Face Off: Bottled Up With Bill Corso and Douglas Noe (Review)

The foundation challenge for Face Off: Bottled Up had Douglas Noe (The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Pulp Fiction) as guest judge and the remaining contestants had to create Valkyries Norse Goddess warriors.

Face Off - Season 10

The foundation challenge for Face Off: Bottled Up had Douglas Noe (The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Pulp Fiction) as guest judge and the remaining contestants had to create Valkyries Norse Goddess warriors. After a short list of what the hopefuls needed to keep in mind, which included color palette and not being garish, Noe finished by asking, “Will  your Goddess make a statement without saying a word.”

At the end of the first challenge of this episode all the creations were impressive and Noe gave detailed critiques of the characters made by the artists. The top two were Yvonne, who used feathers to good effect on her creation. But it was Melissa with her “clearness of vision” and overall effect who won the foundation challenge and earned immunity for the spotlight challenge.

Face Off - Season 10
Douglas Noe and McKenzie Westmore inspecting Yvonne’s Valkyrie

The second challenge of the evening ties in perfectly with the show’s title as a bevy of genie bottles are put out for the hopefuls to chose from. Using the bottle itself as motivator, the genie to be created by the artists should reflect its home.

Mel has trouble from the start and her issues are compounded when Michael Westmore tells her that her sculpt may be too obscure for the judges. Walter is very pleased with his character, which is heavily influenced by the dragons on his bottle, and he spends a lot of time on his sculpt.

Robert Lindsay ignores Westmore’s advice to keep away from making his creature too cat-like.  Walter spends so much time on the sculpt that he has to rush his mold.  When the time comes to break it open, Walt has problems. Melissa and Yvonne step in to help and Walter is grateful to his fellow artists.

In the application phase, Walter finds that despite the rush, his mold came out clean with no clay left behind. Robert is very pleased with his makeup for the cat genie and he is the only artist not to do a cowl.

During last looks the artists put on their finishing touches. Robert had issues with the pieces on his creation’s face but everyone, including Walter, finish their genies. Then they meet Bill Corso (Deadpool, Dumb and Dumber To, Foxcatcher) who was the guest judge for this challenge.

After the judges took a closer look at the creations  Yvonne and Melissa (who had immunity for the challenge) were sent backstage; safe. Rob and Walter were the top two looks  and Mel, along with Robert’s cat genie were  the bottom.

Face Off - Season 10
Robert Lindsay with his cat genie

It is Walter’s dragon inspired “scary/evil” genie that wins him his first Spotlight victory. It seems that many times on Face Off stress goes on to assure wins.  Rob has proven this in the past and now Walt has shown that despite things going so pear-shaped, he persevered and went on to win.

Face Off - Season 10
Walter’s dragon genie for the win.

Bill Corso, who Mel was so excited to meet, was a gracious guest judge who even had constructive things to say about Robert’s design.  It was Lindsay’s mischievous disregard for the guidelines that sent him home this week.  Robert was not overly sad as he was very pleased with his creation and the make up.

There are now five hopefuls left and Face Off airs next Wednesday with the Keep One Eye Open challenge.

Face Off: Smoke and Mirrors – “That’s so Cool” (Review)

This week’s Face Off: Smoke and Mirrors once again moved to the darker side of fantasy and while Mel Licata did not win this week, she did get a “That’s so cool” from her model.

Face Off - Season 10

This week’s Face Off: Smoke and Mirrors once again moved to the darker side of fantasy and while Mel Licata did not win this week, she did get a “That’s so cool” from her model. This could actually describe the whole challenge.  Using the motif of witches who have their facade peeled away to show their evil visage was a touch of “dark Disney.”

After The Gauntlet II, where Michael Westmore was given a break from being adviser, the makeup legend made a comeback.  At the start of the episode McKenzie introduced the contestants to the challenge outside the “incredible” Lobo Castle and she explained that, like the well known saying, beauty is only skin deep.

The castle door opens and seven stunning models, made up as beautiful evil sorceresses, came out and were picked by the remaining seven contestants. Rob was excited that he got the “dragon queen” as he made the instant connection of castles and dragons.

Mel picked the “Temptress of Flame” and it is this model who reacted so enthusiastically to the artist’s makeup choice later in the program. Walter Welsh wound up with the “Emerald Empress” one of the choices he really did not want. Annie picked the “Shadow Enchantress” and she was quite enthusiastic about getting started despite what she felt would be a hard job.

Face Off - Season 10
Robert’s transitional creation does not go over well.

Yvonne got the “Corpse Conjuror” and she felt up to the challenge of creating her vision of the evil underneath the facade.  Robert allowed his mischievous side take over from the start and this almost cost him dearly later on.

