Face Off S2-10: The Ultimate Spotlight Challenge

The Ultimate Spotlight Challenge

SyFy’s Face Off is the competition to go for special effects makeup madness. We now have 3 artists all vying for the money, car, makeup and the title of Face Off Champion. This is it folks, the end is here, so let the showdown begin.

If you’re not interested in spoilers, then you should re-sculpt and try again!

The three finalists get a video chat with their family members. Ian gets a nice pep talk from his girlfriend. Sorry to all you ladies who had high hopes there. Rayce talks to his tribe of children and his wife who barely gets any screen time because their kids are literally swarmed on top of her. Lastly, RJ gets to chat with his sister.

The Spotlight Challenge

McKenzie stands next to three large TVs and tells the artists that they will have to create make up in one of three genres that not only must be creative, but also must be highly functional. The models for this challenge will be performing a choreographed dance routine.

The three genres are fantasy, sci-fi and horror. It’s the SyFy channel’s trifecta. Ian says he wants fantasy, so, of course, that’s what RJ picks. Ian then says he wants sci-fi next, so that’s what Rayce picks. Ian is stuck with horror and is bummed out because he’s not a big fan. He should be happy he wasn’t on the show last season, when it was all about horror makeup.

McKenzie tells the artists that since the job must be done in 4 days, they will have some assistants to pick from. Rayce picks Jerry first then eventually gets Miranda and Heather. Ian picks Matt first then eventually picks Sue and Tara. RJ picks his gal Beki first then gets Athena and Brea.

The challenge is set, the support players have been picked and the test begins.

Was there a support player you would have liked to see in the finale?

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Rayce's sketches
Rayce's sketches

Design Phase

Since Ian got stuck with horror, he decides to depict Lucifer and two female hell hounds. The Lucifer character will have the other two in chains, which they will break off and then break out in dance.

RJ immediately thinks he should go “funny” and his team can’t wait to help. All three of his helpers start spouting out suggestions, so much so, RJ’s feeling overwhelmed. He eventually settles on fairies.

Rayce’s concept is having a light character and a dark character with one split in the middle while having two faces.

During this early stage the two choreographers stop by to get a sense of what the artists are doing. They like Ian’s idea and their dance can work around the chains. They like Rayce’s idea, but warn him that he can’t obscure the dancer’s vision with his mask. They do not like his fairy idea, because he describes a fairy being restricted and that’s a no-no. RJ has to completely rework his idea and he ends up being the only one who hasn’t started sculpting yet. I wonder…why must the fairy be bound? So confused.

RJ finally decides on going with a phoenix who is being fought over by an alchemist and an Earth mother. They finally start to sculpt, with Athena taking a lead on the phoenix. Maybe that was a bad choice since Beki sees her work and freaks out. Instead of a beautiful phoenix, all Beki can see is a cartoon parrot.

RJ’s biggest problem is that he’s being too nice and doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Opposites attract to each other, right? Beki is RJ’s best buddy and one thing she isn’t is too nice. She’s not having Athena’s parrot and gets RJ to take the sculpt apart and do it over.

Day 2: Sculpting Phase

First thing RJ does is fix the phoenix break.

Ian has Matt working on the cowl, Sue on Lucifer’s face and he and Tara on the hell hounds.

Rayce is working with a very limited color palette and that worries Jerry. He thinks the grey scale is a bad choice for a stage with lights and smoke.

Michael Westmore
Michael Westmore

Mentor Time

McKenzie brings in a mentor to help the artists with their final looks, Michael Westmore. Not only is he the mind behind many of the Star Trek: The Next Generation looks, Rocky and The Clan of the Cavebear, he’s also Mckenzie’s dad.

Ian: He wants to put LED lights in the eyes. Michael says that in Star Trek, he used them all the time and suggests placing them in an area with an overhang to give the eyes a nice glow. Ian goes over everyone’s roles and what they’re working on and Michael reminds him that this is his show and in the end, everything rests on him.

RJ: Michael sees the face mask and tells RJ to extend it down towards the breastplate and past the neckline. RJ explains that he was going to use vacu form on the beak so it’s hard, but Michael suggests that he use foam with a pie gloss over the top of it to make it harder.

Rayce: Michael likes the head piece and wonders if there will be more towards the neck. Rayce says there won’t because of the movement needed for the dance. He’s going to use a bald cap and Michael tells him he better get it on good. Michael looks at the ethereal character and Miranda asks if it needs skin texture, but Michael thinks the smoothness is better.

Ian: Overall, Michael likes the concept, but the sculpt needs to be smoothed down. He’s also concerned that the demons look more like witches than fallen angels.

RJ: Michael loves the design, but is concerned about all the different textures he’s using.

Rayce: Michael thinks his chance on winning really depends on the paint job. He’s also concerned abut the lady with two faces, because they need to stay individual.

At the end of the day, Ian sees that Tara’s work isn’t quite what he wanted. He explains what he wanted, but she argues with him about what he asked for and what he originally explained. It seems that her being prickly wasn’t just for Sue. Ian decides to take the sculpt over and Tara doesn’t seem pleased that her time was wasted.

Day 3

Ian starts the day in charge and tells everyone what needs to be done.

Beki’s main goal in the group is to keep RJ on track. A side note from me…damn did I want to see what she would do in the finale. RJ let Athena do her thing with the phoenix wig, but it starts to look a bit too gaudy for RJ. He steps in and fixes it. So, Athena was is in the “in group” because she knew what she was doing? Orly.

Jerry takes a good look at RJ’s work and thinks it is gorgeous. He whispers in RJ’s ear that unless they screw it up tomorrow, RJ has the win.

Ian has issue with his hand molds, which don’t want to come out and when they do break. He’ crushed his wicked hands aren’t exactly what he wanted them to be.

