Australia’s Next Top Model returned to Fox8 last night, presenting us with the biggest Top Model search in history. After scouring the nation, 100 model hopefuls were brought to Sydney so host Sarah Murdoch and judges Charlotte Dawson, Alex Perry and Jez Smith could cull them down to 50, then 30, and then eventually 20. So what’s the best way to separate the potential winners from the wannabes? With a Top Model boot camp!
Boot Camp Day 1: The Swimsuit Challenge
While some of the contestants thought boot camp meant “fitness and stuff,” Sarah soon explained that they would be going through a series of model challenges. She assembled the girls to deliver the news that their first challenge would be to strut down the catwalk — in only their swimsuits. If the thought of stripping down in a freezing warehouse is bad enough, imagine doing it before the critical eyes of the judges!
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As the contestants made their way to the front of the catwalk, they each gave introductory statements about themselves: “I like tropical fish.” “I can beatbox.” “I want to work in Supré or Gucci.” (That statement came from Cassy, who you may remember seeing in our preview last week.) After watching 100 girls strut their stuff, the end of Day 1 saw 50 of them cut from the competition.
Boot Camp Day 2: The First Photo Shoot
Being a top model was never going to be a breeze, as the girls would’ve realised after Jez pounded on their hotel room doors for their 5 a.m. wake up call the next day. Back at the warehouse, Sarah presented them with their next challenge: a photo shoot that was “all about baring it all, seeing the real you.” Would they be stripping naked for their first photo shoots? No, it simply meant removing all traces of makeup and posing in front of a camera in a white singlet and jeans.
The girls had five minutes to produce the best shots they could, testing their posing abilities and facial expressions. The judges were able to see who only had one look, who had features the camera loved, and who was willing to go the distance for an interesting shot (like pink-haired Izzy, who gave a powerful scream). By the end of the day, 20 girls had their model dreams dashed, and 30 progressed through to the third and final day of model boot camp.
Boot Camp Day 3: Walking For Alex Perry
Remember how last year the top 11 models were thrown into the deep end when walking for a Rosemount Australian Fashion Week show was one of their first challenges? This year’s top 30 were in a similar situation after the judges asked them to walk for one of Alex Perry’s shows in a pair of stilettos. With natural height on their side, some of the girls said they weren’t used to wearing heels, and most of them spent the night at the hotel traipsing up and down the hotel hallway. Back at the warehouse the next day, Alex put the pressure on the girls by reminding them that his reputation was on the line: “If you don’t stand up straight I will run up on the runway and flatten you.” It was also during this challenge that the girls met with mentor Josh Flinn, who calmed their nerves and gave them encouraging words backstage.
Proving to be an early standout was Izzy, who Alex chose to open the show. Other notable catwalkers (not all for the right reasons) were Cassy with her “Supré pose,” Neo and her half-turn, and Charlotte’s pigeon-toed walk. But at least no one fell! Following the show, another 10 girls were cut, leaving us with a top 20.
The Twist: Goodbye, Sydney. Bonjour, Paris!
If the girls thought making it into the top 20 meant a little time to rest, relax and celebrate, Sarah dropped another bombshell and said only 16 girls would be making the final cut this year. So what better way to determine the best of the best than . . . by taking them all to Paris! The fashion capital of the world! Right now! With only 15 minutes to pack! Considering we’re already going overseas for the second episode, what else does this series have in store? Guess we’ll have to wait and see until next week, when we’re reunited with the judges and contestants in Gay Paree!
Australia’s Next Top Model airs Mondays at 7:30 p.m. on Fox8.
Photo courtesy of Foxtel