Michael Westmore came on with McKenzie and he looked at each draft design and, as usual, offered advice and praise to the hopefuls. Rob looked less than pleased at the idea of his sculpt looking like a “standard old-man” and he also learns, from Michael that his nose needs work.

Rob had issues with gender in that his sculpt looked too masculine and he went to Anna and Mel who helped him out with “shape” advice.  Considering Rob has two wins under his belt, and grabbed another (his third) with this challenge, it is clear that he works better when stressed.

While Rob does go on to win this challenge Yvonne came a close second with the judges remarking on her splendid paint job and use of makeup. All the panel agreed that each week she gets better and better. It is this consistent improvement that may allow her to take Rob’s current lead away from him.

Face Off - Season 10
Yvonne’s Corpse Conjuror comes a close second to Rob’s Dragon Queen.

Robert Lindsay’s impish approach to the challenges thus far earned him the “class clown” of Face Off title from the judges. This jovial attitude landed him at the bottom with Anna as the two worst looks of this challenge.

Anna, the loser in this challenge, struggled with her concept and has to do the fastest sculpt she has ever done. Sadly, despite her focus,  the final product did not match the judge’s expectations.  As Ve Neill tells the artist, it looked great from a  distance, but, fell apart close up.

Face Off - Season 10
Anna working on the sculpt.

At the end of the episode, after the “safe” contestants were sent off, it was Yvonne and Rob who wowed the judges.  While Yvonne’s painting, sculpt-work and makeup were all beautiful, Rob got his third win because of the overall quality of his creation, his “Dragon Queen” was the whole package.

Face Off - Season 10
Glenn Hetrick: “I absolutely love this.”
Face Off - Season 10
Rob’s complete package for the win.

Anna Cali may have been sent home, but as the artist told the judges, she wanted to be on Face Off ever since season one. This was a dream come true for her and Neville Page told Anna he expected to see more from her in the industry.

Face Off airs Wednesdays on SyFy. Tune in now as the final six face further challenges.

Face Off: The Gauntlet II – Challenge Times Three (Review)

Face Off: The Gauntlet II offered up three different challenges and only the bottom looks had to come back each time to compete.

Face Off - Season 10

Face Off: The Gauntlet II offered up three different challenges and only the bottom looks had to come back each time to compete.  Each of the stages got harder as the challenge progressed. The first was laying on beards, the second was using specific  prosthetics  for other parts of the face and the third was “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

The contestants all react with a modicum of panic and stress levels raise when the tri-challenge gauntlet (II) is revealed.  Kaleb, who has the  expletive removed reaction may have had a premonition about the end of the challenge and where he would end up.

McKenzie explains that in each challenge the top two winners will not be required to compete in the remaining tests.

The first challenge was not only nautical in nature but also supernatural. Four ships from the world of myth set up the themes on offer. The Flying Dutchman, The Manjet Barge, The Naglfar and The Nautilus (technically not from the mythical realm but from fiction). The artists had to hand lay the beard of their “captain creation” and there were mixed reactions to this news.

Regardless of the experience levels all did well with their efforts but Melissa (who was the most experienced) and Walter took top looks to win. Melissa chose the Manjet Barge and Rah for her inspiration.

Before Walter’s creation was judged, Glenn Hetrick and Robert Lindsay bonded over his “Captain Dishwasher” of The Flying Dutchman. After Robert explained about the “dishwashing” curse, Hetrick remarked that Lindsay was a “strange, strange man.”

“Thank you,” Robert replied and Glenn finished by saying that he liked it, presumably meaning Lindsay’s strangeness and the creation.

Walter’s character was influenced by the Naglfar; the Viking ship made from bones and nails. HIs creation and Melissa’s which used a minimal approach, gave them the first challenge win.

McKenzie explains to the winners of the first stage that they are to be treated to a “night on the town.” A limo would pick them and the second stage winners up for a night out. So not only did the winners not have to compete for the rest of the challenge but they also got a restful night off.

The next challenge in the Gauntlet was Pandora’s Box, where the remaining artists had to “create order from chaos.” There were several boxes and each one contained three disparate pieces of prosthetic. The challenge was to create a cohesive character using the contents.

The catch was that the prosthetics could be used for their original purpose, i.e. a chin piece was not to be used on the chin, nor was it to be used to turn another part of the face into a chin.  As Neville Page explained, “you cannot put the chin on the forehead and use it as a chin-forehead.”

Face Off: Season 10
Robert Lindsay, strange and colorful…

Mel pointed out that this was more difficult than the first stage challenge. It also turned out to be the most colorful. This portion of the challenge showed the real creative muscle behind each contestant. Rob and Robert actually won the competition with the former’s creation looking “like a background extra in a film” and Robert’s character looking eerily Kabuki-like.

