Australia’s Next Top Model Episode 1: Live Blog


Fashionably late as always, welcome to the first prêt-à-blogger edition of the Australia’s Next Top Model: Live Blog! “Do you have what it takes to be Australia’s Next Top Model?” asks newly-minted Top Model host Jen Hawkins. Hopefully not, because you’re at home reading this and not on TV, where you would be if you had It. I know whose position I’d rather be in [yours]. 

7:30pm: It’s that time again, where the most photogenic young women in the country have gathered to do battle to determine which will be Australia’s Next Top Model [TM Tyra Banks]. First we meet out “stunning new host”, the Ten from Newcastle Jennifer Hawkins, and carefully manicured judging panel Charlotte Dawson AKA “Char Char Binks” (can we make that happen pls?), Celebrity Apprentice superstar and one-time rap artist Didier Cohen and the supremely talented designer and man we like to call “Sunglass Head”, the one and only Alex Perry.

7:32pm: We get our first look at the presumably one time gangly-and-awkward contenders in the urbane post-industrial setting of Cockatoo Island. It looks SO fashion shoot location, you guys! The fresh faced teens competing for the major prize congregate in a large warehouse awaiting Jennifer Hawkins. 
7:35pm: Jen enters the shed and the general consensus is that Jennifer is “perfect!” She reveals that the contestants are doing a boot camp. “A CONVICT boot camp!” led by The Punisher Alex Perry who wears a fabulous nylon fly jacket covered in decorative zips and, of course, sunglasses on his head. Bless. Char Char also arrives looking chic and wrinkle-free, just the way she likes it.
7:39pm: The girls’ first challenge is what Jen describes as “a good old-fashioned convict line up”. Retro! The girls will be required to remove all makeup and tie their hair back so they can be judged on their natural beauty. Noted: The first girl is a stone cold babe. 
7:42pm: Christ almighty, there’s one girl who tearfully reveals to the judges that her boyfriend recently died. Ugh the poor thing. Char Char the sage of Foxtel says to the girl: “It’s not how you conduct yourself during the good times, but during the bad that count.” True that, girl. 
7:48pm: One model-looking freckled gal named Taylor is obviously painfully shy and starts weeping in the convict line up because she doesn’t feel like she’s good enough to be here. Char tells her that she is one of the favourites. Another gal admits to the camera that she is jealous because Taylor got attention for crying. This one might be an early favourite…
7:50pm: Another favourite emerges! The Bosnian one Dajana who describes herself as coming from a “heaps woggy” and “hot” family. LOL. Don’t stop.
7:52pm: Duckie is South Sudanese and is reluctantly removes her weave at the judges behest. Ermahgerd! She looks 100% better without that polyester hair! She actually looks like a model. Sunglass Head agrees with me – probably because we are soul mates. Now the judges have to decide who is among the 25 girls getting turfed in the first round.
7:56pm: J-Hawk is dividing the girls between two podiums, one with Sunglass Head and the other with Char Char Binks. The girls on Charlotte’s podium are released back into the wild to chase their fashion dreams without the assistance of quality subscription television. Sad.
8:04pm: We move onto the next location where a grinning Didier Cohen has the contestants in a hormonal spin. The challenge is to catwalk across a flimsy wooden plank over a patch of Sydney Harbour water. In swimsuits. Girl number 1 does a great job, securing a rare cuddle from Sunglass Head! 
8:08pm: Most of the chicks manage to get over the gangplank with varying degrees of coordination, before finally the “tattooed one” wigs out and lands in the drink. Duckie almost eats it, but desperately foot-grips that board to barely hang on. 
8:16pm: After the plank the girls are doing a “jailbird photo shoot” for which they will hang off scaffolding in striped t-shirts. 15 will go through to the next round.
8:20pm: Watching the girls flop out on the scaffolding is a little boring but the hilarious whispered commentary by Didier, Char and SH is definitely not!
8:24pm: Time for the judges to deliberate, and I’ve gotta say most of the photos look GOOD.
8:36pm: The elimination process is way too quick for me to keep up with but there are some intensely disappointed girls watering the exposed brick of Cockatoo Island with their tears. Duckie is through, so is the tiny girl (shout out, to my sister with the high forehead!), and 13 others. Group hugs ensue.
8:37pm: Jennifer announces that the 15 finalists will “all be jetting off to the exotic Asian destination of THAILAND!!!” Cue piercing screams.
8:38pm: That’s it for episode one. Join us next week from the exotic Asian destination of THAILAND where the journey to unearthing Australia’s Next Top Model will continue.