Wednesday, January 22, 2014

'Face Off' Recap: 'Cosmic Conspiracy'

Courtesy Syfy
BY LARISSA MRYKALO

This week's episode of "Face Off" provided the 14 artists "a challenge of interplanetary intrigue." After lamenting last week's loss of Margaret, they headed to a farm. As they wandered through a corn field, they found McKenzie standing in a crop circle with briefcases in the center. She reminded us that humans are always looking for the answer to the question, "Are we alone?"Also, that crop circles may be intergalactic distress symbols. What's in store for this week's Spotlight Challenge? Aliens.

Pre-determined teams of two chose a briefcase that contained a photo of a crop circle with a dire message. Their task was to create a creature that would have sent the message. Here are the teams and their messages: Niko/Corinne ("we need water"); Chloe/Graham ("gravity changing"); Cat/Matt ("our sun is dying"); Daran/Tanner ("ice caps melting"); Rashaad/Tyler ("global famine"); George/Bethany ("polluted and toxic environment"); and, Tess/Daniel ("overcome with disease").

After sitting together and sketching out their design concepts, they headed to the Lab.

Lab Work
Day One seemed to be very productive, especially for Daran and Tanner who had the cool idea of having their "ice caps melting" alien use their fingers as a bacteria-filtering device. Cat and Matt, however, seemed to butt heads throughout the lab experience. Between not liking the nose, to looking too "elephanty" and then trying to make their design look more alien versus animal, they struggled. Maybe it's because their names rhyme? I kept thinking about Dr. Seuss whenever they were mentioned.

Michael Westmore gave some great advice during his walk-through. He encouraged Cat and Matt to make the cheekbones bigger and change their design's ears. Niko and Corinne weren't "selling" that their alien was dehydrated so they needed to make it less smooth. Rashaad and Tyler were told to stay away from flesh tones.

Chloe was also stressing out Graham a bit with her indecisiveness and trouble with the wrist and ankle weights their gravity-challenged alien was going to wear. She finally decided to sculpt them even though they were running out of time. In the end, their silvery and willowy, female alien was one of my favorite looks.

Day Three started out rough for George when he discovered a ripped cowl. How does that happen overnight? Sabotage? ALIENS? I'm sure there is a good "art" reason but I like to think it was Giorgio A. Tsoukalos setting it up so he could claim it was aliens.

The end of the third day into Last Looks was, as always, hectic, but the teams pulled together and presented seven distressed aliens to the judges. Who would be the tops and who would be the bottoms? That too is a question we humans ponder.

Judgement Day
Joining Ve, Neville and Glenn this week was writer, producer, director Scott Stewart ("Defiance," "Priest,""Legion"). After the alien parade and a closer look at the creatures, Scott was impressed with the quality of the work that was done is such a short amount of time. Agreed, Scott.

The lucky teams that ended up safe were: Graham and Chloe (clever and interesting); Rashaad and Tyler ("nice forms"); and, Tess and Daniel (mushroomy!). Even luckier were the top looks: Tanner and Daran (weird, pushing the envelope, adventurous); and, Niko and Corinne (cohesive and extremely impressive paint job, cool green fingernails). Who won? I'll tell you after the commercial break. Kidding! Corinne won for being the driving force behind the design.

The bottom teams included: Matt and Cat for their failed sculpt and paint job that made a strong first impression but didn't look so great up close. It was too muddy and had a "Swamp Thing" nose. Yikes! George and Bethany's also looked good from far away, but hey, don't we all? Unfortunately, Bethany was eliminated due to her being responsible for the face sculpt.

Winner: Corinne
Eliminated: Bethany

Next week is the remaining 13 artist's first individual challenge and the topic is one that would make Daenerys Targaryen proud. Watch "Dragon's Breath" next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.

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