Wednesday, March 27, 2013

'Face Off' recap: 'Living the Dream'

McKenzie and winning contestant Anthony. Courtesy Syfy

The fourth season of Face Off ended with a splash. Artists Kris, Anthony and Wayne had the daunting task of creating make-up that would withstand the rigors of not only an aerial acrobatic Vegas performance, but also an aquatic one.

Le Reve: The Dream at the Wynn in Las Vegas, boasts a one million gallon water tank, state-of-the-art special effects, and characters that exist only in the subconscious and that crave adrenalin.

McKenzie Westmore and the artistic director of the show, James Santos, greeted the three finalists and informed them of the details of their last Spotlight Challenge. Their challenge was to create two characters: a Dream Thief and their victim who has something they want to steal. Of course, their effects would need to be waterproof.

The guys chose their themes: Anthony/Sinister; Wayne/Supernatural; and; Kris/Ethereal. They also got to choose two eliminated contestants to help with their task. Anthony chose to work with Eric Zapata and Autumn Cook (not sure what prompted this risky choice, given Autumn’s history on the show). Wayne worked with Eric Fox and Meagan Hester. Kris chose "House" and Alam Park.

Lab Work
At this point in the competition, the stress levels are obviously huge. To throw in the fact that the make-ups need to be waterproof, plus functional, is really not sitting well with the guys. Wayne has never done a waterproof make-up and Kris actually said that he hates the challenge due to the limitations (they can’t cover the performers eyes, nose and mouth).

Wayne’s Supernatural characters include an angel who wants to make it to Heaven and the demon who wants to steal her wings and beat her to it. He includes tattooing that he tries out on Meagan and during the walk-through, Michael Westmore advises him to test them with warm water. No major dilemmas occur except for the fact that he is scrambling to paint during last looks. That’s so Wayne!

Anthony’s Sinister theme includes a thief whose soul has been ripped out and the princess whose soul he wants to steal. His sculpts are minimal but his progress is halted when his female face mold isn’t perfect and contains bubbling. He decides to re-sculpt her face while his teammates work on the other pieces. Autumn was in charge of the chest piece and locked the mold. After much struggling, it finally released with minimal damage. Things looks a bit tenuous for Team Anthony.

Kris used extremely bold colors on his Ethereal creatures. Michael Westmore gave him great advice on how to seal in the colors and what type of paint would work best. His team didn’t really have any major issues during the sculpting and molding phase, but he really worried about the paint jobs during the Last Looks. Well, all three of them were worried. There’s a lot on the line.

Show Time
All of the previous season finales of Face Off have had grand performances but this one was over-the-top. Luckily all of the make-ups survived the amazing performance, but first, the judges got to see the final products of all their hard work. They were all undeniably amazing and it was almost impossible to read the judges as to who was going to be the winner.

Kris really did go bold with his designs. His yellow female had a cool aquatic look but his silver male was very eye-catching and had an amazing sculpt. However, they really didn’t look like they went together, did they? They looked great in the show, and the judges pointed out that they were the easiest to spot during the performance.

Wayne one again impressed the judges with his skillful sculpts. His female character had a beautiful alien look and the "horny" male character who wanted to steal her wings, blew the judges away with the details and professional look. Wayne, however, did not feel like his rushed make-ups were complete and he felt that something was missing.

In the end, it was Anthony’s Sinister characters that stole the judges hearts and influenced their choice of
Anthony's winning Sinister. Courtesy Syfy
picking him as the Season Four champ. Ve described his female design as "uniquely beautiful" and Neville loved her profile/head shape. Glenn thought it was beautiful in an alien way and had great proportions. The designs were "usable" and looked like they belonged together. Anthony killed it this season. He went into the competition strong and despite being in bottom looks a couple of time, redeemed himself.

So what did you think of this season? Did the judges get their final decision right? I don’t think there will be as much controversy with this decision as there was for last season’s choice (Nicole).

We know that Syfy has ordered a Season Five and it was announced that it returns Tuesday, August 27 at 9 p.m. ET. Also, it looks like Eric Zapata won the Face Off Redemption competition so look for him in Season Five.