Meet supermodel (and star of “The Face”) Coco Rocha (center, posing with her team of models) who’s sharing her experience filming the high-stakes modeling competition on Oxygen. Rocha, Karolina Kurkova and Naomi Campbell each selected four girls to compete on their team, with losing teams submitting models for elimination each week. In her sixth blog, Rocha dishes on model faux pas and backstage drama.
This week’s episode of The Face is all about being a brand ambassador. The most envied campaigns in fashion and beauty nearly all require that the model be able to speak, sometimes extensively, about a product. Learning how to communicate as a brand ambassador is a must.
Lights, Camera … : The challenge is a red carpet press event thrown by a magazine. The clients are journalist William Norwich and iconic model Pat Cleveland, both experts on red carpet etiquette, who will look at how the girls walk and hold themselves in front of press, photographers and fans, as well as they answer questions. Billy and Pat teach the girls how to pose for the cameras in their Guido Maria Kretschmer gowns, and remind them that “to admit when you don’t know something” is the height of intelligence. In other words, no making stuff up.
On the red carpet, Ebony (Team Karolina) breezes through a tough question from Wendy “How You Doin'” Williams about her children having different fathers. Devyn tells Wendy that she doesn’t categorize herself as a “black girl model” and Naomi calls her out. “That’s a disgrace!” she says, throwing Devyn off her game and making her think she has lost it for her team.
Next, Jocelyn (Team Naomi) is upstaged by former pageant queen Zi Lin on the red carpet. Jocelyn refuses to answer a question about her mystery “reality star boyfriend.” Zi Lin is asked the name of her eyeshadow (by Ulta, the brand these girls represent) and instead of admitting she doesn’t know, she starts talking about how her name means purple in Chinese and then says of the eyeshadow “I call it Ulta Special Purple.” Googling that product name does not get you very far.
Team Coco does well. Margaux quickly fires back at a negative comment about her height with the classic example of 5-foot-7 Kate Moss. Although inaudible to anyone else, Naomi thinks she hears Margaux mispronounce the apparently complex and nuanced name ‘Moss’ and calls her out on that. It’s an act both distracting and completely uncalled for considering no one criticized Zi Lin’s pronunciation, ever.
Adoring Public: Team Karolina wins and Naomi gives the news to her girls, saying, “We’ve won three challenges, Karolina has won three challenges, and Coco’s won zero.” Although technically correct, my team won the biggest challenge of all: the public vote. Fans of the show gave Team Coco 70% of the popular vote online, leaving just 18% for Naomi and 12% for Karolina. Whatever the outcome of The Face’s challenges, the people have spoken and they loved the way my girls played the game.
Karolina is faced with the difficult task of sending two girls home this week. Apparently Naomi’s name-calling last week made no impact on her as she puts Zi Lin and Margaux, arguably the two strongest girls in the competition, through to the finale. Stephanie leaves with her head held high and says she is walking away as a model and that she never could have said that before.
Talk That Talk: Of course the show cannot end there. Despite the fact that both of our teams lost, Naomi seems determined to make Team Coco feel like somehow we’re the real losers, saying she’s “yet to be inspired” by us.
Regardless of how the points are divided, I’m very proud of my team. As aspiring spokespeople for Ulta Beauty, none of my girls made up an imaginary brand name like Zi Lin did. “Do not say my girl lied, you better re- check your facts,” says Naomi. I remind her those were the client’s words, but Naomi couldn’t care less and goes off topic telling me “Check your lipstick, before you come and talk to me, because you’re wearing it.” For the record, my purple lipstick was not called “Ulta Special Purple.”