Hillary nailed it this week. All Images/http://tv3.co.nz/Shows/NewZealandsNextTopModel.aspx

Well, well, well. Looky here. Friday night’s ep was the one we’ve all been waiting for. And when I say ‘we’, I mean Isaac and I and whoever else knew he’d filmed the show all those weeks ago. The episode opened with his segment – the “lesson” part of the show. The girls were made to walk down a catwalk while he ‘live-blogged’ his opinions of them.

Many thought he was catty but you know what? At least he was honest. Aroha is bigger than the other girls. She is a plus-sized model. (And as sad as it may be, plus-sized girls hardly ever walk the catwalk and they are often overlooked when it comes to high fashion jobs). You shouldn’t wear beanies during your castings, tights are not pants (he said it – but it was edited out), Hillary’s haircut does kind of make her look like a nineties lesbian, Brigette is kind of boring and AJ is kooky and weird. I can’t really give an unbiased opinion on Isaac’s segment because I know him too well but overall I thought he came across as pretty knowledgeable sounding and relatively normal. Maybe even too normal. I thought he was pretty toned down compared to his usual self.

But anyway, onto the rest of it!:

  • Shannon Ryan: Babe.
  • What was with that whole red carpet challenge? Yeah, I’m into giving AUT third year fashion students the opportunity to be on TV and do creative stuff, but what was the point in the whole challenge? What did it even achieve and what did any of it really even have to do with being a good model?
  • Harshest (but best) call came from guest judge (and Showroom 22′s director), Murray Bevan: “I can’t say I was impressed at all by anything she presented to us today” (in a completely serious and deadpan voice).
  • Who else noticed Sara was wearing Prada during the judging? Awesome.
  • Best backhanded compliment came from Isaac: “Brigette looks like a model but her walk has no confidence, energy or life.”
  • The photoshoot was one of my favourites of the season, but I’m kind of biased towards girls dressed as boys. They should’ve lost the moustaches though. Too much.
  • How good is Madeline Sami?!
NOW, onto the photos:
  • Hillary (above). Okay so she’s not my favourite (like I’ve said – I love her as a TV presenter or similar – just not as a model) but she fricken worked it in her photo this week. She even looks kind of tall (she’s the shortest of the group) but I think that’s maybe due to the sympathetic cropping of the image. Her face is good – the raised eyebrow and small smile make her look just that bit cheeky, and the best thing is you can see the clothes and the clothes look bloody good despite the fact that when you really think about it, that leopard print gazillion-seasons-old-Balmain-shoulder-esque blazer is actually kind of terrible.
  • As much as I’d love her, there’s no denying it: Brigette is boring as sh*t. She’s so understated it’s easy to forget she’s even on the show. Despite all that, she’s still my pick to win. At least top two. You can’t vote out such good bone structure. And she did kiss Madeline Sami on the lips which may be an indication she’s going to start taking it to the next level. I don’t know if this photo was a fluke or not, but it’s very, very good. Her expression is neutral with just a hint of sexy. The perfect amount. Also, look how tall she looks!:


  • AJ is an oversharer. But so am I so I can understand and forgive her for it. She also seems to be able to get good photos despite the fact that she apparently can’t actually model. I like this photo but I can’t stop looking at that massive crease in her shirt. Which isn’t really her fault but it’s distracting nonetheless.


  • The judges didn’t like this photo of Bianca, but I don’t mind it.  Her face looks good, albeit a bit sad, but her body is a bit awkward. A bit rigid. The moustache kind of suits her – I mean it in a good way. One thing though – what is up with her pushed up cropped jacket sleeves over long shirt sleeves? It makes her left arm (the one on her hip) look super weird and long and almost like it has two elbows:


  • Oh, Rosanagh. It was your first not-so-good week in the photo stakes, but even so, you look pretty. And tall. Your knee literally reaches mid-way up Madeline Sami’s thigh:


  • The pants aren’t doing Aroha any justice, but I do think her face is pretty in this photo. Something seems kind of awkward though – I think it’s Madeline Sami. It’s kind of like Aroha has wrapped herself around Madeline, and Madeline is kind of awkward and freaking out about it on the inside, but trying to look normal on the outside. Yeah, yeah that’s it… Or something… Uh… Moving on…:


  • I don’t really get the whole ‘Uncle Bully’ thing and I don’t really want to. Issy’s pose does nothing for me in this photo. It’s too calculated. Too stiff. Too ‘Modelling 101′ or something. But aside from that, nothing offends me. And have you noticed how tall she is?! She’s wearing flats. (Pretty much – that low heel doesn’t count. (I may be wrong, but they look like new season Karen Walker X Beau Coups from this angle.)) Madeline is wearing heels, they’re both standing upright and Issy is still a good three or four inches taller:


  • Now that I’ve noticed how tall Issy is in her photo, it’s just accentuating how short Arihana is in hers. Always the hippy, the off-beat, ‘indie’ looking one, it was time for the redhead to depart the model house this week, and not a moment too soon I say. Let’s give her credit though – she did improve quite a lot during her time on the show and I guess it might’ve been interesting to see how good she could’ve gotten. Oh well, them’s the breaks, they sent her and her hula hoops (I know! Seriously! Who takes hula hoops to the house they’re staying in for a reality tv modelling show?! Ahh!) packing. Laters Arihana, see you in the finalé*:


Next week’s episode starts off with a quick surprise elimination before the remaining 6 girls head off to Abu Dhabi. (It’s a good way to cut costs and add drama! Two birds with one stone!) Who will it be? I do not know. I’m going to say either Aroha, Issy or maybe AJ. Hillary is short and I don’t think she’s gonna make the top 3, but the fact that she got top photo this episode should mean that she stays in. Unless they want to be all dramatic and controversial like and eliminate her anyway…

Only time will tell! See you next week folks!

*I presume they’re going to bring back most of the girls for the finalé, which as it happens, will be filmed live during the WORLD show at New Zealand Fashion Week.