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Episode Recap: Face Your Fears
In the season premiere of Face Off, twelve of your favorite artists return to the competition with a twist: this time they’re battling.
Did you miss us?? Because we missed you! But fear not, our time away was spent
making this awesome show even awesomer. How is that possible, you ask? Why,
we’ve come up with all kinds of wonderful ways to tie in the meanings and
mysticisms of the magical number thirteen (this is our thirteenth season, after all).
What’s more, we have a whole new format for ya: contestants will go head-to-head
on these challenges, and each pair of artists will have one winner and one loser,
making each week a death match. Eliminations won’t happen every week, but two
eliminations will happen every other week. Oh, and finally, each contestant is a
beloved alum of this show, so get ready for some revenge and redemption! But
probably more redemption.
McKenzie meets this Season’s artists on a blustery night and tells them that their
first spotlight challenge is a mashup of famous fairy tale characters with the
aesthetic lens of visionary director Guillermo del Toro. There are two of each
character, in line with the death match model, and when the artists bring their
sketches to the lab, creativity abounds.
Graham and Sasha are both working on Little Mermaids, with Graham drawing
inspiration from Abe Sapien (from Hellboy) and Sasha creating a landlocked "maid in
a wheelchair" – she never did lose that tail. Graham notes how odd it is that he could
be sending his friend home in week one – and also that he’d be okay with that, if
that’s how the chips landed.
Mr. Westmore stops by to coach the contestants and is impressed with the scope of
work undertaken. Jordan’s take on the Gingerbread Man makes Mr. Westmore step
back – it’s a gruesome pile of mildewed, chewed cookie (but in a really cool way).
Mel, on the other hand is going classic Gingerbread, with the exception of a creepy
grin and eyes that live in the Man’s palms.
Kelly knows she bit off a lot to chew, but she’s learned her lesson about time
management, and gets her massive Humpty Dumpty cowl piece into the mold room
ASAP. But when it still hasn’t cured at the end of the day, AND her mold is locked,
she fears she might be in trouble. She finally gets it open and heads outside to power
wash, when the other artists see her plight and rush to help her. Gotta love the
supportive community of SFX artists!
On reveal day, the contestants geek all the way out when brilliant actor and frequent
del Toro collaborator Doug Jones steps on stage to be their guest judge! His
creativity and kindness make this an extra special event.
The work is strong so far this season, but a few makeups stand out, for good and for bad. Kevon’s Captain Hook, while impressive in the amount that was accomplished, is
rambling and visually confusing. Alligator skin, hooks pulling flesh together, an
outlandish costume: the judges agree he needs to edit if he’s going to stay in the game. Yvonne, who envisioned a Tinkerbell who died of a broken heart, baked a
sorrowful expression into her face piece (always a tough move), and her paint job
was uninspired. She’s determined to destroy the next challenge to ensure she’s not
the first one to go home.
Yvonne’s direct competitor was Matt, who adopted some of the crown shapes from
Hellboy 2’s Angel of Death for Tink and found his way into top looks. Kelly joins him
– her ambition paid off! The shapes she incorporated to Humpty Dumpty – jagged,
mineral ridges, a single eye in front and a giant, yolky eye in the back – make the
character truly original, and her attention to detail made the makeup camera ready.
The judges are universally impressed, and she is this season’s first winner – and it’s
her first win, EVER! Congrats, Kelly!