Ultimate Shopper



Holly Valance (narrator and judge)


Other judges: Brix Smith-Start, Paul Hartnett, Jason Gardiner


Betty for TLC, 2 May to 18 July 2013 (7 episodes in 1 series)


Four women who believe they have an eye for style are put to the test in this fashion-based challenge.

The four contestants are given a specific brief - for example attending a film premiere, or meeting a famous person - and they must create an outfit meeting that brief, but also their own body shape and style. To do this, they have access to a specially created store in the studio. This store has been stocked with countless items of clothing, and various accessories, all sourced from fashion retailers on the UK high street.

After being given some time to search though the store, the contestants change into their chosen outfits, and present themselves to the judges - pop singer Holly Valance, fashionista Brix Smith-Start, photographer Paul Hartnett, and a weekly guest judge. (Jason Gardiner also joined the panel from series two). The judges then critique each outfit created by the contestants, offering often blunt feedback on their choices.

After each contestant has been addressed by the judges, the panel then decides who they think has best met the criteria, with that person being declared the winner. She gets to keep her entire collection, worth thousands of pounds, while the other contestants leave with nothing.

There are reasons why this contest is limited to women: the chosen clothes all fit the female form, and judging style across genders would be an added complication. We couldn't shake the idea that Ultimate Shopper was like four children playing with a dressing-up box, with one of them winning her costume at the end. Nevertheless, it's a polished and watchable programme.

Web links

The show publicised the hashtag #shopper.

See also

Styled to Rock


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