Face Off Season 10: An Eye On The Prize

We’re down to our Final Five on Face Off this week, though there are no bad covers of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” and no one discovers they are a Cylon. Instead, as McKenzie arrives to announce that this week we’re having a Focus Challenge, it occurs to me that this week is the last possible moment for the judges to use their “special one time immunity,” and that means whatever happens today is probably bupkis because everyone will be safe. That really frustrates me. It would have made more sense if they’d used it earlier in the season–say if Mel or Rob had gotten stuck in a particularly disastrous team challenge, or someone on the production thought it would be a good idea to do a “body paint” week again.

Today it’s not about bodies, but eyes. The faux steampunk set, which I think Glenn might have borrowed from Steampunk’d after his guest hosting stint, contains several eyeballs floating in a  gooey morass for the contestant to pick from. Why do the eyes have it? Because this focus challenge is all about keeping an eye on the face. One eye, in the center of the face. Welcome to the Cyclops Challenge. If only Leela were here to guest judge.



To wit:

  • Rob: Triangle pupil in a  dyed blue eyeball
  • Yvonne: Red Iris, no pupil
  • Walter: Purple and white with cat’s eye pupil
  • Melissa: Green with cat’s eye pupil
  • Mel: Large Plain blue human eyeball

Considering that Mel got the plainest of the five eyes, it seems strange that she is the most determined to make an animal hybrid creature. Rob is even worst–he has the leave human eyeball, so his idea is to…put it in the lower half of the face? I get the idea is to move away from humanoid stereotypical structure, but this doesn’t read right. Let’s see what Westmore has to say.FaceOff_gallery_1010Recap_03

  • Melissa: Westmore worries about her color pallette muddying up er design. (I think he really doesn’t like she turned it into a dragon challenge.
  • Rob: He gets told to make the eye wider, though his choice to maybe put the eye where it belongs instead of at the mouth is an improvement.
  • Walter: He  also gets told to make the eye wider
  • Yvonne: Ditto (She looks dubious, and is the only one who doesn’t actually do so.)
  • Mel: Westmore hates the dog. Hates it. He all but tells her to start over and when she resists tells her at least not to make the dog nose “dark,” which is weird because dog noses are black. It’s like a hallmark of dogdom.

One of the things about the one day Focus Challenges, they go by really fast. Even with Mel fretting and self-doubt. That means starting over, like Rob does is dangerous, since there’s just not the same sort of time to sculpt and mold the prosthesis. Of course, this means he also gets the “Mold Drama” edit. Will it be fine? For a moment it looks like the answer is no when the pressure washer fails. (Seriously? In this case the production would be at fault not the artist.) But before it can come to that, the rest of the designers all drop what they are doing and team work his mold clean.


That’s the Face Off that I know and love. The one where the competitors know the make up is the most important thing of all. Even if Rob is probably everyone’s biggest competition right now, having won more challenges than anyone this season, and consistently landing in the top. They’re not going to let him fail because of failed water pressure.

Let’s see who is under pressure on the Reveal Stage, and if the judges wind up having their “one time special immunity” become “Tim Gunn Save Contrived,” or if the show will just let the chips fall where they may.


Surprise! The judges aren’t alone today. Despite the top of the episode having no guest with McKenzie to introduce the challenge, the judges do have one to help them judge the make up. Douglas Smith, who played the Cyclops in the disastrously terrible Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is on hand to give his opinion as a professional one eyed one horned cyclops percy people eater.

Mushy Middle


Yvonne: The Devil’s teenage son as blacksmith’s apprentice.



Rob: It’s very “Underwater Underground Priest” which would be great for an Aquatic Planet of the Apes. The judges love the color palette, and they’re not wrong. the choice to do the yellow skin to contrast and highlight the very blue and alien eye was a smart decision.


Melissa: The Big Friendly Dragon! considering that her paint job was almost a disaster that she pulled this out and made it look this good is saying a lot about her skills. I’m not in love with the feathers, but I love that she did make him seem so friendly. She also did an insane amount of work on the face, while not making the body look totally overlooked. I’m not surprised in the slightest she’s given to win. I 100% agree with that decision.



Walter: It’s very stereotypical Orc-ish. But the real crime is that he did a full body paint. I know this season hasn’t done nearly as many Focus challenges as last year, but come the hell on. When they say “focus on the face” don’t paint the whole body. This will not impress anyone. It will make it look like you can’t follow simple directions.


Mel: The Anti-Dog of War. It’s not a bad look per se, it’s just boring and a little confused. Ve calls it silly, and I think that is part of the problem. it’s cute and silly, not a scary cyclops. She was also the only one who was not told to widen her eye–which is hilarious because her eye is too wide to begin with–here comes Neville and his anatomical forms complaints again.

The judges keep their poker faces on as they get ready to send Mel home, but by this time we know the show is really good at the fake out bit here. So it’s not nearly as effective as it once was when they decide to prove the cliché right, and use their immunity, thereby probably ensuring that Mel will make the finale in two weeks. Would have been better if they just let her go home. Oh well.


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