Welcome back to the Official Recap for the Second Annual Season of Naomi Campbell's The Face! When we last left you, Kira, Sochi's official entrant into this competition, left the Model Loft in a river of tears after being eliminated by Anne V. Girl did not take the news well.
And here we are again, where last week left off, in the Model Loft, where Ray has rejoined her girls on Team Lydia to a little pomp and a hint of circumstance. Lydia Hearst is happy to have Ray back but is also like:
Naomi reenters the room, enraged. Anne eliminated Kira over Ray, the 19-year-old Denny's waitress who made a right turn in Albuquerque and somehow ended up on a modeling show. Anne V. (who by the way is in a tunic, socks and no pants aka "Me Accepting Domino’s Delivery") defends her decision by saying that Ray fought to stay in the competition. But really, it's a COMPETITION. Anne tells Naomi as much, and the mood in the room is somewhere in between "tense" and "is anyone going to mention that she's not wearing pants?"
New challenge!! Nigel Barker tells us that from this point forward, there are no more test shoots. We are in Campaign Challenge land ‘til the end. And this week, we’re going to see which of our contestants would make the best Brand Ambassador for bracelet company Alex and Ani!! Which is code for “which contestant can read and memorize 12-15 words in a row and deliver them like professional actresses?” The answer: Mmmm not many.
Giovanni Feroce, the CEO of Alex and Ani, is there to spread the bracelet's message of love, peace and positive energy.
Alex and Ani is not just a bracelet company. It's called a Lifestyle Brand for a reason. Positive energy through bracelets. It's a little hard for me to wrap my brain around this, but you should also know that I had to walk out of a yoga class a few weeks ago because it was too hard for me, physically and emotionally.
Each team will have to act in a 30-second commercial, which they will also write themselves. Nice twist. They’ll each get 3 hours to write their script, get makeup and hair, and memorize their lines before shooting their commercial in a single, seamless take.
The ladies all head up to the gorgeous roof deck to crank out their commercials, including opening books, reading, and writing things down. As you can imagine, this isn’t easy for all of the models. Especially Alana, who is bumbling a bit while reading out loud.
Felisa is worried.
Khadisha is from Senegal and also has a thick accent. She may say she's worried about the challenge, but you can tell by her face:
The mentors head upstairs to guide their teams, and actually make some brilliant edits. Especially Anne V., who smartly edits the copy down to a few bold sentences that would be almost impossible for her girls to forget. ("I'm Michelle from Miami and this is my charm!" – Anne V. writing my headstone.) Throw in some Instagram friendly handhearts and peace signs, and Anne V. has pretty much got this thing locked down.
Lydia’s team is up first, with Allison leading the pack. Allison is a classic Seinfeld two-face: In the one-on-one interview, I always feel like she's a 12-year-old with a terrible cold. And yet, with a little makeup and preening, she is a different, gorgeous human being.
She kicks off the challenge with all the charm of a sexed-up version of Rosie from The Jetsons. That is to say, she sounds like my new favorite band, "Promiscuous Robot." And what a coincidence, look who is sitting not two inches behind the girl but opposing judges Anne V. and Naomi! Who have no problem critiquing her at a volume she could easily overhear.
The criticisms from the world's top-earning models must have gotten to her for some reason. ... "I live each day to the fullest, followinginnoonesfootsteps, I create my own bath." This is actually what the girl said. She said she creates her own bath. Naomi and Anne begin fantasizing about sending Allison to the elimination room, loud enough that you could see the blood drain out of Allison's face.
Needless to say, if I were Allison I probably would have broken down in sobs with only my peace sign charm bracelet to wipe away the tears. So good for her for not doing that.
Time is nearly out for Lydia, and her team got a couple of takes in before it all went to hell. Next up is Team Naomi. Afiya kicks off the ad, and has the sad task of trying to pronounce the name of Alex and Ani CEO Carolyn Rafaelian. I am on Afiya's side here. That is a difficult name to pronounce. It reminds me of the scene in Coming to Americawhere Mr. McDowell is meeting Akeem’s mom. “My name's Aoleon.” And the Dad is like “Aoliien… Aaalien.”
Poor Afiya keeps getting caught up on Rafaelian, and it is basically making Naomi go mad. It doesn't help that the script was written in Wing Dings.
Team Naomi’s ad is also roughly 8,000 words long, which will be a challenge to cram it all in. To accomplish this, the girls turn to a new mentor… this guy:
Take after take, Team Naomi keeps making mistakes. Afiya is not the only one to blame either. Felisa stumbles on her lines a few times, although overall she's my favorite on the show. And Alana (who says she's from Texas but she must mean the county of Texas near Moscow, as she has a weird Eastern European accent) can barely string a sentence together.
Naomi is feeling like this about now:
Still, they manage to squeeze in one decent take while Naomi squeezed her head in between a vice of disappointment.
Team Anne is in a very solid place, and this challenge was no different. Tiana is the girl to beat at this point, and she brings an Amelie-ish pixie charm to everything she touches.
Anne was calm and collected and it felt like no time before her team was throwing Instagram hearts at the screen and they were through.
Time to judge! Giovanni joined Nigel and the judges to watch playback of the ads. Lydia’s commercial is actually not bad, the writing is decent, and the performances are only mediocre, but, hey, I could understand every word they were saying. Giovanni was lukewarm. Anne's team had the energy, but to me it felt a bit rushed and manic. Team Naomi actually pulled it off for the most part, but unfortunately Afiya's mispronunciation of the designer's name meant she was out of the running for the win. Giovanni’s face said it all really:
Cutting to the chase: Anne V. takes the win. Nigel Barker and the mentors head over to break the news to the models before traveling to a 50 Shades of Grey: Liveaudition:
Lydia spares Ray from the elimination room, and instead picks Allison, the right choice. Many viewers will think Naomi should have picked Afiya for flubbing the name of the CEO, but she decides to send Alana to the wolves instead. (Wolf V., that is.) Alana feels like Naomi is playing favorites, and yeah, she probably is.
Compared to last week, this week's elimination was a breeze. What made things slightly more difficult for Anne is that these girls looked nearly identical:
And in the end, Anne picks Alana from Team Naomi to go home.
Naomi is down to only two girls now. Next week will be interesting. Like how the Game of Thrones Red Wedding was interesting. See you back here.