Thursday, February 25, 2016

'Face Off' Recap: 'The Gauntlet II'

All photos courtesy Syfy.
BY DAWN FEAKES

Last time we saw the end of Johnny's journey and while he learned a bit about teamwork and humility, it was a case of too little, too late. The remaining artists may wish they could trade places with him though as this next challenge will prove to be a doozy. My money is on Dieter the Electrocuted Duck. Everyone ready? Let's do this.

Down to the the top eight, McKenzie has a surprise in store at the lab: the return of the Gauntlet, a series of three challenges each testing a different area of skills and increasing in levels of difficulty. At the end of the third challenge, one will be eliminated but in a special twist, the top two looks in each of the first two stages are exempted from the subsequent stages and earn a night out on the town.

Stage One
They will design their own captain character inspired by one of four mythical ships. In addition, they must hand lay a magnificent beard as any captain worth his salt sports epic facial hair. This...seems oddly specific *coughMelissacough.* They have two hours. Go!

The boats are:
Nautilus
Manjet Barge (boat of Ra)
Flying Dutchman
Viking ship Naglfar

Mel doesn't like doing hair but Anna does some serious manscaping. Melissa is in her element while Robert names his Flying Dutchman character 'Captain Dishwasher' because of course he does.

Judges
Rob - Naglfar, They like the trimming of the beard.
Melissa - Boat of Ra. True representation of a pharoah which feels very appropriate.
Robert - Flying Dutchman. Captain Dishwasher. When Glenn calls you 'strange', you might start looking for the mothership's return.
Walter - Naglfar. Viking was very solid. Spot on.
Yvonne - Boat of Ra. It was very real-looking but just a bit sparse on the hair.
Mel - Nautilus
Kaleb - Flying Dutchman
Anna - Nautilus

Top looks
Walter gets the nod for his clean beard and Melissa for the great decision making that told the story. Both are exempt from the next two stages and will enjoy a night on the town with the Stage Two winners.


Stage 2
The second stage begins now! The inspiration for this challenge is to create order out of chaos a la Pandora's Box. Each artist will receive three pre-made facial prosthetics to create a cohesive character but there's a twist (naturally) - they cannot be used in the way intended. Neville cautions them to not just stick an ear on the chin but to understand the utility of the piece. Forms, y'all.

Kaleb made his chin piece into ears while Rob used the nose on the chin and cut the eyebrow piece to make two jawbone pieces. Mel has a butt chin that is throwing her off but Robert knows just what to do with his 'Spock ears' - use them as the brow to create a demon witch who will cast a spell on the judges. I can't really argue with his logic. Just...make it so.

Judges
Kaleb - He used too much color.
Rob - He made smart placement decisions and they liked his color choices.
Robert - The final product resembled a Kabuki demon plus made Glenn laugh. He's in like Flynt.
Anna - Hers had a witchy feel but the judges were divided on the neck bit.
Mel and Yvonne didn't receive much feedback. Alas, butt-chin, we hardly knew ye.

Top looks
Rob delivered a complete character that could be a background alien in a movie. Robert's use of the ears above the browbone gave it a very cool demonic look. Congratulations guys and enjoy your night out!

Stage 3
This will be the most challenging stage - to create three horrific makeups that physically embody the concepts of 'see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.' Mel freaks out because between not doing hair or horror, this whole gauntlet seems like a personal attack.

Mel - Post apocalyptic world where the priests mutilate themselves for a sacrifice. Her previous studies in anatomy will serve her well in this challenge.
Kaleb - He wants to go with a tribal theme but can't find coordinating outfits so rethinks his strategy to invert the concept. Um, this will probably not be a super-wise decision.
Anna - She decides on an undead/zombie look with ripped out jaw, missing eyes, and severed ears. It fits the challenge but just seems a bit obvious.
Yvonne - She struggled to refine her concept but ultimately came up with the story of torturers who were captured and tortured in turn. She has the most to do but to her credit isn't panicking.

Last Looks
Yvonne doesn't have time for hand painting so engages in some super-fast airbrushing. Anna's 'see no evil' facial prosthetic is coming unglued and Mel is cautiously optimistic.

Reveal stage
Anna - Shiny zombies
Kaleb - Burlesque X-Men
Yvonne - Coherent but not 'wow.'
Mel - Really, really gruesome

Judges
Anna's zombies are too shiny and Kaleb's missed the mark as they can clearly do what they aren't supposed to be able to do. Uh, oops. They like Yvonne's and love Mel's 'Hellraiser' style.

Top Looks
Yvonne - It was very impressive how they look like they're from the same group and the costuming and makeups are beautifully blended.


Mel - It had a very strong visual focus and they love the fine details. It was so good it rated an 'Eff yeah!' from Neville. Anatomy classes for the win!



Bottom Looks
Anna - It suffered from bizarre coloring and the proportions were a bit off.
Kaleb - Ultimately it was a confusing concept that didn't fulfill the challenge.

Winner
Mel - She delivered a super-high concept and you knew right away what the challenge was just from looking at the characters.

Eliminated
Kaleb - His vision didn't communicate clearly and there were no stand out moments to latch onto. Kaleb, if you didn't want to go, then maybe you shouldn't have ignored the dictates of the challenge. But he did get parting words of encouragement from Glenn so we'll see him in the movies again.

Next  week looks like it's going to feature the warping nature of mirrors so join us on Syfy next Wednesday, March 2 for 'Smoke and Mirrors' at 9 p.m. ET.

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