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Episode Recap: Return to Oz
The second season of Face Off is hot out of the gate, and the competition is even fiercer this time around. Fourteen contestants as wild as their makeups arrive at the Universal Studios lot to compete for the title of Face Off Champion. McKenzie Westmore greets them and surprises them with two guests, series judge Ve Neill and last year's winner, Connor McCullagh. The excitement heats up even more when McKenzie tells them that their first challenge - to make an entire character - starts immediately.
Highlights are industry veteran Gerald's elven queen, for coherence and bold color choices, and internet favorite RJ, for overall excellence. Gerald wins and secures himself immunity for the Spotlight Challenge. Those who bit off a little more than they could chew, like Brea with her zip-away human skin design, get lower marks.
The contestants have to put the highs and lows of the previous day behind them when they hear their Spotlight Challenge for the week: redesign four characters from The Wizard of Oz. And as if reinventing this iconic legend weren't enough, the contestants are going to be split into two teams - men against women.
The ladies split off and, after minimal negotiating, move forward with the concept, "Post-Apocalyptic/Tribal". The boys, however, are off to a rocky start. Jerry, who has immunity, keeps vetoing ideas, making the rest of the guys more and more frustrated. Even when they finally begin work, Jerry keeps making changes.
When it comes time for the judging, everyone's nervous yet eager to go before series judges Ve, Patrick Tatopoulos and Glenn Hetrick. The women's work fairly trounces the men's with superior sculpting and a coherent theme, with high marks going to Tara for creating a fully realized Scarecrow all by her lonesome, and Brea and Beki for their take on the Wicked Witch as a beautiful, sexy ruler. Brea's sculpture gets special attention, and she wins this week's challenge.
By contrast, the only thing the judges unanimously liked on the men's team was the Lion, whose emaciated frame and grayed-out color palate formed a whole new take on the iconic character. Jerry's Witch was not a hit, but since he has immunity, he doesn't have to worry that his misstep will send him home - this week. The bottom two contestants, Nix and Greg, created a Tin Woodsman that may have been a contender, but when they ran out of time and cut corners, it cost them.
Because Greg did the chest application - the element the judges felt hurt the design most - he was sent home. The other contestants bid him a fond farewell, and do their best to prepare their minds for the next challenge.