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.



Face Off: Covert Characters – Mission Impossible Meets Gale Anne Hurd (Review)

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.

Face Off - Season 10

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.

Face Off - Season 10
The contestants and the “Agents of HUNTER” Challenge…

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.

Face Off - Season 10
Samuel “Njoroge” Karumba setting the bar way too high.

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.

Face Off - Season 10
Rob Seal in the middle of “nailing” this challenge.

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.

Face Off - Season 10
Robert Lindsay, the other “Rob” to knock the challenge out of the park this week.

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.

Face Off: Child’s Play – Paul Reubens & Touchy Team-Work

Last week on Face Off the contestants created alien bounty hunters and this episode; Child’s Play marks a distinct change of theme and pace

Face Off - Season 10

Last week on Face Off the contestants created alien bounty hunters and this episode/challenge; Child’s Play marks a distinct change of theme and pace. Guest Judge Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman, had  pulses racing amongst the hopefuls and when they all arrived at the iconic Culver Studios, McKenzie Westmore dropped the group a hint when she mentioned “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

The competitors, after walking through the studio lot, end up on a soundstage packed with giant toys, McKenzie and Ve Neill.  The setting is perfect for this week’s Spotlight Challenge, to create a “wacky larger than life character” inspired by one of the inanimate objects on the set.

Like last week’s challenge, the group was separated into teams. Ve, who won an Emmy for working on Pee-wee’s Playhouse (back in the day) picked the teams and dispensed some advice. Melissa, who won last week’s challenge, was allowed to pick which team she wanted to join and she decided to work with Rob and Jonny.

After getting some pointers from Ve, the teams all entered the set of giant toys and brainstormed, the first part of the creative process. Once the hopefuls chose their object for inspiration a template was developed and the next stage started.

Face Off - Season 10
Samuel “Njoroge” Karumba & Jennifer Bowden begin the process…

Prior to the moulding phase, McKenzie brought her father Michael down to look over the efforts and as usual he offered advice and guidance to the competitors.  After the contestants took  in his suggestions the process moved on. At least one team improved their relationship after Mr. Westmore’s interaction.  Melanie Licata and Anna Cali had been butting heads over their “watch” character until the master offered some needed encouragement.

After a touchy, and sometimes very awkward, start the teams got it together. Unfortunately for Walter Welsh and  Greg Schrantz, teamwork could sort out their moulding problems.  (Fortunately for the pair, their creation was voted “safe” at the end of the show.) When they opened up the apparatus and inspected the end results they found the foam pieces shot through with holes and rough versus the necessary smooth finish they were expecting.

Robert Lindsay and Yvonne Cox had issues with a disconnect between styles of application. Robert’s leisurely approach to a painting the cowl got on Yvonne’s nerves. Finally she retrieved  the unfinished piece and put it on the model for application.

The contestants finished up and went to meet the judges, after all the hopefuls being blown away by Paul Reubens’ presence, and an unabashed plug for the actor’s latest project; the TV movie Pee-wee’s Big Holidaythe judges took  an in-depth look at the creations.

Face Off - Season 10
Close but no cigar as Lollipop comes in second.

While Melissa, Rob and Jonny along with Anna and Mel were the top two teams, it was the latter whose creation won and Mel got the gong for best makeup. As in any challenge on Face Off, there was loser and the Crayon creation by Samuel “Njoroge” Karumba and Jennifer Bowden was hand’s down the bottom of all the characters and Jennifer was sent home.

Face Off - Season 10
Irony; the touchy team pull it together to become “Top Team.”

Reubens was effusive with his praise for both the “winning” teams this week. One amusing moment had Paul saying the word “nipple” a number of times and then apologizing, Neville Page joked that it worked for him.

The judges were a tad more descriptive in their praise and guidance this week, oddly contrasting the “childish” theme of the creations, with Glenn Hetrick winning the “most graphic description” with his pronouncement that “Njoroge” and Jennifer “kneecapped” themselves by opting for all one colour on their crayon creation.

