We recap episode 11 of Australia's Next Top Model Cycle 7.
This week, the girls pose on a crane, fly in a helicopter and get hopelessly lost in the streets of Sydney.
The girls are lounging around, reading fashion magazines (we hope) and discussing being in the final four. "I thought the final four would be Jess, Caroline, Amelia and Izzy," says Simone.
Before anyone has the chance to get offended that Simone has no faith in them (they're probably used to it), the phone beeps and the girls get Sarah Mail (surprise!). The geniuses call the others to gather round -- and then realise that there are only four of them left.
So, Sarah Murdoch tells them that they will be meeting a celebrity who knows all about the pitfalls of the life of a model.
They're driven to The Ivy in Sydney, which, as Simone correctly points out, is "always in the social pages".
Charlotte Dawson greets them there, and tells them that the judges won't be holding their hands anymore -- and then promptly shows them the AusNTM Facebook page, which is, of course, filled with comments both nasty and nice.
"It's so surreal to realise that everyone's been watching you and kind of judging you," says Simone. You mean like you do to everyone else?
Montana's quite enthusiastic, if a little disbelieving. "Hi fans! I don't even think I have fans. Like, if I do have fans, it's probably just my mum." Yeah, probably.
"I can't really see myself as a celebrity," says Rachel gleefully. Neither can we. "If I was, I'd use it to be a model for decency. Because if you think of the modelling world, a lot of it is superficial." No, really? You think?
Lara Bingle walks in, apparently to tell them about how the social media can make you or break you. It's kind of funny seeing her sit with the final four and Char Char, because Lara is just so many levels lower than all of the others in the looks department.
"There's been times when I want to throw it all in and go, nuh, I can't be bothered with all of those journalists and all of those people who write nasty things," Lara says. You can tell that she doesn't really know what journalists do. Listening to her is a million times more painful than it was listening to Amelia.
After Lara's gem of wisdom, Charlotte tells the girls that they will now meet someone who Charlotte is terrified of. "I was actually really excited to meet someone that Charlotte was scared of, because, you know, everyone's scared of Charlotte. So if she's scared of someone, then they must be really scary," explains Simone.
Charlotte introduces their next guest with, "She can make or break you with one tweet. Girls: Ros Reines!"
Ros walks into the room in the most attractive (not) pantsuit ever, saying "Ladies", in an already-judgmental manner.
She then sits next to Lara, who almost shits herself with fright.
"You have to know that whatever you say on the social media is going to be like a tattoo ... it's never going to go away," says Ros.
Hmmm. Let's have a look at some of these ladies' Twitter tattoos, then, shall we?
"Whatever HSC, i'm too busy voting for myself anyway..." -- Simone, 17 October 2011.
"And the winner is .... Arsecrack!!!! Yahhhhhhhhh!!!!" -- Charlotte, 16 October 2011.
"SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN!!! My floors are super clean!! Feels so good!!! #latenightantics NOW off to do some boxing! Rrraaawww!" -- Lara, 11 October 2011.
"If you were thinking that it was warm yesterday & even though it's raining it might still be warm. It's not #justsaying" -- Ros, 17 October 2011.
Yeah, we wish we had all of those things tramp stamped across us.
Ros then provides the best advice ever: don't make a sex tape. Rachel laughs nervously and says emphatically, "I am never going to make a sex tape." We thinks the lady doth protest too much.
Liz asks whether the press would be interested to know if a celebrity's boyfriend cheated on her. "Of course!" Ros says, her ears pricking up visibly. "Oh, yeah," agrees Lara, probably just for the sake of agreeing with Ros to get on her good side.
"I think Liz might be having boy troubles at home," Montana says knowledgeably. Thanks, Monty, we had no idea!
"Don't get engaged too soon," Lara puts in. "I was 19!"
"I need to meet a cricketer first," Simone deadpans.
The girls decide to play a casual game of bowls or something on their private beach when they notice that there's a message in a bottle lying two feet away from them. Rachel gets excited and thinks that it's an actual message in a bottle and not in any way affiliated with the competition.
