Face Off Episodes

Season

10

Episode

5

Foreign Bodies

Usually the lab is just the lab, but today, it's a LAB. Like, for SCIENCE. Like, a place where people study microscopic organisms like the tardigrade and Taenia taeniaformis ... and perform ill-advised experiments on the little buggers that lead to the organisms becoming aggressive, invading the scientists' bodies, and exploding out of them a la the chest busters from Alien. That, in a nutshell, is the premise of this week's Spotlight Challenge. An icon who knows a thing or two about weird science is Lance Henriksen, best known for losing half his body to a parasitic extraterrestrial in Aliens. He drops by to tell the artists that the key to this particular horror is the suspense ... and the surprise pow! of the exploding alien.

They get to pick their partners this time (yay!) and there are two repeat partners in the works: Katie & Robert (thrown together by chance and a little nervous about it) and Yvonne & Anna (not fixing what ain't broken, after their strong showing as partners two weeks ago). Everyone's in the thick of creation when McKenzie delivers one of her classic twists. She and Lance wheel out a giant cart of various goos and glops –- it's time to make the perfect slime for your alien! They have two hours and a chance at immunity for both partners.

Lance loves the color that Mel & Melissa come up with, a bright blue that can be sinister or playful. The boost of confidence is great, but when they get back to sculpting Mel doubts the forms she pulls out for the face of her enoplid nematode. She resculpts not once, not twice, not thrice, but FOUR times before she’s satisfied. And when it comes time to paint, the duo keep their standards high by going for a gorgeous array of blues, purples and greens in contrast to the flaccid skin of what used to be a human face that surrounds the alien's head like a collar. The judges love the color scheme and give special props to the human teeth inserted on what appear to be the alien's many mouths.

Johnny & Walter overcome a failed stomach appliance to deliver a perfectly presentable makeup. In this game, though, presentable is tantamount to boring, and that's just what the judges think of their tardigrade monster. The critter's mouth bursts out of the host's stomach and spins around ... which would be cool if the rest of the makeup were way more imaginative.

Anna & Yvonne love the look of their character –- the sideways-bursting face is exactly what they were going for, and the tobacco-colored slime casts a creepy look of decay over the character. Unfortunately, the judges cringe at the strict bifurcation down the middle of the face and get more of a 'transformation' than 'explosion' feel from the makeup. Being on Bottom Looks makes them create their own slime –- oh wait, that's sweat. We get those mixed up all the time.

Rob gives a lot of TLC to his cowl sculpture –- and it pays off -– but he starts to sweat (slime?) when he realizes how little time he has to mold. He makes it happen, and his partner, Kaleb, has done a great job on the face of the victim. They implemented Lance's note on the element of surprise by having the alien burst out of the back of its host, a move which makes the judges explode ... with praise! Yuk yuk. In addition to the cowl and face, they make the alien burst out of the arm in two places and out of the back of the neck with a freaky muscular tendril. Rob's work on that bit earns him his second win –- in a row!

Although Katie and Robert had a lot more harmony in their second time as partners, the result was not the marriage of true minds. Katie's cowl is little more than an extended cranium with bumps and Robert's contribution, an exploding space worm named Klaus, is underwhelming. Katie's cowl is also very heavy, making it peel up from the model's forehead ... and the edge refuses to be blended. These two burdens are too much for one artist to bear. Though she goes home this week, she keeps her chipper attitude to the last note.