Last week on Face Off, Yvonne won and Ant was sent home. This week with the Covert Character focus challenge a new standard is set on the reality competition series where Mission Impossible meets Gale Anne Hurd. The contestants had to create characters for a challenge inspired by Hurd’s new SyFy show Hunters.
Michael Westmore appeared outside of his usual role of guidance provider and revealed that in his career as makeup guru and icon that he created disguises for real life covert operations. The challenge was for the artists to disguise their agents enough that they could not be recognized.
The main issue this week was for the hopefuls to design and apply realistic looking makeup that could pass scrutiny in real life versus on camera.
On this Face Off challenge the contestants met their models before they began the sculpting and molding process. While there was a certain amount of creativity in the products that were designed, each one had to hide the identity of the model.
To anyone who has watched Mission Impossible where characters were “made up” to look like real people, this challenge will strike a chord. While the artists were not duplicating another person’s look, they did have to hide the model’s face well enough that they could not be recognized and have their “cover blown.”
Michael Westmore and McKenzie came around during the sculpting process to dispense wisdom and guidance. This particular challenge brought out strengths and weakness of all the contestants. It also brought to the fore at least one’s sense of misplaced confidence.
The covert makeup created by the competitors ranged from gender change to race transference and in one case, both. Another contestant, Melanie Licata, played the gender change card with an added element of old age makeup.
While all the artists recognized that the focus challenge had to be perfect, by the end of the episode, with last looks and then final judging, not everyone was up to the problems that realistic makeup brings about. Interestingly, the one competitor who went on to win, clearly had it together throughout the entire process and was the only one who really “got” the challenge.
Rob Seal’s creation, as pointed out by all the judges, was nothing spectacular and Neville Page went so far as to call the makeup boring. This was, however, the point of the disguises that the contestants were meant to create. Something that would pass unnoticed in a crowd and not stand out.
Interestingly, all the judges, including Gale Anne Hurd who sat on the panel this week, gazed at the creations with stoic expressions that revealed nothing in the way of initial impressions. It was not until the panel members took a closer look that anyone actually reacted to the disguises.
Clearly the realism required escaped many of the competitors, with a number of creations suffering poor paint application and edges being too rough. At the end of the judging, Robert, Njoroge, Rob, Melissa, Kaleb and Katie were the best and the worst. The rest of the competitors were s allowed to go back stage being safe from expulsion this week.
At this point none of the contestants have been given the immunity card.
Njoroge was the hopeful sent home this week after failing to understand just why his creation did not work. Once again the judges expressed their usual brand of compassion for the winners and the loser in the competition.
Face Off provided a great tie in to The Walking Dead‘s Gale Anne Hurd with her new SyFy show Hunters and offered a brilliant deviation from the usual challenge on the reality competition show. The series airs Wednesdays on SyFy, tune in and watch the work behind the magic.