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Face Off All Stars Season 11, Episode 13: Gargoyle Guardians

McKenzie and the blueprints (image: SyFy)

The episode opens tonight with only four artists left. You’re either a finalist or you’re out. It’s been a long and generally beautiful road to get to this point in the competition. Tonight, we begin on a rooftop where McKenzie is waiting for the artists in front of a shelf of scroll looking things. This week’s spotlight challenge is all about gargoyles who come to life at night. Each gargoyle protector will be inspired by a certain style of architecture. The scrolls beside her are blueprints.

Tyler gets Victorian, Emily gets art deco, Cig gets Russian renaissance and George gets deconstructivism. Each look must have wings and they must look like they belong on the buildings in the style they chose. When the sketch time begins, Emily is certainly happy and she’s going a bit on the eagle side of gargoyle. Cig’s buildings are bright and full of color and he’s looking into keeping the shapes but struggling with an idea for the wings. Tyler is going with a bird-demon thing. George is very confused by his architecture because it doesn’t actually make sense for the very modern architecture to have gargoyles in the first place.

Day one in the Face Off Lab starts with choosing their models and jumping right into the sculpting. George seems like he’s finally getting some ideas. I’m not sure I can get on board with them yet but I’m trying to keep an open mind. Everyone, more or less, seems very excited about their looks and that’s great. The end results are always better when they like their ideas.

Michael Westmore arrives to do his mentoring and heads first for Cig’s station where he suggests that Cig do something a little more stylistic with the mouth, dehumanize his creature a little. He thinks that George’s look is really interesting up close but maybe it’s a little comedic, maybe square it off. He suggests that Tyler gives the appliance a little more edge to keep from having a gap. At Emily’s station, he’s worried that her gargoyle looks a little too human in places and maybe she should make the nose more like a beak.

When he’s done, Emily is a lot less sure of herself than she was and very worried about how much time she has to make it work but she’s as determined as ever. Everyone is definitely feeling the pressure of the semifinals. George is extra worried as he was eliminated at the semifinal stage in his season. At the end of the day, Emily is feeling very far behind and everyone else seems happy.

Day two in the lab begins with everyone giving Emily some suggestions on how to make her face work but now her idea looks more like Howard the Duck to me than a gargoyle. Cig is using a stamp again like last week but he’s finding it a little more difficult to keep the pattern. George is coming up with some neat ideas on his cowl but I’m not really sure it’s going to come together. George is the last one in the mold room while everyone is making their wings. Emily is making her wings out of fans. Cig is using armature wire and foam. George wants to do steel looking wings but the foam is too thick and heavy and each thing he tries doesn’t quite work the way he wants it to and he is getting more nervous with every decision.

George’s wings are just flat foam painted silver. Emily is running to clean out her molds and fortunately, Tyler is able to help. I really hope they’re not shooting themselves in the foot helping Emily.

Day three begins and Emily’s appliance lost some detail because of the clay left in the mold but it’s nothing she can’t make work. George is tweaking the wings a bit so it looks structurally interesting. I wonder if Cig, as awesome as his look looks so far, didn’t go a step too literal to his inspiration. Tyler is doing a much more traditional gargoyle. I’m pretty sure I have a little baby gargoyle that looks just like his. Emily’s paint is going incredibly well and it works. Cig’s bright colors are working much better than I thought it would. George is definitely behind everywhere and I am really worried about him. His look is so different from the others.

Last Looks is the usual flurry of craziness and pressure. I really don’t want to see anyone go home but I just don’t see how George is going to come through this. Everyone’s gargoyles, in the pieces we see, are awesome. But I’m really worried about George.

On the Reveal Stage, McKenzie says hello, introduces the judges, Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, and Neville Page, and reintroduces the challenge.

Emily's Gargoyle

Emily’s Gargoyle: Art Deco (image: SyFy)

Emily (Art Deco): My opinion: very strong profile. Very Chrysler building. Judges’ opinion: The look is really beautiful lines, graceful flow. Bird influence is smart. Great profile. Most obvious art deco in the wings. It reminds Ve of New York City elevator doors. It’s not 100% Art Deco for Neville but Glenn thinks it feels very like a gargoyle. It felt like a classic gargoyle and is so well crafted.

George's Gargoyle

George’s Gargoyle: Deconstructivism (image: SyFy)

George (Deconstructivism): My opinion: it is so confusing. It’s the fault of the style not the artist. I just don’t care for it. Judges’ Opinion: It is very bold but they like it. Not sure if it’s purposeful. Spot on in terms of architecture. Neville hates and loves it. The wings are terrible but the form language is exactly spot on. Gorgeous handling of the forms and colors. The back of the head is cool and beautiful. No one likes the horns. A challenge for people who know the movement, let alone someone who doesn’t. Everything was great except the wings.

Cig's Gargoyle

Cig’s Gargoyle: Russian Renaissance (image: SyFy)

Cig (Russian renaissance): My opinion: Very bright. Very colorful. It definitely fits the architecture. Judges’ opinion: gorgeous. Each pattern is different. The level of detail is incredible The shape in the nose is Glenn’s favorite as it is a literal keystone for the look. Up close she’s astonishingly beautiful. Just the right amount of aging. The literal interpretation is incredible. The colors and choices were bold and worked well visually. It was all so beautifully rendered.

Tyler's Gargoyle

Tyler’s Gargoyle: Victorian (image: SyFy)

Tyler (Victorian): My Opinion: The most traditional gargoyle up there and he did a great job with it. I’m not sure it’s Victorian though. Judges’ opinion: Gorgeous but how is it Victorian? It doesn’t feel Victorian. He did a nice job painting. Really simple forms but a beautiful paint job. Maybe he should have used a little more of the architectural form language. Sculpture work is beautiful even if it doesn’t resonate as Victorian. It is a beautiful piece but maybe it isn’t exactly in the challenge. He keeps doing the same style face.

Winner: Emily
Going home: Tyler

Finalists: Cig, Emily, and George

Okay, no. I totally disagree with the final decision here. Cig deserved that win and Tyler would have gone through if he’d done a different style of face or chosen to do something less gothic and more queen anne or gingerbread (the architecture not the cookie). I happen to collect more traditional gargoyles and Tyler’s creation really does look like it could be my favorite gargoyle’s mama. Tyler is a really great artist and he is going to do great things but I am so very happy to see Cig and George in the finale. Sorry, Emily and George – I love you both, but I really want Cig to win.

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