AusNTM 2011 Recap: Episode 2 - Paris When it Fizzles

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We recap episode two of Australia's Next Top Model Cycle 7.

This week, everyone's favourite model wannabes are off to the très chic capital of France, no doubt for a whirlwind fashion tour. Why is everything in Paris always a whirlwind?

Kickin' it in Paris

Once the girls have been flown there (surprisingly, it's not a segment peppered with airline-sponsored references, unlike MasterChef Australia), we're borne witness to clichéd shots of the girls squealing in their hotel rooms and hear their inane comments about perhaps seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa (because that's the famous Parisian tower, right Simone?), before they finally get on with the show. The modelling part, we mean.

They keep showing us little clips of life in Paris: the Eiffel Tower; the front of the lovely Dolce & Gabbana building; the imposing Arc de Triomphe; the sparkling Seine; fashionable children frolicking in the streets; a man kicking a dog ... no, seriously. About 4:20 minutes into the episode, there is a man kicking a dog.

Australia's Next Top Model has hired out the Eiffel Tower (anyone want to guess how much that cost?), which makes Annaliese feel special. Jess starts crying because only a week ago she was working at McDonald's. Perhaps she misses the burgers?

Then Alex Perry finally turns up (he must have overslept). "Bonjour," he says, his immovable face giving away nothing but smugness. "Bonjour!" the girls parrot back at him. It must have taken them hours to master that French word. Remember how much trouble they had just with putting on clothes and walking?

A Styling (and Geographical) Challenge

They're given their first challenge for Paris: receive €450, be driven to the near vicinity of four stores handily located on a map for them, buy clothes and then turn up at the Next Model offices. Sounds simple enough to us; but, of course, the vast majority of these girls missed the map-reading classes in geography/life.

Fun fact: you can see the cameramen in the reflection of the van windows as the girls slam the doors shut. It's true!

Tayah tells us that she was paired with Montana, Elizabeth, Georgia and Simone. It's good to hear that she knows the meaning of the word "paired". In another group, Amelia assumes the role of dictator. Yolanda is unimpressed with the pocket-less jeans that Amelia picks out for her, and with good reason. Meanwhile, Cassy feels like a jockey in her outfit, "because that's what jockeys wear". You know what? For once, we think she's right. The judges disagree; they love jockeys! Oh, whatever.

In an amusing but fairly predictable turn of events, Caroline's group gets hopelessly lost in the streets of Paris, only making it to one store (admittedly, the best of the four stores).

They're not quite as bad as Tayah, Montana, Elizabeth, Georgia and Simone, though, who turn up late purely because they were being so picky about clothes. Because of that they are disqualified. Montana worries that this could "potentionally" ruin their chances in the competition. They look sad, and dejectedly leave the room. The other girls, particularly Madeline, all grin with schadenfreude. (For all the Cassys out there, that means taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune.)

The winning team -- Madeline, Neo, Caroline, Sarah and Rachel -- is decided by the Next Model EU president (they never actually do any modelling, though), and is rewarded with an advice-filled (but probably not food-filled) dinner with Natalia Vodianova. Wow! She actually is a world-famous model, and that actually is a relevant prize. Good work, AusNTM! You're beating the other reality shows already! Bit of the old Murdoch money really opens up the doors, eh?

The Contours of a Chateau

The girls are bussed off to a glorious chateau in the French countryside the next day, from which Jez Smith emerges. So that's where he's been hiding since "boot camp"! He announces that he'll be photographing them in couture. Okay, so maybe this is a little exciting.

The girls get a bunch of gorgeous second-hand, one-of-a-kind dresses. Tayah is wearing Beyoncé's old dress (we can't think of any two people who look so amusingly less alike). Shannon will be wearing a beautiful lilac dress formerly worn by the lovely Mila Kunis.

On a side note, Cassy doesn't know who John Galliano is. For the love of ... send her home! Jez Smith calls her photo shoot "a comedy of errors". You all know, and we all know, that she will never be a top fashion model. But will they eliminate her? Of course not; she draws in the viewers. "I have come to the chatoo to get a photo shoot in contour," she says knowledgeably in her piece to camera.

Bonne Soiree, Girls!

The girls start to get catty and judgemental again, because it's almost elimination time. Simone points out that this is not Australia's Next Top Best Friend. Just for that, I hope she goes home. They fly back to meet host Sarah Murdoch in Sydney, who we suppose didn't get her permission slip signed to go on the excursion to Paris.

It's finally time to say au revoir to four of the girls, and this time it's Sarah (they had to get rid of the girl with the same name as the host; avoids confusion), Shannon (awkward in front of the camera), Lauren (not versatile enough) and Georgia (we have absolutely nothing to say about her -- was she even in this show?). Tayah gets to stay, even though Charlotte Dawson says that she always "looks like someone's just kicked a puppy" (someone did; perhaps she witnessed the dog-kicking mentioned earlier?), and Cassy gets to stay, even though she sucks.

Fun factor: 7/10
Parisian factor: 8/10 (No Louvre? Notre Dame, anyone? Gosh, this really was a whirlwind. The chateau was lovely, though.)

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

See last week's rundown here and come back next week when the girls move into the best house evah!

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