Face Off: Freak Show (Review)

Face Off - Season 9Last week Evan won the Judgement Day challenge by a mile. This week, his creation almost got him sent home and Ben, who nearly left the competition last week went on to win the Freak Show challenge this week.

The remaining competitors: Scott Fensterer, Nora Hewitt, Benjamin “Ben” Ploughman, Stephanie “Stevie” Calabrese, Jordan Patton, Megan “Meg” Wilbur, Evan Hedges all had to work on a Foundation Challenge before moving on to the main test with the sideshow theme.

The theme of the foundation dealt with tribal warriors using tattoos, scars and so on to intimidate their enemies in the field of battle. The artists had to use the weapons held by their models to inspire their makeup for  the warriors.  Face Off uses these challenges to show the audience just where the creative juices come from. Each contestant goes through their thought process and we learn what goes into their creation.

In the first Foundation portion, Meg and Scott impressed the guest judge, Oscar winning Robin Mathews, for her work on the film Dallas Buyers Club, who provided some tips and words of motivation before looking at the final products. Although each artist got praise for the makeup applied on the two warriors it was Scott who won and earned immunity for the next challenge.

Face Off - Season 9
Scott’s warrior with “clay” mud makeup.

The next challenge had the artists choosing their circus characters by a wheel of fortune and the choices were varied. As per usual, each one had to come up with their version of a sideshow “freak” but to develop a character that mixed human with fantasy.

Characters ranged from “Lobster Larry” to Inside-Out Oscar (Meg Wilbur’s creation). Each artist has to come up with an idea for their character and once again we see the thought process of these creative and talented people who are able to make magic with prosthetics, paint and powder.

Nora ends up starting all over during the sculpting phase but ultimately her decision pays off at the end when she just squeaks into second place with her Lobster Larry. Stevie, Scott (who had immunity) along with Jordan were all safe after the judges did their “up close” inspection of the creations.

This left Nora, Ben, Meg and Evan as the best and worst of the challenge. As the four explained their thought process on the characters Nevill Page got the quip of the show.

Face Off - Season 9
Nora and her “grilled lobster.”

Nora put gold teeth on her Lobster Larry and when it was Neville’s turn to comment on her creation he stated  that this made him a grilled lobster. Fellow judge’s Glenn Hetrick and Ve Neil were both a bit derisory at Page’s humor, albeit good-naturedly, and Nora got a kick out of the humorous remark.

While Ben Ploughman wowed all the judges, Meg Wilbur’s Inside-Out Oscar failed to meet their expectations and the creation sent her home. Glenn  had words of encouragement and  McKenzie Westmore looked very sad to see @cupcake_meg sent off.

Face Off - Season 9
Meg’s creation did not work for the judges this week.

The challenges have increased in difficulty and even though Meg left, she did so with her head held high. Evan may have been on the bottom again, but he did remember to thank his model this week and this shows the basic essence of the competition. Each contestant learns something each week, or grows in some fashion.

The competitor’s numbers are shrinking, as they do each season, and as the pressures increase on the artists, it is fascinating to see how they respond. Scott took time to help Meg get her mold apart and as usual these creative and imaginative people support one another in a host of other ways.

Face Off season 9 airs Tuesdays on SyFy, miss this show and you miss what goes into the magic of movie making.

Face Off - Season 9
Pictured: (l-r) Scott Fensterer, Nora Hewitt, Benjamin “Ben” Ploughman, Stephanie “Stevie” Calabrese, Jordan Patton, Megan “Meg” Wilbur, Evan Hedges.
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