Face Off Season 11 Episode 11 Recap: Intergalactic Congress


Face Off season 11 is back for episode 11 and this week’s challenge is intergalactic planetary. Stick around for my recap — I’ll make it worth your while.

Yes, that’s a Beastie Boys reference. Everything is better with a Beastie Boys reference, kinda like the last Star Trek flick. But we’re here to talk about Face Off. On with the show recap!

Last week’s challenge, “Cursed Covens,” put a hex on Ben. Although the judges though all the witches were pretty rad, Ben went home for last week’s bottom look. The remaining contestants enter an official-looking lecture hall and line up in front of McKenzie, who stands behind a lectern at the front of the room. Cig, George and Evan wear t-shirts adorned with Ben Ploughman’s face to commemorate their fallen teammate.

Spotlight Challenge

McKenzie announces right off that they are no longer working in teams. The artists are on their own for tonight’s spotlight challenge. George and Evan seem particularly surprised and upset, although I’m surprised they weren’t expecting this. (Maybe the producers told them the whole thing would be a team competition? Did they not know how long they’d be away for? Anyway…)

So what is this week’s challenge? The writing is on the wall, literally, behind McKenzie. (By the way, I love that dress. I could actually get away with that, unlike most of her wardrobe.) This episode’s spotlight challenge theme is “Intergalactic Congress.”

Each artist must design an alien delegate for an intergalactic congress, like in movies such as Star Wars and Star Trek. And since Michael Westmore designed the alien makeups for pretty much the whole Star Trek universe, the contestants can’t slack off on this one. They need to do some A-plus work tonight.

The artists are assigned dossiers with information about their characters, like names and planetary customs. The dossiers are in binders on the intergalactic congress conference table at the front of the hall. They each sit down with a dossier and start learning about and designing their aliens.

Character Designs

Tyler: Principal Counsel Doronulus Saxor is from a planet with surface that’s 85% covered by a liquid diamond ocean. She’s from a council of elders. He wants to make her elegant, dignified and aquatic.

Cig: Royal Magistrate Falta Exultina is like judge jury and executioner. Cig immediately has a vision for her outfit. Other than that, he’s not 100% where he’s going with it but he’s sure he’ll end up somewhere. She’s from a low-light planet.

Logan: His alien is High Priest Essentian Clerica, from a theocratic society on a hazardous planet covered with volatile gasses. So he’s designing an underground-dwelling reptile with some obvious religious touches. He’s actually excited everyone’s working alone. He’s felt like the odd man out since he lost his partner, Adam.

Evan: He describes his character as “like Mad Max in space.” The planet’s rulers are chieftains. It’s a wasteland with limited resources, so he makes a gross, fat frog looking character who’s a glutton and a hoarder.

George: His alien is a general from a planet beaten to hell by space particles, so he’s making an exoskeleton cowl and face piece. George’s character will be a bug-headed, big-eyed alien guy, and his model will see through the alien’s nostrils.

Emily: Her alien is Executive Officer Renard Bargus, whose job is to protect the land and enforce perfection on a paradise planet. She decides to do a male alien instead of a pretty princess alien, because she wants to show she can work out of her element.

[Check back later for images from tonight’s episode.]

Sculpting Phase

Back in the lab, Cig starts thinking about his character’s face, and decides that since her planet is dark, she will be blind, with heat seeking pits instead of eyes. It’s going to be kind of a play on blind justice. George gets to work vacuu-forming his character’s bug eyes, but he is just totally bummed that he isn’t working with his best friend anymore. He’s feeling really sad and unfocused until he goes outside and gives himself a talk to reboot. And team George is back in the game!

Michael enters for mentoring time. He tells Cig to make his character more alien, and suggests that Evan not take his frog man too far into the reptile. Michael agrees with George that his sculpt is looking a bit boring, and tells him to extend a forehead ridge through to the top of the skull plate. He thinks Logan needs to make his character’s profile less human, and tells Tyler his little nose looks too skull-like, so Tyler decides to flatten it. Emily gets some advice about connecting her nose to the top lip to give it a more alien look.

Time passes quickly after that, and before they know it, it’s the end of day 1.

Day 2

George is feeling a lot better today and is back to having fun. Everyone starts making their molds and fabricating accessories. Part of Emily’s design includes blender pieces to connect the edges that will run down her character’s neck. But she’s having mold drama! She forgot to put separator pieces in her mold, and it doesn’t come apart. The blender pieces break when she manages to pry them open. She’s getting really stressed, and she doesn’t even know what her color palette will be, which she usually does by this point.

