Face Off All Stars Season 11 Episode 12 Recap: Tiki Twist


It’s Tuesday, so it’s time for another episode of Face Off. Read on to find on what happened during this week’s tropical “Tiki Twist” challenge.

Hello and welcome back to your favorite Face Off recap. Last week, for the Intergalactic Congress spotlight challenge, the artists made alien politicians, which made you wonder about art imitating life. Emily and Tyler ended up on top, and Tyler had the winning look. But Evan’s makeup just wasn’t good enough to keep him in. Now, only five artists remain. What are they in for this week?

The remaining contestants walk into the lab, and McKenzie stands in front of a tropical set, complete with palm trees and little tiki statues. It’s like a little luau. McKenzie explains that although movies like Clash of the Titans, Stargate and Thor feature gods and goddesses, the Hawaiian deities are always overlooked in films. So this week, the artists will design a god or goddess inspired by the Hawaiian tiki statues in front of them.

Check out the scene in this video snippet:

[Aside: I wonder if this challenge is inspired by American Gods, which premieres on Starz at the end of April. Because face it, the Hawaiian gods are the true American gods. No one brought them to America; they were born in Hawaii just like the President Obama.]

But that’s not all to this challenge. They won’t be working with the regular models. Tonight’s models are Hawaiian dancers who will perform on the reveal stage, wearing the artists’ creations.

Design Phase

So which gods did they choose?

Cig Neutron: Ku, god of war. People sacrificed humans to Ku, so Cig is going with a scary and aggressive makeup. He also plans to work in scarification and tattoos to highlight the Hawaiian aesthetic.

Emily Serpico: Pele, goddess of fire and volcanoes. Emily gives her character magma skin and layers of black lava crust for what she hopes will be a powerful silhouette. She’s afraid she won’t be able to pull it off.

George Troester: Kanaloa, god of the ocean and the oldest of the pantheon. The sea and old age get him thinking about using sea turtles as an inspiration, because they look like little old men.

Logan Long: Lono, god of agriculture. Even though Logan Long’s Lono is really fun to say, Logan has no idea how he’s going to incorporate agriculture into his makeup. His tiki statue has a pineapple head, so he decides to go with that even though he thinks it’s hokey. He’s going to work in plants and irrigation as well.

Tyler Green: Kane, god of earth and stone. Tyler chooses this god because nature forms are his comfort zone. His character will be a rock formation transitioning into vines. Emily warns him to be careful to not repeat himself (last week’s tree makeup, etc.).


With their ideas basically set, they all get to work and start slapping clay on the model forms. Before they know it, it’s mentoring time.

Michael enters the lab for mentoring and starts with Logan, and right off, he doesn’t like the pineapple head idea. Now Logan has no idea where to go, and he knows he’s in danger. Michael suggests he try to work in more of the forms from his tiki statue. He loves what Cig’s doing, and just tells him to make it look a bit more angry. Michael thinks that George’s turtle god is cool, and that he should cut his detailing deeper. All he has to say to Tyler and Emily is that they’re going to need some solid paint work. Not that painting has been a problem for those two, though!

After Michael leaves, George starts to worry because he’s been on the bottom and he’s the only one who didn’t win his previous season of Face Off. George isn’t making a cowl, and he wonders if he’s doing enough. Logan, who’s trying to redesign his pineapple head, decides to scrap the cowl altogether and concentrate on the face. He knows the face has to be amazing if that’s all he’s sculpting, and it is very complex. Logan doesn’t finish it by the end of day 1.

Day 2

At the start of day 2, everyone but Tyler is still in the clay, and they’re looking great. Tyler is moving ahead of the pack. One reason is he didn’t sculpt a cowl. He starts to fabricate one from upholstery foam and pool noodles to make it look like craggy rocks and vines. He quickly moves on to pre-painting.

Emily starts prepainting, too, and runs into trouble. She hates her work and thinks the paint looks like a 5th-grade art project. And she doesn’t even think she has a good sculpt, but it’s too late to start over. Cig starts painting, too, and his sculpt looks amazing.

