BINTM Final Review: Jade Shines, But Was It Climactic?

BRITAIN & IRELAND’S NEXT TOP MODEL FINAL: Monday 26th September, Sky Living, 9pm

It was a relief to see that Sky Living had ditched BINTM’s live final format, which last year consisted mostly of the four judges asking inane questions of the remaining contestants (“So…are you nervous?â€?) interspersed with a shaky performance from the Saturdays and several interludes of long, awkward silence.

Having said that, Top Model was hardly on top form as the finalists did their best to impress the sedate crowds. A pre-show conversation between the judges felt awkward, scripted and designed to entertain the six–year-old offspring of any viewers. “They must be very nervousâ€? says school ma’am Elle, “Yes. Oh yesâ€? reply the less fabulous threesome of Woodward, McDonald and Speed. Might we suggest that sticking to the day job of looking good but staying schtum would be a better plan when it comes to the art of “impromptuâ€? TV conversations.

Having said that, the catwalk event itself was exciting enough and featured a pre-show modelling masterclass with the unfathomably entertaining, Miss J Alexander.

Faithful fans of the show were also treated to plenty of retrospective montage moments which contained more highlights than Julien’s tousled locks. Looking back over how the two finalists have developed throughout the series (their story “arcâ€? in Elle-speak), it does seem clear that the girls showed plenty of fledgling promise from day one and truly deserved their place in the BINTM final. Jade seems to be the favourite of most of the blokes in the OTB office and her unique brand of sex kitten crossed with Bond girl certainly makes for Google images dynamite.

Cool, reserved Juste could have done with showing a little bit more character throughout the show and the producers did not do her any favours. Her “best bitsâ€? seemed dominated by clips of her staring blankly into space, having a strop or bitching to her one friend (who everyone else hated), Anastacija.

Described by one girl as “lower than f***** dirt, Anastacija was the root of the majority of bitchy bash-ups in the house. The otherwise disappointing lack of hair-pulling and secret shit stirring made the Russian rude gal one of the best housemates of the series.

Another highlight picked up on by this final episode was the underwater shoot where the models were forced to wear about four tonnes of waterproof makeup, six tonnes of oversized (and overpriced) Vivienne Westwood jewellery and dive six feet under water with sharks and electric eels circling overhead. Needless to say there was vomiting, hyperventilation and a lot of damsels in dripping wet distress. Girlfriends everywhere have GOT to have enjoyed a photoshoot that ended up with the stunning bunch looking red-eyed and, invariably, with their heads down the loo.

And the judges…where would we be without the judges. For fear of finding a diamante encrusted explosive thrust through my front door, I am going to suggest that it might well be time for the judges to experience an X-Factor syle overhaul.

Elle now seems to be unable to stop herself spewing warm and heartfelt “congratulationsâ€? to any wannabe that looks less fortunate than her. Julien McDonald continues to excuse his unique and repellent variety of deeply offensive “constructive criticismâ€? by trotting out his favourite clichés about the “cut-throatâ€? fashion industry which “takes no prisonersâ€?. Meanwhile Charley Speed, who is about as charismatic as a coathanger, wears too much make-up and utter the occasional scathing remark.

But overall, the challenges and talent that the Top Model brand attracted in terms of guest judges and modelling opportunities for the girls was impressive as ever (Katie Price aside). The series continues to provide an intriguing insight into the tough reality of a world which appears to glisten and sparkle with airbrushed, lip-glossed perfection.