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Episode Recap: One Knight Only
It's the moment we've all been waiting for: one of the final three rtists will be crowned champion of Face Off Season 7! It's also the moment we're all kind of dreading, because how can you stand to see anyone NOT win? But that's what being a grown-up is all about, so sit your butt on that couch and watch the dang television. Don't ask us if you can have a cookie, you're a grown-up! (Of course you can.)
The challenge is all about dueling knights, and in keeping with the "Life and Death" theme of the season, each contestant will create a "Life Knight" and a "Death Knight." But first! They must draw a sword from a stone beneath one of three coats of arms. If they choose incorrectly ... McKenzie will just ask them to choose again, it's really not a big deal. With a measure of joy that makes us want to leap into the TV screen and join him, Cig chooses a sword representing a gargoyle world. Dina goes for the aquatic realm where an Octopus King reigns supreme and Drew picks the seal of the noble deer people.
The finalists are giddy to welcome some of their former competitors to their teams (Stella's with Dina, George is with Drew and Sasha's with Cig), but they totally lose their ish when McKenzie welcomes former season CHAMPIONS to the stage to help with the final-est looks. These cats are so cool, they might as well have walked on stage in slow-mo. Nicole, winner of Season 3, is paired with Dina, Season 2 winner Rayce joins Drew and Season 6 hero Rashaad teams up with Cig. McKenzie tells everyone to head back to the house to get some rest, but it's questionable whether anyone will be able to sleep with all this excitement!
The next day, Mr. Westmore sports the Westmore coat of arms in honor of his final walk-through of the season. He also drops his final bombs: Cig's Life Knight looks quite a lot like his Death Knight and Dina's crest features an octopus but there's no octopus in her makeup. Both of the contestants are way shook -- they were really digging their designs, but now the seed of doubt has crept in. Nicole, being far enough away from the pressure of competition to have a clear head, suggests they transform the electric eels of the Death Knight's cowl into an octopus. It's a seamless and easy fix, both conceptually and practically, and Dina's spirits are instantly lifted. Cig's dilemma takes a little more plotting to solve but in due time he makes the bold choice to sculpt a mostly human face with only a trace of the gargoyle and run it in silicone.
Everyone's exhausted upon returning home but fatigue turns to joy when they walk into the house and see their loved ones standing right there! Dina's mom and boyfriend, Drew's parents and Cig's mom and girlfriend remind them all why they're there and what they're working for.
On application day, George's masterful molding skills come through – each piece on Drew's duo is smooth as a baby's bottom and beautifully detailed by Rayce. Rashaad's fabrication skills make all the jaws drop when Cig's knights take the stage and Nicole's big-picture thinking helps the details of Dina's vision shine. The knights assemble before a veritable stadium of onlookers to show off their glory ... and then mount on horseback and come at each other with lances and swords! Yeah baby, it's the Life and Death season, there's no way we're going out without an actual battle to the death.
Sure, it's not a "for reals" battle to the death – the models in the knight makeup are highly trained stunt people. But they look like they're fighting to the death, just like Glenn, Lois and Neville look like they've feasted in a medieval hall, rode to the stadium on the backs of peasants and readied themselves to be amused by the bloody sport of jousting. Bring us our mead! Send for the wenches! Whither be the privies? Huzzah!
The battle is epic and a part of each artist is feeling like a winner just for creating makeup that withstood such feats of athleticism. The competition is fierce: Cig's gargoyle knight has incredible detail and the silicone face is nearly imperceptible as makeup (in the best way possible), Drew's two 'elven satyr' knights complement each other perfectly and Dina's concept is so fully realized, from the texture on the starfish armor to the tendrils of the octopus, it's pretty much camera-ready for a big-budget fantasy film.
The contestants hold their breath as Glenn pronounces the winner – it's Dina! The little cake decorator that could ... really could! She's so wonderfully surprised that she drops to her knees amidst shouts of joy from her teammates, family and the other finalists. Hugs and congrats abound as Dina prepares for her new career.