Tonight’s Episode (Airdate March 19, 2013): Alien Apocalypse
Ah, we’re down to the Final Four at last, and what a handsome lot they are: Anthony, Eric, Kris and Wayne. Anthony really thought he was going home last week, but House threw himself on his sword so that Anthony could live to sketch, sculpt, mold and paint another day. The remaining contestants all know one more person goes home before the finale. Who will get chopped tonight?
The guys meet the lovely McKenzie – and she really is looking super hot tonight, I must say – in the lab, where four monitors are set up to display scenes from an upcoming, new original SyFy series called Defiance. It’s a show about Aliens! More specifically, Defiance takes place 35 years in the future, in a post-war America where humans and half a dozen alien species are forced to coexist on Earth. Because all of the other planets were full. Of course, multiple races of aliens interacting with humans create a crazy new genetic melting pot. In tonight’s penultimate Spotlight Challenge, the artists will draw their inspiration by focusing on breeding two of the Alien races to create their offspring. Here are their choices:
There are two selections of each type alien available to choose.
Anthony picks Liberata and the Mutant.
Kris picks Bioman for his buffness and the Mutant for his deformed body.
Wayne picks Liberata and Bioman.
Eric, who really wanted to choose the Mutant — and definitely wanted to “avoid any fuzzy things” — is forced to select the hairy Sensoth and the Steam Punk-esque 99er. He’s not happy.
To help them get inspired and provide them with some back-story on the series, the guys are being sent to the actual town of Defiance in Toronto, where they can tour the set, and spend some time among the actual aliens. However, due to mysterious “Family Reasons,” about which we are given no details, Eric cannot travel with them and must stay behind. WTF? It is unclear whether Eric will be separated from them for the entire episode or if this offsite is just a brief field trip. It turns out to be the latter, thank goodness.
Being on the set is really cool for the guys. They first meet actress Stephanie Leonida who briefs them on some of the characteristics of the breed of alien she plays. They get to meet Alan Cook, the make up artist for the show and he demonstrates for them the specifics of how he applies certain prosthetics. This has to be good insight for how they will approach their challenge. They also get to watch Stephanie and another actor film a scene. This show looks like it will be pretty cool and reminds me a bit of Alien Nation, if you’re old enough to remember that.
Day one back in LA. Eric either did or did not miss much, depending on how you look at it. Kris starts sketching his Bioman and Mutant offspring, using the bulk, green eyes and teeth of Bioman and adding monstrous attributes of the mutant.
Anthony’s Mutant Liberata will have a gorilla-shaped head, rolls of fatty flesh on his neck and a baboon nose, plus very grotesque mutant aspects including a hump and very asymmetrical body. “He will be a very grumpy character,” says Anthony, and I guess we can see why.
Wayne decides on doing a full body creature suit for his Bioman Liberata offspring. And maybe he’ll lay some hair on it.
Sensoth plus 99er is a challenge for Eric, since the body types are so disparate, so he creates a sketch of a Sasquatch, which he is less than thrilled with. He then comes up with a concept for a Sensoth sculpt with machine parts on it, which he will just ‘go with’ and see what happens. Eric’s sculpt already looks exactly like his sketch. He calls it “Harry and the Hendersons meets Robocop.” Despite saying he feels lost and is “in a world of hurt,” he keeps pushing on.
Anthony voices that this is the first time any if them have seen Eric worried and unhappy with his concept.
Kris’s sculpt is looking appropriately bulky and he adds more and more clay to build out the body.
The Westmores come in for their walk through. Anthony is first to discuss his Mutant and Liberata offspring. Michael suggests giving the creature oversized legs and pants to add heftiness to the body and offset the hunchback.
Wayne’s marriage of Bioman and Liberata maintains the lip and nose of the Liberata and also brings in a human element. Michael suggests taking the shoulder muscles all the way out to the end of the shoulders to broaden the chest.
Kris’s Mutant Bioman (seen above) has an amazing, muscular chest. I can’t believe he’s gotten so far on day one. Michael gives him some suggestions on how to modify the neck so that the model will have more freedom of movement.
Eric explains that he is incorporating the size of the Sensoth with the mechanics of the 99er to create his offspring. Michael likes Eric’s idea of perhaps laying hair on the body and bringing in a beard, and tells him to just keep going with that. Eric thinks this is an opportunity for him to develop a “cleaner character make up without all of the gags and get ups.”
