Naomi Campbell on Reality TV I am too hard. I am Sergeant Major.
On March 5, reality model competition The Face is set to hit the small screen for Season 2 on Oxygen. The show (which, like The Voice, pits mentored teams against each other), will see some changes from its first runaround: For one, the coaching lineup is undergoing a revamp, as Lydia Hearst and Anne V replace Coco Rocha and Karolina Kurkova to oversee teams of modeltestants. Secondly? You’ll see a lot of ELLE, as we join the show as an editorial partner. (Look out for our editors as they join the judging panel throughout the competition!)
But one element that is staying blessedly the same is the presence of the inimitable, irreplaceable Naomi Campbell, who will continue her role as veteran model coach (as well as the show’s executive producer). And it’s just as well, as we couldn’t get such perfect moments as the verbal undressing of Coco Rocha’s fluorescent lipstick from anyone else.
In person, Campbell has a pleasant calm that supersedes a tough edge, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t present. When I caught up with her about the new season during a very busy day of TV promotions and interviews, she spoke to me breezily in spite of the surrounding chaos. But while she was perfectly lovely, she was nonetheless adamant about her uncompromising competitive streak. In short? If Naomi Campbell coached me through life, I’d get a lot more done.
What can we expect from this season that's different from last season?
I think you're going to see more skill, and what really goes into every challenge and every shoot that we do. And how hard-emotionally hard, physically hard-it is.
How is the change in the lineup of coaches changing the energy of the show this season?
It's great, because everyone has their own individual way of coaching. Our common denominator is that we're all involved in the skills, which is what's great, and the audience gets to see that.
When you're coaching, where do you find the line between being to hard and just pushing your girls?
I am too hard. I am Sergeant Major. You come to Team Naomi if you want to be pushed. You come to Team Naomi if you want to take that risk, come out of your comfort zone, and go for it. You have to show vulnerability to be able to get to that, so you see that in my team, and there are some moments there when it's trying, but truth prevails!
Is there anything that frustrates you when you're coaching?
Nothing frustrates me. I'm not there to get frustrated. They can get frustrated themselves, if they don't get it right. I'm there to give them as [many] suggestions as possible to get them through the challenges. That's what I do.
What are you doing differently this season that can guarantee you a win?
I'm straight up. I don't cover up what I have to tell my girls. I have compassion, I do, but I have to get it across to them that if you want to win this competition, you have to work hard. I'm still very honest. I'm brutally honest. But that's something I'm never going to change.
I'm sure filming is exhausting. What do you do to stay energized and healthy?
When I have a break, I just go to my room and play music. I'm healthy: I have my packed lunch with vegetables and vegan food. But the only thing I've done differently from last season: No chocolate! By eating more dates and dried fruit, I've been getting more slow-burning energy.
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