We love Heidi, she’s been with us since the beginning. Heidi gets the biggest wings. —Monica Mitro, executive producer, to Fashion Wire Daily
Sex always sells, right? So we were surprised to learn that ratings for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show have in fact decreased every year since the program first aired. According to a 2004 article by CNN/Money , the first televised show scored 12.3 million viewers in 2001, but dropped to 10.5 million viewers in 2002, and 9.4 million the year after that. Last year, Victoria’s Secret chose not to do a televised show. This all strikes us as odd, considering this was the same runway show that moved to TV as a result of its overwhelmingly popular web broadcast.
Nearly naked supermodels on prime-time TV is the world’s greatest no-brainer. What could they possibly be doing wrong?
Below, five ground rules for mediocrity we learned from this year’s show.
1) Treat the show as a landmark event.
Follow up the opening sequence—in which Gisele and Co. pop out of a present dressed as sexy Santa’s helpers or whatever—with a riveting history of the show. The public will care. Have Heidi Klum host this look back through the years, this evolution from fledgling runway show to cultural phenomenon, complete with a 1999 simulcast in Times Square. “That’s what I call stopping traffic!” Klum will say.
The show, of course, will need to be lengthened into an hour-long program, one that will feature a vital Ricky Martin performance. Gisele’s earlier description of the program will now sound like a preemptive defense. “Victoria’s Secret is not really a fashion show, it’s more like a show . . . It’s more like a cabaret experience.”
2) Show the magic behind the scenes.
Intersperse the calm polish on the runway with the frenzied energy back stage. This has never been done before. Flesh it out with voice overs to let the public feel this excitement, this excitement that tingles: “Let’s move! More energy!” “Fade track one!” “Turntable to position 3, go!” “Can we get Natasha’s shoe off the runway! Retrieve Natasha’s shoe!”
Have the camera indeed show, a few seconds before, Natasha lose her shoe on stage. She has managed to play it off, courageously finishing the walk without the heel. But now, what is to be done? There is the shoe! Lying on the runway! You too, have started to worry if the shoe will be retrieved. How does one retrieve a shoe mid-show, you wonder. Do they have a designated fetcher, like during tennis games? A designated shoe fetcher?
3) Move the camera oh-so-seamlessly between closeups of flawless supermodel buttocks swathed in bejeweled thongs . . . and Seal.
Force Seal to emerge inexplicably from what looks like a bejeweled golf ball. He will serenade wife Heidi Klum with “Crazy,” a hit he had years ago. Heidi will be in an ensemble that makes her crotch look radioactive. Though this will look insane in earlier photos, when TV viewers tune in, they will find it freakishly hypnotizing. Proceed to kill any magic with sound bites from Heidi and Seal back stage. “It does make it extra special having my husband here,” Heidi will confide to us. “Whenever I get to see her, on the runway or in our apartment, it makes the heart flutter,” Seal will say.
4) The more over-the-top, the better.
Viewers and the press will bitch about the Victoria’s Secret show every year, but everyone secretly enjoys gawking at supermodels in ridiculous outfits, especially ones that reveal a lot of supermodel super flesh. But it will not be enough to feature a model sporting lingerie made out of nothing but candy. Not even the stage scenery, including floor-to-ceiling plushie bears, “Sexy Little Bears,” we believe they’re called, will do the trick. For the finale, Tyra Banks will need to walk out in the most busted drill team ensemble, complete with a cape lined with ribbons and medals dangling from her bikini bottom that will rhythmically bounce off her ass with every step she takes. In her hand, she will clutch her very own glittering Victoria’s Secret scepter. We naturally assume from the scepter, topped with the letter “V,” that she is Victoria’s Secret royalty. She will thrust her scepter repeatedly into the air, triumphant.
5) Have Tyra keep ’em guessing.
Though Heidi accomplishes the Herculean task of appearing in a lingerie show just two months after giving birth, the night really belongs to Tyra, as this is her last show. Tyra will use her special one-on-one interview to shamelessly plug her weak talk show, but will bring it back to the matter at hand. Oh, that’s right. The show.
“Some people were telling me that you’re going to cry, Tyra, you’re going to cry the last time you walk out that Victoria’s Secret runway, because this is the end of your career as a fashion model . . . And I’m like, I am? I’m going to cry? I have no idea what’s going to happen.”
What is going to happen at the end? For her post-show wacky cracky bloopers segment, Heidi will perform Cameron Diaz-style pig snorts into the camera , for she is not just a supermodel, but a regular person like the rest of us. She is—can you believe!—a goof, even. But Tyra, Tyra does not cry.
“I’m so happy,” she says, stepping off the runway for good. “I’m emotional. I’ll NEVER want to do another runway show again.”