Back in 2013, my episode recaps of SyFy’s Face Off Season 4 were originally written for the website Redesign Revolution. As that site has gone offline, these articles have been added into the historical archive of the Worley Gig for all of our readers to enjoy. The can be easily located under the tag Face Off at This Link!
Tonight’s Episode (Airdate February 19th, 2013): Bugging Out
This week, the contestants struggle with lab mishaps and time-management issues to create a metamorphosis that makes everyone get a little Bug-gy.
McKenzie introduces a Special Guest Judge for tonight’s Foundation Challenge, Lija Stewart, who works for Make Up Forever. In tonight’s Challenge, the artists must recreate an iconic female storybook character. The winner will receive immunity plus a special prize. Dany Sanz, Creator and Artistic Director of Make Up Forever appears on a monitor and announces that the winner will also receive a make-up case filled with all of her favorite products – a prize worth thousands of dollars! This news gets everyone excited, because make up is expensive!
Each model comes out holding a different fairy tale from which the character will be pulled. Wayne chooses Little Miss Muffet. Eric Z gets Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Eric F gets Little Red Riding Hood. Autumn chooses Snow White. Anthony takes Cinderella. Kris selects Gretel from Hansel and Gretel. Alam gets Sleeping Beauty. House gets Rapunzel and Megan gets Little Bo Peep. But…there is catch: the contestants must take the classic good girls and turn them into bad girls. Lija advises them to find something in the story to drive the transformation.
They have two hours to complete the challenge. Eric is looking through the generic prosthetics pile from which to ‘Frankenstein’ his character together. Eric Z looks forward to making Belle into a bad ass. House takes long white eyelashes to use as the base of his Rapunzel make up, and will make her face a ghostly white. Kris is using straight Beauty make up to make his Gretel a beautiful bad ass. Anthony decides that Cinderella has had her skin burned off from too much work in the cinders. He is using silicone to build up third-degree burns on her skin’s surface.
Alam is going to age her Sleeping Beauty to give the full on ‘Sleeping for 100 Years’ look. Meagan confesses that she does not know much about Bo Peep’s backstory so her vision will be to make her evil and mysterious. Wayne will turn Miss Muffet into a Spider with fangs. Autumn’s Snow White has a heart of ice so she now searches the land to devour the warm heart of a Prince. Time’s up!
Lija thinks the aging Snow White could have had her aging prosthetics blended better. Eric’s Red Riding Hood has been attacked by the big bad wolf and is mid-transformation into becoming a werewolf. Lija likes it. Lija calls Wayne’s Miss Muffet “Beautifully Evil” but maybe she could have had more make-up on.
Fave looks are Eric F’s Red Riding Hood for the makeshift prosthetics and the overall character he created. She also likes Wayne’s character’s fangs. The winner is Eric F, who is ecstatic not only to win immunity but also to get his hands on that priceless make-up kit. He is happy that for the next Spotlight Challenge he can get as crazy as he wants and have no fear.
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 (of course!). 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!
Tonight’s Episode (Airdate February 5th, 2013): Eye Candy
The artists must create a Candy-themed Creature Incorporating candy located throughout the lab. Will this be the week that another contestant breaks Anthony’s winning streak?
At the Federal Bar, a 1920’s bar and former site of the first annual Beard and Mustache competition (Yes: it is a thing), McKenzie introduces the contestants to John Meyatt the President of the National Beard and Mustache Club and the National Beard Champion! John tells them that their Foundation Challenge is to hand-lay outrageous facial hair. But, the models are all women; and they must transform their models into bearded circus ladies! The winner receives immunity from elimination in the Spotlight Challenge. John offers some inside advice by telling the contestants that these beard and mustache competitions are a ‘cross between a male beauty pageant and a dog show.’ Fun!
Contestants are provided with all kinds of hair and racks of circus wardrobe / costumes. This should be a kick! The artists have two hours to complete their looks. Jenna finds a beautiful saloon dress and starts making her model into a leprechaun burlesque dancer. Eric Z says laying hair is all about the application, so he wants it to look very natural, while Eric F says he has no experience with laying hair so he is just going to put some glue on her face and start sticking hair into it. Alex wants to dye her lady’s beard pink. Wayne somehow keeps injuring his hand. Eric Z is concerned that his approach may be too conservative since everyone else is being so outrageous. Time’s up!
