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'The Face': Coco Rocha on Timing and Tumbles

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Courtesy Coco Rocha

Meet supermodel (and star of ‘The Face’) Coco Rocha, who’s sharing her experience filming the high-stakes modeling competition on Oxygen. Rocha, Karolina Kurkova and Naomi Campbell each select four girls to compete on their team, with losing teams submitting models for elimination each week. In her third blog, Rocha reveals her team’s latest trials and gives solid advice to wannabe models. 

This week’s episode of The Face starts out with a quick-change challenge. Runway models often have two or more looks in a show, leaving us mere seconds backstage to throw on the next look and walk the runway. The girls are all done up in heavy red lipstick and slicked hair — the perfect look to be totally messed up in a hasty change. Karolina teaches the challenge and sets the bar mighty high by changing into a runway look in just 41 seconds.

Timing Is Everything: Team Naomi’s Zi Lin goes first with a time of 1:18, which she says is not good enough for her. Aside from being a magnificent beauty, Zi Lin is refreshingly humble in this competition — something some of the other girls could definitely learn from. Devyn of Team Karolina beats her time with 1:09, but Margaux (Team Coco) beats her by two seconds and wins a $5,000 shopping spree. Devyn complains that it isn’t fair because Margaux “wasn’t completely composed,” which a slo-mo recap proves to be false. Karolina is not impressed with her teammate’s poor sportsmanship and lets us all know it.

A Surprise Move: On a Sunday afternoon when we aren’t shooting, I’m called in unexpectedly to see my girl Marlee. She tells me that her family is facing financial difficulties back home and she needs to leave the competition. This comes as a total shock to me but at the end of the day family always comes first, so I completely understand and respect Marlee’s choice to leave.

Gowns Down!: The client this week is Kleinfeld Bridal of Say Yes to the Dress fame. The girls are to navigate a dramatic staircase in their epic dresses, some of which weigh upwards of 30 lbs. Although my Stephanie is the only one who has never done runway before, Margaux takes the first spill during rehearsal. Naomi has doubts about Jocelyn’s runway ability, but it’s Sandra who almost falls headfirst. Karolina instructs her team very well, though I am tempted to remind her that she called me “bossy” for doing that last week!

When it comes to the actual challenge, Stephanie is amazing and I can’t be more proud of my baby model-in-training. The client loves her, the crowd loves her. Even Naomi is impressed! Unfortunately Margaux takes another big fall, this time in front of the client and a live audience. Overall it was not a strong performance from Team Coco and I’m feeling nervous; there were a few minor missteps on Karolina’s team, but no epic Jennifer Lawrence-worthy tumbles like Margaux’s. Team Naomi’s Zi Lin is the true runway star, gliding down the stairs in a giant gown that even Naomi admitted she couldn’t handle. Way to go Zi Lin!

Memory Fails: The audience vote reveals that Team Naomi wins the challenge, thanks in no small part to Zi Lin’s magnificent walk. The client tells me he likes two of my girls (including clumsy Margaux), but can’t remember Brittany. In the end I forgive Margaux’s fall (all runway girls have fallen) and send Brittany to elimination for not making an impression. When you’re trying to get a job over plenty of other beautiful models you want to be the one to stand out. Saying you were “un-memorable” is akin to the kiss of death.

Both Ebony (Team Karolina) and Brittany plead their cases before Naomi, who pulls a McKayla Maroney and lets us know she is not impressed. She says they are both trying to play on her heartstrings and that’s a song she does not want to hear. Naomi chooses Ebony over Brittany, resulting in Team Coco going from four girls to two in a single episode. Talk about getting kicked when you’re down!

Brittany accepts Naomi’s decision and is realistic about the fact that we all face rejection sometime in our careers. I applaud Brittany’s drive and determination, and I know she will continue to do well long after this season’s finale.

–Coco Rocha

Tell us: Did you watch last night? Did the right girl go home?