Thursday, January 21, 2016

'Face Off' Recap: 'Child's Play'

All photos courtesy Syfy.
BY DAWN FEAKES

No one likes to be the first one eliminated but sadly, Greg claimed that dubious honor last week on "Face Off." Melissa took the win so the ladies start strong yet again. It's time for everyone's favorite theme: whimsy! Let's do this.

Field trip! The remaining contestants head to the 'barn that time forgot' where they're face to face with their worst nightmares: oversized toys. The Spotlight Challenge is to find the magic in everyday objects and design a larger than life character. No whining about not having experience doing whimsical designs yet so that's a definite plus. They'll be working in teams - again - which have been pre-assigned:

Walter/Ant - Race Car
Anna/Mel -  Watch
Robert/Yvonne - Dice
Rob/Johnny - Lollipop
Kaleb/Katie - Key
Jennifer/Njoroge - Crayons

Because Melissa won the last challenge, she gets to pick the team she'll join so she chooses Team Rob/Johnny and we collectively scratch our heads.

Ve worked on 'PeeWee's Play House' back in the day so she knows from whimsy. She gives them her expectations: out of the box, release the inner child, wild, psychedelic colors, and, above all, no dark places! Will they listen? Do they ever?

Design Phase
Whimsy is the theme so we know what happens here: literalism and communication failures. Anna and Mel have a hard time right out of the gate with their concept as Mel wasn't buying it that watches do in fact, need faces. They stress over the interpretation while Walter and Ant decide against doing a sculpture for their race car, relying instead on a killer paint job. It's a bold move. Mr. Westmore arrives to guide their whimsical endeavors. He's skeptical about the no facial prosthetics decision but if Walter and Ant are adamant, make sure the paint job is perfect. He provides clarity to the watch problem, leaving Mel relieved to have a direction and cautions Jennifer and Njoroge to make the yellow (?) crayon less human-like in the face, as right now it's reading 'Jaundiced Tin Man.' You guys know what to do so listen to the man!

Day Two
It's time to mold so get your drinks ready. Walter and Ant's mold is reminiscent of Swiss cheese, which, while delicious, is not a good sign for the cowl. Yvonne doesn't like the face that Robert is sculpting, so exaggerates it ending up with a partially unrolled condom for a nose. It's an "interesting" look, Yvonne, but not quite what Mr. Westmore suggested. Robert was right about the nose originally but was ignored. Again. His eventual breakdown will be epic to behold. Rob and Melissa keep Johnny busy doing fabrications on the Lollipop Man so everyone (me) is happy.

Application Day
The looks are coming together with the exception of Game Night and Jaundiced Tin Man who just look rough. Watch Guard is taking on a decidedly Cogsworth feel but it's really cute and Melissa is doing a nice job on the flesh tone paint. Yvonne decides that Robert is taking too much time so she grabs the cowl and glues the edges down. It's like a cubist Pennywise so no one will sleep tonight. Remember what Ve said about 'no dark places?' They didn't either.

Last Looks
Gluing and painting and stressing, oh my!

Reveal Stage
Paul Reubens is in the house because...whimsy.

Ant/Walter - Cool fabrication of the car look but the makeup seems a bit weak.

Jennifer/Njoroge - A drunk yellow cat? This is painful

Katie/Kaleb - Dance of the Skeleton Key Fairy

Yvonne/Robert - Condom Clown? Nipple Nose? I HAVE MANY QUESTIONS.

Anna/Mel - Cogsworth but manic instead of neurotic. Such a complete look though and one of the best of the night.

Melissa/Johnny/Rob - Nailed the whimsical feel with the colors of the lollipop but he's not fully dressed without the smile.

Judges
Basically they hated everything except the Watch and the Lollipop. Be happy, Lollipop.

Safe
Walter, Ant, Katie, Kaleb but only because they couldn't have eight in the bottom looks.

Top Looks
Johnny/Melissa/Rob - The colors were appropriate to the challenge and very child like. Paul liked the the look but just wished the character was 'happier.' For Neville, the incorporation of the elements of candy occurred in a suitable way because form language.



Anna/Mel - The judges truly liked everything about this design from the band on the neck to the illusion of humanity on the face. It was a very successful paint job and the actor sold the character extremely well.


Bottom
Njoroge/Jennifer - The design was not as cool as it could have been; there were problems with the neck piece and they missed the opportunity to use highlighting and shadowing to create interest. Besides that, it was yellow. Just...yellow.

Yvonne/Robert - The weird sculpture forms took it from whimsical to horror which was specifically what Ve said not to do.

Winner
Mel for her fabulous face sculpt and paint job on the Watch Guard. This is why you always listen to Mr. Westmore, folks!

Eliminated
Jennifer - The disproportion of the cowl sunk her in this challenge. Interestingly enough, Ve said nothing in her final remarks that could be construed as 'career encouragement.' They better watch their backs though; she's not a member of the 501st for nothing.

Next week it looks to be *another* team challenge, this one to design a member of a long-lost race based on a made up language. Join us on Syfy next Wednesday, January 27 at 9 p.m. ET for 'Lost Languages.'

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