SPOILER ALERT!! - My Episode 4 recap for People Magazine
(Photo by Ben Cope of 7 Artist Management)
Vogue! Let Your Body Move to the Music: When I shot my new Longchamp campaign film a few months back, they assigned Salim Gauwloos, a.k.a. SLAM, to teach me disco dancing. A few weeks later I brought him to The Face to help me teach this week’s challenge – a test shoot all about movement and dance.
Having a dance background is not a prerequisite in modeling, but it certainly helps; ten years ago I was discovered at an Irish dance competition, and one of my early breakout moments was doing an Irish jig down Jean Paul Gaultier’s runway. Since then dance has been an integral part of the way I model and I treat every job as a performance.
Salim, best known as one of Madonna’s iconic dancers in videos like ‘Vogue’, teaches the girls a simple routine and we set up a photoshoot to judge them on control, timing and expression. I don’t care if they can dance – I want these girls to move. A lack of experience makes some girls nervous, and Devyn (Team Karolina) stops mid-shoot and walks off set a few times because she can’t keep up with the other girls.
Ebony, who vowed to never step foot in the elimination room again last week, has some beautiful moves. Contrary to that, Jocelyn (Team Naomi) says she’s really confident because she “used to dance.” I guess that dance was the ‘Macarena’ circa 1994 because that seems to be her go-to pose. Margaux (Team Coco) second-guesses herself and completely loses focus, but Stephanie impresses everyone. Not only was she the only one who remembered all the steps, but she did so gracefully. Despite all this, in the end I give Ebony the win.
“Wicked Witch” Is a Test: The campaign this week is to create a look book for Marshall’s to be judged by celebrity stylist Jen Rade. My team picks outfits before I arrive, but Team Karolina has a conflict because Devyn doesn’t want to be cute or girly. Again, Karolina reminds her girls that a model must be all things to all people.
The girls of Team Naomi are surprisingly all getting along for the minute and pick out their looks. The peace is broken, however, when Naomi comes in saying, “I think it would be nice for you to wear something completely opposite to what you’re wearing.” I guess it was too much to expect all of Team Naomi to agree for once. Jocelyn is irritated and tells Naomi that she’s not going to show her the poses in advance. The world gasps.
Jen, the self-professed “wicked witch of wardrobe” judges Karolina’s team with some sense of control, but when it comes to Team Coco she is irrationally aggressive from the minute we walk in. We are treated to her non-stop stream of mean-spirited and hurtful comments, which are hugely demoralizing, especially for Stephanie who has no modeling experience. If I ever had a stylist like this on a shoot, I’d walk. How can you get a good performance from a model who’s being trashed off-camera?
Despite the harsh beginning, we do pretty well with the look book. Team Naomi gets much better treatment from Jen – I guess she got all the aggression out of her system on us.
In the end Jen announces that, for the third time in a row, Team Naomi wins. They performed adequately with their look book, and I give them credit considering Jocelyn’s uprising. Despite winning, the team starts fighting again and Naomi has to break up the mess herself for the tenth time.
Low Moment: Since we’ve lost every challenge so far, I’m starting to doubt myself as a mentor. I choose Stephanie to go into elimination because I know Naomi sees Margaux as her main threat and Stephanie is much less likely to get sent home. My decision pays off; Naomi sends Madeline (Team Karolina) home and tells Karolina that she did so because Madeline’s “not memorable.”
However, in a private interview, she tells the viewers that her decision to keep Stephanie was “because she was the weaker of the two girls.” Well, which one is it? One thing we can be sure of – Naomi is in it to win it.