Face Off Season 9 Episode 8: “The Gauntlet”

Published September 16, 2015 by rmpixie

Face Off is always a whirlwind of makeup and tension, but it came to a head this week.  McKenzie described it as the most difficult challenge in Face Off history and she wasn’t kidding.  Called simply “The Gauntlet”, the artists would have a 3-staged challenge and the winning artist for each stage would be ranked from highest scoring to lowest.  Their overall ranking would determine who won the entire 3 challenges and who would go home, and our resident judges Glenn, Ve and Neville would determine the best and worst looks.

The first stage was inspired by films where characters were exposed to the elements like in Cast Away and Alive.  The artists had to create a look based models and their wardrobe, the major themes being frozen or sunburned.  They all did great jobs, and the top looks came from Nora and Jordan.  Nora ranked #1 this first stage, as her frostbitten look was the most accurate portrayal of exposure.  The bottom looks included Evan, Jasmine and Kevon.

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Stage two involved models who were already in costume and had prosthetics applied to their faces.  The challenge here was to create some incredible paint jobs.  Glenn advised them to not apply big blocks of colour and go for realism instead.

Stevie’s medieval goblin had a fantasy look, but the judges thought it was too flat looking.  Ben’s sea queen impressed the judges with pretty colours and soft variations of paint.  Jasmine’s fun alien had an overly airbrushed look like body painting but it was fun.

Kevon and Ben were in the top looks.  Kevon, who felt defeated by the challenge, ended up creating a paint job the judges loved and won him first place in stage 2, followed by Ben.  The bottom 3 were Scott, Stevie and Evan.

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The third and final stage had them create a hero or feature makeup and two background makeups, within the following randomly assigned categories:  Witches and Warlocks, Goblins and Angels.

Meg, Ben, and Jordan all got Witches and Warlocks.  Meg made a third eye with a taxidermy fake eye in the witch’s forehead to break up what she thought was a boring look.  The judges didn’t like it and they noticed that she did the same paint job as her last challenge.  They also thought she should have swapped out characters because her background male witch was a better makeup.  She was in the bottom.

Jordan went for a traditional Halloween trio of witches.  The judges thought the makeups looked rough up close, and needed more detail, colour range and gloss for dimension.  Ben did a skin abnormality that looked like a Rorschach test, which was weird but well done and kept him out of the bottom rankings.

Kevon, Evan and Jasmine did Angels.  Jasmine had a fallen angel and his 2 angel prisoners.  She wanted a metallic finish to the main angel, but the golden-bronze colour was too solid.  The judges thought it was too intense, like a street performer with no dimension and the female background characters too subtle.  Evan, on the other hand, got their approval for his two fallen angels and their angel prisoner.  They felt he had the strongest hero character and liked the beautiful female angel.  His “elegant array of characters” with lots of details got him top rankings.  Kevon also did well with his beauty makeup inspired angels, and although his brow piece was a tad low on his feature makeup, he was safe.

Finally, Scott, Stevie and Nora worked on Goblins.  Scott impressed the judges with all the detail he got done in such a short amount of time.  Stevie went for a fantasy look and had a male “pimp” goblin and his “ho-blins”.  She fixed her paint job from looking muddy to having dimension, and the judges noticed.  They liked her painting techniques down to the broken capillaries in the nose.  Nora really went for it and made my favourite trio of the night.  She painted the heck out of her goblins, adding translucent jelly for a gooey look.  She was inspired by the movie Legend, and Neville could see the influence.  The judges thought her choices were successful and liked that the goblins were cohesive.

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The winner for stage 3 was Evan for his well painted hero, but the overall winner was Nora who showed growth and had the most covered and well-rounded makeups.  I thought she also showed consistency in all three stages.

The bottom three in stage 3 were Meg, Stevie and Jasmine, and unfortunately, Jasmine would be the one going home.  Her different approach to the first stage in which she created a poisoned look instead of a frostbitten or sunburned look; the airbrushed look of her fun alien; and finally the one-toned fallen angel kept her in the bottom too often.  Neville was inspired by her and sad to see her go.   The good thing was that she was inspired by the show and glad she got as far as she did.  She vowed to carry on and kick ass, which I’m sure she will very soon!

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