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Recap: Face Off – Season 13, Episode 1: Face Your Fears

Face Off Season 13 Battle Royale Contestants

The 13th Season of Face Off premier kicks off with the introduction of some very familiar faces for this Battle Royale All-Star season. The artists returning to the Face Off stage are: Kevon, Jordan, Graham, Jo, Derek, Kelly, Matt, Yvonne, Walter, Mel, Damien, Sasha.

McKenzie Westmore is standing next to some forms with white masks and talking about this season, the unlucky 13th season will be all about superstitions. This All-Star season is a little different, featuring head to head battles to determine the top and bottom looks. Because this set up requires even numbers, they will not be eliminating someone every week but having two eliminations every other week.

This week’s Spotlight Challenge will focus on unconventional design. Guillermo del Toro is the inspiration for this week’s Spotlight. In order to make truly scary characters, you must break up the human form. Each artist will pick a classic fairy tale character and they will make it scary to fit in a del Toro world. They each choose masks that determine both the character and the competitor.
Yvonne vs Matt: Tinker Bell
Kevon vs Derek: Captain Hook
Damien vs Jo: Mr. Toad
Mel vs Jordan: Gingerbread Man
Kelly vs Walter: Humpty Dumpty
Sasha vs Graham: The Little Mermaid

During the design phase, everyone breaks off into pairs to work on their designs, pulling from del Toro’s works a lot as they’re supposed to. There are some interesting works that really could work in several different challenges. I love seeing an artist use a wheelchair in their design.
Entering the Face Off Lab is not quite as exciting for me as I’m sure it is for the artists but it’s still awesome. The contestants from early seasons note how much better equipped the lab is this time around. I am enjoying watching the competitors checking each other’s work out and I do love the comradery of these amazing artists.

Michael Westmore arrives to mentor everyone and he starts with Walter where he recommends prepainting to get all of the detail. He complements Mel on a great start and suggests that she accentuate the empty eye sockets. With Jordan, he seems surprised by the concept of the fat cookie man and he encourages him to take care with the roll. At Jo’s table, on the first look, the model eye holes are too obvious. He cautions that Yvonne’s look may be too cutesy. And that’s all we get to hear of his commentary.

Time management seems to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, more so then in their second go around. Mel’s gumdrops are coming out too real looking and now I want a gumdrop. It’s a little amazing to see these things not only taking shape but there’s real painting going happening on day 2. It wouldn’t be Face Off without a mold that’s locked up and this season, Kelly gets the first lock. I have yet to see it actually be an insurmountable issue.

My television froze at this point so I don’t have the judge’s opinions but I do have pictures of the final looks and who won from each team so we’ll just run with that until I can get the judge’s opinions also. Next week I’ll be able to watch it live again and not have to depend on the On Demand feature. Tonight’s guest judge is Doug Jones, an actor who has appeared in many del Toro movies.

Yvonne’s Tinkerbell (image: SyFy)

Matt’s Tinkerbell (image: SyFy)

Tinkerbell:

For me, Matt’s Tinkerbell screams del Toro. It could very well fit into the Pan’s Labyrinth universe and no one would think twice. There isn’t anything that screams Tinkerbell about it though. Yvonne’s isn’t terrible but it really doesn’t work for me for this challenge, it looks too much like a doll.

Yvonne: Bottom, Matt: Top

Damian’s Mr. Toad (Image: SyFy)

Jo’s Mr. Toad (image: SyFy)

Mr. Toad: For me, these two looks are both very passable, very safe looks. There are good points about both of them. For me, Damian’s looks a little too Jar Jar Binks and Jo’s Toad’s face is offputtingly small. I don’t actually know who is on the bottom and top. They’re pretty on par I think.

 

 

 

 

Sasha’s Little Mermaid (image: SyFy)

Graham’s Little Mermaid (image: SyFy)

Little Mermaid: I was really interested to see what Sasha would do with this, given the wheelchair but to me, it looks less like a mermaid and more like Jigsaw. It isn’t what it could have been. Graham’s looks like a lady fish. A very not stereotypical mermaid and he did a good job with it. The results are completely unsurprising.

Sasha: Bottom, Graham: Top

Walter’s Humpty Dumpty (Image: SyFy)

Kelly’s Humpty Dumpty (Image: SyFy)

Humpty Dumpty: If you did not tell me in advance, I would not have known where either of these characters got their inspiration. They are both good quality work and Walter’s look would be better suited to a different challenge. Kelly’s Humpty looks like an honest to goodness del Toro monster, no doubt.

Walter: Bottom, Kelly: Top

 

 

Jordan’s Gingerbread Man (image: SyFy)

Mel’s Gingerbread Man (image: SyFy)

On the Gingerbread Man, both are great in their own ways and I really don’t think Mel went scary at all. No eyes or not, he looks very happy and cartoony whereas Jordan’s look is incredibly alien and unsettling. I think it’s the hole type texture in that missing space that makes me twitchy. I think that’s what he was going for.

Mel: Bottom, Jordan: Top

 

 

Kevon’s Captain Hook (Image: SyFy)

Derek’s Captain Hook (image: SyFy)

Captain Hook: Both of these Hooks have merit, both are creepy, and both are conceptually interesting and strong but Kevon’s hook is just so busy you can’t see the incredible work he’s done. There are too many points of interest and it becomes muddy. Derek’s hook is alien and creepy but not so busy that you can’t see what he is. The reptile look is a good one for Hook.

Kevon: Bottom, Derek: Top

There is no elimination on the Face Off stage but there is a winner for the night and that is: Kelly.

I thought for sure I was going to have a front-runner picked out before the show even started and then this challenge showed me that this is not going to be an easy season to judge. They’re all incredible artists. On this challenge alone, I’d probably pick Sasha or Yvonne to go first but we’ll have to see if they can make some magic happen next week.

The powers that be on SyFy are saying that this season will be the final season of Face Off as of this moment. There are a lot of fans (and the judges) who would like to see that get changed. I’m one of those fans. To me, this is the best “reality” type show there is. Actually, it’s one of my favorite shows period. I’ve been watching from season 1, episode 1 and I’d love to see this show keep going. Help keep me writing these recaps! If you want to see the show continue, please, sign the petition HERE! #savefaceoff

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