John likes the pink in Alex’s facial hair but thinks it could be cleaned-up and more symmetrical. John and McKenzie love Jenna’s burlesque leprechaun. Eric Z gets props for his realistic look and John says his lady looks very masculine and that the hair is laid very realistically. House’s mustache should have been a bit thicker under the nose. Overall Eric F gets called out for the color and blending of the hair. Alex also gets props for her color blending and curls on the beard and mustache. And the winner is Eric Z, who is now immune from elimination!
Tonight’s Episode (Airdate January 29th, 2013): When Hell Freezes Over
As we open, everyone is at the house talking about how much they just want to beat Anthony, who has won all previous challenges. Will tonight be their night?
Contestants arrive in the desert surrounded by a group of sign-bearing pitchforks planted in the earth. McKenzie says “Welcome to Hell” as she introduces their next challenge: each pitchfork bears the name of a demon from a different world culture. Working in teams of two, they will bring one of these demons to life. Hell, Yeah!
The teams and their chosen demons are:
Kris and Eric Z – Abraxas
Alam and Anthony – Deumas
House and Meagan – Azi Dahaka (a half man / half snake, bound with chains)
Alex and Autumn (much to Alex’s chagrin) – Pzuzu
Katie and Jenna – Known heretofore as Team Redhead – Eurynome
Eric F. and Wayne- Chort
McKenzie leaves them out in the desert to sketch for thirty minutes in the scorching heat. Alex and Autumn chose a gargoyle theme for Pazuzu and think they nailed it. House and Megan have Azi Dahaka, which means ‘fiendish snake.’ He will have a snake arm. Eric and Wayne’s Chort has a pig face, and they are expecting to get into ‘top looks’ already. Alam and Anthony want to make their demon, Deumas, beautiful to take her away from the grotesque nature that everyone else will surely embrace.
Back in the lab, Eric F looks for electronics to incorporate into his demon. He and Wayne want to give it animatronic, blinking eyes with an elongated head covering the eye mechanism. Team Redhead’s Eurynome is Grecian Demon which will be covered in sores. They start their facial sculpt with small horns and gnarly, wolf- like teeth. Katie wants to do a “walker,” a creature with very long arms. Jenna hopes they can pull it off.
Tonight’s Episode (Airdate January 22nd, 2013): Heroic Proportions
Note: Starting now and in all future recaps (until he is eliminated), contestant Michael will be referred to as Wolverine.
The contestants are having breakfast when a note arrives from McKenzie asking them to join her at San Diego Comic Con – a nerd’s dream come true! The group is understandably excited. Tonight we skip the Foundation Challenge and go directly into the group’s first individual Spotlight Challenge: to create an original Super Hero! To help them get inspired are DC Comic artist legends Dan Didio and Jim Lee. Jim says that Super Heroes reflect the era that they come from and suggests that the artists consider the importance of their color palette, which are generally primary colors. Dan says to take into consideration how the hero’s powers relate to how they look. A group of DC artists will consult with the contestants while they brainstorm and sketch. The winning look will appear in an upcoming DC comic book!
Eric Z is so excited to be able to work with Jim Lee – his hero – on his design. He bases his hero sketch on his dad, a working class guy in a chemical factory. Autumn mentions that her young daughter loves Super Heroes, so she will use her as an inspiration. Her Super Hero is a flashback to the 1970s and has pink skin. House is doing a Robot Girl; a “kick ass cyborg.” His sketch looks like the robot from the silent film ‘Metropolis’ dressed like Tank Girl. Anthony talks about a lava character that will incorporate shiny volcanic rock. Hey, didn’t that idea get someone kicked off last week?
