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Wiggidy what?! There's a new crop of artists coming to the lab, but they'll be competing against the veterans of past seasons. Get ready for a high-octane season! Laura, Tate, Roy, Miranda, Alana, Frank, R.J., and Eric Z. set their sites on the Face Off championship once again. And yeah, the 8 newcomers are intimidated - the smart ones, anyway!
Amid a sea full of masked, costumed characters, McKenzie turns to the stars of Syfy's new series, Heroes of Cosplay, for some tips on this week's foundation challenge of giving costumes depth with a symbiotic makeup job. She then introduces guest judge Catherine Hardwicke, director of Thirteen, Red Riding Hood, and Twilight. After two hours of lightning-fast work, Catherine is most impressed with Tate's witchy princess with a poison locket replacing her heart, Laura's underworld queen, and Roy's caricatured military man. Tate wins the challenge, and immunity for this week.
The oldies and the newbies arrive at the loft and it's a stunner. Past contestants' artwork is all over the walls, but concentrated mostly in the newbies' room - yes, "room", singular - they're all bunking together! Get ready to ratchet up the tension until a few of them get eliminated… The next day, they meet at the Dolby Theater, site of the Academy Awards ceremony, where McKenzie rises out of the floor in a cloud of mist. She invites Oscar-winning makeup artist Bill Corso - whose work includes "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "X-Men: The Last Stand" - to give them some pointers on how to complete their team challenge of creating five, hyper-stylized fantasy characters in just two and a half days. He notes that Oscar-worthy makeup is so because everyone works together to create a synergistic look - keep your characters cohesive and work as a team, and you'll go far.
This team challenge is veterans against newbies, and if there's one thing the vets have learned, it's not to get distracted by what the competition is doing. They work fast and furious with the clay, getting most of their pieces sculpted by the end of day one. But the newcomers are not in bad shape, delegating work and helping each other out when they can. Adolfo hits a major snag when he tries to open his mold too soon and it takes on a huge crack. He reinforces it and has to leave it overnight, costing him valuable painting time the next day. Sam and Scott butt heads over how best to paint their character and wind up with what the judges call "two different paint jobs."
Sam and Scott do not wind up in the bottom looks, however - the judges are dismayed with Adolfo's work, and though he explains his obstacle with the mold, they point out that he could've spent his lost time working on the costume, or designing a superior paintjob for an inferior base sculpt. The judges also take apart the work done by RJ, Eric, and Frank for being wildly disproportionate, and apply the same critique to Tolin and Eddie's ogre, but with the added concern that the head sculpt is rudimentary. Since Tolin was responsible for that aspect, he is the first to be eliminated from the competition. Though he's sad he won't get to showcase more of his work, he accepts the decision gracefully and maintains his knowledge that his life is in special effects makeup.
Laura impressed the judges with her blind witch by doing not only an amazing paint job (as is characteristic) but also executing some bold design ideas with molting horns and fingers coming out of the witch's spine. Ve notes that the face paint is not as strong as the torso, but it's otherwise a tremendous piece, and a ton of work. They're also impressed that Laney and Rick are able to turn out a faun that competes on the level of the work the vets turned in, and are especially excited by Laney's decision to pull the faun's fur down onto the bridge of her nose in a feminine way. The final member of the top looks is Alana and Miranda's pixie, who won its way there largely by grace of Miranda's precise sculpt and expert paint job. They name her the winner of the week, and she's elated to come back to the competition with such a strong debut.