Top Muddle

Follow the drama of New Zealand's Next Top Model

Top Muddle: Off to the sands of Abu Dhabi

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It was Hillary's first time out of New Zealand and chance to shine. Photo / Supplied
It was Hillary's first time out of New Zealand and chance to shine. Photo / Supplied

Sara Tetro is full of surprises this season. First she threw in the trip to Abu Dhabi for the seven remaining contestants, and then she was standing there at the boarding gate holding just six plane tickets. Someone had to go home and it was the girl with the most friends on Facebook. Aroha, the "real" girl, with curves and a background in sheep shearing.

You never know when you are being watched, and all beady eyes were on the Gisborne teen when she dropped her A game in front of a rude taxi driver and a paparazzo. She flashed her knickers, charged "like an All Black" and then got a slap in the face when told that this would not be her time to lose, as AJ put it, her "overseas virginity".

It was also Hillary's first time out of New Zealand, and her air of calm when dealing with the obnoxious airport staff (all actors by the way), earned her an upgrade to business class.

And the glitz grew incrementally from there.

Despite the struggle of 40-degree heat, everything about Abu Dhabi made the girls ooh and ahh and, in AJ's case, shriek with excitement. Talk about a teenaged girl's fantasy: hello topless, chiselled male personal trainer and palatial shopping mall. It was a bit of a culture shock for poor old Bianca though, who is not accustomed to flitting about in a bikini by the poolside.

But she proved that she was, as Sara says, a "chameleon", when tasked with the most difficult photo shoot of the series, which called for a fluid body and face like stone. Despite coming across as "a bull in a china shop", AJ also fluked her way to the top, much to the surprise of everyone, and it was Hillary and Rosanagh - usually front runners - who found themselves in the firing line. Is the competition getting to Rosanagh? Or just catching up?

For the first time this season Sara looked genuinely sad when she told Hillary to pack her things and head back to New Zild.

But Hillary was cool with it, of course. "Moving on to bigger and better things, like Gore," she shrugged.

What: New Zealand's Next Top Model
When and where: 7.30pm Friday, TV3

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