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TV RECAP: 28 best moments from Ireland's Ultimate Debutante Episode 4

In which it goes all-out Top Model.

LAST NIGHT WAS the fourth and final heat of TV3′s debut season of Ireland’s Ultimate Debutante.

Our favourites were all out in force – Tyra and Courtz are getting on just mighty, and Brendan and Dara have come into their own. However, this is week four and as the lack of wardrobe changes have revealed the production team did this series in one big shebang, the judges look and sound understandably tired.

So, I won’t poke fun at their same-same outfits for the third week running. Oh, go on then. Just this one last time.

TV3 have repeated its introduction to the show for the past four weeks so to keep this recap consistent, I’m going to copy and paste my explainer here too, just in case we have any new readers. New readers are always welcome, especially if you have a thing for corsages (only the wrist ones though).

If you’re new, feel free to have a nosy back through the last two three recaps for a brief summary of what’s happening here (links at the bottom of the page). If you don’t feel like doing that, basically the premise of the show is for Ireland’s answer to Tyra Banks (Rozanna Purcell) to pick her favourite out of three randomly chosen teenagers. Simples.*

*We have already come to realise that the premise for this programme is ridiculous but we’re embracing it anyway so huddle in.

Now that’s out of our system, let’s meet this week’s contestants or as Dara would say, “Delve into all things debs – the climatic point of any teenagers lives.” There’s something a bit disturbing-sounding about that, right?

The girls

Episode four introduces us to Johanna (with an h), Eliza and Laura. Hi, ordinary girls!

Then the show jumps ship and turns full-on Top Model. Dublin teen Johanna wants to be a model and uses her 15 minutes to bag a meeting with Irish agency First Options. Her portfolio shots are close-ups with no makeup, which impresses the manager.

“That’s what we’re about,” she says. “The more natural beauty.”

Yes, no makeup and natural beauty is exactly what we all think of when we see an Irish model.

Anyway, Johanna gets represented and we move to a shot of her playing camogie. See, girls can be pretty and sporty. This show is teaching us so much.

Next, we meet Kildare’s Eliza who is sporty with a capital S. She plays football, rugby and took up boxing two weeks ago. TWO WEEKS!

Her skills put Joanna (with an h) to shame.

We meet Eliza’s friends who seem like a lovely bunch of people. One of them says he feels like he’s known her all his life but, in fact, it’s only been five years. That’s less than a third of his whole 17 years on this earth.

Warning: digression. I didn’t catch the friend’s name or a screengrab but he later wears a matching dicky bow for his date and I’m a sucker for a matching dicky bow, so well played friend. I hope you get to go in the helicopter if Eliza wins.

Finally, we go back to Dublin to meet Laura, a red-head with a good singing voice and a dream to become a Montessori teacher.

She says her friends call her the “random one” because she laughs at “random things”. Does that make sense? I guess not. Random.

The prep

Courtz reminds us that the dress shopping is her favourite part and Tyra says the hair and makeup is hers. I need a moment to recover from the shock.

Johanna is first up and she shows her fierce side. “I think there’s definitely competition – you want to be the one that’s there that everyone is saying looks beautiful,” she says, while on camera.

Laura’s mam wouldn’t go shopping with her (we later find out it’s probably because she already had a dress bought) so her and the friends head to Grafton Street. Courtz proves she knows what she’s talking about and deserves the fashionista title by advising Laura to pick an aqua tone.

Brendan is very happy she listened. Especially when it came to the pink/silk/diamante dresses. “They’re too in your face,” Laura explains. You’re bloody right, responds Courtz (paraphrasing).

Uh-oh. Eliza has just said that she won’t spend €500 on a dress. Do we all remember Aideen and her “ridiculous” statement? I’m worried for Eliza but it turns out alright in the end. She spends €175 – less than the other two girls’ €300 splash.

However, Courtz and Tyra are concerned (look at their concerned faces) about the bling.

The big day arrives and the teens are ready to get pampered. First up, Johanna is off to a fancy makeup artist and asks him to make her look like Mila Kunis. If this works, I may not finish this recap as I’ll be off to track him down as well.

He waves his brushes and Tyra says, “Wow!” You can almost see the wheels turning in the brain as she tries to think of ways to take out what is now potential competition in the modelling world.

Does anyone know this man/magician?

Johanna is very specific about what she wants when she goes to the hairdressers as well. Hannah Montana.

