SyFy Attempting Another Cosplay-Based Competition Show


SyFy is attempting yet another competition show to following in the footsteps of Face Off’s success, once again focusing on cosplay.

It seems like such an easy thing in TV: you make a successful show, then you take the formula and apply it to other things to get knock off success shows. American Idol came along, and channels like Food Network and HGTV applied it to their own niches, to produce long running reality competitions. Project Runway was a hit, so channels like SyFy  applied it to their own science fiction genre, and got Face Off.

That, in turn, has been the channel’s biggest hit in the last few years. Understandably they’ve tried more than once to ape the formula and make it work. But Brian Henson’s Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge only lasted a season. The body paint one should not be spoken of. And Heroes of Cosplay dissolved into controversy and accusations of abuse of the cosplay community’s goodwill.

But with cosplay one of the biggest parts of the now-mainstreamed convention experience, it seems like there should be a way to turn this art form into a reality competition of some sort for the channel. And, as Project Runway proved with the failure of Threads that begat the success of Project Runway: Junior, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

COSPLAY MELEE — Pictured: “Cosplay Melee” Logo — (Photo by: Syfy)

SyFy is doing just that. In a press release yesterday, they announced a new show, Cosplay Melee. Coming in March, the show will follow a “battle like” format with four cosplayers going head-to-head each week to show their takes on the same character.

"Each week, four world class cosplayers compete to create not only intricate full-body costumes – but fully-formed characters that they must bring to life through their own realistic performance. Guiding and critiquing them are a panel of judges including world class cosplayer LeeAnna Vamp, and A-list costume creator, Christian Beckman (“The Hunger Games,” “TRON: Legacy”). At the end of every episode, the winner will walk away with $10,000 … and the right to claim cosplay supremacy."

Check out the trailer:

We’ll have to see how it goes. But the trailer looks promising–more of the reality competition type stuff that we have in Face Off (and in BH’s JHCSC) than the reality show tropes that was part of what caused Heroes of Cosplay to run aground.

Next: Face Off Season 11 Episode 4 Recap: Snow Queens

Cosplay Melee premieres March 21st, 2017 at 10 pm ET, directly following Face Off.