Face Off continues to prove just why it is the critic’s choice and an award winning reality competition show. The series airs Wednesdays on SyFy. Tune in and watch the magic unfold.

Face Off: Wanted Dead or Alive – A Bountiful Start (Review)

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.

Face Off - Season 10

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.

Face Off - Season 10
Glenn Hetrick Ve Neill, Neville Page, Judges three…

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.

Face Off - Season 10
The new “bunch.”

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.

Face Off - Season 10
Melissa and Anna work in perfect harmony

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.

Greg Schrantz the first to be sent home.
Greg Schrantz the first to be sent home.

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.”

Face Off: SyFy Series Season 10 Premieres January 13

This award winning “reality” series will begin its 10th season by premiering January 13 on the SyFy channel and this season of Face Off will include 14 contestants and some high calibre Guest Judges.

Face Off - Season 10

This award winning “reality” series will begin its 10th season by premiering January 13 on the SyFy channel and this season of  Face Off will include 14 contestants and some high calibre Guest Judges. The special guest’s will be from across the spectrum of the entertainment business, from Film, Gaming and FX.

McKenzie Westmore resumes hosting duties and throughout the entire run of the series thus far, Ms Westmore always manages to convey intense enthusiasm, compassion and interest in each of the contestants who compete for the grand prize of $100,000, a 2016 Fiat 500 and a VIP trip courtesy of Kryolan Professional Make-Up to one of their 85 international locations.

Face Off was named the Critic’s Choice Award winner of 2015  and has been nominated for the Best Reality Show (Competition) in 2016. The reality show  follows the same formula as previous seasons;  the episodes match the amount of contestants, 14. Each episode brings fresh challenges and allows the viewer to learn about the creative process (including the sweat and stress) behind the magic created by FX artists for the screen.

This season’s contestants are from the US and Canada and they are:

Anna Cali (31) Chicago, IL
Anthony Canonica Jr. (21), Jersey City, NJ
Gregory (Greg) Schrantz (21), Allentown, PA
Jennifer Bowden (36), Allegan, MI
John (Johnny) Leftwich (28), Los Angeles, CA
Kaleb Lewis (22), Los Angeles, CA
Katherine (Katie) Kinney (24), Litchfield, IL
Melanie (Mel) Licata (26), Jersey City, NJ
Melissa Ebbe (36), Milwaukee, WI
Njoroge (Samuel) Karumba (49), Atlanta, GA
Robert (Rob) Seal (20), Lake View, Terrance, CA
Robert Lindsay (45), Glendale, CA
Walter Welsh (26), Martinez, CA
Yvonne Cox (28), Alberta, Canada

*List of names, ages and locations provided by NBCUniversal Media Village*

Ms Westmore’s legendary father Michael Westmore will return to dispense advice and guidance and the three  Face Off judges will also return. Award winning and, similar to McKenzie, these series judges are some of the most compassionate and “caring” on any reality competition show. Ve Neill (The Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean), Glenn Hetrick (Heroes, Legion) and Neville Page (Avatar, Prometheus) will all be back. These three not only judge the creations, as well as the artists strengths and weaknesses, but also pass on words of advice and encouragement.

Some of the special guest stars this season will be, Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman, the producer of The Walking Dead;  Gale Anne Hurd, the legendary actor Lance Henriksen,  award winning producer Jason Blum, Rob Kazinsky,  Oscar winning makeup artist Bill Corso and Lois Burwell will return as guest judge.  There will be other “surprise” guest judges as well.

SyFy made the announcement on December 18 and it has been revealed that season 10 will have another two-part series finale, split between April 6th and the 13th, 2016. Kryolan  Professional Make-Up is still the official sponsor of Face Off.

Face Off, one of the most viewed unscripted reality competition shows on television,  will premiere on SyFy  at 9PM ET/PT.  Once again, as with previous seasons, the show will utilize Twitter in order to fully immerse its audience and the contestants in the process. Yet another  group of wildly talented makeup artists will compete for the grand prize and the change to become the next bit Hollywood “FX” artist. Tune in and join the fun.