Rob Seal’s relief at not having to go on to stage three was almost palpable and Robert had  already made menu plans earlier before the judges looked at his creation.

The remaining four; Yvonne, Anna, Kaleb and Mel leave for a night’s rest and the double set of winner enjoy a meal at “Castaway.”

Face Off: The Gauntlet II ends on a tough challenge, the four artists see 12 models revealed after McKenzie orders the curtains pulled. Ms. Westmore then explains about the “see no evil” theme and that the hopefuls have four hours to make their three characters and an hour to fix any problems during “last looks.”

Kaleb had issues from the very start. Everyone else came up with a theme; Mel – priests who mutilate themselves, Anna – zombie attack victims, Yvonne – ghosts of the “king’s torturers” while Kaleb failed to find a theme till the last possible moment.

Out of all the contestants who are left, Yvonne is easily the most panicked as it took her so long to come up with a workable theme. As she begins to air brush the models, she refers to last looks as “fast looks.”

Ironically, Yvonne  came a close second to Gauntlet challenge winner Mel, with her superlative paint job and brilliant use of prosthetics along with a cohesive theme.

Face Off - Season 10
Mel, killing it…

Mel won, however, as her masterful use of anatomy pushed her disturbing creations to the forefront of the judges attention. Sadly, Kaleb never recovered from his lack of focus and he missed the mark of the third challenge completely.

After being told that he was to leave, Glenn Hetrick gave Kaleb Lewis words of encouragement and told the artist he would surely see more of his work later on in the industry.

The Gauntlet challenges are intense and truly show the creativity that each contestant applies under pressure. Face Off airs Wednesdays on SyFy, tune in for some brilliant magical creativity.



Face Off: Death’s Doorstep Review

Face Off this week with the Spotlight Challenge of Death’s Doorstep saw Rob’s winning streak come to an end and a new champion stepped up to grab the gong for this episode.

Face Off - Season 10
Face Off this week with the Spotlight Challenge of Death’s Doorstep saw Rob’s winning streak come to an end and a new champion stepped up to grab the gong for this episode. McKenzie Westmore met the hopefuls in a printer’s setting and revealed that the challenge this week was all about Obits.

The specific guidelines were that each artist had to create a “whimsical ghost character that reflected the way that they died.”  Each competitor had to find clues in the obituary entries for their characters.

With names like Jerry Rig, Seymour Sharp and Suzanne Stitches, amongst other amusing names of the deceased, each competitor used the name as a major clue, along with the obit entry, and Michael Westmore stopped by to give advice, as usual.  Walter was concerned that Mr. Westmore’s guidance might leave his creation looking too minimal, but in the end he followed the master’s suggestion.

Robert’s character apparently died in the bath from electrocution and it looked like Lindsay was more excited about constructing the rubber ducky than the actual dead character.  In terms of too much focus on one specific item, Mel was consumed by the “front bottom” on her creation and it cost her later in the competition.

Johnny went way too minimal with his approach and this decision sent him home.  His creation “Sarah N. Geti” was trampled and Johnny initially has a good idea but his paint job and sculpting let him down.

Face Off - Season 10
Johnny Leftwich is sent home when his trampled look falls flat…

Death’s Door on SyFy’s Face Off this week sees Rob still in the top two with his black and white magician’s assistant.  While Ve Neill liked the bold move of not using colour both Neville and Glenn felt that Rob had down-played the concept with his lack of “gore.”

Face Off - Season 10
Rob Seal in second place…

Walter did take Mr. Westmore’s advice to heart and re-sculpted his “juggling clown” and removed the bowling ball impression, sticking instead to the knives.  Caleb put a fish on his character’s head. The fish-hat lands him at the bottom of the competitor’s creations this week, but it did prompt Neville Page to make a joke which made Ve laugh.

As the judges discussed Kaleb’s character, at the end of the show, Neville asked what sort of fish it was and Kaleb replied, “an anglerfish.” Page then says:

“But where’s the angler? Where’s that funny thing that could be hanging out there and he’s constantly going, ‘f-f-f, f-f-f. f-f-f?’ “

Face Off - Season 10
Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill and Neville Page look at Walter’s creation…

At the end, the bottom three were Mel, Johnny and Kaleb and while the fish-hat and front-bottom did not overly impress, it was Johnny’s failure to meet the spirit of the challenge, the “whimsical ghost look” that got him voted off. Mel had a brilliant idea but she set the bar far too high.

Yvonne’s Jerry Rig allowed her to hit the whimsey nail on the head with her “death by DIY” creation.  All the judges were enamored with her character and it did capture the intent of the challenge perfectly.

