'The Face' Episode 3 Recap: The Wedding Gown Challenge

By Michelle Collins

Welcome back to the third episode of "The Face"! This week's episode is called "Falling From Grace," which sounds to me like the remaining model hopefuls will be falling headfirst down a flight of steps. AKA Amazing television. But thanks to Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars this Sunday, falling on stairs is no longer something to be ashamed of. We've come so far as a nation.

The models discuss what happened at elimination last week. Devyn notes that our favorite sexy golden retriever Stephanie has been sent to elimination twice already. Devyn tells the world that this isn't a competition to find A face, it's a competition to find THE Face. Well, in that case…

Devyn then states the obvious for Devyn in GIF form:

Team Coco's Marlee phones home to discover there are financial troubles plaguing her family. She's debating leaving the competition to go home and help. Fellow Team Coco-er Brittany may have overheard this unfortunate news because she quickly shares the heavy details of her past. She was raised by her mom and it was a struggle full of extreme poverty, drugs and violence, Brittany "saw things that no child ever should." Things like this?

The John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John Christmas Collabo is something no child should ever EVER see.

Brittany continues by saying she thinks this competition is her opportunity to do what she's meant to do. Sadly, this speech tells me Brittany will be lucky to last until the very end of this episode, but I'm a regular Cynic-cholas Cage.

Today's Test Shoot #3 is called THE QUICK CHANGE. Contestants will be timed as to how fast they can get an outfit on without ruining their hair and makeup. And any girl who has ever woken up in the bed of an unknown man in a different state knows EXACTLY what this challenge is about. (Not that I'm saying I have, but let's just say someone in Jersey still has one of my size 11 flats and I'm not happy about it.)

Karolina Kurkova is today's judge. The ladies will have to pick an outfit and an accessory from the Marshall's accessory wall, throw the outfit on as quickly as possible, and hit the runway. The model to get the best time will win, holy ess, a $5,000 shopping spree at Marshalls, or as the Australian Madeleine calls it, "Mahhhhshalls." You know how much stuff you can buy at Marshall's for $5,000?

Karolina demonstrates to the girls how it's done, by stripping down to her bra and undies in less than 4 seconds. It's like Supermarket Sweep levels of manicness as she runs backstage to change. 

She emerges in a dress and heels but sadly forgot to grab the giant inflatable bonus prize. She does all this in only 41 seconds.

Zi Lin is up first. She wishes the judges "Good morning… afternoon… evening…" before fading to black and white saying "Good Night, And Good Luck." Zi Lin comes in at 1:18, and she must stay in the room until someone, eventually Devyn, beats her time.

Team Coco's Marlee is up next. She tells us that because of the financial strain on her family, her head is not in the right place and she's having trouble focusing on the challenge. 

Stephanie does her best to beat Devyn's time, but it takes her almost a half an hour to get her look together. She takes the news of the loss well:


Our beloved Sandra speeds behind the screen, throws on a gown, and takes the phrase "The Big Reveal" a little too literally as one her breasts falls out on the catwalk. Or, as Sandra likes to say:

And just when Devyn thinks she's got this challenge all locked up… Margaux. Margaux beats Devyn's time by 2 seconds and wins the $5,000 Marshall's spree.

Or does she? Devyn claims that Margaux unfairly edged a corner, thereby cutting her time. What is this, Model Top Gear? The girl turned a corner for God's sake. Karolina rightfully calls out Devyn's weird protestation and the result stands.

Back at Model Tenement, Coco enters Marlee's room to play a round of Girl Talk. Marlee fills Coco in on the details of her financial situation and that she needs to leave. Coco seems heartbroken, but understands that it's a struggle, and lets Marlee go back into the universe like a single white dove at a really fancy Bat Mitzvah. Team Coco is now down to only 3 models.

On to the Campaign Challenge, and GUYS! IT'S A KLEINFELD FASHION SHOW!!! Kleinfelds! The dream wedding gownerie featured on "Say Yes To The Dress"! Please GOD Sweet J up in H tell me that my angel Randy Fenoli is rating the models. OK, so we don't get Randy, but in a close second we get Kleinfeld's Fashion Director Terry Hall:


Meanwhile, it becomes obvious that Coco is doing her best to get cast as Jon Hamm's new ladylove on the next season of "Mad Men":

Girl he ain't gonna treat you right but I don't blame you. I don't blame you.

