'The Face' Episode 9 Recap: Face To The Finish

By Michelle Collins


Picking up from last week… Tiana is saved! Naomi Campbell very generously allowed Tiana to rejoin the competition, even though we all know she’s probably the best there is this season. Anne and Tiana hug it out like their plane is going down.

Lydia doesn’t take the elimination so well…

Picking up from last week… Tiana is saved! Naomi Campbell very generously allowed Tiana to rejoin the competition, even though we all know she’s probably the best there is this season. Anne and Tiana hug it out like their plane is going down.

Lydia doesn’t take the elimination so well…

Picking up from last week… Tiana is saved! Naomi Campbell very generously allowed Tiana to rejoin the competition, even though we all know she’s probably the best there is this season. Anne and Tiana hug it out like their plane is going down.

Lydia doesn’t take the elimination so well…

Lydia demands to know why Amanda was sent home. Naomi, looking stunning in a snow white suit, is like “B.Please.” Lydia clearly thought Amanda had a better shot at returning over Ray, and in the end, Amanda was punished for it. To Ray’s credit, she remains stoic throughout Naomi’s obliteration of her skills, like a regular Madonna lyric:

I would have been rolling around on the floor at this point begging for Naomi to love me. Ray maintains her composure and promises to prove Naomi’s theory that she doesn’t belong there wrong.

And then there were only four faces: Ray, Tiana, Afiya and Felisa.

With only one week left, competition is fierce. Not only for who will win the chance of being The Face, but also for which supermodel team leader looks best in a blazer with nothing on underneath:

I’m giving it to Anne simply for that magical arm reveal.

Because we’ve already put our model contestants through a veritable gauntlet of challenges, there isn’t much else left to test them on… well… except for one thing. THEIR IMPROV SKILLS!

The remaining girls will take part in a Frederik Fekkai press conference promoting some of his latest products, specifically his Hair Fragrance Mist. They’ll write a one-minute speech about the mist and then answer any and all questions from the audience, which will include a slew of magazine editors and journalists, along with Perez Hilton. (That’s all that needs to be said about him.) Felisa’s face says it best:

Even Naomi admits that she’s afraid of him. What hell has this man wrought?

Nigel says the girls will be judged on brand knowledge, but let’s be real: They’ll be judged first on confidence and wit. The girl who strings a sentence together the most convincingly will walk away with the win and a ticket to finals.

The girls say goodbye to Nigel and head backstage to a little waiting room surrounded by Fekkai products. Little do they know… they are on hidden camera, being watched backstage by their mentor. Oh, this is some Maury Povich ess if I’ve ever seen it and I am COMPLETELY ON BOARD. (If you’ve never seen the Maury episodes where they send beautiful women backstage to pick up some girl’s man in order to prove he cheats, take your pulse because you have not lived.)

Things kick off to a hilarious start as Felisa falls asleep on the couch literally MINUTES after they get there.

Ray is not far behind, and also takes this “downtime” as a signal for this:

The mentors are beside themselves backstage. Anne says that she would be walking around coming up with ideas for the challenge, with Naomi agreeing. It’s a professional environment after all. What if Fekkai himself happened to stroll in looking for the Flavia machine and instead came across the face of his brand wearing a long sleeping hat curled up on the sofa? He’d probably be chill about it because he’s the best, but still.

Naomi’s jaw remained unhinged the entire time:

45 minutes have elapsed, Felisa’s REM stages now complete, and they’re all awake again wondering when someone was going to tell them what to do. Felisa rightly predicts what will happen next:

Tiana, sort of on to something, is like:

Afiya’s like:

Ray says the mentors are probably trying to upset them on purpose, and Felisa, bless her, utters a sentence that all but slams her model coffin shut:

Thus concluding this segment known as “My Favorite Phrase Ever Uttered On TV.” Let’s be real: “Well guess what, F**ktards? It’s working.” is right up there alongside some of the greatest things ever said on television. It should be put in the Smithsonian next to other iconic catchphrases like “Come on down!” and "Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!” (You bastards.) Please, put this somewhere in the Smithsonian:

Naomi nearly passes out. She decides to cut the experiment off before Felisa decides to let some more colorful language fly. Naomi enters the room and tells them they’ve been on hidden camera for the past hour. “F***tards?!” she says in shock. Felisa is already cueing up her favorite Boyz II Men song in her head.

The hidden camera party is over, and the girls realize it’s time to get serious. They break off to write their one-minute Fekkai speech. Anne tells Tiana to make her speech about why SHE wants to use the product. Once she does that, people will be on board. Anne is worried Tiana’s personality won’t shine through. Lydia works with Ray to have her speech be more personal, while Naomi is still reeling from hidden footage. This will be an interesting challenge.

Press conference time! And here to kick things off is a man who loves a good live audience:

Tiana is up first. Perez Hilton has got his stink-eyes cocked and ready to fire at any second.

Tiana is very natural and at easy. She also does this funny shoulder shake move when she wants to impart something a little saucy that is straight out of Beyonce's “Dreamgirls” handbook.