Eric F is inspired by a ‘40s Dick Tracy look. His character will be a type of cop. Wolverine is designing an anti-hero, Elijah, Bringer of Plagues. He wears a mask that he says resembles an “old plague doctor” with a long nose meant to hold incense to cover up the smell of death! Talk about a complete back-story! Meagan designs Freedom Fighter, who protects NYC. His costume incorporates aspects of the Twin Towers. I’m thinking this idea could go either way. Katie also has a punk rock aesthetic for her hero that shoots electricity out of its fingers. Kris is working on a Time Traveler character.
Meagan is overwhelmed immediately and calls her unintentional “cat robot” the worst sculpt in the room. Wayne points out that most Super Heroes have a thin nose, as reflected in his facial sculpt! His guy is in a muscle suit type of costume. Alam’s creation is covered with shards of glass from exploding buildings, or something like that. Alex is doing an ambitious aquatic female character that could look amazing if executed correctly. And…Meagan is still hopelessly lost as everyone progresses around her.
Jenna’s creation is called Silversight. She’s like Wonder Woman with wings! Jenna is all about the strong, beautiful woman, for sure. We get a “how to” on the way a facial sculpt is made into the finished head piece with the clay, mold, silicone, etc. Educational! At the end of day one, Wolverine is worried that he might have two bottom looks in a row and Katie voices concern that her creation is too simple compared to what everyone else is doing.
On day two of the Super Hero challenge it’s time for Eric Z to work on things like armor and props. Eric F wants to expose the human anatomy of his character using clear domes as well as showing the lungs actually functioning. Jenna needs to get her wings done and she needs feathers as well. Alam’s glass shard costume looks insane! She says that she is worried that she doesn’t know the materials well, but the costume looks just amazing. Wolverine feels that he is wasting time because his mask, which is such an important part of the look, is not coming out the way he wants. He switches to a spandex cowl, which he will sculpt a nose onto. Anthony fears he may have gone “too big” (ambition wise) with the chest piece sculpts needed for his hero’s body armor. He is way behind at the end of day two. House, whose Robot Girl is based on Japanese anime, aspires to receive Top Looks for all of his characters! This challenge is so ambitious that we don’t even have any down time back at the house or any unrelated personal drama. The contestants are all business.
Day three is for applications and the models arrive so the Super Hero looks can start coming together. I love Alam’s costume so much but she is having trouble getting the glass shard back piece to stay on because it is so heavy. Anthony smashes one of his fingers trying to open his mold, which just will not open, so his chest piece will not make it onto his final look. Time to go to Plan B, which means…what? We’re in the final hours of last looks, which is Alam’s last chance to get her back piece on and Anthony to improvise for his discarded chest piece.
Glenn, Ve and Neville meet up with the contestants at judges table with no guest judges tonight.
Wolverine’s Bringer of the Plagues looks surprisingly cheap to me, like a Monk wearing a glitter Mardi Gras mask, but he’s very proud of his look.
Kris’s character is called Orion X. His face looks cool, like a chiseled ice creature, but he’s a bit worried that he did not spend enough time on the costume, and it shows.
Wayne’s Solarian looks like Mr. Freeze with dreadlocks and a blue paint job on the body, which he admits is unfinished. It’s obvious that this head does not go with the body he created, at all.
Anthony’s The Infernal Core looks, so far, the most like what a Comic Book Super Hero should look like. The facial detail, with a split paint job, looks very creative. He regrets not having the chest piece but his look is still one of the best so far.
Meagan feels that her Freedom Fighter will be in the bottom looks and I do not disagree. It’s horrible.
House’s Robot Girl is much more of a horror look than anticipated. The paint job is very gory and she looks like one of the cenobites from Hellraiser. Not what I was expecting from the sketch, but well-done.
How did Autumn get on this show? Her Mercury Ray looks really cheap, with her flat, monochromatic red body paint, and insectoid eyes, but Autumn expresses that she’s got what it takes to be a Super Hero because, “Her panties are on the outside and she’s got a cape.” OK! The costume looks like she bought it at Walmart. Despite how shoddy the workmanship looks, it does have an undeniable comic-book-feel.
Alam’s Dark Shard is impressive. It’s simple but the details are so finely executed that the concept is fully realized. Too bad about that back piece.