The message tells them to pack their bags for an island adventure. They all squeal and start talking about Barbados, Hawaii, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, the Caribbean ...
"Everyone thought we were going to New York or Manhattan or something. I was like, I don't even think that's an island, though," says Liz. Aww.
The girls pack swimmers and summer clothing into their leopard-print suitcases, dreaming aloud about the tropical island they'll be going to. Are you sensing a set-up yet? If you're not, then you're as smart as Liz.
They're picked up by a helicopter, which then whisks them all the way to ... Cockatoo Island, Sydney.
Josh Flinn is there to meet them, and Rachel, anyway, is very excited about the island. It's quite endearing, really.
"When I first saw Cockatoo Island, I was kind of wondering why they even call it Cockatoo Island, because I didn't see a cockatoo anywhere," Simone complains.
Josh then introduces the girls' photographer for the day: Hugh Stewart, who has photographed Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Jude Law, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. "As soon as Josh said the list of people that Hugh had already shot, I was like, 'why is he shooting us?!'" Liz asks. He's probably past his prime, that's why.
The girls are dressed and made up in epic-movie-star style, and then lifted up by a crane and photographed while in the air.
Montana is breathtakingly beautiful, as usual. There's never really much else to say about her photo shoots.
"She might be hard to beat," says the photographer about Monty.
"There's a minimal chance that you might fall in -- can you swim?" Hugh asks Liz, who's afraid of heights. She also might be having a liiiiiittle bit of a wardrobe malfunction up top.
Hard to tell.
"Are you doing your HSC as well?" Hugh asks her.
"Um, no, I'm from Queensland," Liz says.
"Oh, what, they don't do exams up there? They don't go to school up there?"
That would explain a lot, actually.
Liz then worries about ripping her dress, and being eliminated for it. "Don't worry about the dress! It's Alex Perry; he's got hundreds of them!" says the photographer. Even Josh LOLs.
"Hugh didn't give the other girls much direction, but he had to with Rachel," Josh later says judgementally. Hugh's direction: "Just watch that back arm, it looks a little bit like you might've lost it in an accident."
Finally, it's Simone's turn to be photographed. "I'm so excited!" she squeals. "You look great!" Josh tells her, to which she replies, "I know." Gotta love her swagger.
She almost falls off the crane, though, which would have been such a funny ending for the finale.
Once the shoot is done, Josh announces to the girls that they will be camping on Cockatoo Island for the night. "Or should I say glamping?" he corrects himself.
There's a pause, and then a disgusted Simone says, "No, you shouldn't."
"I've had some bad experiences camping, so I'm literally not a happy camper anymore," Simone elaborates. Did you get that pun? Did you?
Once inside the tent, Liz worries about bears. Montana is sceptical: "I dunno, are there wild animals on Cockatoo Island? There could be wild cockatoos at night. You never know."
Simone, meanwhile, is stuck sharing a tent with Rachel. "Yes, I'm staying with Rachel. Big night of conversation that will be." Simone's reaction to Rachel's attempt at conversation:
(Sidebar: we love it when she says "Oh God" in an American accent. Which is lucky, because it happens at least five times per episode.)
"I just came to the conclusion that I would rather stay in a brothel or a mental asylum than stay in a tent," Simone tells us. "God help the next person who tries to take me camping."
The girls go back to Sydney in the very same speedboat that took all 16 girls to the model mansion in episode three! Um, excuse me, but weren't there two boats? Maybe the other one got eliminated? Anyway, whatever; here it is in all its glory:
Charlotte meets them there and hands each of them a map, their portfolios filled with pictures from the competition, a Ford Fiesta and a driver. Yes, you heard us. She hands them a car. She can leap tall buildings and lift cars.
So, the girls are being sent to four castings to impress the designers. The one who is the most impressive will be the winner of the challenge.
But the girls have to find their own way to each place using a map. Remember how this went in the Paris challenge?
Rachel: "The map was really big, and the streets on the map were really small." Oh, dear.
