The Face Off artists explore lost civilizations for their latest challenge

Syfy

Syfy

It’s the third week of Face Off and there has still been no Foundation or Focus Challenge. Instead, the remaining twelve contestants were forced to pair up yet again for another Spotlight Challenge. Now I know working in an industry such as this requires working with loads of other people, but it’s going to be mighty difficult to find the next great special effects makeup artist if their voice is always going to be compromised by having to collaborate with someone else. How are the judges supposed to really assess someone’s talents? Hopefully, with an odd number of contestants next week, they’ll finally get to work solo.

As for this week, the artists were created on location by McKenzie Westmore and a special guest, language creator David Peterson who concocted the language for Game of Thrones‘ Dothraki as well as other cinematic creatures. The task at hand was to enter a sort of cavelike structure and pick out a specific artifact of a “lost civilization.” Peterson had created a language specifically for that artifact with phonetic clues in the languages to help the artists create a makeup to fit the language … or at least they had to guess what Peterson imagined in his head when making the languages.

Syfy

Syfy

After listening to various clicks, hisses and guttural vocals and sketching something that fit the language, it was back to the lab to begin sculpting. Remarkably, there was little drama this week as everyone seemed to be on the same page after listening to their chosen languages. Anna & Yvonne had a language that was spoken very quickly and decided it would fit an aged sort of high priest/false prophet who was leading his people to destruction.

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Syfy

Mel and Kaleb had a very breathy/hissing language which led to a serpentine design, something that also linked to their artifact which had images of cobras on it. As the speaker seemed to give voice on the inhale and exhale, they opted to add a bladder to the throat which would give the creature that extra boost of air for speaking. During the sculpting, Mel was not happy with the ears she had designed but Kaleb loved them. They decided to wait for McKenzie and Michael Westmore to come through the lab for their critiques to let them be the final judge. When asked, both the Westmores said they loved the ears, so Kaleb won and they stayed.

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Syfy

Not having such a good critique were Ant and Njoroge, whose chosen language (well, the language they were stuck with since they were the last to choose) was very quiet so they decided that meant the mouth was very small and all of the other senses would be heightened. Literally. Ant was determined to make huge eyes that protruded from the face AND the cowl, but Mr. Westmore quickly advised him against that (with Njoroge silently thanking him for that). And opter to go with a more oval-shaped bug eye.

Syfy

Syfy

Robert and Johnny were also having some issues with their makeup. The language and artifact indicated something squid-like with a beak that would produce the clicking sounds heard on the recording, so they went very literal with the design, basically plopping a squid on the head of the model. But after several attempts and no more time left, the tentacles that had been intended as part of the makeup had to be scrapped. This partnership was also another of those where the two artists just didn’t mesh, especially when it came time to painting. Robert didn’t seem too concerned that his bright red paint wasn’t matching Johnny’s more subtle red and purple, he just wanted to get paint on the makeup to send out on stage.

Besides the tentacles not setting up, no one seemed to have any problems with locked molds, cracked molds, thick seams or bad edges, so it was a pretty good week in the lab.

Syfy

Syfy

On the reveal stage, each model came out and recited the language (and kudos to them for being able to pull that off) as the judges looked over their makeups. Peterson sat in as a guest judge to see if the artists were able to create something that could actually speak the languages properly.

Most of them were successful in getting the mouth correct, and while the judges were impressed with Mel & Kaleb’s work and inspired use of the bladder, the two tiny fangs in the serpentine creature bothered Peterson, who said they would never work with the language. But, he was willing to overlook that since the rest of the makeup was so successful. Having a really bad day though was Johnny & Robert, whose model resorted to popping his lips rather than make the clicking sounds heard in the recording, which made the beak of the creature makeup ultimately useless. The too literal makeup made none of the judges happy.

Syfy

Syfy

In judging, two teams were safe: Rob & Walter for their feline creation (with a hairless wolf head headdress) and Katie and Melissa’s priestess of death character. It was a pretty simple makeup with nothing that really made it stand out (and the flexible cheekbones were a little bothersome). Top looks were Anna & Yvonne’s evil leader, and Mel & Kaleb’s snake man. In the bottom were Ant & Njoroge for their electric green bug-eyed creature, and Robert & Johnny’s tentacle-less squid with a beak that just looked like a black hole from a distance.

Syfy

Syfy

The winner of the challenge was Yvonne for the headdress she created for their character. Judge Glenn Hetrick complimented her on the symmetry and detail of the piece and how it ultimately complimented the facial sculpt.

Syfy

Syfy

When it came to the losing look, I absolutely disagree with the judges’ choice for the eliminated artist – Ant. The decision, they say, was based on the asymmetrical head piece he created as well as the flat bright green paint. However, I realy felt that it was Robert’s time to go. Last week he chose to sit back and let his partner do what she wanted so that if they were in the bottom, he wouldn’t be the one responsible. This week, he was responsible for the beak no one could see up close, and the paint job on the face that made the character look, as judge Ve Neill said, “inflamed.” When the language was a crucial part of the makeup this week, and the beak that was supposed to appear to produce clicking sounds was rendered useless by the model using his lips to make popping sounds, then that should have been considered a fail.

Hopefully next week there will be a Foundation or Focus Challenge and the artists will get to work solo so that we can finally see what they’re made of.

Did the right person go home this week? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

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