Face Off has given the contestants a gift with mentor Michael Westmore. They should (and some do) heed his direct and sensible advice more than ever as it gets down to the final challenges that will lead us to a winner. After wiping their collective brow upon Autumn’s departure, the remaining artists realize that there is much at stake as the grand prize gets closer.
This week on “It’s Better In The Dark”, the gang goes to Leo Carrillo State Park, where films like Inception and the Usual Suspects were filmed, as an inspiration for the next challenge. They must create a new species from any of earth’s eco-systems, but this species must be bio-luminous. The design must incorporate a black light paint job as well as a regular one. After spending some time at the park, they get back to the lab only to find out that this is a double elimination week. The stakes are raised and they MUST step up their game.
House, Anthony, Eric F, and Kris all opt out for fish-like, or amphibious creatures. Meagan’s creature evolved into a venus flytrap type of character, Eric Z. chose a cavern dwelling part amphibious design, and Wayne went with a crab humanoid. The last few episodes have really given us a chance to see what incredible skills Wayne and Kris have in sculpting, and this week was no exception. I’m glad they’ve made it this far because they are great competition for Eric F., Anthony and House, who have all shown their skills early on in the show.
An unfortunate turn of events (or the stomach!) occurs for Meagan that takes her out of the first day of the challenge, but she comes back the next day, still woozy from food poisoning, determined to at least finish her design which has suffered from her absence. Others are plagued with time management issues, “steam pockets” in their foam pieces (too much moisture in molds that leaves pits in foam), pieces getting stuck in molds, and trying to keep things simple so they can have a finished makeup to present to the judges.
The guest judge on elimination day was Jon Landau, producer of Titanic and Avatar. I liked his straightforward input that comes from many years in the film industry. The bottom looks came from House, Eric Z and Meagan. House’s fish woman was slammed for the hands, bad paint job and coarse sculpting. Landau commented on how she had that “been there, done that” look. Eric Z and his tough rock dwelling “guy” was called a “big cookie monster” by Ve and Landau though it wasn’t original and didn’t work. The black light paint job was also compared to a child’s finger painting. Meagan’s venus flytrap creature had too much going on and not a clear concept, but Landau pointed out that it was the only land based creature presented.
The top looks were created by Kris, Anthony, Wayne and Eric F. Kris had great sculpting and Ve loved the 60/70’s look. It was also praised for being very stylized which has been his strength in the competition. Landau felt, however, that the face and mouth might make it difficult for expression. Anthony’s creation was called beautiful, and “genius” as his paint job both in black light and normal, and the sculpting impressed the judges. It was also, to me, the most complete and executed the challenge properly. Wayne’s crab creature showed a significant improvement in his abilities and Neville commented on how the makeup had a natural artistic sensibility and great detail. Finally, Eric F. had a great black light presentation with his amphibian girl, and even though he admitted that it was unfinished, was told it was a bold concept. Landau added that the ribs should have been painted in black light for more effect.
The winner ended up being Anthony for the most cohesive design that stood out in both lighting. I thought it was just beautiful myself, so I’m glad he won. Meagan and Eric Z went home. The judges saw potential in Eric Z, but felt he lost his way, and Meagan went because she had no real design. Even though I liked Eric Z., I thought this was a fair choice. I think the remaining contestants are deserving of the final places in the competition, and I would love to see Eric F. and Wayne step up their games with better time management. I would also like to see Eric F. do something other than really, really big! He has really unique ideas, but the judges are on to him. Even though they liked what he did this time around, he needs to be careful. Anthony had a few bumps in the road, but he’s a serious contender for the win, and House needs to come out of Cranky Pants Land (even though I kind of like the crankiness) and focus, focus, focus! Looking forward to see what the boys bring us next week!