Kris, whose working like a speed demon this week, only has a small face piece left to sculpt. As time is called, Eric says he’s had a revelation and really likes his piece. Why is Eric getting such a strong edit, is what I want to know.
Day two is a long, ten-hour day. Holy cow, ten hours in the lab, can you imagine how grueling that is? It’s really evident that each of these guys is great at this type of work. Their sculpts are better on day two than they’ve been on day three all season.
Wayne is taking longer than he’d like as Kris gives us a lesson in how to keep clay from sticking to the inside of the mold by first treating it with some kind of “Pam Cooking Spray for Special Effects.” Anthony feels at ease, as he has become the Master of Time Management.
Wayne is afraid he might have to use a polyfoam for his sculpt, which might not turn out as well, as it limits a character’s mobility. Eric is freaking out that he won’t have his molds sculpted in time for the foam latex either, and Kris’s clay is stuck in his mold – unreal! He’s having the same exact problem as Wayne. Misery loves company. Anthony missed his deadline for using the preferred foam latex, which means all three of the other three guys will need to resort to using the polyfoam. Eric jokes that they’ll all be having a “polyfoam party” in the morning. He makes it sound like a lot of fun, actually!
Day three. Anthony’s foam pieces all came out perfectly, so he has extra time to paint. He will “hold back a bit” on his application method to create a more cohesive look. Here come the models . . . and the polyfoam party gets started!
Wayne is using a sledge hammer to get his mold to pull apart, and the piece looks okay! Kris’s appliance is ripping in half and he also has major rips on the seams. He starts using all kinds of technical terms to describe how he’ll fix all the various types of damage and mentions a “dental dam,” which I thought was something else entirely?
Anthony is all, “sucks to be you guys!” Just kidding, sort of, not really.
Now Wayne is behind on his paint job and will be painting at last looks, again. That’s just one hour to do the entire paint job! He had better channel his inner-Ninja from last week.
Kris is good-to-go in time for Last Looks, which surprises no one, because Kris rules.
Everyone but Anthony is rushing. Even Eric, who mentions how important it will be to get his beard on his character, since it will be covering an obvious neck seam, says this is the most difficult challenge for him. This is so exciting!
Only three of the guys can move on to the finale, yeah, we know that, McKenzie. The guest judge for this week is Michael Nankin, producer and director of Defiance. Cool! He is excited to see what the artists came up with. In the challenge of choosing two unique races from the Defiance universe and creating their potential offspring, here is what was spawned.
Wayne’s Bioman and Liberata is up first. He has a bit of a Geiger-esque Alien head with an elongated skull. The paint job does look somewhat flat, but at least the creature is covered. Bioman Liberata looks a little bit like an alien bodybuilder with a V-shaped torso (think: alien Jack Lalane). The face has a decent emotive expression through the make up and Wayne thinks he looks good.
Anthony is up next with his Mutant Liberata and, wow, the paint job looks amazing! Anthony says it was important to him that the chest and body read well from far away. He loves how it came out.
Kris’s Bioman Mutant is the perfect blending of those two body types and he has given the creature startling fluorescent green teeth and eyes. Kris calls the creature “intimidating.” He is also very proud of his work.
Eric’s Sensoth 99er looks like pot bellied ape biker. Yeah, that’s all I’ve got. He also loves it.
Judges approach for closer looks. Guest judge Michael thinks that Wayne’s creature evokes way more Liberata than Bioman. Ve agrees. Glenn likes the way the mouth and nose come together to bring it to life. Neville and Glenn have some snarky criticisms on the paint job, but Wayne has already prepared himself for that. He admits he thinks his is the weakest creature on the stage tonight.
For Anthony’s Mutant Liberata, Michael thinks he got the pointy head shape right. Anthony hopes they will appreciate the tiny details and the grotesqueness of the character.
For Kris’s Bioman Mutant creation, Michael instantly says that the green teeth and green eyes distract him from everything else. Unfortunately, they can’t help notice the huge, gaping rip down the center of the back as well. Glenn says that, going into the finale, this sub-par work is “inexcusable.” Bummer.
For Eric’s creation, they first notice shoddy hair work on the belly, but you have to understand that they are looking for any excuse to take points off at this juncture. Glenn gives him props for doing the most sculpting work of any of the four. Eric says he’s over being nervous, and is just satisfied that he is happy with what he created.
