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Episode Recap: Troll Bridge

The artists shape their own unique Troll creature based on the architecture, geography and culture of a famous bridge. Guest Judge: Doug Jones (Hellboy).


Usually when someone brings you to the aqueduct of the Los Angeles River, as McKenzie is now doing with the contestants, it's to kill you, or make out with you (we speak from experience). But McKenzie plans on doing neither of those things with the contestants (as far as we know). Rather, she's demonstrating how much a bridge and its environs can be an influence for a character. This knowledge is critical for the challenge the artists face next: their very own troll.

How to Watch

Catch up on Face Off on Peacock or the SYFY App.

When Rayce arrives in the lab, he calls a team meeting and tells his guys to avoid the traditional troll forms (big noses, slobbery lips, etc.) but go instead for something the judges have never seen before. Contestant-Anthony-Not-Coach-Anthony, who has had two Bottom Looks and is determined to get to the top, finds himself with the Helix Bridge in Singapore, a city that once was a rain forest, and designs a troll that is modifying itself from rock into metal to blend with its surroundings. He keeps the forms jagged and tenuous, in keeping with Rayce's input. Logan goes straight up bird skeleton for his Golden Gate troll, Rob elongates the head of his prince-under-an-evil-spell troll, and Adam gives his guardian of the Dragon Bridge in Bali a humpback and a smoothed-out face.

Probably nobody ever has been as excited as Kelly is about this challenge. She chooses the Tower Bridge in London and devises a character whose son was killed and whose grief drives her from motherhood to monsterhood. Darla is zipping along with her sculpt of a troll for the Python Bridge in Amsterdam, but when Mr. Westmore suggests she go more traditional with the nose, she hits a creative wall. She spends the rest of the day trying to re-conceive her sculpt but winds up feeling like she wasted five hours. By Day 2, she has to just hope that she can lay an awesome paint job on that sucker to save her hide.

Meanwhile, Emily is totally digging her reimagined, svelte troll – she jumped from the Golden Gate, melded with the rocks and sunset, and now lures others from the bridge to join her – but when both of her molds lock, costing her tons of time in application, she knows her awesome concept could be for naught if she doesn't get those edges blended!

McKenzie has a very special surprise for the makeup artists and their models: creature actor Doug Jones, of Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy, is in the lab on Application Day to give the models one-on-one coaching for their characters' movement! It's a master class with one of the industry's finest artists, and he choreographs each troll in just moments. Plus, he has fun quotables, like, "Give us a 'Bleeeugh! Heeeugh!'" and "Sassy sassy, playful playful, whee whee whee!" What a delight.

The artists see Doug again as a guest judge on the reveal stage, and he's full of praise for the skill and imagination of the group. The judges announce the Top Looks: Kelly, for the eerie clump of a troll clinging to her dead son's teddy bear; Ben for his traditional troll face forms on a beachgoing figure (she just wants to be one of the kids!); and Jamie, for her stellar ability to bring in the elements of the Dragon Bridge – ferocity, jungle flora, the philosophy of good and bad in one being – into an expertly sculpted troll. When Jamie is named winner, she’s both enlivened, because her hard work and risk-taking paid off, and humbled, because she knows she'll have to bring this level of focus to everything from this point forward. Anthony-The-Coach-Not-Anthony-The-Contestant also gets a shout-out – all three Top-Lookers are on his team!

In Bottom Looks are Emily (the time spent patching her botched mold may have cost her, but the judges feel it's the lack of traditional troll forms that worked against her most); Anthony, whose transition from stone to metal just didn't come across clearly; and Rob, who, though his paint job is excellent, chose forms that make his creature look more alien than troll. Rayce comes to the defense of his two charges, Rob and Anthony, to say that he really coached them toward the forms that are now putting them on Bottom Looks. The judges take that into consideration, but ultimately Anthony's muddy paint transition is what does his work in this week. 

Anthony's sad to be going home, but he’s learned so much from Face Off that there's no doubt in his mind, or the judges', that this biz is exactly where he needs to be.

See all the looks from this episode's Spotlight Challenge.