Application Phase and Last Looks

The models enter the lab and the artists start gluing pieces on and laying paint on their volunteer Hawaiians. Emily still hates her makeup, but Cig and Tyler are pretty excited. George, however, hasn’t applied any paint at all. He has so many pieces to apply that he’s worried about finishing on time. Logan starts stenciling tattoos on his model, and he’s happy with how it looks, but he still doesn’t think he has a strong concept. George calls time and realizes his sad old turtle character is really different than everyone else’s elaborate and dramatic figures. He hopes he made the right decision.

In last looks, George gets himself psyched up, but Emily still hates her makeup and sculpt. Logan is trying to make his paint job look less rough and he’s worried. When time is called, Cig and Tyler are happy and excited.

The artists enter the reveal stage to see that guest judge Lois Burwell is joining them once again. She’s an award-winning makeup artist who has worked on 49 films, including Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, The Last Samurai, and The Fifth Element.  But before she, Ve, Neville and Glenn take a look at the characters, the models perform in costume. It is a sight to behold; all the dancers are definitely rocking the Hawaiian vibe.

Top Look

Cig: There are so many really clean forms with all the little wedges Cig sculpted. Neville says the tiny skulls sculpted into the cowl enhance his badassness. The sculpture of the cowl is phenomenal and it looks like it’s really made out of wood. This embodies what the judges are looking for with the deity form, and the tiny details are incredible. Ve loves how he brought the cowl all the way down to the shoulders, and the way the paint transition matches the model’s skin tone is fantastic.

Cig is the only one who really made a god, and the resolution and fidelity of his sculpture was profound. Glenn is beyond impressed and says it’s one of the best examples of interperetive art he’s seen on the show. There was just so much to love, so Cig is this week’s winner.

Mushy Middle

Tyler: The judges like it better up close. Neville thinks that it was interesting to sculpt an entire diorama on his head, but not interesting in a good way. Ve and Lois love how he’s made it look like a water park. The texture on the rocks is beautiful, but Lois thinks it was not a good idea to every single possible nature element on one face. Everyone agrees that it was a quagmire of different concepts and loose shapes that aren’t well-executed.

More stone work would have given it more of a tiki look. It doesn’t feel realistic to have a diorama as a head, and Neville tells Tyler he’s a more sophisticated artist than is represented here. The rock shape is quite nice, but the vines on the face do not look divine. It’s just not god-like.

George: His sculpt moves really well and the detailing is really beautiful up close. Lois notes that there’s something about the whole of it that makes this god seem terribly sad. The judges think this character is incredibly successful. The transitions, especially around the nose and mouth, are gorgeous.  The detail from front to back is excellent work. the shape and the forms are highly sophisticated. It’s elegantly crafted with a beautiful paint job.

Bottom Looks

Emily: The judges think it was odd to leave a really obvious edge on the tip of the nose. Emily’s painting is a sloppy attempt at a natural effect. The inverted mohawk with the lava shards sticking out the sides make the head look flat and round. She’d have looked taller and more goddess-like with a regular mohawk.

It’s just missing elegance. Representing lava in a static form is difficult, and Glenn thinks that using large chunks of foam to make them just sent her over the edge and she got lost this week. The parts didn’t flow together. It felt muted, muddy and misguided and lacks elegant shapes, although the forms and paint she did around the face were gorgeous and well-executed.  If she would have done more of that it would have been excellent.

Logan: The patterning on this god’s head looks more like disease than cracked earth. It doesn’t feel god-like and the face has too many design elements. At the same time it’s too timid. They expected something much bigger and covered in those tattoos. This character doesn’t look regal, and Ve doesn’t understand why Logan sculpted flower forms into the face instead of just using flowers.

Putting the a pile of agricultural elements into human physiology didn’t work. Neville liked where he was going with that, but he put it all together in a non-logical juxtaposition that wouldn’t occur in nature. The fusion of the agricultural elements just didn’t make sense. Lois thinks if he’d just continued the tattoos all over, it would have been unusual and fabulous god.

Related Story: Face Off Season 11 Episode 11 Recap: Intergalactic Congress

Logan is going home. His conceptual struggles were directly reflected in his final product, and it wasn’t the first time. He’s an excellent artist with a great working attitude, but his work just couldn’t keep up with the other Face Off all stars.