Wednesday, January 15, 2014

'Face Off' Recap: 'Sexy Beasts'

Chloe & Rashaad's Beast, Courtesy Syfy

The Season Six return of “Face Off” started off not only by introducing us to 15 new artists, but also showcasing their talents with two challenges. The prizes are similar to last season and include a VIP trip compliments of Krylon, $100K, and a 2014 Fiat 500.

McKenzie Westmore returns as host along with her father, Michael Westmore, serving as mentor. Judges Ve Neil, Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page also return to judge the creations which promise to be “extreme” this season. A new twist was introduced for this season. The judges can issue a one-time immunity for an artist who may have had a difficult week. We won’t know when this will occur but I’m sure some of the artists from past seasons would have liked this feature. In retrospect, the judges did seem to take into account if one of the artists had a rough week and offered leniency. However, they also stressed that in the real world of the industry, they need to give their all and leniency is often not offered.

So let’s meet this season’s 15 artists, two of which are dating (Cat and Niko). Will that cause some drama? For more details on the artists, click here.

• Bethany Serpico, 22 - Delaware County, Pennsylvania
• Cat Paschen, 25 - San Francisco, California
• Chloe Sens, 22 - Austin, Texas
• Corinne Foster, 26 - Dublin, California
• Daniel Phillips, 44 - St. Clair Shores, Michigan
• Daran Holt, 41 - Kansas City, Missouri
• George Schminky, 38 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Graham Schofield, 29 - Boston, Massachusetts
• Margaret Caragan, 32 - Oakland, California
• Matt Silva, 24 - Atlanta, Georgia
• Niko Gonzalez, 26 - San German, Puerto Rico
• Rashaad Santiago, 24 - Bronx, New York
• Tanner White, 26 - San Diego, California
• Tess Laeh, 25 - Littleton, Colorado
• Tyler Green, 26 - Litchfield, Connecticut

After the introductions, McKenzie stressed that the judges will be looking for bolder and more extreme make-ups than ever before and then 15 models, donning crazy wigs and plain white dresses, entered. Right off the bat, the artists need to showcase their personalities with their first Foundation Challenge.

Foundation Challenge

McKenzie revealed that the artists would choose one over-the-top wig and create an extreme character that represented them as an artist. The prize was immunity from being eliminated. The guest judge was Oscar-winning makeup artist, Tami Lane (“Chronicals of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Hobbit,” “Lord of the Rings”), and she offered that cohesiveness is key when it comes to doing hair and makeup. She wanted to see how they brought their wigs into the makeup.

The models were chosen and after two hours, I must say, I was impressed with the results. Two of Tami’s favorites included Bethany’s scary and beautiful Marie Antoinette-ish attacked fair lady, and George’s bold and extreme design with incredible attention to detail. George emerged the winner and received immunity.

After they explored their new home, they went on to their first Spotlight Challenge.

Spotlight Challenge

A beautiful castle served as the backdrop for the introduction of the challenge that was based on the timeless fairy tale, “Beauty and the Beast.” A stream of beautiful Belles arrived holding a picture of a castle that served as inspiration for the makeup. Randomly paired in teams of two, except for George who got to choose his team (Daren, Graham), the teams then selected a Belle and were told that they need to design a sexy and scary beast inspired by the photo she held.

The teams were: Rashaad/Chloe; Bethany/Tyler; Daren/Graham/George; Margaret/Matt; Tanner/Corinne; Cat/Daniel; and, Tess/Niko.

Advisor and one of the judges for the challenge, Stephen Sommers, told them the trick was to scare at first and then have him be sexy when Belle kisses him. After getting some inspiration and doing some sketching, they head to the lab.

Lab Work

After swooning over the features and goodies present in the lab, the artists chose their models and got to work on the Sculpting Phase. An example of when it’s not broke, don’t fix it, the structure of the show has not changed. They still get three days in the lab and the same amount of time.

Cat and Daniel worked on designing their regal, bejeweled Belle while Rashaad and Chloe were concerned about the cohesiveness of their “Creature From the Black Lagoon”-inspired piece. Daren, Graham and George knew that because they were a team of three, their gloomy design better be amazing. Bethany and Tyler were inspired by the whiteness of the castle and already get their face piece molded. They seem to be ahead of the game.

Michael Westmore did his walk through on the second day and offered his expert advice. He encouraged Tanner and Corrine to use the ice concept and told Tyler to be vigilant of not losing detail when his face piece is painted. He told Niko and Tess to take advantage of shading to pop the scales on their design.

One thing I noticed is that this season’s contestants have very bold and strong personalities. It makes me wonder if there will be more drama but based on the first episode, I’m seeing a nice meshing of their personalities. No trouble-makers yet! There were some issues with molds, cracking, etc. but like always, it works out. For example, even when Tess accidentally rips part of the head piece, she turns a negative into a positive and creates battle scarring. Boom!

Application Day and Last Looks was tense as always but everyone put out an interesting and different design. Some much better that others. Were the judges impressed?

Judgment Day

After the new immunity twist was explained, Ve, Neville and Glenn, plus guest judge... writer, producer and director, Stephen Sommers, got a look at the seven beasts who would reside with Belle. Pretty impressive for a first challenge, if you ask me. But I agreed with the bottom looks.

Niko and Tess; Cat and Daniel; and, Corinne and Tanner were safe. This obviously shocked Corinne because she was clearly not happy with how her pig-nosed beast looked.

Daran, George and Graham’s “really cool” trapped beast with nice detail who was slowly becoming a part of the castle was a top look. Stephen loved the backstory and could see Belle kissing him at the end. Rashaad and Chloe’s scaly lizard beast that was very “professional-looking” that Glenn called “Stellar.” Sommers was amazed and the very complete look that was inspired by the Gillman, the oldest Beauty and the Beast story. It grabbed a place in top looks as well.

One of the bottom looks included Matt and Margaret’s “odd” looking human prince who came upon a stone that started changing him. Glenn called this “unacceptable” and Sommers said he wasn’t “kissable.” Also on the bottom was Tyler and Bethany’s human sacrifice that was neither scary nor sexy and appeared mousy. Ve described this look as “a Persian cat that got mixed up with a blueberry ice cream cone.” By far my favorite diss of all the seasons. Glenn thought it looked like a teddy bear or a clown.

And the winner is? Team Rashaad and Chloe for having what was described as “one of the most complex and complete first makeups ever” on the show. Chloe was the ultimate winner because her work on the face and painting stood out.

Matt and Margaret’s not scary and unsexy beast sent Margaret packing up her makeup kit thanks to the problem-filled face she worked on.


So what did you think of the first episode of Season Six? Are you looking forward to more? Any stand-outs? Favorites?

Tune in to Syfy next Tuesday, January 21 at 9 p.m. ET to experience a "Cosmic Conspiracy."