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Episode Recap: Cryptic Creatures


In one of the toughest Foundation Challenges in Face Off history, the contestants, working in pairs, must create a fighting band of ten orcs - one leader and nine followers - in two and a half hours. To add even more juice to the challenge, makeup magnifico Howard Berger (of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Breaking Bad fame) will be judging the final product. The winner will not only get the respect of an industry hero, but also score immunity going into the Spotlight Challenge. Corinne and Matt are paired up, and Corinne leads them in a gorgeous sponge paint design that yields a gruesome, vivid result. Their orc leader is also a fierce visage, and so Howard names her the winner.

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Next thing you know, the artists find themselves in a swamp, learning that their Spotlight Challenge - also done in pairs - will be to bring to life a creepy cryptid. To give them some pointers on how to aim their creativity is Doug Jones, character performer from such fantasias as Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy. When he dons an otherworldly makeup, he says, he still needs to know that it feels organic - otherwise, he's just a guy in a suit, and not a real monster.

Matt chooses to work with Corinne again, since they had such great chemistry in the Foundation Challenge, and the two start designing their cryptid, the Jersey Devil, a Jersey native that's a cross between a demon, a kangaroo, and a human. Chloe and Tyler, who chose the Mapinguari, struggle with the fact that it's said to be furry and have a giant mouth on its belly. Baked-in faces and fun fur are two of the judges' bugaboos, but if the story calls for it, the story will have it! Back at the lab, Tyler starts work on the belly face, and while he and Chloe are still nervous about their choices, they have to laugh at the giant tongue and gnarly teeth he's creating.

Niko and George team up to form the Puerto Rican Powerhouse - they have very few issues beyond a sticky mold - par for the course in this world! Cat's frustration with Daran is high - he's not taking in her suggestions for their Chupacabra, and even asks her to hold cups of glue come application day. She's not happy with the final result, and regrets not taking a stronger stand for her ideas when it counted. Rashaad and Graham split work on their Bunyip (an Australian creature that resembles a feathered crocodile) and Glenn gives them the sparkling praise that the cowl and face look like they were sculpted by the same artist. Heaps of seemingly disparate elements go into the Bunyip's story, and since Rashaad and Graham do a jaw-dropping job of incorporating ALL of them, they land in top looks. Guest judge Doug Jones has a soft spot for this makeup, in particular.

Also in top looks are Niko and George, and in a pleasant surprise to the artists themselves, so are Chloe and Tyler. The judges love that they took a color of fun fur that wasn't atrocious to begin with, and then treated it with goo and dirt to make it look like it could actually be growing out of a cryptid's body. They also find the treatment of the belly mouth to be nuanced and fascinating, and it's Tyler who wins the top prize for the week. His second win gives him all the animation and ecstasy you would expect from our favorite bundle of energy.

In bottom looks are Cat and Daran (conflict in the lab always leads to conflict in the makeup) and Corinne and Matt - well, their makeup lands in bottom looks, but since Corinne has immunity, she's safe in the makeup room while Matt takes the platform. The judges felt he and Corinne just didn't do as much work as the other teams, and since Corinne has immunity, Matt must take the brunt for the shoddy wings and limp emotional impact of the piece. He's sent home this week, but is better for his experience and determined to put his lessons to good use in the real world.