Face Off returns in one week’s time. The series will be celebrating five years on the air this season (it debuted originally in January of 2011), and along with that this season, is finding a new way to reach back across the years to bring back artists from that earlier seasons.
I make fun of the mentor format, especially because there’s no evidence so far it works for any show outside The Voice, and yet reality competitions keep trying it. Still, Face Off has kept a steady hand on the wheel thus far in their format variations in the last year or so, and there’s hope this will work very well for them. It certainly is a way to get the still growing audience to go back through SyFy’s archives and check out some of those early seasons they might have missed that mentors Rayce, Laura and Anthony come from (Seasons 2, 3, 4 and, in Laura’s case, also 5.)
While we’re waiting for the show to return and meet the latest crop of artists who will compete this season, let’s take a look back through those archives and check out the most memorable make ups from over the last seven seasons.
Back in Face Off Season 1, Syfy didn’t do full pictures of the make ups, as they didn’t realise what a beast this would become. But the talent was there, as you can see from eventual winner Conor McCullagh’s Elephant Man look he did with fellow contestant Tom Devlin.
I actually didn’t think Conor should win for his finale pieces. (Though as a body of work over the season his win did make sense.) My favorites from the finale belonged to Samantha Cobb and her take on The Little Mermaid.
Season Two also started strong with a group challenger to return to Oz. The frustration of good pictures of the make up also continued this season. This is the best solo pic of Brea’s winning Wicked Witch. Here’s another shot of it in the group setting that shows it off under the lights.
The show will certainly go on and on this season about Rayce’s win in the famous “Burton-esque” challenge for his self playing cellist, but my heart belongs to RJ’s Bellhop with a heart of drawers.
Season three started off with a Star Wars Catina challenge, and an introduction to Roy and Rod’s particular brand of really large designs with this robotic exoskeleton piece with tiny alien driver.
Season 3 was the only season where the show allowed us the viewers to vote on the winner. They regretted it instantly, since it denied mentor Laura the win, and they never did it again. But if you want to know why we all voted for Nicole after she was brought back, it was for cyborg looks like this one.
We’ve reached Season 4, which was the season mentor Anthony came in a straight dominated with more wins in one season than anyone before or since. But my favorite of his was this female demon with Alam. So beautiful, so deadly.
Season 4 was also when Syfy started posting professional full body shots of every make up every week. And thank heavens, because otherwise we’d never have a good look at this two-headed creation by Eric Fox and Wayne.
Season 5 was the first “gimmicky” season, with vets from the first four seasons brought back to compete against rookies. Laura ultimately won, righting the wrong of Season 3, but it was returnee Miranda’s pumpkin headed lady from the Mother Goose challenge that won my heart that season.
Meahwile, on the “rookie” side, the best look of the season goes to Lyma’s Earth Mother Goddess with see through pregnant bell and luscious treelike hair.
Season 6 saw a return to a full compliment of new talent. It also had a more horror bent than other season, to try to differ it from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge that aired right after. But my favorite make up from the season was one of the few whimsical theme weeks, and
Tyler’s Whangdoodle. Graham’s Snozzwanger.
Likewise, my other favorite was George’s robot hairdresser from Top Five week. Even though I will book argument for how that week’s winner (and eventual season winner) Rashaad’s firefighter robot was also awesome.
Last season’s “Life and Death” theme was a bit overwrought, but the contestants did wring out a few looks from the more horror slant they were given. Sasha’s beautiful clown doll for scary clowns week was one of the prettiest make ups we’d seen on the show in a while.
And finally, eventual winner Dina charmed and won my heart with her goblin band geek. It’s looks like these that remind us why the show still has tons of life left in it going into this season, and only gets more popular as time goes on.
Face Off returns Tuesday January 13th. Our recap will be up Wednesday the 14th by 12noon EST.