Naomi Obsession: 'Model Warfare'
By Julien Sauvalle
Photo: Walter Sassard for Oxygen Media
Are you all caught up on The Face? I'm only asking because it keeps getting better, and last week I think I overdosed on Naomi-induced excitment and recapped the wrong episode. Let's get up to speed together.
In the first two real episodes of the show, things get serious for the final 12 girls and the coaches: from the start, the stakes are high. For their first main challenge, team Coco (the quirky girls), team Karolina (the single moms) and team Naomi (the exotic beauties) are invited to pose for a spread in W magazine. Behind the lens is no other than the legendary Patrick Demarchelier. Now, that's a big slap in the face for America's Next Top Model: Tyra had to wait 15 cycles to get Demarchelier on her show; I'm pretty sure that all Naomi had to do was send a text.
Moving on. The challenge is the first opportunity to witness Naomi's coaching method: tough love and discipline. We can't blame her for being strict: two of her girls barely speak English, and one of them (her n°1 fan, Sandra) is a complete nut case. Demarchelier's broken English doesn't help the situation: team Naomi struggles through the photo shoot and ends up in the bottom with team Coco. Two girls have to be put up for elimination, designated by their own coach. Coco nominates Stephanie, the debutante, and Naomi choses Alexandra, the Eastern European redhead. The final decision belongs to the coach of the winning team, Karolina. Drumrolls: She decides to kick Alexandra out.
Now, in a normal ANTM episode, we wish the girl farewell and things end there. But this is Naomi Campbell. When she finds out that one of her girls is eliminated, shit gets real. Shocked by Karolina's decision to get rid of Alexandra, Naomi locks herself in another room and refuses to talk to the cameraman — rage outbuuuurst! She is not happy. A shaky Karolina tries to make it up to Naomi, who sends her away with an icey "Do not talk to me right now. Get out." When Naomi finally re-emerges, she confronts Karolina ("It's game on from now on") before storming out of the apartment, pounding the floor in her Proenza Schouler platforms. OMG, I could not wait to see what would happen next!
Last night's episode was the story of Naomi's revenge. Team Karolina seemed to have it in the bag when it was announced that the girls had to compete in a video shoot for Cosabella lingerie. The challenge hit right into the show's overweight-middle-aged-straight-man demographic: between the pillow fights in lace push-up bras and the cheesy music, we were two seconds away from pay-per-view porn.
Twist in the plot: Team Naomi wins the challenge despite a complete lack of chemistry between her girls. If it were up to me, I would have given Naomi the win right when she walked onto the set wearing that Versace strapped-up dress. Dayum!
Naomi's wraps up her vendetta. Given the choice between Kristy from Karolina's team or Stephanie from team Coco, she choses to send home Kristy - who, by the way, thought she deserved to be there only because she's 5'11'' and painfully skinny. Bye, girl! Don't you know; Naomi always wins.