Only three contestants remain in the running: Nicole, who came back to the show after being eliminated, Derek, who fought on after his twin brother was eliminated, and Laura, who needs this win to jumpstart her career. Everyone has so much at stake, but they manage to focus on the task ahead.
At the lab, McKenzie tells them they'll be creating two characters: a demon bent on destroying the world, and a good witch determined to track the demon down once and for all. One at a time, they choose the element that their creations will be based on - Laura chooses Earth, Nicole chooses Water, and Derek chooses Fire. Then, McKenzie delivers the twist: these makeups have to be sturdy enough to withstand a full-on, bravado fight sequence. The contestants are sweating, but when they learn they'll be getting some help from the eliminated contestants, the pressure gets a little lighter.
Derek, who chose his brother and Jason as his teammates, speeds through his process - he creates a witch made of lava and a demon that was imprisoned under the hardened flow, and encounters no real speed bumps. Laura is having a hard time getting Rod to take the lead on his assignment, but they still manage to get everything done in time.
Nicole, however, struggles to lead Roy in a successful collaboration, since Roy has not recovered from the sting of being eliminated. He does not want to help anyone but himself win the Face Off prize, and he makes that clear through his truculence. Nicole is increasingly worried and confused, but on the second day, Roy channels his frustration into his work and makes a beautiful blue glass staff for the Water Witch. Nicole's team has turned a corner.
The final day arrives, and in the mad rush in the lab, Tommy accidentally knocks over the glass staff. Nicole mourns the loss, but they have to move on.
The space is packed with an audience made of fans and past contestants alike. Team by team, the characters walk onto the stage. First is Laura's Earth Witch, a graceful green, white and black force, and Demon, a gnarled, toxic imp. Up next is Nicole's martial arts-fighting Water Witch and quill-toothed Demon, followed by Derek's Fire Witch and Demon. The judges love the lines and color choices of Laura's witch, but feel her nuclear waste-inspired demon misses the mark. They thoroughly enjoy the coordination of Nicole's witch and demon, and are inspired by Derek's lava work in his pieces.
In reviewing the essence of each contestant - Laura's consistently high caliber of artistry, Derek's divergent thinking, Nicole's heart - the judges feel that picking a top look is a nearly impossible job. Ultimately, though, it is not they, but the viewers who will decide who this season's Face Off champion will be.
Get a sneak peek at the next episode of Face Off, airing Tuesday at 9/8c on syfy
The artists must create a clown character that terrifies €“ AND performs a routine.
See how McKenzie responds to your Facebook questions.