We finally have our top three! I was happy to see Nicole win immunity after this week's short cut challenge. She's definitely made some mistakes along the way, but we're starting to see what a great talent she really is. She's the type of stylist who I imagine would make a lot of clients happy in a salon environment, and I'm eager to see how she fares in the finale. She definitely held her own in this week's elimination challenge, which is one test I'd been eager to see this season. Working on fashion shoots is a huge part of this industry that tests your talent and patience in a way that traditional salon work really doesn't. There's no other instance where you need to be so prepared to change everything around and bend to others' tastes and visions. It's all about the end result, and to get that, you need to work perfectly with the photographer, the makeup artist, the model, and whoever is charged with wardrobe. Most of that work needs to be done on set.
The best way to approach any shoot is to start with a fluid base that can easily change and be manipulated. Obviously, you need to retain your inspiration at the core of it, but be prepared to work it into something you hadn't thought of. A photo session always starts with the photographer warming up, getting test shots and having the model work with different postures. This is the first time you really get a feel of how it should all turn out, so you need to be able to pick right up from where you left off. Daniel's big problem at the shoot was that he had backed himself into a corner with all of that hairspray. There just wasn't enough room to adjust the style. Daniel should have opted for a product with looser hold, like Nexxus Mousse Plus. It provides control and definition but allows you to work the hair so it won't get stiff. Had he been able to bend the look in the direction of what the photographer wanted, he might have performed better.
I think I mentioned Charlie's innate aptitude for studio styling earlier this season, so it doesn't surprise me that he fared the best this week. The photographer sure seemed skeptical at first, but Charlie successfully positioned himself in the best place to achieve the perfect result on set. That day on set, by the way, was about as rough as it gets.
Normally, it takes all day to do just one of these shoots, so I can imagine it wasn't very fun cramming all four into the same afternoon. Hats off to the stylists for keeping their cool under all that pressure. I'm sure they'll need to do that again in next week's final challenge. I'll be watching the episode with the cast in New York City, so I'll be on-hand to see all the emotion when the winner is announced. It's sure to be exciting! I'll fill you in next week.