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Episode Recap: Child's Play

Inspired by Pee-wee’s Playhouse, the artists must bring an everyday toy to life. Featuring Paul Reubens (Pee-wee himself!).


Ve has done many amazing things, but it's her work on the epically popular kids' show Pee-wee's Playhouse that makes her the perfect advisor when the artists take popular children's toys and turn them into magical characters. They're paired off at random, but Melissa (who won last week's challenge) gets to choose which duo she'll make into a trio. She joins with Johnny and Rob and they pick lollipops as their inspiration. She knows they'll have to turn out more, and better quality, work because there's more of them, so she cranks up the juice.

How to Watch

Catch up on Face Off on Peacock or the SYFY App.

Mel and Anna choose a watch and ironically lose time deciding on their concept. Mel is super worried that their 'Watchman' character is too on-the-nose -- a watchman who's a watch man, a clock face that's a clock face –- but when Mr. Westmore gives his endorsement, her heart rate slows to normal. She takes his advice to paint the face in pinks and beiges rather than metallics to give it a warmer look. Ant is very confident in his beauty makeup skills, so his partner, Walter, trusts him when they make their sexy, sleek racecar woman. Mr. Westmore warns Ant that he better BRING IT, and Ant says OKAY, but then he kinda just paints the whole face silver.

Yvonne and Robert have a cringeworthy dynamic when they want to take their 'Board Game Man' (catchy nickname) in different directions -- Robert with more outsized proportions, and Yvonne with a more naturalistic feel. Njoroge and Jennifer, though good teammates, run into one problem after another with their crayon character, and their creative ideas –- curled paper hair, fingers that are functional crayons –- are pushed aside to deal with thick edges and ill-fitting appliances. Katie and Kaleb have a lovely design for their magic key princess, but Mr. Westmore –- and most viewers –- don't see 'key' really anywhere but where they're painted on the dress.

Whatever anxiety the artists have at Last Looks is washed away with joy when they come on stage and see none other than Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman himself, joining the judges' panel. Then the judging begins and the anxiety comes right back again. Katie & Kaleb and Walter & Ant are safe, but the judges call out Yvonne & Robert for making a Board Game Man who is kind of scary looking. Had they gone with larger proportions, it might have turned out better, but as Paul Reubens points out, if you make game pieces that look like baby bottle nipples and put one on top of the character's nipple … well, just don't do that.

Jennifer & Njoroge are also on Bottom Looks, largely due to the total lack of depth in their paint job; he's just yellow. And Paul opines that it hurts him physically that the character's crayon fingers are colors other than yellow. Jennifer's cowl was perhaps the sloppiest piece of the ensemble, and she is sent home.

Melissa, Johnny & Rob matched colors and forms in the perfect blend for this challenge, and the cellophane cape on their lollipop man was a great touch. Mel & Anna also score a top spot, with perfect application, just the right proportions, and a face paint job with speckling and layers that makes the character come alive. Mel's elation when she's named the winner is a complete turnaround from her nail biting at the start of this challenge. Time changes all things!