Frederik is immediately hooked. And I don’t think it’s only because Tiana could secretly be his long-lost illegitimate daughter:

Afiya is up next. She looks refreshed and ready for take-off:

Her speech had a familiar static rhythm to it, and while it was the opposite of natural, she sold it all with her classic Afiya Grin.

Felisa is next. Skin aglow, she proceeds to give a lovely and heartfelt speech singing the praises of every single Fekkai product, except the hair mist. One might even call this a:

She could tell something was off, and her speech suffered for it. She stumbled towards the end, and basically flubbed it.

Ray’s turn! Once again, Ray gets stuck with the worst outfit. Everyone is in cute dresses and she’s in this:

But that doesn’t stop Ray from being absolutely charming and adorable in front of the audience. Sure, she totally mispronounced the name of the product, but honestly it doesn’t even matter. She does great, and managed to call Fekkai the “Casanova of Hair,”  which gets a laugh. But seriously Ray:

Audience question time!! First up, fabulous editor of Elle.com Leah Chernikoff, who asks what we’ve all been thinking:

Solid first question. Tiana rattles off something about confidence. Leah follows up with “What if a guy you were with doesn’t like the smell?” Tiana gets all “Take Back The Night” on us and is like “I don’t wear Frederik Fekkai Hair Mists for ANY MAN.”

Ray takes her rapid-fire questions like a champ. One by one, she answers the audience questions with ease, including Perez’s (which asked if she was too young to represent a brand.) Ray was a straight up Martin Lawrence on Def Comedy Jam at this press conference. She quickly becomes Lydia’s favorite female comedian.

One girl asks what the girls thought of Fekkai when they first met him. Afiya pretty much sums up all of our feelings.

“He embraces everyone with warm arms.” Ohh girl them WARM FEKKAI ARMS. Someone hose me down with that hair mist.

Perez ends things with a brilliant Q:

Afiya assures him it’s NAY-omi. NAY-omi looks on like a proud mom:

Perez asks Felisa why she chose to give her speech about the other products and not the Hair Mist. Felisa responds accordingly.

When given a chance to redeem herself, and tell the crowd what her favorite Hair Mist scent is, Felisa’s like:

This just wasn’t her day.

Last question, via Perez: If Tiana could eliminate anyone else, who would she pick? Here’s my vote:

Anne tries to give her the “wrap it up” signal from the back, as in “Don’t you dare say a name,” but spinning your finger around in the air must be some Pixie sign language for the name Felisa, and that’s who Tiana pinpoints as the one she’d like to see go.

Felisa knows things are not looking good for her, as does the backdrop:

Judging time! The judges loved Ray, despite the fact that she’s only 18. They did feel, however, that Ray being so young meant she had a lack of elegance and grace seen in some of the more “mature” (20-year-old) contestants. They found Tiana to be “very poised, very Fekkai.” However she needs to loosen up a bit and show her personality more.

Over at Team Naomi, Afiya felt a little too robotic for them, but managed to loosen up by the Q&A portion.

When it comes to Felisa, the judges liked her look, but admitted that her brand knowledge was basically nonexistent, and as the press conference went on, her confidence went south.  The judges love her radiance and energy, but still manage to sneak in enough digs to basically secure Felisa’s ticket to the elimination room. Felisa had this to say:

Well, as you probably guessed, Team Anne won this week, with Tiana’s adorable personality winning over the judging panel.

This means that Ray from Team Lydia will go up for elimination against one of Naomi’s girls. But who, oh who, is Naomi going to pick? Shocker: It’s Felisa. Naomi is furious that Felisa has ruined her dream of having two girls in the finale. Felisa promises to fight for who she is in that room, and convince Anne to keep her around. I mean, if this face won’t do it…

Elimination time. Ray vs. Felisa. Anne accuses Ray of looking the same in every pic. Ray passionately tells her that she’s improving every day and that she’s not going to give up.

When Anne asks Felisa why she deserves to go to the finals, Felisa STRAIGHT UP is like “I don’t.” Anne tries to talk her off the ledge of whatever plan this is. “You had one bad day…” she tells her. “Don’t give up. Do you want to be in this competition?”


Anne says in so many words “Do you want me to eliminate you?” and Felisa says “Yes.”

A boss who wants to lose, but still. Felisa is not going to fight for it. She’s like WILEY OUT. Bye.

Ray cannot believe her luck.

Frankly, I think of Felisa would have fought, Anne would have kept her in. She seems more stunned than anyone that Felisa would just so easily give up the chance at a win. But sometimes, you just have to realize you’ve fought the good fight and things have come to an end. And in Felisa’s case, this is exactly what happened. Thankfully, in the words of George Costanza, she left on a high note:

Next week: THE FINALE!! We will find out who The Face is going to be!! Will it be Ray? Tiana? Afiya? Will Naomi end up winning it in a last second twist? Watch the finale on Oxygen next Wednesday to find out! What did you guys think of Felisa’s exit on the show? Discuss in the comments.

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