Wayne is up first to describe how he approached his Bioman Liberata. He wanted to keep the Bioman essence by keeping the face more human and bringing the Liberata into it with the extended nose and forehead. Glenn says that he gives him props for the details of the lip and nose. He just wishes he had put more of himself into the creature, and calls it mediocre due to the the paint job. Ve says that she likes the overall character, calling it well done and cohesive. She says, “You did a pretty great job.” Neville offers that, from far away it’s hard to see the details of the face, but closer up he can see there is some nice work there. Michael says that his proportions are very pleasing to the eye and he can see how he brought himself into the creature to make it all work. So, we’ve got some diametrically opposed criticism there.
Anthony brings out his Mutant Liberata, which sort of lurches forward like a hunchback — very effective! Ve calls it a very successful creation. He looks just like what he is supposed to be, and she likes his paint scheme. Michael says he has brought the two characters together in a very believable way – nice job! Glenn says that the face sculpture is fantastic. There is just so much “character,” he says emphatically. He is quite impressed!
Kris is next, explaining that he chose the Bioman and Mutant combination for his creature, and how the Mutant genes are shown to have spoiled the perfect Bioman. Neville says that head-to-toe there is a cool vibe to the character, and that he is also appropriately scary and off-putting. Michael says that his face is really scary. Glenn then comes in for the buzzkill, saying that it is “anatomically quite atrocious.” But, he likes the idea and the sense of proportion. “There is something quite redeemable about the make up,” he offers. Ve kind of tosses that shit right back at Glenn saying, “Come on, he’s a mutant, get over it.” She thinks the character is scary, loves the green glowing eyes and says “he’s a bitchen character.” Bitchen!
It’s funny, but seeing Eric stand next to his Sensoth 99er, they almost look like father and son, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Michael says the creation disturbs him, but in the right way. He just wishes it were more of a blend than a patchwork. Glenn quite likes the wardrobe and the way it tells a story. He also thinks that Eric took a step forward personally as an artist this week. Ve first enthuses how much she loves Eric personally before declaring that she really does not like this creation at all. The hair is too funky for her! Neville says that from a distance there is a well-done quality about it. He also remarks that Eric has elevated himself to a new level of sophistication.
Once the contestants leave the stage, the final deliberations begin. Regarding Wayne, Glenn says that his sculpting has been shockingly good. Michael says that his model looked the best at first glance and Ve agrees that he is extremely talented with a great future ahead of him in the business.
Regarding Anthony, Ve says his was the best morph of the two characters. She also says that his model had the best paint job. Glenn says that the primary forms of the sculpture are really solid and Neville offers that his work felt the most complete. Michael admits that Anthony created something that “lived in the world of the show.”
When it comes to Kris, Neville says that he took on so much that there was too much surface area for him to design and sculpt. Glenn says he succeeded in bringing out the mutant character. Ve says a wardrobe choice and not enough paint detail on the face is what kept this from being one of her favorite characters.
About Eric, Glenn says that, for a work by Eric, the make up is extremely subtle, adding that for once “we don’t have muscles and we don’t have blood all over everything.” He thinks that the ape aspects that he brought to the make up were an accurate call. Michael says the face comes the closest to being that of an actual character that could be on the show.
They know they have a tough decision to make because all four of the guys deserve to be there. Still it’s not a very big shock that tonight’s Winner and first finalist is Anthony, for the great job he did on the hybridization of his two aliens and all of the character that he put into the face. Yay! Anthony started out strong and makes a strong finish. As the first finalist, he has also won the opportunity to shadow the make up team on the set of Defiance. Very cool!
The next one to make it to the finale is Kris. The judges were a bit conflicted about the make up, but the essence of his concept came through and he has been a strong competitor all season. I am happy to see Kris in the finale because I have a little crush on him.
Now it’s down to just Wayne and Eric, which smells like fish to me. For a minute I think they are going to pull one of those soft-spot happy ending type decisions – like we’ve seen on Top Chef or Project Runway – where an extra contestant is allowed to squeeze through to the finale on good vibes and sentiment, because the judges can’t decide. But this is Hollywood, where sentiment is for shit. So . . .Wayne goes to the finale. How the hell did Eric not make it? This is devastating.
The judges tell Eric how much he rules, as images of all the cool make-ups he’s done all season flash access the screen. Everyone gives Eric a round of applause as he seriously tries not to cry. Eric is a total good sport about his exit. Rock on Eric. Your family is very proud of you and you have a ton of new fans.
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 article has been added into the historical archive of the Worley Gig for all of our readers to enjoy.
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Official Series Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Face_Off_(TV_series)