With only four contestants left in the competition, and all of them excellent artists, it's anyone's guess who will earn a spot in the finale, and who will be sent home. McKenzie meets them in the lab with large monitors, each of which illuminates to display one of the alien races that lives in Syfy's original show, Defiance, premiering in April. Their task is to design the offspring of two of the aliens, and there to deliver a special message is Kevin Murphy, executive producer and co-creator of the show. He tells them that in order to truly get a sense of the glory of the show, he's flying them to the set in Toronto, where they'll get to roam the town of Defiance, meet some cast members, and have a tutorial with Allan Cooke, key prosthetic makeup artist for the show. Due to a family situation, Eric will not be able to go with them, and he's feeling majorly bummed to be missing out on such a tremendous opportunity.
The other three artists return to the lab after their trip, full of inspiration. Kris chose a Bioman (a muscular hulk with glowing green eyes) and a Mutant, a gnarled, bloody mass, and conceptualizes a huge monster. Anthony also chose the Mutant, and is combining it with the Liberata, a fuzzy, simian kind of creature. He'll focus on the rolls of fat on its neck and baboon-like nose, then bring in the grotesquerie of the Mutant. Wayne's plan is to join his Liberata facial features and Bioman body anatomy. Eric F. had to choose last, and has two aliens that he's not thrilled about: The apelike Sensoth, and the slender, mechanized 99er. He's feeling uninspired for perhaps the first time in the competition, and simply sculpts a Sensoth to lay mechanized parts over.
With the stakes being as high as they are, everyone's spending a lot of time on their sculpts, but this leaves them with very little time to make their molds. In the spirit of camaraderie that has permeated this season and grown stronger as time went on, they all help each other as much as they can, but Anthony is the only artist who manages to finish his molds by the end of day two. This means that everyone else will have to run their pieces in polyfoam, an inferior medium for movement, comfort, and look. It also results in everyone but Anthony rushing through their paint jobs and having little time for application. At last looks, Wayne is kicking himself for not managing his time better, as has been his challenge throughout the season, and he feels certain he'll be going home, but Kris feels the same way for the fact that his chest piece ripped when he opened his mold.
Defiance producer and director Michael Nankin joins the panel of judges this week, and is truly impressed by how well each artist managed to capture the spirit of the show and make it their own. Despite Wayne's time management issues, the judges like how he stayed true to each species yet managed to create something new. Anthony's creation impressed them by being the most complete makeup, from concept to paint job to tiny details, with the color scheme and tufts of hair really bringing it home. They notice the tearing in Kris's makeup, but the frightening overall effect of his character supersedes the technical shortcomings. Eric's makeup impresses them for being so precise, and Glenn is especially pleased that Eric managed to deliver clean makeup that's faithful to the source material. Michael, however, feels that instead of this being a blend of the two species, it's an amalgam that looks good but doesn't carry the same weight as the others.
This is a tough decision for the judges, and Glenn makes special mention of how impressed they are with everyone's work before he announces that the winner of this challenge and the first artist to earn a spot in the finale is Anthony. His win this week has also earned him an internship on Defiance, a surprise that makes his win even more emotional. Anthony is soon joined by Wayne and Kris, meaning that Eric F. will be going home. He is truly disappointed, mostly because he feels he let his family down and he wants them to be proud of him, but with a glowing goodbye from the judges and his usual glass-half-full mindset, he manages to leave with a sense of success. His fellow competitors, though glad to have made it to the finale, are heartbroken to see him leave.
Get a sneak peek at the next episode of Face Off, airing Tuesdays at 9/8c on syfy
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