As some of you may already know, I was recently asked to join the judging panel for the ‘Find the face of the new Argos kidswear’ competition that was taking place at the ideal home shows christmas spectacular at Earls Court London a few Saturdays ago.
I had been sent all the images of the chosen 40 finalist (20 girls and 20 boys between the ages of 4-10) in preparation for the big day. I have to admit that the standard of competition was pretty high up there, I was defiantly going to need to meet these Little people in the flesh before coming to any kind of decision, which understandable would prove to be extremely difficult.
The 40 fabulous finalist
As mentioned in my last post on the subject, the winners (one boy and one girl) would not only become the face of the new Argos Kidwear range but would also bag themselves a years modelling contract with the fabulous modelling and talent agency ‘Alphabet Kidz’ along with a whole other host of awesome treats.
Considering the above, I would think that, “Yes, this would be a big deal for some of these children and their families.” It felt totally weird knowing I was going to play some part in this huge decision that could possibly be a life changing experience for these kids.
I’ve worked with a number of brands, I’ve attended some great events from festivals with the children to dinners and conferences with other bloggers. I’ve done a number of in-depth product reviews and run some pretty fabulous competitions! However, I’ve never quite done anything on this scale before! This was so totally new to me. Nonetheless, I was overly excited and as always love the challenge of something new.
I think its great that Argos called in a judge who is completely independent to the company or that of the modelling agency, a judge who would be completely impartial when making a decision. Honestly this decision wasn’t an easy one, it was such a tough job and I think we all wanted to pick them all (well, I certainly did)!
I arrived at the Ideal Home Show Christmas Event with my 8 years old daughter Alice-Sara and my good friend Donna around 2.30pm.
Unfortunately we had got off the tube a stop to early then walked the wrong way, and despite making it within plenty of time, I had endured Alice-Sara’s constant whining and struggled to cope with the horrid pain caused by the monster heels that graced my throbbing feet!
The front of the exhibition centre had been transformed into something of a winter wonderland! Giant white christmas trees with twinkling lights lit the entrance, Christmas music played, and on entering the exhibition centre I was covered in a layer of glittering white snow (well, not real snow of course but pretty close)! It was all so magical and made it that bit easier to fall into the Christmas way of things.
My daughter Alice-Sara checking out the Christmas Tree at the Ideal Home Show
Inside I was taken aback by the sheer size of the place, despite living in London, I really haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the exhibition centre before.
Despite the size of the place, it was extremely busy on our arrival so we quickly headed for the catwalk where the final would play out. Everyone was incredible friendly, Alice Sara loved it, she especially liked her Argos badge that she even took to school on the Monday (god knows what she did with it once she got it there). The badge allowed her to come backstage with mum and say hi to all the lovely finalist. It was here I meet my fellow judges, a buyer from the Argos kids range and 2 representatives from Alphabet Kidz. I was given a press pack and after a few minutes I took my place at the end of the catwalk with my fellow judges.
Seriously this was one hell of a tough task and I couldn’t do it everyday(hats of to Alphabet kidz)! I can honestly say that all the children were totally and utterly amazing! The children walked the catwalk in pairs before engaging in a short interview with the presenter, who is used to the cameras given she’s one of the presenters from the Argos TV channel, the same channel that the two winners will also get the privilege to feature on once they become the adorable faces of the new Argos kidswear range.
Me (middle) & my fellow judges. Check out them shoes.
As mentioned the children came out and did their thing in pairs, First the girls and lastly the boys. They weren’t on stage all that long but it was defiantly long enough to get a taster of their personalities. I was quite surprised as a couple who I had ashamed would be quite confident, were more shy and reserved (shows never judge a book by its cover) nonetheless this was in no means a bad thing, I just think it proves that an image alone can’t always give you the full picture. The decision was a hard one and a couple of the kids gave me a big smile when they reached the end of the catwalk and were stood right before me. Every time it happen I found the decision-making process that bit more overwhelming.
Above some of the awesome finalist take to the catwalk like a duck to water
Lucky for me, the fellow judges and I were on an even par as we had all chosen at least half of our top 6 girls and top 6 boys to be the same which made whittling it down to the 2 winners a little easier.
What a beautiful photo, how proud must their parents be!
The remaining ten were then announced as the runners-up, all receiving an awesome goody bag.
Above: Some of the final ten and the Argos TV presenter
And our winning two?
Girl: Lilly-Rose Aslandogdu
Boy: Ellis Duke Mccullagh
Above Ellis and Lilly-Rose the New faces of the Argos Kids wear range.
There were both fabulous as were all the finalist!
It was such a lovely moment seeing their names announced and there reactions to the news.
I had the privilege of giving the children their awards and it must have been the mother in me as I could honestly feel myself welling up! God only knows how their proud parents held it together.
It was such a touching moments when Ellis was announced as our boy winner, he was totally overjoyed to have won and surprisingly a tad surprised (though I don’t know why as his just lovely).
I also have to add how much I adore Lilly-Rose’s haircut, what a proper little fashion icon I can see her becoming! She has the hair cut I want and has actually inspired this 29-year-old woman to have the same do.
Just as we thought it was all over there was another surprise! The lovely team at Argos presented me with the loveliest bunch of beautiful pink flowers that smelt and looked divine.
Above: My stunning pink flowers presented to me on stage
Thank you Argos
I really can’t wait to see little Lilly-Rose and Ellis on our TV screens and modelling for the Argos kidswear. I guess I’ll feel a tad proud knowing I had a part in getting them there!
Oh… For those of you who didn’t know, Emma Burton (former spice girl and presenter of at Heart 106.2 fm) is helping design a new range of the fabulous kidswear at Argos, So… watch this space!
So… as you can see, I had an excellent day and so did my friend and daughter who came a long for the ride.
After the show was all wrapped up we checked out the rest of the exhibition that was totally fabulous despite the fact I spent all my weeks pennies!
Oh and before I wrap this up, let me tell you!
Deciding to wear my gorgeous Dune shoes was possible the worst decision of my life! Yes, I did come armed with a bag of flats but unfortunately left the bag in the car which was back in the station car park five minutes from my home back in South London! Given I had got off the tube a stop too soon, got lost and walked a mile to get to the show, my feet were already paying the price before the Argos catwalk had even began. I had no choice but to walk around the exhibition centre shoeless. My god, did I learn a valuable lesson! Heels were defiantly not to be worn at the Ideal home show.