Syfy's newest reality competition series, "Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge," debuts this March 25. Syfy has now announced the ten contestants who will be competing for not only up to $100k but also the dream job of working in Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The series is hosted by Gigi Edgley ("Farscape") and lead judge Brian Henson, Chairman of The Jim Henson Company, who also oversees the groundbreaking work of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ and happens to be Jim Henson's son.
Here are the ten contestants and a little about their backgrounds. You can also click here for more details on not only the contestants but also the show.
· Ben Bayouth, 25, from Woodland Hills, CA, Freelance SFX Artist.
· Chaz Vance, 27, from Collins, NY (currently living in West Falls, NY), Owner of Technically Magic Effects and Sculpture Teacher.
· Ivonne Escoto, 35, from Los Angeles, CA, Freelance SFX Artist.
· Jake Corrick, 21, from Belle Vernon, PA, Student and Sculptor.
· Josh Smith, 27, from Claremore, OK (currently living in Minot, ND), Creature Costumer and Prop Builder.
· Lex Rudd, 34, from SE England (currently living in Guerneville, CA), Puppet and Creature Costume Maker.
· Melissa Doss, 24, from Big Bear, CA (currently living in Fort Wainwright, AK), Freelance SFX Artist.
· Robert Bennett, 29, from Baton Rouge, LA (currently lives in Orlando, FL), Sculptor for Walt Disney Imagineering.
· Russ Adams, 41, from Ogden, UT, Owner of Escape Design Effects, Creature Creator and Mask Maker.
· Tina Roland, 28, from Doylestown, PA (currently living Hollywood, CA), Freelance Effects Artist.
The press release reveals that the challenges will "explore all aspects of the creature design field, from sculpting and animatronics to full-body creature creation. Some episodes are inspired by Henson film and television classics 'The Dark Crystal' and 'Farscape.'" Judges for the creations include Brian Henson, creature fabricator Beth Hathaway ("Terminator 2," "Jurassic Park") and creature designer Kirk R. Thatcher ("Star Wars: Return of the Jedi," "Muppets Wizard of Oz").
What will the judges be looking for? They will be "evaluating the creatures for overall creativity and originality, technical execution and, most importantly, how convincingly the creature designers bring their creations to life. Each episode, the creatures will be featured in a screen test in which professional puppeteers showcase the creatures’ ability to perform and transport an audience to another world."
Mentors include three longtime Creature Shop artists including world-renowned designer Peter Brooke, mechanization and animatronics master John Criswell and fabrication and artistic specialist Julie Zobel.
The series airs after "Face Off" on Tuesday, March 25 at 10 p.m. ET. You can like their page on Facebook by clicking here.