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.
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 Holiday, the judges took an in-depth look at the creations.
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.
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.