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.