Last week on Face Off, the eight remaining contestants were paired up to create sci-fi werewolves. They had to use moons of other planets as a jumping off point for an original werewolf design. I'm all for carving a story arc out of the footage you have on a reality show, but it has to be a believable story. This episode was "let's blame Autumn for every problem because she's a negative, depressed bully." Nothing on the show up to this point has suggested that at all. Just having one of the weaker contestants of the season who never spoke up before suddenly say "she was mean to me" doesn't mean that Autumn bulldozed over anyone.
Here's what I saw from the footage presented. Autumn came up with a great concept and Eric Z. agreed to it. She started on a face sculpt, cut in rough forms, and Eric Z. insisted he take over the face sculpt. He hacked off all over her work instead of collaborating. She insisted on going back in and taking over her original role. Meanwhile, instead of continuing with Autumn added to his back sculpt, he started that all over again, too. Eric Z. put the team behind by refusing to collaborate or even communicate and the resulting look was unfinished. He refused to assert himself and verbalize any concerns until he threw her under the bus at judging.
The challenge was underwhelming as a whole because the only team to actually make a sci-fi werewolf was Autumn & Eric Z. and Autumn got sent home because of her...attitude? She was as blind-sided as I was. This is what she sculpted (since Eric Z. just kept erasing the concept they agreed on and she carried the team). It's a werewolf with a rock core to fight the gravity of Jupiter.
Anthony & Eric F. were also in the bottom and their design was a mess. Their werewolf had an extra set of arms on the back and wings. The facial appliance was messed up beyond belief and the edges could be seen from the judges table clear across the room. Because neither of them acted like a two-year-old at judging, they were safe.
House & Meagan did sci-fi by putting neon pants and a space helmet on their Martian werewolf. This was a top look. The face sculpt looks like what Autumn wanted to do before Eric Z. kept ripping the clay off the form.
Kris & Wayne won the challenge with a blue werewolf straight out of a Looney Tunes short. It looked like a rubber monster suit but the judges liked it. They really liked the back sculpt, so Kris was named the winner of the challenge.
I haven't disagreed this much with a decision on this show since they allowed Sam in Season 1 into the finale and then eliminated her before they actually deliberated on the finalists. This was just a bizarre and disappointing challenge with a terrible edit. If they wanted to eliminate a contestant because they never cared for her work, they should have said it. Autumn landed in the bottom more than the top and didn't always finish her designs. That does not mean they had to fabricate drama to get rid of a middling contestant on the show.
This week, the seven remaining contestants had to take inspiration from the land or the sea to create an undiscovered species. This creature had to have two distinct paint jobs, one that showed during the day and another that only showed under UV light.
I'm obsessed with blacklight gags and art at haunted houses. As soon as they group walked back into the workroom, I recognized the giant vats of Wildfire paint that suddenly filled the supply shelves. That paint is no joke. You need to prime with flat white underneath for maximum effect and then slowly build up an even layer of color with an airbrush to succeed. You can build the paint off of a different colored background, but it requires a whole lot more than you would anticipate to be even and strong. The paints are totally clear unless a blacklight is on. That means you can have a paint job turn entirely different colors when the lights are flipped, which was supposed to be the challenge.
Is this the most well-known brand of products for a makeup artist? Probably not. Do the bottles clearly say how you need to work with the paint for maximum effect? Yes. Yes they do. Did the contestants read the instructions? No. Only Anthony, Eric F., and Kris had light enough basecoats on their makeup to make the Wildfire paint pop under the blacklight. Everyone else's designs really suffered for not following directions.
The top looks were Anthony, Eric F., Kris, and Wayne.
Anthony was inspired by poisonous amphibians. The head, feet, and hands turned bright red like a rain forest frog. The sculpt was clean and the inclusion of bright green speckling and war paint with the Wildfire product line was a good surprise.
Eric F. used a jellyfish as inspiration and crafted a translucent silicone creature with exposed organs, musculature, and bones. This look easily would have won if it was finished. It wasn't. He admitted as much on the runway. No one could touch his use of the Wildfire paints or concept.
Kris might have gotten a little confused with last week's challenge. This entry could have worked just as well for a sci-fi werewolf as an undiscovered sea creature. He did a psychedelic paint job on a silicone face appliance (latex for the body pieces) but didn't actually create a surprise with the blacklight. There were no secrets other than the understanding that the other way to use Wildfire paints is to put super concentrated amounts over an identical basecoat to create an eerie glow. Not using the paint for a surprising pop of color was a big missed opportunity. A white wig glowing blue was not a surprise.
Wayne was inspired by crabs, creating an elaborate headpiece and huge ridges all over the body. Once again, Wayne didn't actually finish his paint job. The legs were completely bare and the paint scheme mostly flesh tone by necessity, not design. His saving grace was an attempt to create a surprise with bright blue Wildfire paint on the body stripes.
Anthony won for actually following the color-shifting prompt of the challenge.
The bottom 3 were Eric Z., House, and Meagan.
Eric Z. was inspired by a rock. Of all the things he could have taken away from a really beautiful beach location, he chose to sculpt a rock formation as the face of his creature. It looked really uneven, had a patchy paint job, and did not convey any sense of concept. His was also the only design to look worse under the blacklight. Unsurprisingly, Eric Z. barely said anything in front of the judges, could not defend his look, and proved my point about the bizarre edit for the previous episode. If you take your judging tips from the guy that can barely string a sentence together as simple as "he's a rock monster living at the beach," you're taking your judging tips from the wrong person.
House wanted to create a beautiful sea nymph. His designs have been hit or miss or all season and this was a miss. At least he had a direction even if the styling was bad. His blacklight paint also fulfilled the challenge, turning white and blue into blue and green with a flick of the light. The color was poorly applied because he used a paintbrush instead of an airbrush. It would have made all the difference in the concept.
Meagan had a bad week. She wound up in the hospital on the first day, giving her less time than everyone else to sculpt, mold, pour, paint, and apply the makeup. She had no concept because she couldn't think straight on the first day and it showed. The blacklight paint design didn't work because the sculpt was so asymmetrical and she, too, did a lot of brush-on application of the Wildfire paint.
The challenge called for a double elimination and, ultimately, the remaining weekly bottom three dwellers Eric Z. and Meagan were sent home. The remaining contestants are very strong sculptors and conceptual artists. Jenna was the only other contestant who could match this final five, but no one could have anticipated her needing hand surgery while competing on the show.
What did you think of the sci-fi werewolf and sea creature challenges? Sound off below.