New Lifetime series pits designers against each other
FASHION FORWARD» Calling all fashionistas! Fans of “Project Runway” know that no look is complete without hair and makeup, so it’s no surprise that Lifetime’s latest series is providing stylists and makeup artists with a platform all their own. “American Beauty Star,” hosted by stunning supermodel Adriana Lima, arrives Thursday, Sept. 21, on Lifetime, and challenges stylists to push the boundaries of beauty while showcasing their unique skill sets.
The series follows 12 contestants — a group comprised of hairstylists, makeup artists and social media influencers — as they compete in a variety of challenges. These tasks force them to become beauty directors and make quick, impactful aesthetic choices for a variety of demanding looks and editorial shoots.
Along their journey, the contestants receive guidance from celebrity stylist Sir John, whose support helps each beauty expert infuse their work with their own personal style. Resident judges include former Vogue beauty director Sarah Brown and world-famous photographer Russell James, who are joined weekly by a wide variety of guests, including YouTube sensation Michelle Phan and models Behati Prinsloo and Christie Brinkley, amongst others.
The contestant pool is quite varied and promises an eclectic mix of talent. Mitchell Halliday is an 18-year-old YouTuber with a massive following, thanks to his incredible makeup looks. Meanwhile, Catherine Shim is an Instagram star with an overnight law enforcement job. Kym Nicole Oubre is a celebrity makeup artist who juggles her stellar career with the responsibilities of being a mom. Each contestant’s story is unique, and the talent pool so varied, that it’s hard to know who will dominate the competition. For every seasoned contestant, there seems to be a young up-and-comer whose ingenuity may just see them surpass experience.
Expect plenty of shades and blowouts in the premiere season of “American Beauty Star,” debuting Thursday, Sept. 21, on Lifetime.
DANCING CHALLENGE» Grab the sequin, chiffon and cha-cha heels, season 25 of “Dancing With the Stars” swings onto ABC Monday, Sept. 18. Co-hosts Tom Bergeron Erin Andrews are joined by judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Julianne Hough as 13 couples prepare to twist, dip and spin their way closer and closer to winning the coveted Mirrorball Trophy.
“Dancing With the Stars” showcases celebrity contestants as they’re paired up with talented dance professionals who guide their partners through challenging routines. The couples must perform predetermined dances with unique flair as they vie for points from judges and the audience votes that can carry them forward in the competition. These combo scores ultimately determine which pairs move on, whittling down the numbers until only the champions remain.
While ABC has been tight-lipped about the celebrity contestants for this upcoming season, the list of professional dancers has been revealed. Fan favorites Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Mark Ballas are both back for another spin around the dance floor. The former, better known as Maks, has been with the series since season 2 and has won the Mirrorball Trophy once, with Meryl Davis in 2014. Ballas, on the other hand, boasts a 14-season run with the series, and has been a finalist seven times and champion twice, with wins in seasons 6 (with Kristi Yamaguchi) and 8 (with Shawn Johnson). Other dancers returning include Peta Murgatroyd, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Witney Carson, along with Alan Bersten, who has made the jump from troupe member to pro.
Prepare for another season of glitz, quicksteps and practice-turned-perfection as “Dancing With the Stars” takes center stage Monday, Sept. 18, on ABC.
BIG HEARTS» After a brief hiatus, the Klein family returns for season 9 of TLC’s “The Little Couple.” The latest season premieres Tuesday, Sept. 19, following an afternoon marathon of the series, providing plenty of time for viewers to catch up on the family’s many adventures, trials and triumphs.
“The Little Couple” follows the lives of Bill Klein and Jennifer Arnold, a married couple who both have skeletal dysplasia. The Kleins have opened their home and hearts to the world season after season, growing more endearing as the years pass. The pair began their onscreen lives in Houston, Texas, where they’d hoped to conceive their first child and set in motion plans for the customized build of their home. As the series progressed, the Klein family began to grow. Season 5 saw the adoption of their son, Will, and the following season brought daughter Zoey into their lives. Perhaps most touching was Jen’s openness about her struggle with stage 4 choriocarcinoma, the journey and treatment of which she agreed to have filmed so that others would understand the nature of this cancer.
Season 9 presents the family with new possibilities. A job opportunity for Jen could mean a possible relocation from Houston to Florida. Will and Zoey are non-stop laughs and chatter, with both children starting to push boundaries and asking difficult questions. Health concerns regarding Will’s bow-leggedness find Jen anxious, wishing only the best for her children and feeling a bit helpless in the face of adversity.
Jen and Bill are honest about the challenges of parenting, but never shy away from expressing the ultimate joy that it brings. The love and strength of the Klein family continue to prove that nothing will come their way that they can’t overcome together.
TLC’s beloved series, “The Little Couple,” returns to television Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Michelle Phan, Adriana Lima, Russell James and Sarah Brown in “American Beauty Star”