SyFy Face Off — “Monster Twist”
The contestants try to step outside of their design comfort zones while working with the most immature clients ever, and a previously eliminated contestant returns on the Day of the Dead. Face Off!
Can I just take a moment here to point out what a missed opportunity it is that Face Off has never had a hockey-themed challenge? Look at the name of the show, people! That phrase makes me think two things: hockey and leprosy (not John Travolta or Nic Cage). Come to think of it, a leprosy-themed challenge would be pretty interesting too.
This week we’re back to an even number of contestants, so they’ll be dividing into teams again, and…wait, what’s this?! Shocking twist! Out of nowhere! Who could have seen this coming? An old contestant gets the chance to rejoin the cast by winning the foundation challenge, creating a make-up based on the traditional Day of the Dead celebration. To really cement the Old Home Week feeling, Patrick Tatopoulos even comes back to judge the challenge.
So we see all the former contestants (yep, all of them, not a single one was missing, who’s Joe?) rush to make a face paint that incorporates tradition, but is more than the standard candy skull. I was really pulling for Nicole, since I said when she was eliminated how unjust it seemed, but it was rough seeing Eric lose again, knowing how much he wanted to work with his brother. Now that she’s won her way back, Nicole seems super motivated. I admire the drive.
I also liked seeing Laura’s confidence. She’s a very understated person overall (her personal style and manner of speaking are quite subdued) – which may be working against her. As I said last week, her work has been excellent but seems overlooked by the judges. There’s definitely a fire burning behind that placid gaze, though.
The main challenge was absolutely amazing, not only incorporating the creativity of kids, but working in support for a venerable program that gets kids involved in the arts. Each kid had created an original monster design. People talk about the unbounded creativity of kids, but it was interesting to see it at play. Some of the contestants ended up creating their own designs based on the kids’ ideas, but some of them stuck strictly to the kids’ vision.
Quote of the week is a close contest, but I think it goes to Derek’s tiny client, who, when asked how he liked the direction of Derek’s design, simply said, “Tight.” Second place goes to Alana with, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak ‘Other Side of the Room’.”
Our middle designs this week were Sarah and Nicole (who wanted to win, but still must feel some vindication at not being near the bottom). Sarah’s cookie monster was great – she always does a lot with props, but they didn’t show much of her design in progress, so it was surprising to see how funny and expressive it was. I was surprised Nicole didn’t use more of the arachnid angle that her kid’s design suggested, but her Oakland Raiders demon was very cool and sleek.
At the bottom we had Derek, Alana, and Rod. I felt like Derek deserved the exit – his bird man sculpt was boring, and frankly it was more similar to Derek’s past designs than Rod’s was to his. And the fun fur…
I respect Rod’s decision to stick with “what the client wants” even in the face of Neville’s suggestion to change it. On the other hand, the kid’s design was just a big round ball, so Rod interpreting that as, “I should do my trademark big head sculpt again” is a bit funny. He could have taken that in a different direction. But between the shiny red tentacles and the colorful paint job, that creature looked awesome.
Alana’s Land-Bound Flesh-Toned Person Watcher (one-eye, one-horn…er, tooth, get it?) was ok, but the paint was terrible, as the judges agreed. I was really worried that she’d be going home, and as much as I love how positive, goofy and fun Alana is to watch each week, I think she’s going to be outdistanced by people with more raw talent and experience before too long. Which is no slight against her – girl’s 20 years old, and the competition is just getting really tough at this point.
I was disappointed that Roy’s blinky eyes didn’t work better, but like Neville I applaud the effort. Then there’s Glenn. “I get that he’s really good at fabricating and can make cool stuff really fast, but I don’t need to see it every week.”
Here’s my impression of Glenn as a judge on American Idol: “I get that you can hit all the notes in a song and sing it with power and emotion, but I don’t need to hear it every week.”
(I’m now genuinely worried that if I ever meet Glenn he’s going to bodyslam me).
Our deserving winner this week was Laura. They didn’t telegraph that at all with her opening monologue about how much she wants to win. As she pointed out, she’s never had a bottom look. Like I said, serious contender. Her green beast with a dozen eyes was wonderful. Crazy alien sculpt, big silly costume, perfect use of colors, and best of all it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen on Face Off before. It actually reminded me of the goofy kids kaiju you see on some of the 70s Japanese kid shows. How great was it to see Laura finally lose her cool, getting all emotional when she heard that art supplies would be donated to the kids in her honor as this week’s prize.
By the way, “She’s never had a bottom look,” is not a secret code phrase to get you into an underground BDSM club. So don’t try it.
Tags: face off, fx, glenn hetrick, make-up, monster design, monster twist, syfy