Training for the Color Zoom Challenge is not unlike training for that "other" Olympics. While Michael Phelps may have spent hours and hours in the pool, Goldwell Color Zoom Challenge finalists have to juggle their clients with their training.

I had the opportunity to stop by the Goldwell offices in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, to meet with Artistic Directors Dimitrios Tsioumas and John Simpson who are dedicating three full days to help finalists Michelle Azouz (Creative category), Michael Max Gierl (New Talent category) and Daniel Rubin (Partner category) hone their skills to be able to fit color, cut, style, wardrobe and make up in to the three hour limit offered for the live competition to be held October 13 in London. Entrants from more than 50 countries will be competing side by side with our US contestants.

Dimitrios and John are working to trim minutes off any of the elements that make this competition so exciting. "Time management is so important," says Dimitrios. "The last thing any finalist wants to do is send his or her model in to the judging arena with less than perfect make up or even wet hair." (I've seen that happen!) Both mentors are working with the US group to reduce the amount of time it takes to mix color, section the hair, place foils....anything needed to leave enough time to both dress the model and perfect her make up.

Adds John, "Our goal with this training is to make sure that they feel like they are completely prepared for the competition...that they aren't going out there alone because of all Goldwell USA is with them."

While the finalists are focused and intense as they tweak their skills, each enthusiastically took a moment to offer up his or her inspiration for the FasciNature trend. Check out this video to meet the finalists and their mentors and to get some insight in to what takes place behind the scenes as the US finalists work to BRING HOME THE GOLD.