Ok, so after some searching online, I finally found the most monumental episode of Face Off to date: The Judge Match!! For some reason, Space Channel here in Canada did not air this episode, so I had to resort to internet trolling until I found it sans viruses that tend to plague these free online sites.
Anyway, I have to say this was the most interesting Face Off challenge in a long time. It was really cool to see the judges that we have come to love and respect in their element doing what they love. I can only hope that I find that kind of love for my next career.
Ve Neill, Neville Page (aka my T.V. boyfriend), and Glenn Hetrick all came together with the All Stars of previous seasons to compete for a $5000 donation to a charity of their choice. There was also a $5000 incentive for each all-star artist on the judges team! The challenge called for the teams to create a pair of fantastical characters in the tradition of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Chronicles of Narnia and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The judges had to pick from a set of chess pieces to create one pure and pristine being and the other twisted and evil. The judges for this special challenge were Oscar-winning artist Lois Burwell, and non other than Face Off mentor Michael Westmore himself!! Very cool!
Neville’s team consisted of Season 2 contestant and Season 5 semi-finalist Miranda Jory and Season 4 winner Anthony Kosar. The charity they were competing for was the Orangutan Foundation International, and Neville chose the bishop and the pawn. His concept had a sci-fi angle with an alien bishop who was a religious political figure that was becoming evil, and slowly turning his altar boy pawn evil as well. Neville’s design incorporated a hat or miter that was part of the bishop’s head, and he was nervous because he hadn’t sculpted in a long time. He was glad he had his team to do the applications. It was cool to see Neville sculpt digitally alongside Miranda and Anthony as they worked on the actual clay models. He was also very aware that he was on the other side of the competition, and did some good-natured heckling of some of the other artists, in fact it was fun to see the friendships of Ve, Neville and Glenn as they poked fun at each other and at the same time admired each other’s work. Neville’s crew spent so much time sculpting that they really had to scramble to do their molds and props that Neville created himself. To save time painting, Anthony tinted the foam latex used for the bishop a dark colour which sped up the process. On the reveal stage, Neville’s team presented a very clean and beautiful set of characters. Both judges loved them, with Mr. Westmore really liking the back story and the blindness aspect of the bishop. Lois thought it was very space-aged and loved the pawn’s ecclesiastic look married with an underwater otherworldly feel.
Glenn’s team included Season 3 finalist and Season 5 winner Laura Tyler and Season 4 finalist Wayne Anderson. They were hoping to win for the North Shore Animal League, and Glenn chose the king and the knight. He wanted to turn the tables and created an evil diseased king and a champion knight. He chose Laura because of her attention to details and flexibility, and Wayne for his speed in sculpting. Glenn also has 2 cats which has made him my kin, but I digress…Wayne really blew me away with his sculpt for the knight! It was a giant horse head that was beautifully done. They used silicone to create a pale translucent visage for the evil king, and Glenn enjoyed taking his time painting it. They also has a time issue, but they managed to get it all done. The end result was something out of a storybook. The king looked like a character out of The Lord of The Rings, with cobwebs and great detail in the face. The knight was just incredible. Lois was “madly in love” with this horse character as well as the sparkly cobwebs on the king, and Mr. Westmore loved all the nuances in the makeup that covered the smallest details.
Ve had Season 1 winner Conor McCullagh and Season 3 and Season 5 finalist Roy Wooley on her team, and the charity she wanted to win for was A Window Between Worlds. Ve had her heart set on doing an evil queen and she also chose a rook/warrior who had battled for so long he had become one with the castle. This was going to be illustrated with a Transformer-type armour. She was definitely competitive and I loved how much she had fun creating! She had faith in Roy due to his skills in fabrication, and when she ended up helping him create the rook’s armour, he was floored that the Oscar winner was doing grunt work with him. In the thick of things, Ve decided that her queen should have long red hair, even though the head-piece didn’t really allow for it, but she would just wing it. She was really in her element as she created a great deep red beauty makeup for the queen. In the end, Ve loved her queen and the rook looked amazing with the castle-like armour. Ve told the gang that she hadn’t sculpted in 30 years, but the final look was amazing! Lois could see Ve’s style with the queen’s design and loved her colour choices, and Mr. Westmore really admired the 3-D makeup of the rook and all the subtle details that brought the looks together.
With all the beautifully crafted duos, the judging was going to be tough, so McKenzie, Lois and Mr. Westmore left it up to the teams to pick a winner! The only rules were that you couldn’t vote for you own team, and if there was a tie, McKenzie, Lois and Mr. Westmore would make the final decision. So in Survivor fashion, each person went to a table with 3 boxes and dropped their vote into their choice for the winner. The final tally showed that Neville’s team won!! So awesome! The Orangutans got a great donation and if Neville Page ever comes to Toronto, I will take him out for a drink! Or I will just have a drink for him, which is REALLY easy for me to do, since well…I like to drink…anyway, I thought all the creations were winners, and it was great that they competed for charities. Glenn and Ve and Neville were happy they could bring awareness to these important causes, and they all had a huge amount of fun!