TV Review - The Face, Sky Living
Sharpened stilettos at the ready as La Campbell shows she can still turn heads
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 19 November 2013
The first season of Sky Living's modelling competition The Face came to a close last night, and the four finalists were whittled down to one: the new face of Max Factor. But we know who the real winners are, don't we? Everyone who tuned in and got to witness Naomi Campbell losing her rag at least three times per episode.
It became clear at four weeks in that The Face had already mercilessly trampled all competition under its six-inch stilettos when Sky Living announced the end of Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model. The Face has an added 20 per cent of bitchy that BINTM could never muster, provided by the competing supermodel mentors. Forcing 12 teenage narcissists to cohabit is a recipe for drama, sure, but you ain't seen nothing till you've seen La Campbell slay Caroline Winberg with a death-stare at 50 paces. This series was more a comparison of mentoring style than modelling skill. Naomi's barking drill sergeant vs Erin's mother hen vs Caroline's summer-camp counsellor – which approach would ultimately get the best results?
I still miss posh eccentric Chloe-Jasmine who was kicked out in episode three because this world is just too cruel for a sensitive young drama queen with over-expressive hands, but there's no doubt that the hard-working four who remained had earned their places.
Their first task was to pose for a "beauty shot", otherwise known as a close-up. Max Factor's creative director did his best to mystify the process, but since they're all, y'know, beautiful, looking beautiful wasn't a stretch. The second task, to wax lyrical about a make-up product on camera, proved more of a challenge. Essentially a test of RP eloquence, it put the girls from more working-class backgrounds at an unfair disadvantage; there's a reason why Croydon-born Kate Moss prefers to keep schtum.
The competition's frontrunner Nadine crashed out at this stage and shy Elaine, with the face of an angel and the voice of a Bolton bin man, required several takes to come into her own. Once she did, even the viciously competitive La Campbell couldn't help but cheer her on. It would have made for a more emotionally satisfying finale if the underdog had won. Instead, the Max Factor contract went to Team Naomi's toughest cookie Emma. A disappointment, but one that reinforced the emerging message: this modelling malarky is not for sissies.
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