PEOPLE StyleWatch guest blogger Coco Rocha dishes on all the drama on her modeling competition

By Alex Apatoff
February 13, 2013 06:43 PM

Anthony Behar/Sipa

Meet supermodel (and star of ‘The Face’) Coco Rocha, who’s joining us again to blog about her experience filming the high-stakes modeling competition on Oxygen. Supermodels 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 first blog, Rocha tells us why she picked her team, shares some behind-the-scenes insight on the shoots, and discusses that door slam…

In the casting special of my new show, The Face, the audience is introduced to “three of the biggest names in the world of modeling:” world-famous supermodel Naomi Campbell, Czech bombshell Karolina Kurkova, and some weird-looking girl named Coco Rocha… or was it Coca Roca? Oh hey, that’s me!

The team selection: Naomi announced she ‘had to have’ the first girl, Margaux, but I wasn’t going to let her go. In the end, the decision between Team Naomi or Team Coco was left up to Margaux herself – and she picked me! What? Even I would pick Naomi over me!

Next was Marlee, who would be my chameleon. Then Stephanie, the only one with absolutely no experience — a blank canvas. Finally, I picked Brittany, 26, whom Karolina Kurkova, 28, called “too old” in front of Naomi Campbell, 42. (Oh KK, them’s fighting words!) I saw boldness and a fight in Brittany and called her to Team Coco.

Drama off the bat: For a test shoot with Nigel Barker, Naomi and Karolina’s girls are already complaining. Madeline should have sucked it up and worn the too-small shoes.

Very rarely in modeling are you given the right size of anything and yet you always have to make it work. Welcome to modeling, girls! I remember being in front of Miuccia Prada with a pair of shoes three sizes too small. I smashed my foot in there and walked like I was having the time of my life. The behavior of the other teams’ models (like Christy’s over-confidence) made me glad I picked a team of humble girls.

Why I felt guilty during the first competition: To mentor their first shoot for W magazine with legendary photographer Patrick Demarchelier, I’m feeling like a boss in my DSquared outfit, an homage to ‘90s-era Cindy Crawford. I never, EVER, play it safe with my posing, and I push my girls to follow suit, giving them the inspiration of West Side Story meets Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’.” I’m picturing this as an epic musical in my head and I’m expecting a lot from my team.

It’s a little known fact that in modeling shoots, we frequently cut-and-paste group images together to get them perfect — but this is not an option today, and Stephanie struggles. Our final picture is three out of four stars, not what I had imagined. I wonder if I took an unnecessary risk in really pushing my girls this hard right off the bat.

It turns out, I did. Karolina’s “safe and nice” picture wins the campaign. I could have had my girls do this but I pushed them for exceptional. I can’t help but feel guilty that we lost, as taking the risk was my decision.

The two losing teams submit someone for elimination. I pick inexperienced Stephanie; Naomi selects Aleksandra and the girls plead their case to Karolina. Karolina spares Stephanie, I guess because she saw potential in her inexperience.

I felt it was a fair decision, but Naomi is not happy when she hears she lost. Doors slam, and what is possibly the bravest cameraman in the history of television attempts to follow Naomi Campbell into her room. He’s immediately thrown out.

Karolina attempts to see Naomi but fares no better than our intrepid cameraman and the door slams quite literally on her heels. After about 30 minutes, Naomi emerges to tell Karolina in full diva style that she is “not happy with her decision”.

Well, I guess no one told Karolina that she was supposed to be on Team Naomi.