Currently I am sitting in my pyjamas watching a recording of The Face USA. It has been almost a year and we are finally getting it on British TV. We did however get a UK version but out of all the girls on it I didn’t see any who looked like they could become a model; but who am I to judge? Naomi knows best. To me, The Face is just Naomi Campbell’s version of Next Top Model but it seems a little more credible. I mean her judges, Coco Rocha and Karolina Kurkova, are worthy judges and successful models in their own rights as opposed to Tyra Banks’ strange mash up of a judging panel.
We are on week 5 of the USA one now and I still can’t see anybody model worthy. However, it is just a reality tv show. We should never forget that. Whilst the aim of the show is to find the next big face of modelling, you know that nothing will come of it. As most people know by now, the one of the finalists of the USA version was spotted with Naomi Campbell’s ex boyfriend and promptly dropped from her modelling contract.
Despite this, I am here to argue why The Face is better and more relevant than ANTM. While Tyra provided great entertainment to me over the years of my childhood, it all got too unrealistic. No real models were produced; the tasks got sillier and sillier; the judges got less credible; Tyra got crazier. It was all too much.
What is different about The Face and sets it in a whole other league is a few key points:
1 – The clients are real, high profile clients and the prize has stayed consistent
On The Face we have seen the girls working with i-D magazine, Longchamp, W magazine, Ulta & Maxfactor. The prizes are real. It’s not like on ANTM where upon winning a test you are rewarded with a walking lesson with J. Alexander. Yes ANTM used to offer a modelling contract with Elite or IMG or Wilhelmina and a Cover Girl contract and in one series that I can remember, even an editorial in Vogue Italia. In a recent series the winner became the face of a ANTM perfume and a spread in Nylon as opposed to the more prestigious prizes previously offered. On The Face, although there isn’t a guaranteed contract at the end, the models make connections. If you are Naomi’s favourite you know she could set you up with a contract just like that. The models become the face of a cosmetics company hence the name. In the first US series, ULTA Beauty; in the first UK series, Max Factor.
2 – The judges are of a much better standard than ANTM
This may be a little unfair to say as ANTM used to have some wonderful judges (Janice Dickinson, Twiggy, Kimora) some of who were knowledgeable and true fashion veterans and others who provided entertainment. However, Tyra has since fired all her known and loved judges (ie. Nigel Barker, “noted fashion photographer”, who has since jumped ship to present The Face) and replaced them. Now there is Kelly Cultrone who I struggle to believe has time to run her business and do any real work with the amount of reality tv she does; anyone remember The City? Rob Evans, who is reportedly Tyra’s boyfriend, is another judge who I’m not too sure why they are there. Last but not least, I have heard that blogger Bryanboy has some involvement with the show.
What sets The Face apart is that the judges are all huge models in their own right. They have industry experience and knowledge which is so valuable for the contestants. The judges are mentors. They are there to help train up the contestants to be working models unlike on ANTM where they are left on shoots without direction from anybody besides the photographers. Whilst I am not a Coco fan, I can respect her as a judge. Arguably one of the most famous models of the 2000’s and known for her posing, there is not many models who could be a better teacher for the girls. Karolina Kurkova is a former Victoria’s Secret Angel and can teach the girls how to do underwear, how to do commercial, the lot.
3 – In a battle between Naomi versus Tyra, Naomi always triumphs
There is no battle really. They are in different leagues. Naomi is an original supermodel and world famous. Tyra, while a successful model in her day, has become a celebrity. She left fashion a long time ago. After her Victoria’s Secret contract ran out and fashion work dried up, Tyra became a full time personality hosting her talk show and ANTM. Naomi, however, never really bowed down and out. She was always a prominent figure in the industry. For a while she was more famous for her well known diva personality and court trips than her work but she remained important in fashion. Tyra did not.
There has been a long standing rivalry between the pair but Naomi always comes out on top.