It was confirmed earlier this year that Tyra Banks’ re-tooling of America’s Next Top Model involved firing its stalwarts, Jay Manuel, J. Alexander, and Nigel Barker. Largely replacing them with a male model, a PR guru, and social media. It became immediately apparent that the judges had only been notified of their firings hours before the media were notified. They were diplomatic about being dumped although there were rumours of consternation about the way it was done.
Apparently in retaliation, Barker set about hosting in his own show with other models; high fashion models who already have the name-recognition (Banks was basically the Kate Upton of her day… pretty and sexy but not taken so seriously as a high fashion model and her name recognition before The Tyra Show and ANTM was debatable). The stars of Oxygen’s The Face are already famous and credible, Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha. Some of the biggest names in fashion right now… and they’re judging a poorly-staged seeming reality show (all the scenes of Campell’s derision and the other models’ deference look staged).
The show, which aims to find the new face for a brand, will pick from a pool of 12 girls. In addition to borrowing heavily from ANTM with judged photo shoots, The Face is borrowing heavily from X Factor by putting models into teams coached by Campbell, or Kurkova, or Rocha. Whittling down the contestants until there’s a winner.
Here’s a preview. The Face season one episode one will premiere Tuesday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on Oxygen.