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‘The Face’ episode 1 recap – strategy is everything

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Oxygen’s modeling competition, “The Face” is back for a second season, with 12 new modelestents and two new supermodel mentors. Naomi Campbell returns as the executive producer and one of the three mentors, and new to this season is Anne V and Lydia Hearst round out the mentors.

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This season, the winner of “The Face” will receive will receive an ultimate grand prize of becoming a spokesperson and ambassador for a 2014 national ad campaign. They will also get an exclusive story in Elle magazine.

The 12 finalists are gathered in New York, where they are taken to Bryant Park, the site of New York’s fashion week. Host Nigel Barker welcomes the girls to the competition, and tells them it’s time for their first challenge, which based on their location in Bryant Park, will be a runway challenge.

In pops some techs, who set up a pop-up runway, and the girls will have to walk for the judges. The catch is, they will have to do so in their underwear. Oh…need I mention, there is also a huge crowd of people watching the event? Many of them will cell phones, eager to capture the scantily clad girls strutting their stuff on the runway.

Each girl had her turn to walk, and the mentors made notes of their favorites, and least favorites, in the case of Naomi, who is queen of the runway, so she definitely knows what she likes.

Back at the studio, the three supermodels get together and prepare to choose their teams. One by one the girls are brought in, and if one of the supermodels wants them on her team, she raises her book. If more than one supermodel wants a girl, it’s up to the girl to decide which team she wants to be on.

Russian model hopeful Kira Dikhtyar claims to the other girls in the waiting room that she wants to be on Anne V’s team, as Anne is also Russian. But, when it was her turn before the supermodels, both Anne and Naomi held up their books for her, and Kira did an about face and joined Team Naomi instead.

After each mentor had built her team of four girls, it was time for the first campaign. The sponsor of the campaign was Juicy Couture, and the teams would each have to choose clothes from the brand and create a window ad with the theme of “Girls’ Night Out,” holding their poses for one minute as Matt Ellenburger of Juicy Couture stood outside on the street and determined which team would win the campaign.

All three teams had some problems coming up with concepts, but Naomi’s team was the biggest mess. Lydia tried to talk to her fellow team members about a concept, but they kept shooting her down. When Naomi arrived to see how they were doing, they had to come up with an idea on the fly, so they didn’t look totally incompetent.

After all three teams had their chance to pose in the window, it looked like perhaps Lydia’s team had the strongest look. Matt liked three of the four girls’ poses, but he didn’t “get” the fourth girl holding the perfume bottle behind her back. Unfortunately for that girl, this suggestion was made by Lydia herself, and after hearing the feedback from Matt, Lydia looked chastised for her idea, although she didn’t cop up to it being her idea.

In the end, surprisingly, Matt picked Naomi’s “hot mess” team, as he liked their concept of snapping a “selfie” as a good representation of “Girls Night Out.” Naomi looked shocked when he said her team won, and she even had to ask him to repeat himself.

So, Naomi’s team is safe, and Anne V and Lydia each have to choose one member of their team to be up for elimination.

The way the elimination works on “The Face,” is that the winning supermodel mentor meets with the two girls from the other teams and decides their fate.

In deciding who to send for elimination, Lydia chose Ray. The actual weakest member, according to the Matt Ellenburger’s comments was Allison, but Lydia didn’t feel it was fair to send her to elimination when she had told her to hold the perfume bottle. On Anne V’s team, Anne also didn’t pick her weakest model, who had a weird smile, according to Matt. She chose to send one of her strongest models, Isabelle, whom Naomi had wanted on her team to begin with.

So… would Naomi choose to eliminate the girl she thought was a strong contender, or a weaker model with less experience? If you watched last season, you know that Naomi also is strategic in her decisions, so of course, Ray was allowed to stay in the competition, and the fierce Isabelle was sent packing. I guess Anne V did not watch last season, and Isabelle paid the price.

The Face: Season 2 related links

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