The artists bug out on Face Off


It’s only the second week of the 12th season of Face Off and already the artists are being set up for failure. This week the designs were to be based on a specific insect, creating a queen, a worker and a drone. Not only that, but there had to be some kind of “mechanical” addition with a hatching egg. Not to mention the fabrication that would be involved for the armored plating on the workers and drones. And all of this in three days? It’s a recipe for failure, even if you have a full team working on each aspect of the makeup.

Twisted Six (which is now Five) went the obvious route by choosing bees for their alien insects, while Ethereal Effects went the less obvious route and chose termites over ants. There weren’t any major issues during the sculpting phase although Michael Westmore did think Faina’s queen sculpt on her termite face was way to intricate, suggesting she stick to what the research shows which she agreed made for a better design. There was also a problem with getting two identical cowls poured and cured due to the time limitations, but they made it work.

Twisted Six was already in the woods being one person down which meant for three sculpts they only had five people and someone also needed to make the hatching egg as well. That task seemed to fall into Al’s lap, so he spent the entire three days making a puppet and fabricating mandibles instead of pitching in on any of the makeups. We really didn’t get to see a lot of Mr. Westmore’s consultations with them, except for his really negative reaction to Suzanne’s queen, but there was one aspect of all the makeups that he really should have pointed out that, in the end, was really disturbing to the judges.

On application day, no one was ready. Here’s where the absurd time limit really came into play. No one had anything pre-painted and several of the appliances didn’t even fit properly, some with big gaps between the face and the cowl. Both teams decided, for some reason, to make their tallest male model the queen. This is like last week making the Omega wolf the tallest of the pack. It makes no sense. Queens don’t have to be large in stature to be the queen. I mean, how tall is Queen Elizabeth? This idea that height equals dominance really worked against both teams as much as the time did.


Nelson’s queen needed a better paint job and more prosthetics connecting the head to the shoulders. As it was, it just looked like a dude wearing a mask. On Twisted Six, Jill and Nick fared better because of Nick’s extremely detailed and intricate cowl, even though it and the face still seemed like two separate pieces. Nigel however was still puzzled by the notion of putting a guy in a corset and making him the queen. Twisted Six, though had many more issues besides the gender of the queen. Going with bees, they went the obvious route with yellow and black paint, failing to incorporate any other colors to give the makeups any real definition. The other issue that the judges really objected to were the exposed eyes of the models. Honestly, they looked ridiculous, especially when they also incorporated the big, domed buy eyes on the worker and drone. Why didn’t Mr. Westmore say something? Or did he and it was just ignored so the critiques were edited out? I really wish they’d give us just a little more of his critiques with the artists. And on top of all that, there was little cohesion among the three designs except for yellow paint.


Ethereal’s termite aliens fared much better thanks to Faina’s excellent eye for detail. While Nelson was the foreman, he got so bogged down with his queen design that Faina really took control, making sure the three creatures all looked like they came from the same planet and really taking the lead on the paint job that used nice gradation of colors. And … none of the bugs had human eyes! The team did a masterful job of camouflaging the models’ eyes and it paid off in the end with Etheral being handed their second win in two weeks, and Faina singled out at the winner from the team.


Twisted Six, obviously, could not overcome their lack of cohesion, bad paint and exposed human eyes putting team foreman Jill, who really lacked leadership skills, in the bottom three this time with Phil, who got good reviews last week even though his team lost, and Al, who should have gone home last week for his unexceptional job as the foreman. So, again this week it was the foreman who was really responsible for the team’s failure, but Suzanne survived really because of Nick’s cowl making the rest of the makeup look better than it was. Phil stumbled this week due to the lack of leadership, but the judges know he has the talent so he was safe as well. Which meant that Al took the brunt of the criticism this week, mainly because all he did was make a puppet and some mandibles. Like Glenn Hetrick said, this is a makeup competition and while the fabrications are part of it, he didn’t contribute to the actual makeups this week so he had to go.

Of course this now means the Twisted Six are only four, so judging from the preview for next week, we can expect to see someone from Etheral join that team, or perhaps there will be a complete shuffling of teams to make it an even five-five. Which will cause TV conflict in addition to the pressures of time put on them.

What did you think this week’s episode? Did the right person go home this week? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!


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