‘Face Off’ recap: ‘Flights of Fantasy’

Tate and his winning Egyptian Vulture. Courtesy Syfy.

Face Off” got a little flighty and the fab four were certainly in it to win it in this final Spotlight Challenge before the finale. The Burbank Airport served as the backdrop for the introduction of Animal Planet host, Dave Salmoni and some beautiful birds.

The artist’s challenge was to choose one of the exotic birds and use it as an inspiration to create a human-bird hybrid. Laura selected an Umbrella Cockatoo; Roy chose the rare Blue-Throated McCaw; Tate was drawn to the Egyptian Vulture; and, Miranda was instantly attracted to the Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill. They spent some time with the birds and Dave Salmoni offered some insight to make their design be a success.

Lab Work
It was clear that determination was the prevalent theme in this challenge. Grand designs and attention to detail produced four beautiful and intelligent creations. They all had their struggles throughout the three days. Laura worried about all the pieces she had to mold and the coloring being too monochromatic. Michael Westmore encourage using more colors to break up the “whiteness” of the cockatoo.

Tate’s original sculpt was gigantic and he was concerned about his decision to make such a bulky piece. Mr. Westmore advised Tate on how to make the mouth moveable and it was a perfect example of his expertise. The amount of work Tate put into this “vultureman" was staggering and it certainly paid off.

The biggest drama during the three days was when Roy’s core piece slid and got damaged. He was so devastated that the viewers were lead to believe this may be the end of it for Roy. He redeemed himself and salvaged the piece beautifully. He also fabricated some amazing feathers. Hard to believe he assembled the whole look during the one hour allotted for Last Looks!

Miranda was behind as usual and her time management is something she needs to work on. She wanted to spend a lot of time on her sculpt but this put her behind on the molding. She even had her model painting his own arms and hands during Last Looks. Despite this, she put out a beautiful sculpt.

It was really hard to determine who the top and bottom looks were for this challenge because the judges had positive comments on each of the four designs. The staggering amount of work that each did was certainly agreed upon.

Miranda’s Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill Man had nice details, a beautiful sculpt but a monochromatic paint job. Laura’s aged cockatoo was the epitome of what the challenge demanded because the humanness shined through. The furry suit wasn’t a favorite though.

Tate’s scavenger had tons of detail and his decision to use a theatrical approach to the feather placement, was intelligent. However, Ve thought the paint job looked “muddy.” Roy’s military McCaw was ambitious and had a nice profile but the squiggly black lines on its face were frowned upon.

So who is going to the finale next week? Tate won the challenge and this was no surprise. This was his fifth win for this season and they were all well-deserved. Laura was chosen next and finally, Roy. Despite winning a few challenges and showing a ton of growth this season, Miranda was eliminated. Do you agree with the decision the judges made?

Next week looks intense so be sure to tune in to the Season Finale, “Swan Song” where Roy, Tate and Laura have to create a sorcerer and a swan for a very special performance. Tune it to Syfy at 9 p.m. on November 5 to see who the Season Five winner will be. A Season Five marathon will be shown and lead up to the finale. Who do you predict will win?