Tonight’s Episode (Airdate February 12th, 2013): Two Heads Are Better Than One
I think anyone who’s followed this season of Syfy’s Face Off since episode one would agree that nearly all the contestants achieved their best mix of skill and creativity with the Goblin King challenge, with most failing to reach that same skill level each week since. This week’s challenge may be one the one that provides them with a much needed creative kick in the ass.
At Magic Mountain theme park in Los Angeles, the contestants get to have some fun before hooking up with McKenzie. Why are they there? It has something to do with the giant redwood tree behind her, meaning this week’s theme is all about Giants! Producer / Director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men, and the upcoming Jack the Giant Slayer) is introduced as this episode’s Guest Judge. His presence also relates to this week’s Spotlight Challenge being a tie-in for the new Jack the Giant Slayer film– of course! For this challenge, the catch is that the Giants must have at least two heads! Bryan offers some advice that creating a compelling character comes from infusing the actor’s personality into the character.
This is another team challenge with randomly selected teams being:
Alam and Eric Z
Kris and Eric F
Meagan and Jenna
Wayne and House
Autumn and Anthony
McKenzie advises the artists that when Bryan joins the judges on the Reveal stage, he will be looking for something original; something never seen before, but also something that brings out the personality in the models they choose and that makes the character come to life.
In the Design Phase, they have a few hours to sketch inside the theme park. Eric F and Kris decide to incorporate Jack into their Giant character. House and Wayne are going to do three heads, because two heads are easy! Also, their Giant’s feet will be like tree roots, since he lives out in the woods. Meagan and Jenna try to keep things minimal. They sketch their design with a head stacked on top of a head, rather than the heads being side by side. Anthony and Autumn conceive a contorted giant with heads growing out of the twisted body as a kind of genetic mutation – ambitious!
Alam and Eric Z make a Giant-slaying Giant where the heads of his victims are attached to his feet. The disembodied heads will speak as well, at least in theory. The two of them really get along well. House and Wayne work on their sculpt together to combine their styles fully.
Anthony gives up some control to Autumn and lets her sculpt the face so he can concentrate on the chest and back. He plans to let Autumn think she has more control than she does; probably not a bad idea.
Bigger means better for Eric F and Kris. Eric uses the lab floor to draw with chalk to assess the amount of area that needs to get covered. Their creature is going to be ten feet tall! Now that’s a giant. Have they bitten off more than they can chew?
Now that some time has passed, and Wayne and House see a few three-headed giants popping up, they decide to take theirs back down to just two heads. With time called at the end of day one, Autumn is very proud of her face sculpt and hopes that Anthony won’t get credit for all of it.
Day Two begins with a lot of work to do! Alam starts work on her creature’s third head. Wayne incorporates a lot of tree elements and bark texture on his creature’s chest. Michael and McKenzie Westmore arrive for the mentoring walk through. House and Wayne’s tree root feet get high marks from Michael, who advises them to pay attention to the color on their paint job so they don’t lose the detail. Jenna and Meagan are advised to watch their edge detail and to keep it smooth.
Westmore remarks on the nice cleft lip detail of Anthony and Autumn’s face sculpt. Eric Z and Alam are also advised to pay close attention to the chosen paint color scheme for their creature’s “head feet.” Eric F explains that the Giant’s heads will be puppets and their model will be the face of Jack, who will be incorporated into the finished creature. Westmore warns them about the importance of time management, which Eric had issues with last week.
The molding phase gets pretty messy for all the teams and differences of methods and preferred procedures start popping up. Jenna is afraid that Meagan has no faith in her ability at all. Eric F says that their mold is so big that working with it is like trying to plaster a hot tub. Meagan cannot open the mold Jenna made. Eric F steps in to help them get it open successfully. What they find out next is that the mold will not close properly, and there is a gap. This is not ideal. Time’s Up!
On Day Three, Application Day, they have four hours to complete their Giant’s make up! The gaps in Meagan and Jenna’s mold has resulted in huge, obvious seams, a deformed nose and other major aesthetic issues. Jenna seems optimistic that they can hide the flaws. Autumn and Anthony also have tears in their headpiece, but know how to fix it. Alam and Eric Z have perfectly molded tree feet, yay! Anthony is painting everything for their Giant while Autumn works on the costume because “Anthony is afraid of the sewing machine.”
House and Wayne start dressing their massive body builder model and give him pointers on how to walk like a giant, which is hilarious. Their creature looks really well-made even this early in the application phase. Wayne sees it all coming together.
Jenna and Meagan cannot get the cowl to stay on the model’s head. They really display a sense of defeat and, of course, Jenna’s hands are numb and useless again. Meagan calls it a disaster.
At Last Looks, the intensity heats up. House says the Last Looks of this challenge may be the most intense so far. Kris and Eric F are making their creature’s costume at the very last minute, literally piecing together scraps of fabric. Meagan and Jenna are hopelessly screwed. The phrase ‘Hot Mess’ comes up again, as it seems to every week. How will they get it together for the Reveal with just minutes remaining?
