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Recap: Face Off Season 13, Episode 3, Aztec Aliens

Tonight’s episode opens In the Face Off Lab, where the artists come across a replica stone ruin. McKenzie is waiting for them to introduce tonight’s challenge dealing with the Aztec 13 levels of heaven. Tonight’s challenge is to take images of Aztec gods and create the ancient alien that might have inspired it. I, personally, really love this idea and can’t wait to see what they come up with.

The Artists Choose Their Scrolls (Image: SyFy)

The artists choose scrolls to choose their subject and their competition.

Quetzalcoatl: Kelly vs Walter
Xochipilli: Yvonne vs. Mel
Tonatiuh: Graham vs Damien
Tlaloc: Matt vs Derek
Tezcatlipoca: Kevon and Jordan

During the design phase there are a lot of really interesting ideas but there are some ideas that really don’t work the way the artists think they should. There are some issues with forms and the “standard” alien approach.

Michael Westmore arrives in the lab and starts with Walter who he thinks has a pretty good handle on things. At Kevon’s station, he urges him to think about the mouth, the teeth. He gives Mel a bit of truth in that her look does look like a fish. It’s a challenge to take away the human form of it and she’s hoping for ideas on how she can fix it and he gives her some great advice. He talks to Jordan about keeping away from deep deep black base color but the translucent white is good. After looking at Yvonne’s sculpt, he suggests that she lengthen the lines near the mouth and that’s all we hear from Mr. Westmore.

One of the things I love about this show, and I’ve said it more than once, is how well the artists work together – bouncing ideas off each other, helping each other with molds and techniques. Yes, it’s a competition but it always seems like they generally want everyone to do well. I also like watching the interesting process of creation, how they get from assignment to creature and how they do it from clay to appliance. The whole of it just amazes me and if there were ever a reality show worth keeping on the air, it’s this one. If you agree with me, sign and share the petition!

Day Two in the lab starts at a run and everyone is feeling the time crunch and now they’re working on making sure the Aztec aspect shows up as much as the alien. Matt is working on very stereotypical elongated skull type alien but he seems to be the only one and given the culture they’re working in, it does make sense to have that look.

In the process of vacuforming, Kelly forgets to put some kind of release on the sculpt and she may have actually ruined the sculpt. I’ve never seen a sculpt actually get ruined and she gets it to where she can make it work but it definitely isn’t what she’d envisioned. Kelly isn’t the only one making a mask for her character but Jordan seemed to remember the release. More or less, everyone seems pretty confident in their skills and their creations.

On day three, everyone is checking their foams, molds, and various pieces before the models arrive for Application Day. There are a lot of pieces for each of these looks. I wonder sometimes about the color choices but for the most part, they make it come out much less fuschia than it looks in the lab. Some artists are a bit more meticulous with their paint than others. Going into Last Looks, I’m really glad I’m not a judge, there are some absolutely amazing looks tonight.

At Last Looks, they’ve only got a smidgen of time to make things work. I love some of the paint but not all of them. I really think some of the color choices are a bit weird. I can’t believe how much these artists actually get done in such a short amount of time.

At the reveal stage, McKenzie introduces the judges, Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, and Nevill Page before she reintroduces tonight’s Spotlight Challenge.

Matt’s Tlaloc Alien (image: SyFy)

Derek’s Tlaloc Alien (image: SyFy)

Matt Vs Derek: Tlaloc – both are neat and alien. I do think Derek went a step further away from human and from expected looks but both creations Judge’s opinions: Derek’s – super cool but more creature. Matt: very alien shapes that are the core of the challenge. Sculpture is stunning, especially the meso-american inspired shapes being in the look rather than on it. Striking look, excellent highlighting. Beautifully executed.

Winner: Matt

Damien’s Tonatiuh Alien (image: SyFy)

Graham’s Tonatiuh Alien (Image: SyFy)

Damien vs Graham Tonatiuh: Both have their great point – one is a bit too yellow for me. I loved the gold in Graham’s look, the metallic for the sun god. Damian – way better up close. He is spectacular. Phenomenal paint job. Sculpture is really complex and interesting. Interesting nose shapes. It looks like a team challenge effort, like two people did it. Graham: doesn’t feel alien, feels like a headdress. The transitions between textures has no organic feel. Ve does like his color palette though, even though it’s a mess.

Winner: Damian

Kevon’s Tezcatlipoca Alien (Image: SyFy)

Jordan’s Tezcatlipoca Alien (image: SyFy)

Kevon vs Jordan Tezcatlipoca: this is the first I have a real favorite – I like Jordan’s a bit better but I think it’s color choice related. Jordan has great color choices. Judges – Kevon’s paint job wrong for the challenge. The top portion doesn’t look like the same character. They feel like they’ve seen this design from Jordan before.

Winner: Jordan


Mel’s Xochipilli Alien (image: SyFy)

Yvonne’s Xochipilli Alien (image: SyFy)

Mel vs Yvonne Xochipilli: Mel’s isn’t as bad as I was expecting and definitely not as pink. It’s very busy though and maybe just too much. Yvonne’s is very organic looking, stone looking. Judge’s opinion: Mel’s: There’s a lot going on. Unique. Yvonne – remarkable work but how does it translate to the challenge.

Winner: Mel


Kelly’s Quetzalcoatl Alien (image: SyFy)

Walter’s Quetzalcoatl Alien (image: SyFy)

Kelly vs Walter Quetzalcoatl: both are cool. I think Kelly’s is beautiful when it takes off the mask. I’m not sure it looks like the source but it’s still pretty. Walter’s is very reptilian, very powerful. I disagree it’s his best look ever but I definitely think it’s pretty far up there and may be the top of the night. Judge’s opinion: Kelly- her shapes are off. It feels like taking a step back in quality and concept. It doesn’t feel like it fits into the challenge – no Aztec touches. Walter – gorgeous, beautiful paint job.

Winner: Walter

Winner of the night: Damian

That means Damian gets help from a professional artist next week Mad Max: Fury Road and American Horror Story’s, Mike Mekash.

Kelly seems fired up to do better next week and I really hope she does as I would love to see her stick around as I would really love to see Kelly and Walter in the end. I really love their work and their attitude. That last spot could be a couple of people and my opinion changes weekly. I love most of them and I think here in another week or two, elimination is going to get ridiculously difficult.


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