because this week’s challenge is all about the fitbit – a brand that is so cool and nonchalant that its whole name is in lowercase letters. Like eh, who cares about grammar? We’re fitbit and we do what we want.
Can I also point out how amazing it is that I even noticed that, because BOTH Stenmarks are on set for the challenge today. BOTH!!! I feel like the only person who has gotten this much Stenmark love is the website that provides them with all their pep talk clichés.
Anyway, back to fitbit. I feel that this is the moment at which I would struggle in this competition. The makeovers? No problem. Alex Perry’s sass? Absolutely. But fitness...so not my thing. Unless it involves weightlifting a full glass of wine to my mouth, I pay it no attention.
Belinda is definitely with me on this, as the thought of anything to do with exercise/sweating/moving has her in a mild state of panic.
The Stenmarks reveal the challenge today will be to shoot a lookbook for the fitbit alta. They will be showcasing two looks: one focusing on fitness and one on fashion. The winner will become a brand ambassador, basically cementing themselves as the QWEEN OF ATHLETIC WEAR – behind Steph Claire Smith of course.
After a few minutes of oohing and aahing about the product (gotta keep those sponsors happy), the challenge commences.
The girls have 15 minutes to style themselves and then have one minute to shoot. It’s like speed dating for modelling.
Sabine is first out the gate, hoping her enthusiasm will stand out and make an impression. Her shoot is about as awkward as it actually would be to speed date, with her poses resembling me when I do the robot on the dancefloor as a joke.
Up next is Kassidy who is a lot more natural. Her poses seem fluid and actually look like someone that is undertaking physical activity. Five stars.
Aleyna, Linnea and Daisy adhere to Cheyenne’s instructions: “Strong. Workout. Boom.” Really amazing and thorough guidance there, Cheyenne.
Belinda is last and clearly the least comfortable of the group. She is basically all of us if we were asked to do a shoot for fitbit; very out of out comfort zone.
The second shoot segment is the fashion portion. Sabine is first again, definitely more in her element here. However, she is still so awkward and it’s kind of hard to watch.
Again, Linnea, Daisy and Aleyna are cut through quite quickly. This makes me think they won’t win and it will go to the gal who has gotten the most screen time: Kassidy.
Kassidy talking about the fitbit sounds like me when I talk about the Stenmarks: utter love and infatuation. I’m glad you’ve met your soul mate girl, now hopefully I meet mine soon.
And as our two loves combine, Jordan and Zac announce that Kassidy is the new fitbit brand ambassador. I hope they’re very happy together.
The girls arrive at Sun Studios in a MAZDA. Please note that my capitalisation is due to MAZDA being a sponsor of the show, and not because my caps lock key is broken.
Today’s shoot is all about the body, 'bout the body (no treble.) And it is even more special because they will be modelling Jen’s own swimwear brand, Cozi.
As well as this, the girls' faces will not be in the frame. Instead, they will be cropped out to only show their body. There are mixed reactions:
Daisy is chuffed because not only does she basically live in a bikini, but it also means her mouth issues won’t come into play.
Linnea is devo because she feels that her face is what has gotten her by the last few weeks.
Somewhere between hair and makeup, something has happened to the girls. They have either gone on an impromptu trip between filming to the hottest place on earth, or they have been coated in 16 layers of Le Tan. Either way, I need to know their secret.
Cheyenne enters and asks “who has an issue?”
Daisy, being the only one out of her dressing gown and in her bikini replies: “I don’t have an issue.”
The rest seem a little self conscious and apprehensive about being seen in their swimwear.
In wake of these insecurities and ridiculousness, we turn to the timeless lyricism and pure poetry in Beautiful by Christina Aguilera:
I am beautiful
No matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful
In every single way
Yes words can't bring me down
So don't you bring me down today
Daisy is first and talks aaaaalot about her body. She says she isn’t there to compare herself to other girls and doesn’t overthink showin’ a bitta skin. More power to ya girl.
Up next is Belinda. She has said sayonara to her body-negative attitude and has decided to embrace herself to the maximum. Loving that. She is also doing that thing where she is rocking a one-piece so well, you wonder why bikinis were ever invented.
Linnea arrives on set and is v awkward and uncomfortable, kind of like Sabine during her fitbit shoot. Cheyenne pulls her aside and imparts some Christina Aguilera-like wisdom, telling her that she is beautiful, in every single way. Words can’t bring her down. Oh no.
Kassidy and Aleyna moved extremely well, cementing their place as pretty obvious front-runners.
Sabine is last and comes out in a leopard print bikini. Oh my god her body is amazing. Good thing I watch this show alone because any potential company would have seen my jaw hit the floor when she walked out. But I retain the utmost professionalism with these reviews so I’ll pretend that didn’t happen.
With only six girls left, when they arrive at judging it looks so empty. More time for Alex to throw shade I guess?
First to be scored is Daisy. Her photo is met with literal gasps and “wows” from the judges. She has definitely peaked this week.
Belinda is next and is met with a severe case of 'awkward hand' syndrome. When my friends and I are taking photos, we are constantly met with this dilemma. “WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HAND????” is a phrase constantly thrown around, so I definitely feel her pain.
When Kassidy comes up, she is immediately asked about her intense competition with Aleyna. Aleyna, who is clearly uncomfortable about the whole thing, gives off the impression that she never even considered herself a threat.
As Kassidy walks back from judging, Aleyna gives her that look where you’re trying to hold it together but you’re secretly fighting off tears and just don’t want to bloody talk about it. After a few choice words, she turns and struts her way off. Uh-oh.
Meaghan visits her backstage and attempts to reconcile the issue. If their conversation were on msn, it would look a little something like this:
MG: U ok hun?
A: Everyone hates me :’( I also have no confidence
MG: Gurl ikr. Lets get some makeup for you, you needa go back in there
A: Ok, gtg I feel better now
Aleyna returns and tells Kassidy that she felt triggered, however it wasn’t her fault. All is right in the world again.
After all this, Aleyna is next up for judging. They love her photo, which Kassidy probably hates. However, she is humble and grateful and receives many snaps.
Last is Linnea, who probably performed the weakest at the photoshoot. With Belinda at the bottom of the leaderboard, it will probably be a close race.
While they think she has done a great job with her body, they’re concerned about her awkward leg. Awkward arms AND awkward legs!!?? I’ll have to reinforce this to my friends when we next take pics.
Unfortunately, the awkward leg prevails and Belinda is next to be sent home. This really hurts, I have come to love that gal from Wagga Wagga. I actually find myself verging on tears when they start playing Florence and the Machine as the backing track. Jesus, I need a life.