When I was at university my friends and I were completely addicted to America’s Next Top Model. With its mix of reality TV clashes, witty editing and genuinely great creative concepts and photo shoots, it was TV gold.
Over 19 seasons and many judging panel line ups, the format has inevitably become a little tired. Tyra Banks, bless her, is still over-emotional drag queen heaven, but the contestants are a little too knowing, the branding is a little too brazen and the budget doesn’t seem to be as big. Also, I hate new judge ‘PR maven Kelly Cutrone’ almost as much as I hate the word ‘maven’.
Anyway, enter The Face. Tyra’s sometime nemesis Naomi Campbell has reinvented the modelling reality show, and she’s done it with flair. Three supermodel judge/mentors pick four wannabes each and pit them against each other individually and in teams. There’s more of a beauty focus than ANTM as the prize is to be the face of a brand, and the production is much slicker and less hyperbolic than its shrieking big sister. Yes, the drama is a little staged and the challenges are more practical and less off-the-wall, but the format works.
I did watch series 1 of The Face UK, but the really addictive one is the US version. I may have binged on the entire first series via Sky On Demand in three days (in my defence, I was sofa-bound with tonsillitis).
Four addictive things about The Face USA:
– Naomi Campbell’s drag queen-esque mannerisms and transatlantic accent. Honey, don’t even start on my girls.
– Mentor Coco Rocha’s mesmerising cartoon-skeleton-meets-silent-movie-star-meets-goofy-tween face. She has the most captivating bone structure I’ve ever seen.
– The amount of bright, popping lip colours in series 1. I was ready to go out and buy every damn shade of bold matte lip colour afterwards.
– Crucially, it’s a tight competition and the right girl wins. No cushions need to be thrown at the TV in the final. Satisfying.
Get your fix:
The Face USA, available on Sky box sets.