Thursday, February 11, 2016

'Face Off' Recap: 'Foreign Bodies'


Last week, the guys got on the board with a win by Rob while Njoroge was sent packing. The competition is heating up and there is little room for mistakes. Everyone ready? Let's do this.

The artists enter what can only be construed as a 'mad-scientist' lab. I don't care if it's stereotypical or not but Robert is a bit too giddy about it. Their Spotlight Challenge will be to work in teams of two and use a live microbe as inspiration for body-bursting alien parasites. There's a special expert in aliens in the house, Lance Hendriksen, who advises that anticipation is what makes something terrifying and to capture that fear by using life experiences. But Lance, I've never experienced an alien parasite and it's certainly not on my bucket list. Okay guys, choose your teams and get to work.

Anna/Yvonne - Their microbe looks like a rhino piranha.

Mel/Melissa - They decide on the flayed skin look for their nematode.

Katie/Robert - They've worked together before but it wasn't a super successful pairing. Katie's nervous about this so naturally they go for a food poisoning effect.

Kaleb/Rob - The parasite they chose even looks alien and to be different, decide to have it erupt from the back of the head, thus fulfilling the 'anticipation' portion of the challenge.

Johnny/Walter - In an homage to 'Alien', they design a spinning horror erupting from the stomach. It's certainly body bursting.

Twist! McKenzie and Lance show up in the lab to introduce a very important element: slime. Any alien worth its salt needs slime so the surprise foundation challenge is to create their very own slime. Team immunity is on the line so you have two hours to develop it. Black Friday craziness ensues for ingredients that should probably never touch human skin.

Johnny creates a super secret flocking slime that is simple but nails the color and texture requirements. Apropos of nothing, 'Super Secret Flocking Slime' is a great band name. Katie and Robert's is a fluorescent lime green which reminds me of Slimer from the "Ghostbusters" franchise. Guys, perhaps to step away from the literal for a moment? Anna and Yvonne's is very pink and very runny.

Time's up and they're testing on live targets. My god, how awful a person do you have to be to end up as the slime tester? Top slimes are Johnny/Walter and Mel/Melissa with Mel-squared taking the win and the immunity. Okay everyone, back to work.

Face popping, fabrication and tentacles are the order of the day, at least until Mr. Westmore arrives. He pretends to blow past the Mels because of their immunity but goes back, much to Mel's relief as her face sculpt isn't working. Robert and Katie may be trying to do too much, Kaleb's making tentacles and Johnny is fabricating a piece that will evoke the 'chest-bursting' imagery. Mr. Westmore is intrigued but counsels caution so it doesn't just look stuck on.

Day 2
Mel is refocused with a clear idea for a face sculpt, Robert is singing about Hans the Brain Worm, and Johnny's polyfoam stomach-drill mold didn't set up. Rather than get upset, he and Walter join forces to triple the amount so it will set up correctly. What's going to work? Teamwork! Rob is overwhelmed so decides to do some speed-molding so he can't overthink it. This is Katie's first solo cowl mold so she's nervous and Anna and Yvonne reworked their slime. The reinforced mold worked so Walter and Johnny can focus on the rest of the character.

Application Phase
Johnny is going to make today his bitch and Robert gets Hans ready for his close up. Rob has to apply and paint and dude, so does everyone else. Relax. Anna and Yvonne's reminds me of the Batman villain Two-Face and unfortunately, the edges of Katie's cowl are bunching. No matter what they do to try and fix it, it just emphasizes it more. The spinning drill effect of Johnny and Walter's design is a nice touch that no one else has.

Last Looks
Mel and Melissa discover that the face doesn't fit on the cowl so spend precious minutes addressing that. Anna and Yvonne go all-in for disgusting with more slime and even with a giant band-aid, Katie and Robert can't fix the edge issue on their cowl.

Reveal Stage
Mel/Melissa - Their lab worker seems to have a head growing out of her shoulder. Oh! It sloughed off her skin, revealing a sort of space-helmet head. It took me longer than it should have to figure that out.

Johnny/Walter - The drill makes the eruption on the chest ooze slime but the brain looks like it caught fire and melted. They'll be safe though.

Katie/Robert - The edges look even more horrible on the stage and Hans staged his great escape from behind the ear. Bottom look for sure.

Anna/Yvonne - Two-Face is molting and disgusting. It's more transformative than bursting which might end up hurting them.

Kaleb/Rob - A walking OSHA cautionary tale.

Judges - They like the colors and forms of the Mels, not really loving the head of Johhny and Walters but the drill bit was cool. Oddly enough, they weren't all that into Yvonne and Anna's, saying it was too symmetrical in the face but needed more definition in the changing part. Katie and Robert had too many problems to list and they really appreciated Rob and Kaleb's different interpretation of the burst site.

Johnny/Walter - The judges like their concept though they felt it was too heavy on the gags and not enough on the form, Neville's buzzword this season. It was cool but missed the payoff.

Top Looks
Mel/Melissa - Ve loved the colors used, Glenn liked the transition from cowl to the face and Neville liked the form (drink.)

Rob/Kaleb - This was a well-executed piece; there was good delineation between flesh and organism and the paint job was spot on.

Bottom Looks
Katie/Robert - Theirs was lacking inspiration in the headpiece and it was all a hot mess though Ve was amused by Hans's back story.

Anna/Yvonne - The judges were underwhelmed and by going for a change rather than a 'burst', the end result was contrived and boring. As we all know, after 'never ignore Mr. Westmore's advice', the top rule of "Face Off" is 'never, ever, bore Glenn.'

Rob for the second straight week. We might have a momentum shift here folks.

Katie. The lumpy cowl and mismatched paint job did her in. Is working with Robert a jinx?

The men have won two in a row; can they make it three? Next week looks to be back to solo challenges where the artists will take their clues from obituaries to create how their characters die. Join us on Wednesday, February 17 at 9 p.m. ET for 'Death's Doorstep', only on Syfy.