RJ applying makeup to his sorcerer
RJ applying makeup to his sorcerer
Rayce applying makeup on his dark side character
Rayce applying makeup on his dark side character

Day 4: Application Day

The chest pieces for Rayce’s character came out too thick, so Rayce is relegated to cutting them by hand.

Ian notices his head piece weighs around 5 pounds and it should only be about 2. He ends up cutting out some of the foam so the dancer’s head doesn’t look like jell-o as he’s gyrating on stage.

Brea ends up putting the phoenix’s gear on out of order. It is a bit of an issue since her prosthetics are delicate, so they peel them off and reapply.

Judges glen, Ve and Patrick
Judges glen, Ve and Patrick
Ian's Team, RJ's Team and Rayce's team
Ian's Team, RJ's Team and Rayce's team

The Audition

The theater is filled with the judges sitting in the middle. McKenzie introduces all of the artists and explain that the audience will pick which looks they like the best. Their decision will be told to the judges who will take their favorite into account when picking a winner.

Ian: He thinks his horror looks are awesome. He thinks his intentions are there, but the paint job isn’t exactly what he wanted it to be.

RJ: He’s worried because he’s not hearing the crowd response he was hoping for. He’s really happy with the skin tone of the Earth mother, but thought there should have been more brown around the leg area.

Rayce: He thinks they look so much better on stage than walking out of the trailer. The looks are being pulled off even though he thought there was a little something wrong with every one of the characters.

The models do their dance routine, the audience votes and then McKenzie excuses the audience so the judges can look at the models up close.

Ian's close up
Ian's close up

The Close Up

Ian: Patrick likes the demons sculpt. Glen loves the way the cage smashes the nose sculpt.

RJ: Patrick and Glen like the head piece for the sorcerer. Patrick thinks the Earth mother has very striking makeup. Glen thinks of all the pieces he’s seen, the beak is stressing the most.

Rayce: Glen likes the lines on the face, because that’s not where you would normally see them. Patrick points out the huge snap in the mask at the back of the neck. Ve likes the way he painted the light versus dark in the characters.

Ian
Ian
RJ
RJ
Rayce
Rayce

The Curtain Call

Ian: Glen thinks the concept is exceptional, but he’s not sure how they integrate together. The three sculpts are married, though he did love all three sculptures.

Ve says she hasn’t seen a makeup like that before. She liked the sculpt of the cage and face as well as the horns coming up from the skull bleeding, but wishes he would have put more sheen on it.

Patrick likes the Lucifer character and thinks Ian has a uniqueness and originality to his work.

RJ: Ve thinks the head pieces were really great, but wishes the Earth mother was a “pretty matron”. He liked that the makeup was complete from head to toe.

Patrick likes the vines on the Earth mother’s arms, because it follows the muscle. He thinks he could spot RJ’s work, because it is so distinctive.

Glen likes the sorcerer’s hair and the way it is pulled to the side. (Anyone else beside me think he liked it because it looked like his over processed mane? Just me? Moving on.) He thinks the phoenix is cool from the front, but is cooler from the side because the fiber optics really pops the profile. He wasn’t sure about the way the airbrushing was very directional. They were very heavy and went from flames into circles.

Rayce: Glen says that he had the greatest struggle with erosion throughout the dance routine. He thinks, however, that the sculptures and makeup were exceptional. He likes the shadow that looks cast upon them and in total, it is awesome.

Patrick feels that the characters seem like they are in the middle of a transformation that occurring right now. The effect is very cool.

Ve says the three complete heads was creepy.

Exit, Stage Left

The artists are asked to leave so that the judges can discuss. McKenzie tells the judges that the audience picked Rayce as their favorite.

Ian: He had great head sculpts, great concept, great creativity, but the painting across the board was flat.

RJ: The looks were very powerful at a distance, but the closer you get, the less realistic it is. The looks were really whimsical and fun. Patrick thinks he’s a kind and nice guy and that’s exactly what pissed Glen off about RJ. (Sigh.)

Rayce: He knocked it out of the park and did a great paint job.

The winner is Rayce. Cue stage fire show and confetti.

Who should have won?

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Last Words

Who else besides me knew RJ was doomed the moment Jerry proclaimed him the winner? Has there ever been a moment when Jerry was right? It’s funny how the editors had to show how wrong Jerry was one more time. They must have really disliked him.

I really wish I felt that Ve had more say on the judging panel. She’s the head judge, yet Glen does all the talking, most of the interrogations and if he doesn’t like an artist for whatever reason he deems, you know they have no chance whatsoever to win. Ve gives the show a lot of credibility, but it seems they’re overlooking her for the Simon Cowellesque approach Glen brings. At the finale, her lines were few and far between, so I wonder if she’s just too nice and kind in her assessments for the powers that be. Someone really needs to rethink Ve’s role and put her in charge as she was in season one.

While I’m at it, I’ll admit that this finale wasn’t as interesting or as striking as season one’s finale. The dance routing was ‘eh’ and apparently, had little to nothing to do with the results. Rayce’s makeup suffered the most with breaks on all of his characters in areas that could be seen from the nose bleed seats. Yet, he still won. I don’t’ begrudge Rayce the win, I liked his characters, but if the judges are just going to ignore their own criteria, why make it at all? It makes it seem like there is something fishy going on when there doesn’t need to be.

Congratulations to Rayce, whose looks standing side by side were the most stunning. Hopefully, Ve will also take you under her wing and help you succeed in the special effects field.

So…when does next season begin? I already can’t wait!

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2 comments

Alexavier 23 months ago

That's 2 clever by half and 2x2 clever 4 me. Thakns!


Adiana 23 months ago

The puesrachs I make are entirely based on these articles.

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