Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Bunch of Rankers

Channel Five have never really had a reputation for cultured, high-brow television programmes, but as Catherine Tate would say, are they bothered? Apparently not, as for the past couple of weeks they've spent Friday nights broadcasting 'My Secret Body', a show where naked people spread their legs for the camera and talk about body hair, and following it up with the consistently wonderful 'Hot Tub Ranking', described by Ben Frow, controller of features and entertainment at Five, as "a fresh and sexy entertainment show based on the premise that beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Or alternatively, a low-budget attempt to say the word "wank" a hundred times in half an hour.

The premise of 'Hot Tub Ranking' is simple. Take a Japanese hostess who pronounces her 'w's as 'r's, give her a script peppered with the word 'ranking', and get her to introduce pretty girls in their knickers. The five ladies (seen above in their formal evening-wear) then have to rank each other (that pun will lose its novelty value by the end of this paragraph) on various body parts, whilst being watched by "three sexy boys" who, according to hostess Mia, "will also be ranking" (told you) behind a soundproof one-way mirror. If a guy's ranking matches a girl's ranking, that girl receives £500. Which makes it very close to prostitution.

Amongst the slappers on parade were Darah, 25, who stated "I have a body to die for". Well she certainly made me lose the will to live. And Loli, a 20-year-old blonde with "very dirty eyes". She should invest in some Optrex. Among the more deluded contestants was Charlene, 22, who declared "I'm the sexier, hotter version of Jennifer Ellison". Frankly she looked more like Jennifer Saunders to me. Oh yes, I was ranking along at home.

In Round 1, Mia informed the girls, "you will be ranking on each other's faces" (are you getting bored of this yet?), which gave the men a chance to sit around giving considered opinions like "nice tits" and "nice arse", while the women turned on each other. Giving her verdict on Ashley's face, Charlene cheerfully pointed out "It's very 'Plain Jane'. I wouldn't put you up too high", before deciding that she herself ought to be number one. An opinion shared by all the other girls - they also each thought they should be number one.

When the results came through, only three of them had guessed correctly. Helen had confidently placed herself in second position, conflicting slightly with the boys' opinion that she was the outright dog of the group.

Round 2 was the bum, giving the girls the chance to strut about on national TV in next-to-nothing, with Mia declaring "Ashley's bottom is a sure-fire cure for the blues". Although I'm not sure it's undergone any clinical trials. One of the three rankers behind the glass commented "just imagine passing those cheeks" (I'm still not quite sure what he meant by that), while another stated "I like a slim ass". Personally I prefer a fat donkey, but each to their own.

The girls were no better this time around, with only two correct placements, and Darah in position number two. She was naturally thrilled to learn that the boys had ranked her in last place with the verdict that she had "too much junk in the trunk". Yes, her bum did look big in that.

A short commercial break later and "it's time for round three - the breasts", and who had, as Mia put it, "the perfect handful". The boys were getting into it by now, listing the pros and cons of each girl's assets. In the words of one, "Ashley's are good, but they might hang down" (that's gravity for you), while another stated that "natural ones never feel as good". So he's obviously more used to inflatable women.

Continuing their pitiful record, the girls got none right whatsoever. But Mia was still able to look flat-chested Loli in the eye and say "small ones are more juicy" without a hint of embarrassment, which was a delight to see.

Round 4 was entitled 'The Full Rank'. Charlene had apparently "gone cowgirl" (I'm saying nothing), while Loli was attempting to highlight the difference between 'street' and 'street corner' by dressing as a prostitute. The girls spent five minutes slagging each other off, before Mia stepped in to ask "Have you been listening to those rankers behind the window?". Clearly not - they were all in the wrong place again.

The ranking having reached its climax, there was just time for the boys to strip down to their underwear, slag off each other's backsides, and give the girls a chance to rate their penises. Now that's what I call equality.