'Face Off' recap: Season 3 premiere

Rod & Roy's mech-suit dude. Courtesy Syfy

Season Three of Syfy’s makeup effect competition series Face Off started out with everything we love about the show: a colorful group of characters; fantastic challenges; amazing make-up; and, the drama that ensues when you toss 12 big personalities into a stressful situation.

Host McKenzie Westmore returns along with some judges from past seasons. However, Ve Neill and Glenn Hetrick will be joined by new judge - creature and concept designer, Neville Page - due to Patrick Tatopoulos heading to Bulgaria for a shoot.

Right away, we met the 12 contestants; some more charismatic than others but nonetheless, they didn’t disappoint. Their names: Laura, Jason, Nicole, Roy, Sarah, Derek and Eric (31-year-old fraternal twins), Alana (girlfriend to Ian from Season Two), Tommy (Colin Farrell on meth?), Rod, CC, and Joe (ugh!). And they were all super excited to meet this week’s guest judge, The Lord of the Rings’ Sean Astin.

Their two-hour immunity challenge was to create an original face make-up that included items from Astin's rooftop party. Right away, we saw some extreme talent emerge, as well as some psychopathic tendencies (read: Joe’s badly burned cheerleader). Sean walked around and judged the 12 creations; some he liked, some he did not (Alana’s voodoo dude and Joe’s cheerleader). Sean picked fraternal twins Derek and Eric as his favorites, and chose Eric as the ultimate winner of immunity from elimination.

After settling into their new “Season 2 art-infused” abode, the contestants went to a 20th Century Fox backlot for the reveal of their main challenge. They were excited to learn that they were to create an alien that would fit in a modern version of the 1977 Star Wars Cantina scene. Lucas Film collaborator, Matthew Wood, was a special guest and informed them the winner’s creature would be featured on the Star Wars web site both in original form and the in Clone Wars form.

After McKenzie assigns six teams of two for the 3-day challenge, the excitement and drama begins. Very ambitious designs were developed, especially Rod and Roy’s little fat baby-man creature in a robot-suit-thingamabob. Two more notable teams were the "hair girls" - Nicole with the magenta hair and Alana with the red devil’s food cake hair. They’re cool though. Very likable gals, do you agree? For two strong personalities, they worked really well together and came out successful (and safe) in the end.

And then there was Tommy and Joe. From the first immunity challenge, I think we all knew that the 41-year-old dude with the bad mohawk would be trouble. Teammate Tommy tried to hold it together but lost it several times, and their design ultimately suffered greatly and made Tommy uncomfortably plead for mercy from the judges. They weren’t pleased, especially Glenn. Their "creation" (no idea how else to describe it) was described as "offensive to look at" and "had no focal point." Ve called the whole situation "tortuous" and just a "hot mess." Unpleasant.

On a brighter note, Laura and Sarah’s amazingly beautiful and seamless female alien with the cool backstory (originally from moist Dagobah and now residing in dry Tatooine) garnered great praise and was chosen and one of the top two designs against Rod and Roy’s. On the other hand, CC and Derek’s jazz musician had "no personality" and was "uninspired"...OH WELL! It all doesn’t even matter because while the contestants are waiting backstage during the judge’s deliberations, crazy Joe storms out, rendering him disqualified. No one is happier about this than Tommy. No one gets eliminated tonight!

The top team of the night turns out to be Rod and Roy for their little man in the big robot suit. The judges were blown away by every detail they thought of, right down to his dirty little feet. The judges picked Rod as the winner for the night due to his flawless make-up application.

This season is already off to a great start. Do you like these contestants? Now that Joe has left, who do you have the most disdain for? Tommy? Who do you like the most? Some awesome guest judges are on tap and some over-the-top challenges will be assigned, so stay turned.

Face Off airs on Syfy, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.