If the premiere of the new season of Syfy’s “Face Off” Tuesday night is any indication, fans are in for a whole new level of special effects makeup artistry with the latest batch of contestants. Even hardcore judge Glenn Hetrick acknowledged the group blew him away in their challenges this week.
If you’ve seen the show before, you know that speaks volumes. That man is downright scary when he critiques.
In Tuesday’s episode, the competition introduced 14 new makeup artists, and announced that makeup legend Michael Westmore, father to hostess McKenzie Westmore, will be acting as a mentor this season, rather than a judge.
Having said that, the elder Westmore kicked off the competition judging the foundations challenge, which is a preliminary contest each week on a small task that determines a winner who will have immunity going into the elimination challenge. Or, at least, a relatively small task, anyway. To start this season, each member of the group had to grab a different fantasy crown, and create a quick queen makeup, using it and a variety of wardrobe options available.
Contestant Anthony commented that he saw a lot of good makeups and was a bit intimidated, but the queen challenge did seem a bit uneven, with some focusing more on beauty makeup than creative thinking. Anthony created a blue-colored fantasy queen with prosthetics, and Westmore crowned him the winner of the challenge.
Moving into the elimination challenge, the group was split into random two-person teams who had to create a goblin king. Each team had to pick a region that their character dwelled in, and that would determine the themes of their designs: desert, jungle, mountain, swamp, volcano, forest and arctic.
The first challenge is notoriously rough as the groups learn the shop and traditionally get paired up together, yet this batch of artists pulled out an amazing amount of work in their short time, even in the teams who weren’t as successful overall.
In particular, the standout teams produced the desert, arctic, jungle, mountain and forest makeups. Yes, that’s five out of seven teams who did really well. And the swamp team did a great sculpture, but left themselves only 40 minutes for painting, a fact that made the judges cringe. The only real failure was the volcano team, which was surprising since their idea sketch was killer, with a great cowl that turned the head itself into the mouth of the volcano. Yet somewhere in translation, it became a … hat.
A really, really, bad hat, like a volcanic birthday hat from hell. Even if you aren’t a makeup artist, that thing would leave you saying, “WTF?”
Although it was cut from the episode that aired, it inspired a hilarious rant from guest judge, actor John Rhys-Davies (see the video clip.) And team member Troy, the guy responsible for that hat, was sent packing this week. And the mountain team of Anthony and Meagan were crowned champions… this week. However, next week may be a different story. But, oh, the wonderful detail already shown from this group promises for some truly mindblowing makeups to come.