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.

 

 

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.