'Welcome to the Jungle' - 'Face Off' Episode 1.1


Face Off Episode 1.1
"Welcome to the Jungle"
Original Airdate: 26 January 2011

In This Episode...

We are introduced to SFX competition show Face Off in Los Angeles, where the 12 contestants are assembled to meet their host, McKenzie Westmore. The format of Face Off is pretty standard amongst competition reality shows. Each episode consists of two challenges: a foundation challenge to win a perk or privilege; and a spotlight challenge, a larger, multi-day project that will determine who goes home. While not crafting, the contestants will live together in a swanky loft in the hopes that drama will ensue.

Foundation Challenge

The contestants are brought into the hotel lobby for a cocktail reception and are surprised with their first challenge: create a face makeup look using just what is in the kits they have just been presented. They must also use at least one item from the lobby. The winning look goes to Gage, and his prom date victim: a man with bloody roses smashed into his face, as if attacked and turned into a monster. Gage wins immunity.

Spotlight Challenge

The contestants are randomly paired up, and must create a human/animal hybrid based on one of three animals: a beetle, an ostrich, and an elephant. The fun part is that they had the animals there in the workshop for the contestants to look at. Yup, even a full sized elephant. The artists have three days to complete their look. First up is Sergio and Gage's elephant man, a literal portrayal of a half man, half pachyderm, all circus freak. It was unfinished, and the judges hated it. Marcel and Sam had a well done but unimpressive beetle man. Frank and Tate did a similar beetle man, but with more details. The only downside to their piece was that it looked remarkably similar to Darth Vader. Anthony and Megan created a Victorian ostrich woman, while Jessica and Jo did an underwhelming ostrich showgirl. There was a tear in her bald cap, which the judges called unforgivable. The final duo, Conor and Tom, created a more literal elephant man, with hands that looked like elephant feet. The impressive articulation around the mouth earned top praise, and Conor was deemed the winner. He got to consult with the judges on who he thought should be eliminated. He chose Jessica, and the judges agreed.

Dig It or Bury It?

I am totally hooked on this series already. I love seeing what these artists can create. The first episode left a lot to be desired, but the foundation of the series is solid. I would like to spend more time watching the contestants creating their creatures. I am fascinated by their techniques, and we didn't get to see much of it in episode one. This is common. The first episode has so many concepts and characters to introduce, we don't get into the meat of the craft until a few episodes in. It's always more involved when they start thinning the herd.


Nothing interesting yet. All the contestants are excited, nervous, and well-rested, so everyone is on their best behaviors. Even Frank, who seemed to be getting a classic "villain" edit in the first half of the episode, had nice things to say about his competition by the end.


Coming up, expect to see nude body painting, original zombies, and horror movie characters.