Face Off - Season 10
Yvonne Cox with Jerry Rig for the win.

Yvonne was overjoyed at the win as she came at the bottom  in the last whimsical challenge. Johnny was out but not down even though he did not get the almost obligatory pep talk from any of the judges before he trudged backstage to pack his bags.

Face Off airs Wednesdays on SyFy and continues to show the work behind the wonder of creating characters for the screen. Tune in and prepare to be amazed.


Face Off: Foreign Bodies – And Lance Henriksen (Recap/Review)

Face Off: Foreign Bodies featured a Spotlight Challenge where the contestants could pick their own team-mate and the creation they were tasked with was a “chest-bursting” alien of their own. The show this week had a parasitic space theme and special guest (judge) Lance Henriksen.

Face Off - Season 10

Face Off: Foreign Bodies featured  a Spotlight Challenge where the contestants could pick their own team-mate and the creation they were tasked with was a “chest-bursting” alien of their own. The show this week had a parasitic space theme and special guest (judge) Lance Henriksen.

McKenzie Westmore brought  out the show’s guest, Lance. He explained what makes the alien so scary in films and urged the hopefuls to base their creations on the idea of suspense and their own experiences.  The contestants then picked their team-mate and the parasite.

After choosing a random parasite each team began to create their storylines and characters.  While sketching out ideas of how they want the client to burst out of its host, Lance and McKenzie came back into the room.  At least one artist panicked a little when the horror icon returned.

Face Off - Season 10
All the contestants rush for the slime ingredients.

Lance and McKenzie came back with a surprise for the competitors; their first Foundation Challenge. Henriksen explained that there was an addition to their “chest bursting” homage; slime (the most important part, Lance revealed). The challenge was to make slime for their alien. It had to pass muster by doing what the teams intend it to do and the stuff had to be created in two hours.

At the end of the time period, Henriksen and McKenzie checked to see how the slime looked and performed. Immunity was the prize to  be won by the top team in this Foundation Challenge. As the five teams manufactured their slime, Lance and Ms. Westmore looked on.

Lance was the guest judge for the slime challenge and during the testing portion, the iconic performer did a “hands-on” inspection of each creation.  Henriksen was amusing and clearly enjoyed the experience. After his touchy-feely testing of the slime, Lance crowned a winning team; Mel and Melissa took  the challenge with their very colorful creation and as the winners earned immunity for this week’s spotlight challenge.

Face Off - Season 10
Lance “slime-checking.”

The teams moved into the sculpting phase with the alien bursting Focus Challenge.  Michael Westmore and McKenzie arrived to give the teams feedback and immediately tell the winning team that they are “on their own.”  Laughing, both Westmore’s return and explain that they are joking.

Ironically, the team with immunity  for the Spotlight Challenge had major issues with their character. Mel had to restart her sculpt four times and complained that her hands “feel broken.”

The immune team were not the only hopefuls having issues.  Team Johnny and Walter had major problems with their poly foam chest piece.  They had to start over and re-create the bursting piece of their character. As the two artists went back to the drawing board, Rob got into  a claustrophobic panic about time.

Yvonne and Anna changed their slime formula and Johnny and Walter appeared to have sorted the “bursting” problem. The models arrived with only four hours left till last looks. The second teaming of Robert and Katie has clearly not worked out well. While there are no major clashes this time, Katie’s sculpt of the cowl had a ridge that was far too prominent.

Face Off - Season 10
Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill and Neville Page inspect Mel and Melissa’s creation.

At the judging, all the series judges were on the same page with their  likes and dislikes of the offerings in front of them.  The top two characters were those created by Mel and Melissa as well as Rob and Kaleb.  Ultimately, the latter team won, with Rob taking his second challenge win in a row.

Face Off - Season 10
Team Rob and Kaleb for the win.

Rob and Kaleb make a creature bursting out of the back of their model’s head. After being told that their character won, Glenn Hetrick made a play on words, or possibly a pun,  when he congratulated  Rob on his “back-to-back” win.

The two teams on the bottom were Robert and Katie along with Yvonne and Anna. After  the judges gave the bottom two teams their feedback, they revealed that it was Katie’s work that was not up to scratch and the artist was sent home.

Like prior contestants, Ms. Kinney left with her head held high and Neville Page had words of praise for Katie’s earlier works. The guest stars on season 10 of Face Off have been exciting and excited.  Paul Reubens (the Child’s Play challenge) and Lance Henriksen both got major reactions from the contestants and fans of the show.

Face Off - Season 10
Team Robert and Katie.

Face Off airs Wednesdays on SyFy. Tune in for a mad dose of creativity and watch as some major talents make magic.



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