Simone has no trouble, and attends go-sees at Isola, Camilla Franks and Camilla & Marc. Megan Gale, who the girls have to model for at Isola, isn't that impressed with her, because Simone is professional and doesn't fawn all over a celebrity, which is apparently what Megan is used to. Megan says she "may" book her for a showing "because it's hard to find double-D models". Crawl back into your self-important hole, Megan.
At Camilla Franks, Simone gets chastised for not having shaved her underarms. "But I was camping last night!" she protests, embarrassed.
Liz goes to Camilla Franks first, and they're impressed with her look, her height and the "silhouettes she creates". She turns up at Isola next and squeals that Megan Gale is her idol. Megan "absolutely loves" Liz, because Liz does fawn all over her.
Camilla & Marc thinks Rachel is tall, well proportioned and "quite beautiful", but they don't like her walk. Megan Gale thinks that Rachel "isn't hitting the gym that much". Hear that, Rachel? You've joined Alissandra in the ranks of the "fat" models!
Rachel then gets hopelessly lost; she wants to turn right somewhere, but there's no right turn anywhere in the city. She keeps at this for almost an hour, ending up God knows where. Um, didn't she ever think to turn left, do a U-turn and then go straight ahead? Duh.
After crying a lot, Rachel decides to go to the meeting point after two unimpressive castings.
Montana ends up accidentally directing her driver to take her over the Harbour Bridge and into St Leonards, where she has to ask for directions on the street. She eventually finds her way back to Fernando Frisoni, who absolutely loves her. "I think she's so beautiful and so stunning, and tall and extremely built to be a model -- built to be a top model -- and I would book her with my highest clothes and I'd probably consider her opening my show, as well," he gushes.
At Camilla Franks, though, Montana does not impress; she calls them Camilla & Marc, and looks mortified when she realises her mistake.
The girls all meet back at Chic modelling headquarters, which sounds very official, and Char Char announces that Monty is the winner. No surprises there. She's awarded a $1000 gift voucher for Camilla Franks, which is ironic, as that was the place that she called the wrong thing.
The usual judges -- Sarah, Charlotte and Alex -- are finally joined by Josh Flinn this time.
They all love Montana's photo, and can find nothing bad to say about her. Boring!
They say that Simone's photo looks ethereal, she has a great expression, it's high fashion -- but she hasn't got enough "attitude" in her legs. As Josh says, "It's close, but no cigar."
Simone disagrees with them. "I'm happy with my photo, and I think I'm kind of overwhelmed. I didn't think I'd get this far...I always wanted to, but there were 100 girls, so I was like, why would they pick me?" she says through tears.
Sarah tells her that they need to see this vulnerability more often, because the judges are sadists who love seeing other people's pain.
Rachel's photo isn't strong enough, so she cries, just for a change.
"Sick!" Liz says about her photo. All the judges except Alex agree with her assessment; Alex thinks she looks like a shag on a rock.
"I think the dress ate you," Alex says.
"It was the shit designer that did it," retorts Charlotte.
The judges deliberate over who's to stay in the final three for the finale, and who's to go in the last elimination. Montana, of course, is a shoo-in (show off), and they mostly loved Liz this week -- but they all disagree over Simone and Rachel.
"Photographers love working with Simone," Josh tells them.
They all think that Rachel "has the goods", and she'll be good in six months, "but we don't have six months", says Josh.
"We do have six months!" Alex protests.
"Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Australia's next top potentially could be OK model!" announces Charlotte.
"This is the last time we get to decide, guys," Sarah points out. "After this, it's no longer up to us, so we'd better make the right decision." Good point. Keep Simone.
And they do! They think Rachel isn't as versatile, nor is she up to the challenges of an international modelling career (good point; she couldn't even make it through the streets of Sydney without crying).
Go here to vote for Simone (or Montana or Liz, we guess) to win this season of AusNTM.
The live finale of Australia's Next Top Model airs at 7:30pm Tuesday, 25 October, on Fox8.
Epic Factor: 8/10
Funny Factor: 10/10
See last week's rundown here, and come back tomorrow for our recap of the last episode of the cycle!
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