Who watches Face Off?! No, not the Nick Cage and John Travolta movie, but the bad ass new show on SyFy!
Well if you haven’t seen Season 1, Hulu has the final four episodes of season 1. http://www.hulu.com/face-off and if you want to watch the first four episodes, come on. It’s the internet. You’ll find them with a little google-fu.
So the new season started last night and it is off to great start. Hit the jump to read my initial impressions.
EDIT – Click HERE to read my review for the Season 2 Finale
What is Face Off? Wikipedia sums it up by saying,
“Face Off is an American reality television game show on the Syfy cable network in which a group of prosthetic makeup artists compete against each other create prostheses such as those found in science fiction and horror films. Actress McKenzie Westmore, a member of the Westmore family of makeup artists, serves as the show’s host, with judges beingAcademy Award-winning makeup artist Ve Neill (Ed Wood, Beetlejuice), television makeup artist Glenn Hetrick (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5), and creature designer and director Patrick Tatopoulos (I Am Legend, Resident Evil: Extinction, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans). Industry figures and artists including Sean S. Cunningham, Filippo Ioco, Greg Nicotero and Michael Westmore serve as guest judges.
Each week, artists will face a “Spotlight Challenge” and in some weeks a “Foundation Challenge” where the Foundation Challenge winner receives an advantage in the Spotlight Challenge. The Face Off winner receives $100,000 and a year’s supply of makeup, a “grand prize that will launch a career”.”
First off, it should be noted the spirit of season 1 is still alive and well, except the production values have been upped and a few rules have been tweaked, mainly the fact that the winning the Foundation Challenge now grants a competitor immunity in the elimination challenge.
Fourteen new competitors have been brought in from all areas of the United States for season 2. Being a Texan I am currently rooting for Matt (from Austin) and Heather (from Dallas). They started the show off by bringing the new competitors into the Universal Studio lot and giving them two and a half hours to create something, anything really, with a model and a prosthetics kit. Let me say, everyone is really fucking talented.
To judge Ve Neill and Connor (the winner of season 1) were brought out. It was great to see Connor again and to see the results of how Face Off has changed his life. He is currently doing special effects make up for the upcoming film The Hunger Games.
Everyone did their best during the Foundation Challenge, but no matter how talented everybody was somebody had to be crowned winner and somebody had to be told they sucked. Brie was told her work sucked. Which is unfortunate, because her original idea was awesome but she ran into some material issues and wasn’t able to follow through with it.
The winner of the Foundation Challenge was Jerry with a well done make up and blending job on an elf. Jerry is also the oldest of the contestants, being 43 and almost 15 years older than all the other contestants. Last season Connor was the oldest by at least ten years and won it all. A sign of things to come? Maybe, maybe not. Jerry seems a bit more overwhelming than Connor, but it’s too early to judge.
Afterwards all the contestants were told what the Spotlight Challenge would be. They would be split into teams of seven, guys vs girls, and they had to make a re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz. Specifically, they had to make the Tin Man, the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Wicked Witch of the West. I was worried all the testosterone of the mens team would hold them back by causing arguments over leadership, and it turned out the opposite. The men instead had trouble finding a focus and wasted a lot of time trying to be “team players”.
The girl’s team really pulled together and got working hard. It must be noted that Athena wasted a lot of time making mittens for the Lion that didn’t even turn out well. She is a wonderful body painter, but a poor judge of time.
The girls Scarecrow was awesome and so was their Wicked Witch of the West so it came as no surprise when the girl’s team won the Spotlight Challenge. The men’s team just couldn’t find their focus and made too many last-minute changes. Both teams made poor choices on the Tin Man and their lions were both equal, but the men’s team Witch simply paled in comparison to the girl’s team.
The judges are very thorough, giving the artists time to show them their work and explain it and then afterwards the judges take the time to inspect their work up close and personal.
Brie, the loser of the Foundation Challenge became the winner of the Spotlight Challenge and it was great to see her redeem herself. Sadly, Greg lost the challenge for a poorly done chest piece on the Tin Man. It’s always a shame to see somebody go home before they get to show what they are really good at.
It looks like this will be a great season. The preview for the upcoming episodes hinted at live animals, underwater make up, and more. Give this show a chance and I bet you will like it. It is on every Wednesday at 10/9 on SyFy.
Want to see the final results of the guys and girls teams? Here are two pics for ya.