Poor (channel) Five. It comes across as Channel Four's idiot brother doing it's best to imitate and catch up, but not realising that the only reason that anyone gives it any attention at all is out of pity because it was obviously dropped on its head at birth (not a surprise seeing as midwife duties were given to the Spice Girls). We knew kids at school who were a little like Five; desperate for attention to the extent they'd do anything for a few minutes of popularity. The channel seemed to outdo itself last year with its high concept reality TV show The Farm in which a pig was masturbated live on television by a women who may or may not have done something similar to David Beckham.
Last night we watched Five's new show Make Me A Supermodel in which the usual bunch of misfits give up their privacy and any dignity they had to become a quick fix for the reality TV junkies (who by now must have used up all their good veins and are injecting straight into their eyeballs). Make Me A Supermodel doesn't really need much explaining - it's a carbon copy of America's Next Top Model and follows the same concept. Take a bunch of desperate girls and put them through the wringer on TV, the more crying and arguments the better. UPN in the States ups the ante by whisking some of the girls off to Japan and offers the winner guaranteed fame and celebrity. Five as per usual aims lower and zooms in on the girls getting undressed and offers the winner a "modeling contract" which could well turn out to make one lucky girl the next 'face' of thrush medication.
Last night we were introduced to the girls, saw one of them naked in the bath, heard them bitch about each other's eating disorders and then watch them fall apart as their clothes were destroyed and their hair cropped in order to create a blank canvas. Of course, as soon as the girls tearfully agreed to this two of them were thrown off the show. One of them, perhaps the prettiest, was given the boot officially because of her bad skin, but we suspect it was due to the fact that she was the one girl who seemed to take the whole thing in her stride and voice worry about her fellow contestants. We won't be having any of that here.
Still in the running is seventeen year old Sam who made the mistake of admitting her role model is glamour model Jordan and wants to reborn as a cat, nineteen year old Jasmine who is set to be the bitch of the bunch and nineteen year olds Antoinette and Patricia - identical twins who Five seem to be treating as conjoined (mustn't give them ideas for season two) and who unfortunately come across on camera like a less feminine version of the Krays.
Overseeing this nonsense is international model and actress Rachel Hunter who, according to Five, has starred in many successful Hollywood films. A quick peek at the IMDB reveals that this isn't quite true, but she has had a stellar career playing herself in such TV classics as The Vicar of Dibley, Today with Des and Mel and TFI Friday. We're guessing that Five's budget couldn't stretch to anyone else, but it's a shame that the icon for their supermodel show looks like an old bald woman being humped by Dougal from The Magic Roundabout.
The other judges are some guy who seems to have wandered in from a power lunch with Nathan Barley and probably has a WASP T12 SPEECHTOOL in his pocket and a woman the size of a barn who insists that the waif-like models are all too chubby.
Again, where the American show has cash to spare and sends its girls by limo to top agencies and locations, Five has picked all the best London backstreets and boxing gyms it can find. At least one location looked like it had last been used for cheap amateur porn shoots (probably documented in one of Five's own fly on the wall late night 'documentaries'). We doubt we'll be able to give full coverage of this new television gem, but we'll be sure to let you know if any farm animals are brought in to boost the ratings.
Make Me A Supermodel continues every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday on Five