Bryan Singer has joined Glenn, Ve and Neville, who wishes the contestants a “Giant Hello”! McKenzie reiterates the challenge objective of creating a Giant with at least two heads that the character of Jack might have met and slain in the story of Jack the Giant Killer. Let’s see how they did.
Alam and Eric’s character, technically, only has one head, but the disembodied heads on each of his feet probably qualify to meet the challenge’s requirements. He looks pretty good, though I am not sure about the blue paint job on the face and body.
Kris and Eric F’s creature makes Neville burst out laughing as soon as he sees it. I have to say it is really amazing that they have the model’s face and eyes peering out from inside ‘Jack’s’ head, suspended as he is in the middle of the Giant’s body. It looks just fantastic.
Jenna and Meagan did manage to get something out onto the stage despite how lost they were. It’s messy, but at least it’s something: kind of a Jolly Green Giant meets the Green Man, gone somewhat awry.
House and Wayne’s Giant has two heads, where one is the model’s and the other is a sculpted puppet, but I have to say it is quite difficult to say which one is which – it is that good. The tree root-like hands and feet are also excellent.
Anthony and Autumn’s has the most human expression of any of the creatures so far. I like the various mutant heads emerging from the Giant’s body.
The judges take a closer look and get a big round of laughs out of Eric and Wayne’s “Jack plus the Giants” creature. They also love the choices that Anthony and Autumn made. The judges easily spot all of the flaws in Jenna and Meagan’s creature, so I’d say it’s a no-brainer that these ladies will be in the bottom looks.
Bryan says that he is not only very impressed but also “blown away” by the results of the challenge. Tonight, no one is dismissed as just being “safe” so everybody stays to explain his or her work so, which is a first this season so far.
Wayne and House are up first. House explains that with two heads, they wanted the actor to be the puppeteer of the second head. He also says they used the redwood tree as the inspiration as seen in the body. Glenn likes it a lot although he has trouble with the body proportions. Ve loves the non-bark color and says he looks like a stone statue but with great animal qualities. Neville likes the great sculpt and Bryan says theirs is the only one where the Giant’s two heads can interact.
Autumn and Anthony are next. The story behind this giant is that the head on his back whispers into the Giant’s ear “to control the beast.” Ve says that while it did not look so good to her from far away, she really liked it a lot up close. Glenn asks how long it took them to do the three-eyed paint job and is impressed that Anthony says it took them just five minutes apiece. Bryan makes a crack about the gloves they chose for the costume looking like they came from a sporting goods store (laughs all around), but then says that they did a great job.
Alam and Eric Z explain that they took a folk tale approach to their giant, and his ax is used to slay other giants. Two of his victim’s heads are seen on the giant’s feet and the heads continue to complain like “tired, complaining feet.” Glenn calls this an “absolutely dreadful” decision that distracts him from looking at anything else. Ve says it’s too bad those heads were not somewhere else, because “from the ankles up, he’s fabulous.” Neville says that the feet heads look “too playful” for the concept. The feet are “so wretched” that it just kills it for him.
Kris and Eric F again get laughs immediately as soon as they take the podium with their creature. Bryan declares it the most ambitious of the night before they even open their mouths to speak about it. Eric explains their concept as “the little guy taking on the world.” Glenn says it’s definitely the biggest make up they’ve ever had on the show. He can see how much work they’ve done and says they should be impressed with themselves. Great success!
Okay, here we go with Jenna and Meagan attempting to do damage control on their disastrous design. It sounds like they are making it up as they go along as Jenna explains the concept that Jack was just an ordinary guy and a giant started to take over his body. Jenna breaks down in tears as she explains that a ongoing issue with her hands has crippled her to the point where she brings down anyone who works with her. In effect, she threw herself under the bus, which is the first time I’ve seen that happen on this show. Neville says it’s hard to critique the work because he doesn’t want to kick her when she is down. Glenn comments on the stunning lack of originality and bad decisions.
Everyone heads back to the make-up room so the judges can make their final decisions. Top looks are Wayne and House for the interactive aspects and the paint job, and Anthony and Autumn for the spectacular paint job, the impressive amount of sculpting they did and the interesting reveal of the multiple heads. And of course they also love love love Eric F and Kris’s clever concept and great sense of humor.
Bottom looks are Meagan and Jenna for reasons that take too long to talk about and Alam and Eric Z for their poor “head foot” concept with no alternate concepts even considered.
The top team tonight is . . .Kris and Eric F, and well deserved! They worked hard and delivered a serious ‘Wow Factor.’ Eric F takes top honors for the team, for being responsible for the total concept. As an aside: I wish Eric had a less ridiculous haircut.
And it should really be no surprise that Jenna goes home tonight. The judges have great empathy for her condition and encourage her to just concentrate on getting well and to not let it get her down or discourage her. Poor Jenna. I hope she recovers.
The episode recaps of SyFy’s Face Off Season 4 were originally written for the website, Redesign Revolution. As that site has gone offline, this summary has been added into the historical archive of the Worley Gig for all of our readers to enjoy.
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