The Face Review: A Mentor’s Fierceness Stirs up Stunning Elimination in ‘Male Bonding’

THE FACE -- "Male Bonding" Episode 207 -- Pictured: Sharon and Tiana from Team Anne smoldering on set of this week's campaign -- (Photo by: Steve Fenn/Oxygen)

On last Wednesday’s episode of The Face, “Just One of the Boys”, the teams of Anne V, Lydia Hearst and Naomi Campbell had to do a campaign for Elle magazine where they would gender bend and dress up as men.  While it was a sweet victory for Naomi’s team, who lost two previous campaigns, it was a big blowing loss for Anne’s team, who lost their winning streak and Lydia’s team who had yet to win any challenges throughout the competition.

In the elimination, Naomi faced both Amanda Gullickson and Khadisha Gaye with the tough decision of sending one back to her team and the other home.  Despite loving Khadisha from the very beginning, Naomi was disappointed with the lack of drive in wanting to stay in the competition.  As for Amanda, she was stunned to learn just how easily she was willing to admit wanting to be on a team other than Lydia’s.  In the end, it was Khadisha who was sent home.

Naomi Gives Lydia the 4-1-1

After telling each losing mentor her reasons for sending one girl home, while giving the other another chance, Naomi took Lydia aside in her room to discuss her lack of drive as a mentor.  Lydia insisted that she had fight in her, but Naomi said that if that were the case, why would Amanda openly admit to her that she’d love to be on another team?  Once alone with her team, she told Amanda and Rachel (Ray) Clanton that if they had any concerns that it would be best if they would come to her.

I personally think that Lydia is the type of mentor that doesn’t like crushing feelings, but she herself said that modeling is a tough business; one day you’re in, the next you’re out and someone is taking your place.  I think she should have toughened up way before the sixth loss on her team.  I love Ray, who to me is the underdog in the group.  As for Amanda, I was a bit turned off watching her in last week’s episode when she rolled her eyes when Naomi was giving kind words to an eliminated Khadisha.  I found it to be poor behavior.  But moving along, let’s talk up the sexy campaign these ladies had in store for them.

The Models Put the S in Sexy for Fleur Du Mal Challenge

Our dashing host, the ever charming Nigel Barker presented the remaining six of their newest challenge.  They would be posing for a campaign with Fleur Du Mal lingerie. The ladies met Jennifer Zuccarini the founder and owner of the company, who shared that she was looking for models that were comfortable in their skin and who could create both a physical and emotional connection that was both powerful and intense.

The campaign itself would be shot in a gritty industrial site.  I thought it was funny that an industrial site would have an instant bathtub to get down and sexy in.  Adding to that gritty site, would be the assistance of two smoking hot New York male models to get the girls temperatures rising to bring out the sexy in them.  Amanda, in her brief confessional, admitted that this was right up her alley.

Nigel gave them the Top 3 Elements on what Jennifer and he were looking for in the campaign:

  1. Connection: The models must have a connection with their male model in the shoot
  2. Confidence: Being fully comfortable with their body in lingerie
  3. Sexiness: Must be able to show off the lingerie pieces off in a sexy manner

The winning team of the challenge will get a full on shopping spree with Fleur Du Mal and a custom made silk chiffon lingerie.  They also would have their winning photograph featured on the Fleur Du Mal website.

Who Brought the Sexy?

I can’t blame Lydia for being fed up with not getting a win in the competition, therefore I was impressed with her giving her girls some tough love in an effort to put some fire in her girls. As for Sharon Gallardo, I was so dismayed to see that she was struggling with the challenge most of all.  I don’t know if it was just uncertainty of how to pose or if she was uneasy with posing with the male model, but she fell flat. Her teammate, Tiana Zarlin, on the other hand was giving way too much sex in some of her poses, so much so where it threw off their shots.

Naomi had a great technique for her girls, Afiya Bennett and Felisa Wiley.  She switched their roles.  Afiya is automatically a stronger contestant who can bring out intensity, while Felisa is more of a demure and sweet-faced model.  Naomi gave Felisa the task of being the one that brought on the intensity, while Afiya was to switch into a more submissive role with her male model. Felisa, personally isn’t the outright sexy girl, so I could see how she struggled to catch on in some of the photographs.

Lastly it was Lydia’s team on the set.  At the start, Ray looked so scared and fearful.  I thought it was a mixture of not being comfortable with the male partner but I also thought it was a hint of fear of what Lydia would do if they didn’t step up their game.  Lydia’s different approach this time out gradually paid off because Ray gradually eased up and Amanda did a great job at being sexy without being overly sexy (something she had been critiqued in the past for).

After their photo shoot was complete, it was the mentors who met up with Nigel and Jennifer to find out who would take the win for the Fleur Du Mal competition.  Jennifer instantly loved Team Lydia’s photographs.  She pointed out that they were the most connected as a whole, and gave the pictures a passive yet strong feel all at the same time.  Team Anne had some good shots but Sharon’s lack of confidence and the lack of an emotional connection hurt them.  Lastly, Team Naomi was told that while Afiya was one of the strongest and stood out, the photo looked more like two separate photos.

Based on the Top 3 Elements, Jennifer felt that Team Lydia stood out and therefore would be the winners of the challenge.  Unfortunately for both Anne and Naomi, one of their models would have to go up for elimination and go to the elimination room to face Lydia.

Lydia Plays Hardball in Stunning Elimination

While Anne sadly put Sharon up for elimination, Naomi put her weakest, Felisa up to face the music.  In the elimination room, Lydia wanted to know why each girl should stay over the other.  Felisa, who has been in the elimination room before, stated that she should stay to become the winner because she knows how to learn how to do each challenge that is given to her.   No offense to Felisa but she’s way too cutesy and too meek for some of the challenges that have been given.  Sharon, on the other hand, is one of the strongest competitors in the competition, she simply had a challenge that was very difficult for her to pull off.  When Lydia said that she had a blasé attitude, I whole-heartedly disagreed with her.  She didn’t come off cocky, she gave her reasons as to why she should stay.  I’d take that over waterworks any day because Felisa couldn’t even muster up a legitimate reason for remaining.

Lydia did the one thing I thought she wouldn’t do: she got rid of one of the strongest competitors on the show.  She got rid of Sharon, someone she clearly and admittedly felt threatened by and kept the girl who had yet to truly prove herself in the challenges.  I’m putting it out there, and it’s just my thoughts on it all.  I think Lydia is a bit fearful of Naomi.  I would be too; the woman is fierce and she’s a natural competitor.   It may have been a bold and wise move on Lydia’s part but she has to kill the next challenge in order to keep her girls in the running; and after losing six challenges in a row, I don’t see how that can be done.

On Next Wednesday’s The Face

In episode “Diamonds Are a Model’s Best Friend”, Anne and Lydia have it out about Lydia’s decision to send home Anne’s strongest model.   The models are given the challenge of shooting a commercial for jewelry by Chopard while wearing 10 inch high heels and body hugging dresses by fashion designer Iris Van Herpen.  Also, Naomi sets Afiya straight when the two don’t agree with one another during the challenge.

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