Katie Price's Search For A Supermodel: We Have Reached A New Low

Human floatation device Katie Price has a bunch of vapid sorts clamouring to be her protege - with depressing results.
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Human floatation device Katie Price has a bunch of vapid sorts clamouring to be her protege - with depressing results.

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Welcome to Katie Price's search for a supermodel, perhaps the lowest conceivable rung on the TV talent show ladder. It's also slightly ironic, given that our illustrious host now resembles one of the leatherette flip-flops I bought in Abercrombie & Fitch last summer. How that qualifies her as an arbiter of aesthetics, I'm not entirely sure. But, vive la difference.

After last week's adventures, which saw Katie and her co-judges sit stony faced in a bunch of post-apocalyptic shopping centers as a bunch of hopefuls wandered past in their underwear, it's now time for boot camp. Katie promises "with my expertise, I'll take them to the top", but I think she missed out the word "shelf", based on some of the woeful contestants.

The narrator tells us that "from small beginnings, Katie Price has made it big," thanks largely to a parade of surgeons who knew where to hide the air valves. She's now one of the UK's most talked about women, mostly amongst people who say: "What the fuck does she look like?" But don't worry; she's got 17 years' experience in the industry. "Been there, done that, worn the t-shirt,” she says. Except the t-shirt never stayed on for that long.

On her journey, Katie's joined by "top TV exec" Glen Middleham (think Moby, but even more punchable) and "renowned casting director" Bayo Furlong. As the would-be models rock up at a country mansion that must rent by the hour, Katie and her new Gay Best Friends are hanging out of a window, slating their outfits. Welcome one and all. They don't know what to expect, with one exclaiming "Oh my God, is Katie gonna be here, is she gonna be looking at us?" Admittedly, it's a complicated format, but hopefully one of the show runners is on hand to talk them through how this works.

The panel are already doubting some of their earlier decisions, and are standing over a giant light-box to review their selection. Someone should have warned Katie that, as a modelling expert, she should know never to hover over harsh lighting. Unless she plans on hanging around in someone's living room window on Hallowe'en.

Time for the first cull of the show, as the shortlisted contestants are called into the house one-by-one. Among the lucky few are a pair of twins who look more like the mutant babies from 'It's Alive', rather than would-be models. But Katie tells us she knows what she's talking about, even if the rest of us haven't a clue.

"For the rest of you, your dream is now over!" announces Katie, with all the emotion of someone browsing for bath-taps in B&Q. As the rejects sob their way onto the bus to take their shattered dreams home, Katie decides that she wants to see the remaining girls looking natural. Presumably, there was a brief break as one of the producers popped in to explain the concept to her. Meanwhile, everyone's assembled in a giant wood-paneled ballroom, where there's so much orange on display, all that's missing is the man from Del Monte.

Whereas the girls need to show off their natural beauty, the boys have to strip down and squeeze themselves into some tiny hot pink swimming trunks. The girls are peeling off their nails, hair extensions and eyelashes. In fact, I swear one of them actually unscrewed half her head, like Robocop when he went rogue and started eating baby food. Katie is particularly impressed with Sylvia, who has an impressive figure and was smart enough to rock up in a pair of Katie's own-brand knickers. Maybe it's the unfortunate lighting, but to this uninitiated viewer, Katie's pants aren't recommended if you're trying to conceal a cock.

In contrast, Katie's disappointed by a girl called Laura, who has ridiculous boobs and a face that would make Pete Burns wince. Apparently, she misunderstood the brief about what kind of underwear they were supposed to wear. In her defense, she "didn't think". Don't worry love, that certainly hasn't held Katie back. And now here come the boys, looking like they'd rather be anywhere but here. Then again, so does Katie. She's trying to appear interested in what's going on, but other than a cursory package check, she could be listening to the shipping forecast.

Time for some high-powered business now, as we flash back to a meeting of the Black Sheep Management Company, three weeks before the auditions began. We're told that it's a business meeting, when in actuality it's a couple of people sitting on some rattan garden furniture, listening to Katie talking about hard graft. Somewhere, there's a bunch of factory workers, wiping their empathetic tears away with what's left of their bloodied finger stumps.

Katie also complains about her co-judge's poor taste in women, which is a bit like complaining that a diabetic knows fuck all about chocolate.

It's been at least five minutes since Katie made someone cry, so here comes another cut. The first six hopefuls get a bit of the old "this has been a tough decision" schtick, only to be told they're through. One girl is so excited that she can't even walk out of the room without falling over. As she drops out of view, the other contestants step over her. Welcome to the harsh world of modelling. Katie's busy running through her favourite reality show clichés, from the fake-out evictions to Alan Sugar's old "with regret" firings. Don't be surprised if she knocks together a mille-feuille to soak up some of the Great British Bake-Off audience.

Speaking of The Apprentice, we're now onto the business challenge segment of the show, where out contestants are divided into teams and tasked with designing a range of t-shirts. They've been told that they have to come up with a concept, but since no-one seems to know what the word means, they're settling for a bunch of woeful slogans that no-one's dared utter since the pilot episode of Absolutely Fabulous twenty years ago.

A landscape gardener called Jamie Roche is particularly excited about being team leader for his group, taking several minutes to enthuse about what he thinks a team leader might do. The rest of the team are distracted by stick-on bobbles and glitter, so no one seems too bothered either way.

Over in another team, Tayla seems to be mutating into Grotbags, if the TV witch ever tried to sneak into the Pink Windmill disguised as an Amy Winehouse tribute act. She complains to the camera about their team leader Amy, who's annoying everyone by being naturally pretty and able to enunciate. As Tayla grumbles away, I'm distracted by an odd shadow on her face, which is either cast by some seriously fake eyelashes, or someone off-screen holding a pitchfork over her head.

The teams are bickering over the challenge, despite the fact that a kindergarten class would have finished and been halfway through their milk cartons by now. Sensing drama, the camera crew whip Amy outside to bitch about her team.  She might speak well, but a posh accent can't disguise the fact that she talks absolute bollocks, kicking off her t-shirt pitch with the opening statement "Obviously, obesity kills nearly more people than cancer." I'd like to go into detail about the other business pitches, but really, it's like watching a bunch of idiots trying to figure their way out of a phone box.

The judges are trying to cut down twenty to the final twelve - Katie doesn't like one woman because all she ever talks about her kids. And let's face it, Katie understands that the only time to talk about your kids is when someone from OK! is waving a chequebook. She also complains about her co-judge's poor taste in women, which is a bit like complaining that a diabetic knows fuck all about chocolate.

As Katie names her final short list, we get all the predictable shock and awe reactions. One successful bloke tells the camera "things like this don't happen to people like me". Actually, things like this happen to people like you several times a night. Especially on this channel. Interestingly, the second name in the end credits after the narrator, is for show psychologist Jo Hemmings. After spending an hour in Katie's world, I'm wondering if she does out calls.

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