Face Off All Stars: The Devil Is in the Details (Review)

Face Off - Season 11

The second episode of Face Off All Stars “The Devil Is in the Detail” saw the first team sent home and a different winner this week. There were some stunning examples of work by two different teams, Niko and Cat were neck and neck with Ben and Evan in this competition while Stella and Jasmine along with Logan and Adam were at the bottom of the spectrum.

Face Off All Stars feels a lot more streamlined this year. We see much less of McKenzie, she no longer accompanies her father during the sculpting phase of the competition, and Michael spends less time with the All Star competitors. (This may well be because they are former contestants.)

Everything seems to move faster, the processes themselves and the judging go much quicker, again it may well be down to the nature of the competitor’s themselves. All have been on the show before in various seasons and all know how things work.

Face Off - Season 11

The show this week focussed on devils and angels. A concept meant to reflect the teams’ foibles and strengths. The twist being that these were to be shown on the same model.

As usual there were issues for some of the team members. Stella and Jasmine could not get their act together enough to develop a cohesive plan. This put them behind and consequently a dodgy mold insured they spent more time rushing than creating.

Ben and Adam got off to a poor start when the cowl ended up looking like a “devil hoodie.” The two, who make an excellent team, wasted no time ripping off the offending bit of work and starting over. (They did so well that they almost won the competition. As it was, their effort took them out of the bottom spot they found themselves in last week.

Logan and Adam just missed the mark with their interpretation of the challenge and narrowly missed being sent home.

The winning team, Niko and Cat, were interesting to watch as they worked through each phase. As they passed sculpting. molding and application, Cat insisted that Niko focus all his attention to the wings. This, and the brilliant paintwork done on the face of their model, sold their creation and it was, as Ve Neill pointed out, beautiful.

Face Off - Season 11
Niko applying those exquisite veins

Emily and Tyler also finished in the top three this week with their creation.     Once again, the entire process in the second episode of Face Off All Stars with the judges seemingly only reacting to the efforts of the worst and best in this challenge.

They did all agree, however, that Emily and her teammate Tyler did a breathtaking job on the filigree corrosion of their character and it is clear that Niko and Cat will face their stiffest competition in the area of paintwork from these two.

Face Off - Season 11
Emily Serpico painting that marvelously detailed corrosion.

By the end of the episode, Cat and Niko won as much for their enormous wings as they did for the beautiful painting done on their model. Stella and Jasmine were the first team to be sent home. The two women were not overly pleased to be the first but as Jasmine pointed out, they were happy to have competed with the group of All Stars on the show.

Going into the next competition, Niko and Cat now have immunity while Logan and Adam have one “fail” to their credit. This series continues to show the creative process behind the magical makeup used to invent characters that fall outside the realms of reality.

Face Off All Stars airs Tuesdays on SyFy. If you love cinema and makeup do not miss this series.

Face Off - Season 11 SyFy (Photo by: Jordin Althaus
(l-r) George Troester III, Cig Neutron, Rachel Wagner, Gage Hubbard, Keaghlan Ashley, Melissa Ebbe, Jasmine Ringo, Stella Sensel,Emily Serpico, Tyler Green, Cat Paschen, Niko Gonzalez, Adam Milicevic, Logan Long, Evan Hedges, Benjamin “Ben” Ploughman

 

 

‘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: 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: 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.