I hope you’ve been paying attention, because if you weren’t, you missed that Face Off came back last night. I know, it wasn’t Tuesday. And there wasn’t a lot of warning that the show was moving to Wednesdays. (Unlike SyFy’s other major show, WWE Smackdown, where you couldn’t avoid hearing it was moving first from Friday to Thursday and then off the network all together.) Was the move just to avoid the State of The Union, or permanent? The website apparently has no idea.
Anyway, despite the show’s best efforts to completely screw up the ratings for the premiere of the tenth season, the DVR does not care what day it airs, it records anyway. And so it was that we got to meet our fresh crop of fourteen contestants at the historical Los Angeles Theater, which SyFy rented for the occasion. I suppose they must not have gotten a discount, since host McKenzie Westmore does not bother name check the location, and just dumps out contestants into their first teams of two challenge: Alien Bounty Hunters. McKenzie pairs them up, and then they pick from a set of seven Most Warned Posters.
- Johnny & Ant: Yorek Jess
- Melissa & Anna: Tolo Ezulon
- Njoroge & Rob: Sansar Ceptis
- Robert & Katie: Honorin Fallador
- Yvonne & Greg: Jinxx Barges
- Jennifer & Mel: Delta Indemna
- Walter & Kaleb: Maas Rossi
As we sketch we go through the contestants we didn’t meet upon first arrival. Fourteen contestants are a nice manageable number. Especially after the last few seasons where the show has experimented with bringing in higher numbers, only to tell them the show hasn’t “started” yet and that three or four will be cut right away. More recently they’ve just had hidden double eliminations along the way to bring the numbers down.
McKenzie promises to see them later “with my dad,” before abandoning them to sketch, return to the lab and sculpt. She also apparently stopped and changed as well, out of the silver lame and into an eye-searing pink and black number. Let’s see what Michael Westmore makes of the brand new crop of artists.
- Robert & Katie: Their “insect-like” design isn’t bad. Westmore merely notes they need to make sure there are overlaps to keep from gapping.
- Walter & Kaleb: Their character’s horns disturb me. Westmore thinks the chin looks like Jay Leno.
- Yvonne & Greg: Their design on paper looks like a robot. Westmore says they need to make it way more alien.
- Melissa & Anna: Their “traditional alien head” makes Westmore smile. Like Robert&Katie, his notes are all in the “how not to screw yourself over, by leaving flaps.”
- Njoroge & Rob: Another “not alien enough” design.
- Johnny & Ant: They have a four eyed creature, which Westmore poopoos. “If it were a spider…” Yes, but it’s not.
That’s everyone but Jennifer and Mel who got a check in, and three teams who are basically starting from scratch.
Day Two sees the usual mold drama, panicking over sculptures that take too long, and teams who don’t actually fight on camera so much as stress quietly in the corners. Application Day sees some of those who are in teams who are in a bad way get bossy (Johnny) and others panic over edges (Yvonne.) But in god signs, even though it’s the first challenge, no one is doing the Polyfoam Run of Shame, and no one is totally screwed starting their paint jobs at Last Looks.
Let’s see what the judges have to say about all this.
Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill and Neville Page are all back this season in their judges chairs, since no one has a major movie in production currently. There is no “Judge’s Save” this year (there wasn’t last season either.) But the production must have missed having it, because they introduce a variation on the theme “A one time special immunity” as McKenzie describes it, which is basically saving someone who is in the bottom and in danger of going home, instead of waiting until they are eliminated and then announcing it was a fake out.
Njoroge & Rob: Sansar Ceptis She’s a bird in a gunner’s cage.
Robert & Katie: Honorin Fallador I can’t get past that the top of the cowl looks like a hat.
Jennifer & Mel: Delta Indemna ….And also starring Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf.
Walter & Kaleb: Maas Rossi The armor is a little blocky, but I like the Muppet-alien face with the robotic eye. The judges love the warm tones and the concept behind the sculpts.
Melissa & Anna: Tolo Ezulon I really like the facial design, which is wrinkled and old, and not really bad ass, or sexy. Instead it’s a realistic bounty hunter, who lives a crappy violent life. The head sides are well done too. Neville says it looks like an action figure. Ve praises the profile. That was Melissa’s work, so she takes the win for their top look.
Johnny & Ant: Yorek Jess They never got rid of the extra eyes like Westmore told them too. The result is a fish with random extra non-working eyeballs. Why are there yin/yangs on the sides of the head? Ve hates the paint job. Under Glenn’s questioning Johnny admits they worked very poorly together, which is why they failed.
Yvonne & Greg: Jinxx Barges They also failed to take Westmore’s advice, and wound up with a very bad-looking 1950s girl robot, with visible cracked edges. Glenn calls it “the blockiest rudimentary sculpt.” He also says it’s “criminally uninspired.” Ve says up close it looks even worse, with a big blocky nose on a beautiful girl face. Neville points out their concept with “nanobots” is completely meaningless.
Though Johnny and Ant failed to communicate, Yvonne and Greg’s inability to rethink when told to is seen as the greater crime. Greg took such a back seat to Yvonne and barely did anything, so he is the eliminated party.