In this Campaign Challenge, the girls will have to put on wedding gowns weighing anywhere from 10-30 pounds aka twice their body weight and walk up and down a harrowing flight of steps. Because what better way to showcase gigantic white dresses than throwing in a little "life or death situation" along the way.

Sandra practices walking down the steps in just a regular old outfit, immediately loses her balance, and has no choice but to breaks down in tears.

Look, my own grandmother used to have a fear of escalators that would cause her to just stand in front of an escalator for minutes, attempting to step onto it like someone about to enter double dutch ropes, so I'll give Sandie a pass on this.

We are treated to a fascinating montage of models walking down steps. Coco tells Brittany to keep her head up, and if she trusts that the next step is there, just step forward and it will be there. Alas, not so for Margaux:


Stephanie kicks off the show and emerges in a DREAM gown. She looks gorgeous and surprisingly does not fall headfirst down the steps. (I am in the process of buying this gown now even if only to use it as a duvet. It must be Mine-felds.) Coco looks like she's going to cry from joy almost like when Koko the gorilla got her 40th birthday cake.

(Ed. Note: I am making it my mission to link to a new Coco/Koko comparison video each episode. You can mail all your thank you gift baskets to Koko directly.)

Brittany is next, and has to wear a black wedding gown, which I'm sure is totally not a foreboding Dress of Doom because I'm a smart TV watcher. She keeps doing this weird pouty thing with her mouth that I think is an attempt to look sexy but it's more of an "I think something is wrong with this wine" face.

Margaux makes it down the steps OK, but trips on the way back up and the GASP FROM THE CROWD IS DEAFENING.

Team Karolina is next. Ebony is neither here nor there, but decides to hold the railing on the way up and the judges are having none of it because where's the danger?


Devyn is next, and her dress seems to be fairly simple and easy to walk in. It's light and flowy and hits her at the ankle. Still, she works it:

Team Naomi is up, and Jocelyn sports another stunning gown from Pnina Tornei. And despite Sandra's earlier panic attack, she nails it in a stunning and very heavy-looking dress.

Zi Lin is up next in a 28 pound gown that's looking very ...

Jury time! Terry Hall runs through the list of girls, but can't seem to remember who Brittany is. "I need to refresh my memory with Brittany one second…"

He says Margaux has no expression but after she fell it broke the ice. He has a point – she looked softer and perhaps slightly embarrassed but it worked for her. Perhaps she should fall down a flight of stairs before every runway show.

And the winner of the Campaign Challenge... is once again Team Naomi. Nigel shares the good news with the girls. Naomi celebrates by doing The Elaine:

Over in the loser rooms, Team Coco's Brittany is certain Margaux will be the chosen one as she fell on the steps, while Margaux continues to prove that she is the anti-ugly crier

But Margaux's angel tears are for naught as Coco selects Brittany to go to the elimination room, along with Team Karolina's Ebony, who didn't work the train of her dress enough.

ELIMINATION TIME. Naomi puts on her best HAL voice to ask Ebony why this is such an emotional time for her. She explains that she's raising two kids on her own and that life is tough. Naomi responds with an almost maternal warmth:

Brittany also plays the personal card – "I know you and I haven't gotten a chance to get to know each other, but what I have come from is hell."

Naomi calls both of them out on their groveling. "Nobody is your friend in a competition. No one." Pause to give Naomi time to unfriend me on FB. She continues with this brilliant monologue:

"I did not appear on the first September issue of Anna Wintour's American Vogue by going in front of Anna Wintour and saying to her ‘This has been my life story, I've never met my father.' No she doesn't want to hear it. We've all got stories, everyone in the world has different stories. Both of you are trying to play on my heart strings."

And brittle heart strings aside, Naomi has no choice but to eliminate Brittany, based solely on the fact that Terry Hall didn't remember her. Team Coco began the episode with all four of her girls, and is now down to a lonely two.

Pause for depressing make-up wiping off goodbye GIF:

Coco speculates that Naomi may have eliminated Brittany based on strategy, to leave Coco with only two girls left on her team. I hate speculating but… *touches nose with a knowing look*

Next week the girls are dancing! And Naomi gets so fed up with her team she sends all of them home.*

*Maybe. Watch and find out.

What did you guys think of the elimination? Was it fair, or is the cover girl of the first September issue of Anna Wintour's American Vogue just playing the game? Discuss in the comments!

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