Face Off Episode 1.8
Original Airdate: 16 March 2011
In This Episode...
We are down to the final four: Sam, Tate, Gage, and Conor. Their final challenge is to reinvent two characters from a classic fairy tale. There is, of course, a twist. Since Sam won last week, she gets to choose her fairy tale first, then the others go after a random draw. In addition to their fairy tale, the contestants must choose a style in which to interpret their characters. This challenge will last either three or four days (they don't make it clear). In addition to the makeup, the contestants will each consult with a production designer to create a tableau for their characters to exist on. On day two, all the eliminated contestants are brought back, and the finalists get to choose two each to help them.
Sam: Sam chose Megan and Jo to work with her - a risky move since the two hate each other, but it ended up working out well. Sam's fairy tale was "The Little Mermaid" and the style she chose was psychedelic. She chose to depict the mermaid's transformation into a human at the hands of the witch. It ended up being a weak entry, with little prosthetics and body paint that was overshadowed by the backdrop.
Tate: Working with Tom and Anthony, Tate created a post-apocalyptic world for Little Red Riding Hood. In his version, Riding Hood is one of many women who have joined together to battle werewolves. He kept the makeup on Riding Hood minimal - a few battle scars and a gatling gun on her arm. All the work was poured into the werewolf: a full body prosthetic, bloody wounds on white fur, and glowing red eyes.
Gage: Gage went with Marcel and Jessica to do his industrial "Hansel and Gretel." He chose to depict the witch, with a gruesome mouth and jagged spikes of glass and metal sticking out every which way, and Gretel, a chubby child with cheeks stuffed to bursting with candy. Hansel is there too: little handprints press out from the witch's stomach.
Conor: Frank and Sergio made up Conors team to make a haunted "Frog Prince." The witch is a mossy Swamp Thing-like creature, and the prince is caught in the middle of his painful transformation. Conor even included a working air bladder in the frog's throat (controlled by the model).
Sam was obviously out. Her piece wasn't awful, it just wasn't anywhere near as good as the three other finalists. The judges had a hard time judging, but in the end, they chose Conor.
Dig It or Bury It?
I loved this challenge, and the resulting creations were the best I have seen on this show. They were truly creative and completely stunning. The industrial "Hansel and Gretel" was my favorite, but I knew from the first or second episode that Conor was going to win. He didn't take as many risks as some of the other contestants, but he clearly showed more talent than the other contestants.
The construction of this episode was lacking. It felt like they had too much they wanted to jam into this episode. It should have been two hours, but I'm glad it wasn't. That would have been way too much. The challenge setup could have easily been trimmed; same goes with the extra-long winner segment. Oh, and bringing in former contestants to be assistants is not a twist; it is de rigueur for reality shows.
The show has already been picked up for a second season. Let's hope they cast a little better - these contestants came across as amateurs and they were boring.