Fashion editor Bernadette Morra and stylist Derick Chetty are discussing the premiere episode of Fashion File Host Hunt on CBC Newsworld. Send your thoughts now to firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the comments link below.
First of all, can we talk about theconcept of Fashion File Host Hunt as a whole? This reality series auditioned people from across the country, narrowing the pool down to 10 contestants. Each week they have to perform some activity upon which they will be judged, with one person eliminated each week. The one left standing gets Tim Blanks’ job. Isn’t that something of an insult to Tim? It’s making a circus out of role that Tim has brought a great deal of integrity, intelligence and journalistic ability to. Bernadette
I felt that way when I first heard about the reality show concept to look for the next host. How can they pluck someone from street and award them with this job that requires so many different skills? However, reconsidering it, I think it was a business decision. Reality shows are hugely popular right now. And this is nothing new for the fashion industry with Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Also MuchMusic uses a similar format to find the next VJ. I think that Host Hunt actually makes the CBC look a bit hip. Derick
Judging by the first episode, this will be just as entertaining and engaging as some of the other reality series. Though I have to say it was very difficult to watch when they were critiquing the three lower-scoring contestants at the end of the show. I understand that drama makes for good television. But I felt sick at the way Manny Neubacher was treated. Did Bronwyn Cosgrave have to be so mean? She seemed to take great pleasure in telling him he was cut. Or do I feel that way because Manny is a personal acquaitance? I don’t know him well at all but our paths do cross on the local party/social scene. Bernadette
I agree the bitchiness makes for good television. I also know a few of the contestants and really felt for them! But let’s face it, that bitchiness is what will keep people tuning in. Do you think people watch American Idol for the singing??? But I think Bronwyn was probably playing a role - the cold fashionista. Also keep in mind these contestants voluntarily entered this contest. They had to have known it was going to be tough. And we both know that was nothing compared to some of the people we encounter at the shows! Better to let them know right at the start it is going to be a rough ride - especially for the person who wins the gig. Derick
Well, we are not all cold fashionistas. At least not all of the time. Anyway, do you agree that Manny should have been the first person to be eliminated? I don’t. I feel that the comedy writer should have been the first one to go. He, to use a phrase from the show, just isn’t fashion. His raggedy sweater, spotted trousers and completely inappropriate scarf was an insult to any of us who takes fashion seriously. It is evident he doesn’t know a thing about fashion. And worse he doesn’t care. I guess that is the crux of it. The person has to have some sense of reverence for the industry and the profession. Bernadette
I must say I was surprised that Manny was the first to go. I didn’t think he was the weakest. But again, what will make for good television? I think Paul - our leopard print friend - will certainly provoke strong reactions. There will certainly be those that love him and those that hate him. And that is the sort of fuel that will drive this show and make people tune in. My favourite so far is Jamey. She looked really polished, well-spoken and looked confident without being cocky. Who are you placing bets on? Derick
I like Jamey too but I wonder if her weight will be an issue. I hate to bring that up, but I think it’s an obvious point of discussion. Television presenters are generally average in size. And my guess is that the producers of Fashion File will not deviate too much in looks from the television industry standard. In fact, I have a sense that the show executives have a very strong idea of who they want for the host. I also think they want to completely change the aesthetic of the show - knock down the highbrow attitude and make it much more “real.” I think that Host Hunt is a huge clue as to what Fashion File will become post-Tim Blanks. And in that sense, this whole Host Hunt thing feels like something of an exercise with an inevitable conclusion. Bernadette
True. But they also have some insurance. The host gig is only a one year contract. This is a very serious gig - and that point is driven home with some of the tasks the contestants have to complete. I thought that first one with the focus group was very difficult. Imagine having to stand in a room alone in front of mirror - no visual clues - and deliver a monologue on why you would be perfect for the gig. Derick
I disagree completely. That was the perfect exercise to determine how a person will appear on camera. A mirror is pretty much what you see when you look into a television camera. And people who are good on TV are natural talkers. They just talk, talk, talk-it’s instinctive and unself-conscious. TV people are born, not made.
Can I just add that I do like the guy who is the buyer. I think he is quite polished and would be able to stand up to the demands of the job. I also like the actress, Mary Kitchen I think her name is. But it will remain to be seen how she does when fashion knowledge is required. I also like the young man who is just out of journalism school. Even if he doesn’t win the job, I think we’ll be seeing more of him somewhere along the way. Bernadette