AS Jamaicans get ready to cheer on singer Tessanne Chin in the NBC talent show, The Voice, another lady from The Rock has taken a similar competition path.
Model Racquel Smith beat more than 10,000 hopefuls to secure a spot in the final 12 of the United Kingdom’s model competition The Face.
The leggy Smith, who hails from Portmore, St Catherine, is currently based in London. She is a product of the Caribbean Model Search organised by Kingston fashion agency Pulse.
Smith has not only made the show’s final cut, but is paired with iconic British supermodel Naomi Campbell who will mentor and coach her through the show.
“I thought it would be a good platform to enhance my career internationally and be seen by a lot more potential clients in the UK and Europe. I also really fancy my chances of winning,” she tells Splash.
Smith was encouraged by her agent to try out for The Face. She describes the experience thus far.
“Ten thousand girls entered from all over Europe. Although I was confident, I knew it could have gone either way I really tried to keep my composure. The next cut was down to 50. At this stage we were taken through a mini-interview in order to get an idea of your personality. I was just being myself at this stage. Confident, but let the real me shine through,” she explains.
The next cut would take it to 24 contestants and the show’s first episode. Smith says she was all nerves at this stage.
“I was so nervous as I did not want to be among those eliminated on the first show.”
That was not to happen as Smith faced the first challenge — a photo shoot without make-up and a runway presentation wearing a bikini.
It was then up to the three supermodel coaches — Campbell, Caroline Winberg and Erin O’Connor -— to select their teams of four hopefuls.
Smith was selected by Campbell, one of her biggest influences.
“I kept pinching myself as I could not believe it. I felt overwhelmed, humbled and very blessed. It was a long-time goal of mine to meet Naomi. And to not only meet but get the chance to be mentored by her was really special,” says Smith.
She adds that being Jamaican never gave her a shoo-in on Team Naomi, given that the supermodel has Jamaican roots.
“I don’t think I had any advantage by being Jamaican. She is on the show to work and win. She didn’t even give any indication that she liked me. I remember her saying ‘Oh yeah, I like your features,’ but I was really surprised and excited to be chosen by her.”
The Bridgeport High School graduate has nothing but kind words for her mentor, describing Campbell as “caring, protective, a mother and a drill sergeant who pushes her charges to the limit and expects nothing but the best”.
Kingsley Cooper, head of Pulse, is naturally proud of Smith’s progress.
“Racquel has always been a risk-taker, as well as vibrant, beautiful and committed. Her stint on The Face will be great for her, as well as for the show. It will bring her notoriety as well as many new clients,” he says.
The Face’s confidentiality clauses prevent Smith from divulging details regarding the show which began airing on British network Sky Living on September 30. The next episode airs this Monday.
For the original report go to http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Local-model-makes-it-on-The-Face-UK_15231655