AusNTM 2011 Recap: Episode 1 - Boot Cramp

We recap the premiere of Australia's Next Top Model Cycle 7.

Of course, there's no shortage of young women thinking they've "got what it takes" to be Australia's Next Top Model. Incidentally, is there any phrase more overused in reality TV?

One in a Hundred?

Once we've ruthlessly chopped down nearly every teen girl in Australia -- with Charlotte Dawson (an ex-model herself, FYI) making snide remarks, and Alex Perry humiliating every short girl they come across (seriously, check out the auditions) -- bar 100, it's time to get down to the actual competition. You know, the one that doesn't take place in malls across Australia.

Sarah Murdoch tries to convince us that modelling is hard work, and definitely not just sitting around, occasionally walking 50 metres, eating carrot sticks and getting someone else to choose your clothes and do your hair and make-up.

And with that, she announces a "model boot camp" -- but don't worry, there's no hard work or exercise (no "fitness and stuff", as eloquently put by Simone), or anything at all that actually merits the use of the words "boot camp"; it's just various types of modelling.

Model Boot Camp Day 1: Bikinis and a Bogan

First up in the world's easiest boot camp is swimwear modelling -- every girl's worst nightmare, unless you're tall, thin and pretty (which they all are).

But modelling is hard work, you guys! There's a lot of standing around! Waiting, even! Yes, we all see how hard life is for Miranda Kerr, and we feel for her.

Of course, it wouldn't be a reality show without having to sit through a series of painful interviews between the judges and the models, so that the producers can show us how dumb some of them are.

Elizabeth can't remember whether she's interested in health science or mental health. She also can't remember Sarah Murdoch's name. Cassy doesn't know the difference between Supre and Gucci. Charlotte Dawson callously whispers to her fellow judges that Cassy has "ears like Dumbo the elephant". Rosie can't stop crying. Jess has a black eye. Caroline tells the camera that she hasn't seen any other girls that look as good as her (but she assures us that she's not up herself). Charlotte says Caroline is up herself.

The photographer, Jez Smith, says he likes it if they're "a bit narcissistic". Are you loving the modelling industry yet?

Model Boot Camp Day 2: Grin and Bare it

Day two (and 50 models down) features the "bare photo shoot", in which these cake faces aren't allowed to wear make-up. Charlotte literally sprays Madeline with water and scrubs her black lipstick off, all the while making drag queen comments, much to the other girls' not-so-secret delight. Brutal. But seriously, we can barely even think for the difficulty that this challenge poses. No make-up? How will they ever survive? Well, 20 of them don't.

Model Boot Camp Day 3: Run(a)way!

And that brings us to day three, and Alex Perry runway time!

The girls are only given a couple of hours to "prepare". Gosh, I hope they can learn to put on clothes and walk in that time. If not, Alex Perry has threatened them with the frightening prospect of leaping onto the runway to "flatten" them. Now that would be compelling viewing.

Thankfully, most of the girls don't have to resort to crawling along the runway in their beautiful Alex Perry dresses (although he does describe a couple of them as "walking like a camel" and looking like they're "about to lay an egg"). For the most part, they impressed the VIP guests; ie, the judges and a few other people who look like they've been picked up off the street and had nothing better to do than attend a pretend fashion show on a weeknight.

Down to 20 and off to Paris

Ultimately, through to the next round (and next week off to Paris, baby!) are Georgia, Hazel, Montana, Rachel, Sarah, Annaliese, Shannon, Lauren, Simone, Cate Blanchett-lookalike Alissandra, up-herself Caroline, softly spoken Elizabeth, too-thin ("go eat a pie!") Amelia, pink-haired Izzy, bruise-faced Jess, black-lipped Madeline, always-looks-like-she's-crying Tayah, gorgeous Sudanese refugee Neo, the absolutely stunning Yolanda and, unfortunately, Cassy -- who is just a little too reminiscent of fellow bogan Cassi Van Den Dungen from Cycle 5 of AusNTM (see video evidence below). God help us all.

If we're calling it now, we say Izzy, Neo, Caroline or Yolanda to win. Any takers?

Entertainment factor: 7/10
Stupidity factor: 6/10

Australia's Next Top Model airs 7:30pm Mondays on Fox8.

Come back next week for our recap of the latest episode!

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