George makes hands for his alien, and Evan tells him they look like oven mitts. Tyler is already pre-painting because his alien is going to be blue, which is a tough color to pull off. It can look really flat if you’re not careful, and Tyler is definitely careful. He’s taking his time to make sure it’s perfect.

At the end of day 2, Emily feels weird and frustrated, and hopes that she’ll be better after an overnight reset.

Application Day and Last Looks

Application day starts, and Emily is in a much better mood. The artists start gluing cowls and faces on their models, and quickly move on to painting their base layers–everyone but Emily. She stares at the wall of colors, and all of a sudden remembers this is an alien challenge and they can do whatever they want. But now she’s feeling behind and she needs to hurry.

In Last Looks, Evan notices a big seam and tries to blend it. Cig doesn’t think his colors are popping and decides to paint the lips dark, but he keeps messing up the line, and the lips get bigger and bigger. George realized his oven glove hands are actually going to work pretty well. Time’s called, and Logan is worried his character’s costumer is rubbing off the hand appliances. But it’s out of his hands now and time for the judges to decide.

Mushy Middle

Logan: As you get closer and closer it gets more interesting. They love the sculpts, but not the paint job, which is somewhat muddy. Glenn loves the blend between the pieces on the head.
Cig: The sculptural details around the mouth are exquisite, but they’re totally hidden by the paint. They like the color choices, but think he should have used a ton more counter-shading to make the forms stand out.

These guys are safe and head back to the makeup room. Everyone else is either a top or a bottom look. Let’s see who ended up where:

Top Looks

Emily: Ve really digs her alien and Glenn thinks the profile is very strong. It feels like a Star Trek makeup, and the touches of turquoise are really nice. Neville is curious to see what the forehead horns are about. Glenn tells her it really feels like a delegate from Star Trek, and admires the multiple colors she used to highlight the veins. He says that’s difficult, and she did it at a professional level. Ve loves the color choices and the forehead protrusions. Neville comments that the sculpture is nice, but it’s not pushed far enough. However, he loves how she used the veins to give it more form around the temple and under the zygomatic (Oh Neville, you and your words that spellcheck does not know!) arch. The profile is perfect. She’s and intuitive artist with skills beyond her years.

Tyler: Glenn says Tyler’s blue alien is 1000 times better up close and he already loved it from far away. The profile is insanely complex. They’re tricky forms to make feel organized, but this is so well-managed. Ve remarks that it looks like kind of older, which is hard to do with an alien makeup. Ve loves the paint job and thinks she’s just phenomenal. Neville says the detail of the secondary forms, particularly around the eyes and mouth exquisite. Glenn admires his singular vision from concept to execution. It’s a singularly beautiful makeup, from the sculptural details to the exacting paintwork.

And the winner is Tyler! Glenn congratulates him on a harmonious character and beautiful sculpture and paint job. Tyler just keeps getting better and better every week. He’s so committed, focused, and disciplined, not to mention incredibly talented and creative.

Bottom Looks

Evan: It reminds Glenn of an old Doctor Who creature, but it’s really mostly the wardrobe. The application is kind of cockeyed, which reminds Ve of one of the goons from Popeye. They all agree the nose looks very turkey-like. Neville tells him it’s fairly unattractive and asks about the purpose of some anatomical features on the sides of the alien’s head. Evan explains they’re supposed to be fluid sacks and nostrils. Neville likes those little details, but the overall vision is challenged. Glenn comments that the forms seem crooked, as opposed to asymmetrical, and Evan tells him he glued it down wrong before he noticed, but then the glue was set. Ve says his paint job is highly unsuccessful because of the random placement of the black dots on the back, for one example.

George: Ve thinks it looks like a cantina character from Star Wars. The big shapes are good, but the detailing is coarse. Looking at the back, Glenn says it feels like he was just kind of exploring shapes in the clay but didn’t have time to get it to its full resolution. Glenn tells him it feels more like a toy design than a character for a feature film. Ve thinks there’s a great distance read, but the paint job is garish, messy and undefined.

George made a fun character, but it’s plagued by substandard paint and textures. It didn’t look like a dignitary. As far as Evan, they liked the humorous nature his alien, but they just couldn’t overcome the serious application issues, so he’s going home.

Related Story: Face Off Season 11 Episode 10 Recap: Cursed Covens

Evan has been lagging behind the rest of the artists for a while, and it really showed in this week’s makeup. Tune in again next week to see if George can rein it in. Or maybe he’s not capable of functioning independently of Cig. Pull it together, George! Face Off is only getting tougher from here on out.