Season 10 for Face Off started on Wednesday with Wanted Dead or Alive and 14 contestants began their first steps into what looked to be a “bountiful” start to the newest series of the award winning reality competition program. McKenzie Westmore returned as the host/presenter, along with her iconic father Michael who, once again, offered advice and guidance to the competitors.
The theme for the opening segment was based on alien bounty hunters and the hopefuls had to create a “hunter” to match the spaceships pictured. They were placed into teams by McKenzie and it was the first “double” challenge faced by the contestants. Not only did they have to come up with a character but they had to work with a stranger who shared the same assertive traits.
Some teams worked well together and others clearly did not fit at all. One thing that still worked perfectly was the team of judges, Hetrick, Neill and Page. As usual the three offered insight into what worked and what does not. The trio are full of compassion for the contestants and at the end, when one must go home, works of encouragement are offered.
After the first stage, where teams were formed and plans made, the audience learned more about the contestants, their passions, training, goals and a bit of backstory. Rather interestingly, at least two of the hopefuls are graduates of the Savini school of makeup. Tom Savini is another iconic name in Hollywood special effects (FX) makeup and it was nice to hear his school mentioned by a couple of alumni.
Michael Westmore as mentor offered advice to the competitors and the two contestants who really have failed to mesh; Anthony Canonica Jr and Johnny Leftwich change their plans but still could work together effectively as a team.
Each stage revealed more about the artists and their personalities and levels of assertiveness versus their ability to be a team player. Some, like the former dental technician Robert Lindsay, were a seemingly perfect combination of confident performance and a willingness to compromise.
His partner in this challenge, Katie Kinney was revealed to be good in the assertive but not so great in the team work; wanting to do everything and getting stressed when Robert uses techniques and materials that she was not familiar with to glue on “mandibles.”
Missing in this season, thus far, is the “adorable” factor that is present in previous contests. There is no Meg Wilbur (Season Nine) or Keaghlan Ashley (Season 7) or Alana Rose Schiro (Season 5) to fulfill that role, although Canadian contestant Yvonne Cox comes close with her quiet determination and self confidence.
In terms of teams, or perhaps more accurately partners, that worked well together, Melissa Abbe (she goes on to win) and Anna Call made a perfect match and could also be competitors for that “adorable” contestant role. These two meshed from the first moment they sat down to go over ideas for their creation.
After each stage the teams either came together or did not. By the end of the show, the contestants learned about the “one time immunity” vote which could save an artist from expulsion and who the best and worst contestant was for the first episode.
Melissa went on to win for her efforts and, sadly, Gregg was sent home. As usual, Neville Page sent the hopeful away with words of encouragement.
This season of Face Off still has the Twitter voting process; viewers can head over to @FaceOffSyFy to vote for their favorites (On the night.) and to see what the “players” (Judges, host, et al.) have to “tweet” about the show.
Face Off is a must for anyone who love the processes behind the magic onscreen and the creativity is involves from a personal level. The series airs Wednesdays on SyFy, tune in and get carried away by the magic-makers as they compete for the “big win.”