Last night was the grand final of 'Germany's Next Top Model' (GNTM) which is literally the only German TV I watch, so now I'm going to have to find something else that isn't either a dubbed US/UK import or something reminiscent of bad 70's programming - I have it on good authority that 'Perfekte Promi Dinners' should be my new GNTM, it's the German version of 'Come Dine with Me', where 4 people become dining partners over 4 nights as they take it in turns to cook a 3 course dinner in their home - yeah, I know it's not exactly highbrow entertainment, but highbrow German is beyond me and I kind of need to have half a chance of understanding what's going on!
Anyway, back to GNTM.
Heidi Klum is the 'master of ceremonies' and she rules the show with a rod of AISI 4130 (before the invention of search engines I'd have 'written' iron) she has 2 other 'jury' members with her and every season these seem to be new, gossip has it that if their star burns too brightly she refuses to renew their contract - no-one is allowed to outshine the Klumster.
Heidi was born in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany in 1973, and spends so much of her year in California that some describe her as 'the German/American model', consequently it should come as no surprise that a huge percentage of GNTM is filmed in the US - this series they were in Germany (at the very beginning) for 2 weeks, 3 tops then New York (fashion week was on) for 2 weeks, and the rest of the time was pure West coast - lots of beach and desert shoots (I guess the scenery for dramatic photoshoots is way better than here in Germany, especially during the February-May period of filming) this also ensures that Heidi can have her normal family life (she has a squillion kids & a popstar hubbie to keep in line you know) at the same time as fitting in a day or so's filming for the weekly show.
Another sign of Heidi's powerful influence on the show is her insistence that the girls have a decent level of English, afterall this is a search for a 'top' model and a top model must surely work all around the world and therefore be able to understand the demands of all manner of foreign photographers and English is the business language of the world. During the course of the show (3 months or so) the wannabe models regularly work with photographers such as Ian Rankin, Gilles Bensimon & Michel Komte, and so a good knowledge of English is essential, I remember in last year's show 1 girl being told that if her English didn't improve then she would be kicked out. That said, there isn't a huge amount of English in the actual show, which one wouldn't expect seeing as it's a German TV show, but what little there is gets subtitles in German, not dubbed, which is what would normally happen - I feel the presence of Heidi in that decision.
Heidi gets a lot of flack, but that's always the way isn't it? We love to pick on those who are more successful than ourselves, and if they're good to look at too then there's even more reason to have a pop. I have to admit to being somewhat guilty of this myself, in the beginning anyway, but I think I'm kind of over that now, I don't think I'd swap my life for hers, all that pressure to always look perfect, no matter how bad a night's sleep you've had or that you've just given birth or have just come out of the gym, if you're not looking as good as you do in your (possibly/probably airbrushed) semi-naked photos then you're clearly slacking.
So I have to forget all about GNTM for another 9 months and find a replacement, at least until the cattle call goes round for the 2011 open auditions next year anyway and the bitchfest can recommence!