Alex’s H2 Ophelia looks like an albino creature left over from Battlefield Earth. No me gusta.
Jenna’s Silversight makes a vibrant first impression even though the wings were obviously where Jenna spent 90 percent of her time.
Katie’s Revolt has a fun mask and wig, but she may be right that it is too simple. She doubts Glenn will dig it.
Eric Z’s Contagion has one big arm like Hell Boy, with a comic book vibe overall.
Eric F’s Dick Gritty also had a good design for a DC Comics’ Super Hero. His sculpt has some truly “gritty” features including exposed organs and facial muscles.
Unfortunately the judges make Dark Shard turn around during Closer Looks and you can see that not only is the back piece – which was the most impressive part of the costume – totally missing, but the model’s back is completely exposed and just has some paint splashed on it. Oh, Alam. That’s not going to be good for anyone.
House, Eric F, Meagan, Anthony and Wolverine are the best and the worst this week and the others are safe and may return to the make-up room to breathe huge sighs of relief.
Up for cross-examination by the judges, House explains that Robot Girl is a pro fighter from the future out for revenge. Glenn calls the design extremely unconventional and says that his risks paid off. Ve likes it despite the gore and Neville concurs that it reads a bit more horror than Super Hero. Glenn says it speaks to him.
The arm pieces worn by Meagan’s Freedom Fighter are bad news. Ve says that his arms look like “TV controls with gaffers tape wrapped around them,” which, yes. She thinks the face sculpt is “rough.” Glenn likes the neck piece but says ultimately the character does not work; she missed too many opportunities to do cool things.
Eric F explains that his detective Dick Gritty is a reanimated corpse out for revenge. Neville calls it an entertaining piece. Ve gets the 1940s vibe. Glen says that the look compels the viewer to ask what happened to this guy to make him that way, which is exactly what you want.
Wolverine Explains His Crappy Make-Up to the Judges
Wolverine gives his Bringer of Plagues’ back-story. Glenn gets that the mask is based on a traditional plague doctor but says this version of the mask was unsuccessful. Ve wonders what he did with his time and says that this week was a huge waste of time for him.
Anthony’s The Infernal Core is from the Earth’s core and Ve puts it out there that there have been other characters presented with the cracked earth lava look, but his is the first one that has been successful. Despite not being able to get his chest and back pieces out of the molds, he transcended those obstacles and came up with a strong silhouette, says Neville. Glenn loves the piece’s mix of a great sculpt and great paint job. Well done!
Katie calls her Revolt character a “vigilante homemade hero punk rock superman” (doctor lawyer Indian chief). Neville doesn’t think she is as well-versed at anatomy as she needs to be. He says the character neither looks heroic nor menacing, just deformed. Glenn calls the mask a “Jugalo Tiki Mask” from a frat party. What a burn!
Tonight’s winner is Anthony for the strong work on his characters’ head sculpture! His creature will be featured in a DC comic! That’s three wins in a row for Anthony! Can he be stopped?
Sadly…Wolverine goes home due to making too many bad decisions and not giving the judges any make up to look at. Wolverine! I can’t believe I only got to call you Wolverine for one episode!
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.
Tonight’s Episode (Airdate January 15, 2013): Make It Reign
Hello and welcome to my recaps of Season Four of SyFy Channel’sFace Off, the reality competition show where special effects makeup artists compete for a $100,000 prize! I’ve been watching Face Off since Season One, and I’m a huge fan, so this should be a lot of fun. Before we get to this season’s first challenges, let’s meet the players!
On the judges panel we have industry veterans Glenn Hetrick – Face Off’s Anthony Bourdain! – and Ve Neil (below) returning for their fourth season on the show.
Artist / creature designer Neville Page is back as permanent replacement for production designer / director Patrick Totopoulos, who left a few weeks into the third season to direct his 300 sequel. Welcome judges!
Former soap opera actress McKenzie Westmore returns as our charming host, with her famous father Michael Westmore (revered for his makeup work with the Star Trek franchise) joining this season as a mentor.
Season Four’s 14 Artist Contestants (with age and home city noted) are: