'Face Off' recap: 'Year of the Dragon'

Derek & Tommy's Monkey/Ox, courtesy Syfy

The remaining 10 Face Off contestants took part in a really cool challenge in this third episode of the Syfy show. We are currently in the "Year of the Dragon" and their task was to create their own version of a traditional Chinese New Year Dragon that incorporated features of their own animal sign from the Chinese Zodiac. The real challenge is that their creation had to withstand a rigorous acrobatic dance routine. Did they succeed?

Challenge Reveal

The 10 talents know that the next challenge could very well be their last and CC's elimination last week really opened their eyes. They need to keep on their toes to make it to the end.

They head downtown to a beautiful Chinese temple (Tien Hou) where McKenzie waits to reveal the next challenge. They're delighted by a traditional Dragon and Lion dance and are then split into teams of two. Derek is excited about the challenge's details because he's a tattoo artist and draws dragons. Alana is worried ... as usual.

The teams go to a Zodiac wheel and learn what their animals are that will need to be a part of their dragon. Here's the team and animal breakdown: Nicole/Rod=Rat/Snake; Eric/Sarah=Monkey/Boar; Alana/Laura=Goat/Rat; Derek/Tommy=Monkey/Ox; and, Jason/Roy=Snake/Rabbit. They then get some free inspirational time to sketch and take some pictures.

Day One

The first day of any challenge is when the contestants pick their models and sculpt. It's also where the teams either click or tensions rise. Tommy and Derek are really jiving and this ultimately proves to be quite a success. Last week's winner, Sarah, is having difficulty clicking with her partner, Eric, and is clearly stressed.

Poor Alana runs around like a chicken with her head cut off and ends up slicing her finger to the tune of seven stitches. After her accident last week, let's just agree to call her "Alaccident", okay? Nevertheless, she shows her tenacity by coming back to help her teammate, Laura, and finish off the day's work.

Day Two

The gang gets 10 hours to work on the molding phase and finish up the details of their design. They're also treated to a walk-through by ever-cheerful judge, Glenn Hetrick, who dispenses advice. He loves Tommy and Derek's Monkey/Ox combination but is concerned about the details in Sarah and Eric's design.

Sarah stresses about getting her mold out because it wasn't thick enough and Laura is concerned about Alana wanting four hooves on their creation. This is about the extent of the drama tonight. Sorry, guys! Joe? Where are you, Joe?

Day Three

The models - or, in this week's case, the dancers - arrive for application day. Roy isn't happy with Jason's mottled red and black paint job but he says that he'll just leave him to it and let him hang himself with it in the end. Great teamwork Roy! Alana and Laura's cowel rips but they improvise and cover it with hair. Sarah is super worried and since she was the winner last week, the pressure it really on.

Doesn't it always seem that everything works out in the end on this show? Problem solving at it's best!


The judging area is decorated with red lanterns and is set for the creation display and dance. After a really cool Chinese dance shows off the amazing final looks, the judges take a closer look to see how the costumes held up and how well they reflected the rules of the challenge.

Nicole and Rod's Rat/Snake Dragon garnered high praise from Glenn and Ve, but Neville didn't really "see the dragon." Eric and Sarah's look received the most criticism and Glenn said it had "unintentional symmetry" that didn't work. Neville loved "the vibe" of Alana and Laura's piece and Jason and Roy's VERY red Monkey/Snake Dragon suffered because of the paint job.

High praise came to Derek and Tommy's Monkey/Ox including Glenn saying it was "one of the strongest collaborations I've seen on the show." This obviously put them in with the top looks which also included Rod and Nicole, and Laura and Alana.

The bottom looks were Jason and Roy's look and Sarah and Eric's horny creature that "missed the mark." Teary Sarah and Eric ended up being the bottom look with fraternal twin Eric being eliminated. Ironically, his twin, Derek was the ultimate winner of tonight's challenge and his familiarity with the Asian aesthetic was clearly a plus. Upon learning of his brother's elimination, poor Derek said that he couldn't enjoy his win.

Did you agree with the judges tonight? It seemed like a tough decision as all the looks were pretty damn cool and their creation's participation in the dance sequence proved that these contestants are amazingly talented.

We bet you're all really excited for next week's "Zombies Overtake Wonderland" challenge! Check it out on SyFy, next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.