‘Face Off’ Season 11: Abstract Aliens – All Stars Team Work (Review)

Face Off - Season 11

Season 11 of SyFy’s Face Off changed things about with a spin on their usual formula. “Abstract Alien” spelled out the new rules as former contestants from prior seasons returns to make up teams. These familiar faces now work in teams of two and as McKenzie tells the contestants, each duo will live and die together.

Another change, apart from the team concept this year, is that the judges will see two examples of each team’s work. There will not be a “send off” each week. One team will have immunity and then a team will be sent home the next week.

The first spotlight challenge is also that bit different. As McKenzie explains, each of these contestants are “all stars” who have been on the show before. As such, the competition has been altered to reflect their prior experience on the show. For the first time ever the hopefuls are having green screen technology as part of their makeup challenges.

As usual the teams separate to work on their designs. Throughout the start of the episode, each team explains who they are and what season they competed in.  The  first contest that the group face are aliens influenced by  creature feature films like The Abyss and War of the Worlds.

Surreal is the name of the game and the aliens created in this first episode are to be based upon inhabitants from under the sea. As they enter the lab and begin work on their projects, disaster strikes. Evan’s clay sculpture and the figure it is attached to, falls to the ground.

Michael Westmore comes on set to dispense advice and this season he is alone.  McKenzie is not accompanying her father which is another change this time around.

Day two is taken up with finalizing the sculptures and then moving onto the molding process. The green screen process is a brilliant addition and at least one team test out the new technology.

Cat and Niko have a cowl mold that refuses to open. As usual, other competitors, like Keaghlan Ashley,  step in to help out their compatriots. With help the team finally get the mold broken apart. The cowl has been damaged but it can be repaired.

Face Off - Season 11
Keaghlan Ashley, Melissa Ebbe

This is the part of the show where the designs and all the hard work start to come together. The models arrive to be fitted with the prosthetics and made up. Niko and Cat speed up their process to make up for the broken cowl.

Last Looks start with everyone rushing to put everything together. The teams take their creations out for the judges to inspect.

Face Off - Season 11
Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, Neville Page

Ben and Evan, Jasmine and Stella, Keaghlan and Marissa,  as well as Rachael and Gage score the best and the worst. At the end of the in-depth breakdown of each creation Keaghlan and Marissa were the winners in the first episode’s spotlight challenge.

This gave them immunity for next week’s spotlight challenge and the rest of the teams were all reminded to up their game for the next test.

Face Off airs Tuesdays on SyFy. This newest season looks impressive and the move to bring back former contestants has upped the stakes. Personal favorite Keaghlan Ashley and her teammate Marissa Ebbe were the clear winners this week.

Tune in next week to see who will win the next challenge.

Face Off - Season 11
McKenzie Westmore

 

Face Off: Skull Island: Reign of Kong – Semi-Final Stress (Review)

Face Off had its semi-finale center on a new attraction at Universal Orlando Resort; “Skull Island: Reign of Kong.” With a grand prize of the winner being among the first people to go through the new “ride” and an all expenses paid trip to Orlando, stress was the keyword for all four contestants.

Face Off - Season 10

Face Off had its semi-finale center on a new attraction at Universal Orlando Resort; “Skull Island: Reign of Kong.”  With a grand prize of the winner being among the first people to go through the new “ride” and an all expenses paid trip to Orlando, stress was the keyword for all  four contestants.

The challenge was laid by McKenzie Westmore with help from the executive producer from Universal Creative whose team will bring the giant King Kong to life for the new attraction; Mike West.  After explaining the background to the island and it’s occupants, the contestants moved on to develop their evolved “dinosaurs.”

Each hopeful had issues this week with their creations. Either because it was the finale or because of the immense task in front of them. Mel had to start over (twice), Rob ran out of time, Walter broke his creature’s  wings and Mellisa may have been the only hopeful who did not exhibit any symptoms of stress.

The Orlando  attraction is due to open this summer and West was quite excited about the project and the challenge itself.

Face Off - Season 10
Mel

One day one, Mel started over and suffered from a case of constant “second  guessing.” Rob spent so much time on his creation of scales that he ran out of time for other things on his character.  By the end of day one, Mel had not completed her groundwork. Day two saw  her start over, again.

Face Off - Season 10
Melissa

Melissa was the only contestant who was not unhappy with anything to do with the progress of her creation. Rob  worried that the amount of time spent on scales had left him little time to paint and finish off his creature. He was right.

Walter manages to overcome his annoyance at the broken wing spring and Mel, despite starting over twice, almost managed to stay in the competition.

All of the hopefuls stepped up to the bar and even though Rob did not finish his creation, his prior three wins and the brilliant sculpt work on his character’s scales keeps him in for the finale.

Face Off - Season 10
Rob

The judges had a tough choice this week as all the contestants did well.  All agreed that Melissa’s creation was top-notch, so much so that she won the prize of the Orlando trip.

Before sending Mel home, Glenn Hetrick explained that the quality of her work on the latest challenge made it very difficult to pick who was sent home.

One comic moment was the monster noise made by Walter’s creature. Glenn loved the squeaky roar and declared it his favorite.   After sending Mel home, the remaining three were told a little about the next challenge and a very special guest.

Face Off - Season 10
Walter

Melissa was almost was excited at this week’s Face Off challenge as she was at the last one.  This time, however, she was in the groove and knocked it out the park.  Rob managed to impress the judges enough that despite his not finishing the work, he stayed in the contest and  drew massive praise from the panel.

In reality, all four of the finalist were praised at the quality of their work and it should be interesting to see what will occur in the last episode/challenge of the season.  Each one thus far has stretched the artists and their capabilities.

Face Off - Season 10
Pictured: (l-r) Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, Neville Page

The season 10 finale airs next  Wednesday on SyFy.

 

 

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.