Continuing her flair for nail art psychology, Courtz notes Laura’s bow on her nail. This may signal what dress she chose. Oooooo, smart.

The boys

For the first time all season, the boys are not called “the most important accessory of the night.” Maybe TV3′s execs are reading?

The dates have behaved impeccably thus far – flowers for the mother, corsages for the girls and sweet lines about how they look a-ma-zing. BUT this time around, we have a couple of duds. Well, almost-duds to be fair.

Eliza has a close call with her date IB, who was a bit more than fashionably late. She had to actually call him to see if he was coming. Minus ten points. Damn, I should have rated the dates. Maybe next time.

In the end though, Brendan calls them a handsome couple. And IB says, “Oh my god, you look….pretty.”

Laura is bringing her boyfriend Kevin who starts off so promisingly. He has a matching dicky (which, you know, I am a fan of), Brendan says he is like Clark Gable and the Dad says he has “no complaints about him”. The mother thinks they’re “so cute together” and “well matched”. All blue skies and golden beaches then.

Until Laura later reveals that she couldn’t find him for most of the night. Minus 25 Clark.

Dean shows them both up and he is proclaimed as both “sweet” and “cute” by the female judges. A sample line from Dean:

I couldn’t believe it, I thought she was messing when she first asked me…She’s an amazing person, she’s worked very hard to make everything perfect for tonight. She deserves it.

And here he is in all his Justin Biebered-hair glory. Did the Biebz ever have a thing with H-Montana?

The night

Tyra believes that Johanna “made all the right choices – the hair, the makeup and the dress.” My, how she was proved wrong. The biggest disaster of the Ultimate Debutante befell the Dublin girl. SOMEONE ELSE HAS THE EXACT SAME DRESS AS HER. EVEN THOUGH THE SHOP PROMISED THEY WOULDN’T SELL IT TO ANYONE ELSE IN THE AREA. AND JOHANNA WANTED TO LOOK THE NICEST AND HAVE THE PRETTIEST DRESS THERE AND NOW IS DISAPPOINTED AND LOOKS SAD IN THE GIANT LOBBY OF DUNBOYNE CASTLE.

This shot of the dress was taken back in happier times.

Down in Kildare, we are treated to Eliza’s sensible Irish mammy who is delighted the daughter chose a comfortable gown.

Finally, the judges whoop in delight when they realise Laura has chose ‘their dress’.

The transport

Shall we look at the transport options? Can you guess who’s was who? Answers to the comments section please.

a) The white limo

b) The black HUMMER

c) The party bus (wa-hay!)

The extras


A plastic bag from Dunnes Stores and an open can of Coors Lite. Minus 5 for Clark.

Both Courtz and Tyra are surprised that Eliza chose a glitzy, platform shoe. Guys, can we all move on? Girls who like sport also wear high heels, short dresses, makeup and are attractive. Thank you.

Totally not debs-related but, ugh, gross milky tea.

The judgement

New clothes signals judgement day.

Everyone’s nervous.

The girls gets super excited about the prizes, which to recap the recaps again are:

In case you need a reminder of the prizes, the list includes a tiara but TV3 keeps failing to mention it. It’s obviously very important but we’ll get to that later. The 18-year-old winner of the coveted title will also receive a feature in Kiss magazine and a stay in a fancy hotel after a helicopter trip. Oh and €1,000, which is really just expenses.

(It’s week four, I’m tired too).

Johanna is both shocked and excited. She explains, “I have this thing that if I get excited my hand goes to my face.”

Once the awkward chit-chat is over, the girls are sent out of the room for the judges to deliberate. They find it hard to choose between the accomplished young model, an accomplished young sports woman and an accomplished all-rounder.

But they give a massive clue away: “I think she will come out and fight for it.” And it’s unanimous. ELIZA wins.

Courtz says she is picked because she is “not your typical debutante”, while Tyra calls her a “really nice genuine girl”. Which she seems to be. So she’ll have to bring that niceness and the boxing gloves to the finale if she wants to beat Chloe, Jacinta and Laura (I remembered those names without looking back…I think I need a holiday).

My money (and my corsage-eating bet) is still on Jacinta. Sorry Eliza but I’m sure you’d win in a fight.

Episode 3: 24 best moments from Ireland’s Ultimate Debutante

Episode 2: 28 best moments from Ireland’s Ultimate Debutante

Episode 1: 29 best moments from Ireland’s Ultimate Debutante