Face Off Season 11 Episode 13 Recap: Gargoyle Guardians


Welcome back to your Culturess Face Off recap. Tonight is the semi-final, and only four artists are left for this week’s challenge, Gargoyle Guardians.

Tonight’s the thirteenth episode of Face Off All Stars, and just four contestants remain. The artists who are still in the game after this are going on to the final.

Emily, Tyler, Cig and George meet McKenzie on an L.A. rooftop where they’re surrounded by buildings of all shapes and sizes. She tells the group that this week’s challenge is inspired by the protector’s architects have designed throughout much of history to protect their buildings: gargoyles. They were really made to divert rainwater, but people came to think of these little mythical monsters as their protectors, as well. So, for tonight’s challenge, the artists will design gargoyle guardians based on distinctive types of architecture.

They each pick a rolled-up blueprint. Tyler gets Victorian, Emily chooses Art Deco, Cig picks the Russian Renaissance, and George has Deconstructionism (which he thinks is weird). But that’s not the whole challenge. These gargoyle characters need to have wings. How else are they to fly around protecting people?

Design Phase

Emily is happy with Art Deco, because she loves the clean lines, repeating geometric shapes, and gleaming stone and metal. Many of the buildings of this style feature eagles or men in robes, so she’s making a human-eagle hybrid with a cowl, a face, and a pair of wings. Her color scheme will be brushed gold.

Cig loves the colors, textures and patterns of Russian Renaissance buildings. His character will have a very gargoyle-y face, an onion-dome hat with a spire, wings, and lots of colors.

Tyler thinks Victorian and gargoyles are a natural fit. Since this style is very intricately detailed. His gargoyle will be an archangel that’s part bird and part-demon that’s made of stone, granite, or maybe marble.

George is kinda thrown by Deconstructionism. As far as he can tell, most of the buildings appear to be sheets of metal thrown in a pile together in a chaotic and unpredictable way that makes no sense. So by the time the artists leave the rooftop, George still doesn’t have a design.

In The Lab

Back in the lab, everyone starts sculpting, even George. He realized that Deconstructionism is rebel architecture, giving a big middle finger to classic design. He decides he wants his gargoyle to be like a metallic abstract painting that’s asymmetrical and cocked to one side.

It’s mentoring time before they know it. Michael tells Cig his creatures lips are too human and kind of cutesy cupid-bow. He thinks George’s sculpt is looking nice, but part of it is starting to look comical, and part looks fleshy when it should look more squared off. Michael recommends Tyler put more of an edge on his face sculpt in case it shrinks. As far as Emily’s sculpt, he thinks the nose is too human and she should make it more beak-like. Emily is really worried because that means she has to start over and there’s no time with all the other elements she needs to work on. But she’s going to start over anyway.

Everyone keeps working and they’re all feeling the anxiety over the semi-final competition. At the end of day 1, Emily isn’t done sculpting her face or cowl, so she’s behind.

Day 2

The guys immediately come over to give Emily advice about her sculpt, and she really appreciates the suggestions because she was feeling lost. The nose will look like a beak and be able to move.  She finishes her sculpts and makes her molds, but George is still behind, working in the mold room. Emily, Cig and Tyler start fabricating wings, and eventually, George joins in too. But his wing ideas aren’t working and he’s getting really frustrated and scared of going home. He goes with it anyway, because there’s just no time, and he needs to make his horns. As the day ends, Emily still has to clean out her mold and Tyler comes out to help her. They get it done but she’s worried it’s going to end up looking like a 5th-grade art project.

Application Day

Emily’s cowl is kinda rough, but it isn’t as bad as she was afraid it was going to be.  George is still working on his horns when the models arrive. The contestants laying down their foam appliances and start painting, and Emily finally starts to feel like she’s catching up. Now Cig starts to stress about his paint a little, because he’s afraid of covering up his intricate details. But eventually, he decides it looks really cool. George finally starts painting, but when time is called, he still has a ton of work to do and he isn’t sure how it’s going to come together.

In last looks, Emily is a ball of nervous energy. George is still struggling with his wings, which he admits are really just one wing. Cig has no such problems, as his red and white harlequin pattern wings are looking just about perfect. And as Tyler dresses his gargoyle, I realize it’s looking like a weeping angel and all of a sudden I am terrified. When time’s up, George doesn’t know how he feels. He hopes the judges appreciate the work he put into the face. Let’s see what they thought of the gargoyle guardians.

Top Look

Emily: I think it looks great on the reveal stage. The judges love the profile and Neville says the wings really convey the Art Deco aesthetic. Ve just loves it and comments it looks so much like the deco elevator doors that are all over New York City. Neville thinks the paint work is really cool and it really feels like a sculpture, but he doesn’t think it reads 100% as Art Deco even though it’s really beautiful. Glenn says it really feels like a traditional gargoyle, especially with her choice of the eagle element. That’s the heart of the challenge and what he thinks makes it so successful. It is cohesive, classic and so well-crafted. She’s the first finalist!

Not-So-Mushy Middle

Cig: Glenn loves the shape of the nose and how it echoes the onion domes. Ve appreciates how the domes on the head and shoulders have three completely different patterns. Glenn is just throttled by the level of detail he pulled out of the Russian Renaissance architectural forms, especially the nose. It’s a literal keystone that ties everything together. Ve says it’s so busy that from far away she didn’t know where to look. But when she saw it close up she loved the paintwork and says he pulled off the perfect amount of aging. Neville loves how he’s synthesized the architectural movement so literally, even though the ears and some of the textures, which are less than Cig is capable of. But looking at it as a whole, it’s perfect. He’s moving on to the finale, too!

George: “It’s bold, that’s for sure!” is what Neville has to say right off, but they like it and think it’s spot on in terms of the architectural style. Neville hates and loves it all at the same go, which sounds to me like George successfully represented Deconstructionism. Glenn doesn’t love the horns, but thinks he definitely made a gargoyle that looks like it’s part of its world. Ve thinks the back of the head is just beautiful in terms of both scripture and color choices (silver touched with blue). Aside from the horns, he really pulled it off. This would have been a challenge for someone who did understand the Deconstructionist movement, but George still managed to pull it off. He has the remaining place in the final three. He’s so happy and psyched he’s like a kid set free alone at Disney.

But that means …

Bottom Look

Tyler is going home tonight. His gargoyle really looks like stone, but the judges don’t see how it reads Victorian. They all admire his sculpture, paintwork, and the cohesiveness of the design. However, even after he explains that his design is based on the churches and cathedrals he looked at, they still don’t really see it. Glenn thinks fewer rounded forms and more stained glass would have helped. Neville tells him the craft he put into it is exquisite, even though it doesn’t resonate as Victorian. Ve comments that everything he sculpts comes down to a pointy, scrunched up face, which isn’t horrible, but she wanted to see something he hadn’t done before.

This was a tough decision for the judges because Tyler’s body of work this season is so incredible. He’s so detail-oriented and skilled, but that didn’t save him this week because he just didn’t match the Victorian architectural style. At the same time, George, although he was on the bottom a few times, managed to pull off an incredibly cool interpretation of a style that Glenn admits would have had him running screaming from the room.

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

So now we are down to three. Will George surprise me again and take the big win from Cig or Emily? Check back with Culturess for next week’s Face Off recap to find out!