The vets are a little shaken from having lost another one of their own, but when they enter the lab and see McKenzie standing in front of the workstations - each outfitted with an ornate box and a model - their heads go right into the game. McKenzie introduces award-winning artist Valli O'Reilly as their guest judge, and she asks them to take the mystery element from the box and create a character that tells a story and has a humanistic realism to it. The artists find unique sets of teeth in the boxes - Miranda has teeth that are wired shut, Tate has tobacco-stained teeth, and Roy has rows of tiny fangs. These artists produce Valli's top looks - a kidnapped princess, a drunken bandoliero, and a virus-infected astronaut, respectively - and Roy captures best the spirit Valli was looking for. He wins a huge prize: immunity from elimination.
The next day brings another thrill, with classic Halloween characters lining up behind McKenzie as inspiration for the Spotlight Challenge of creating a one-of-a-kind take on some of the most popular costumes: Vampire, clown, skeleton, devil, and scarecrow. Each character will have to incorporate a gag, such as a bladder, LEDs, or spilling blood. Laura's thrilled that she got vampire, and starts to work on a creature who has become so hungry that he eats his own flesh. As her gag, she places a spurting vein beneath one of the open wounds. Miranda is stuck on her skeleton (she picked last and did NOT want this option) even though Tate and Frank do their best to reassure her of her genius. Tate has ideas to spare, having worked on this kind of thing for years in his professional life, and starts sculpting a skull the shape of which we've never seen before.
Scott is also experienced in Halloween looks - he makes Halloween prosthetics for a living and is feeling good about this challenge. But when he opens his mold and finds a huge crack in it, the fear of being on bottom looks for the third time in a row comes back to haunt him. On application day, Laney is amped up with the success of her makeup - a crazy clown - and begins applying real cotton candy as the hair, not thinking about the fact that it will wilt with heat. Alana is in full freak-out mode, since her idea for an albino devil looks more cute and sweet than evil - she didn't take Mr. Westmore's advice to make the nose less human, and is regretting it.
The judges agree with Mr. Westmore and place Alana on bottom looks. Although the albino notion was a good one, it looks wrong next to the lava horns she created. Also in bottom looks is Scott's clown - the judges don't get why he placed facial piercings in the cheeks and dislike his paint job; Lyma joins them due to her painting style - influenced by her work as a body painter - being too broad, and her gag of glowing eyes being over-trod. Alana is close to tears and Scott is ready for the worst, so when Lyma's name is called, neither of them can believe it. Lyma leaves with a huge sense of accomplishment, bright inspiration for her career, and a new family of artists.
In top looks today is immune Roy, with a devil who looks like he's made of frozen lava and has super cool extending wings as his gag; Tate, whose visual storytelling was superbly carried out in a technically expert shepherd-of-the-dead skeleton; and Laney, who had a great concept and made some cool detail choices, like blonde armpit hair and guts that pull out of her body like a clown's scarf gag. Tate wins for the great concept and fresh sculpting choices, and the fact that he won on a Halloween challenge - his favorite holiday - means that much more.
Check out a sneak peek of the next episode of Face Off, Tuesdays at 9/8c.
Sixteen artists arrive to compete €“ but learn that the first challenge is their final audition. Who will make it onto the true competition? Featuring Robert Englund as a guest presenter.