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.

 

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.