It’s here: the Face Off season 11 finale. Find out which of the last three all-star artists wins the top prize in episode 14, the “Battle of the Beasts.”
Hello readers, and welcome to the final recap of Face Off All Stars season 11. Last week, Tyler Green went home for his somewhat sub-par gargoyle guardian. Now, only three artists remain: Cig Neutron, Emily Serpico, and George Troester.
Cig has had the most top looks, with Emily close behind. George has been plagued with self-doubt, but he’s been on an upswing for the last few weeks, both in terms of confidence and skills. Emily’s been a bundle of nerves since the teams split up, and she’s come close to crashing and burning. Even so, her Art Deco masterpiece took the previous episode’s top spot. Cig, on the other hand, has been a bubbling font of happiness and creativity during the entire course of the competition. But he’s never overconfident. I have no idea who will win.
The Final Challenge
What will they have to do this week to win it all? McKenzie introduces the challenge with Jeff Wolfe, actor, director and president of the Stuntmen’s Association, in this video clip:
Each artist must design two kung fu character duos that will fight it out Hong Kong action cinema style in full-on wire fu battles. Instead of the regular models, they’ll be outfitting professional stunt people who will put their makeups to the ultimate test on the final reveal stage.
In addition, as many martial arts styles are based on animals, Emily, Cig and George’s characters will be animal-human hybrids. But this is a big ask, so they’re getting some help! The last nine artists eliminated from season 11 enter the room, ready to help the three finalists. Here’s who they picked for their teams:
Emily: Tyler, Adam, Gage
Cig: Logan, Evan, Melissa
George: Ben, Rachael, Keaghlan
Before they start with their designs, they’re in for a treat. Jeff Wolfe introduces the stunt actors who will be their models, and each gives a demo of a different fighting style: Tiger, Dragon, Crane, Mantis, Eagle and Snake.
The actors are paired up into fighting duos for the final spotlight challenge reveal battle. Each artist chooses a pair. As they start working on their designs, Jeff comes around to show them the storyboard for the final fight sequence so they can see what their makeups will have to endure.
Cig: Tiger and Dragon
Cig wants his Tiger to be very old, like the war with him and Dragon has been going on for centuries. The dragon will be very aggressive. They ask for advice about how big the dragon’s horns should be, and the dragon actor gives them another demo. Cig wants to keep his amazing dreads for the character, because they look so great swinging around.
George: Eagle and Snake
George thinks snake scales are kind of boring, so he’s working lizard-y patterns into his Snake design. The eagle will be vulture-like with huge talons, and they discuss the logistics of that with Jeff.
Emily: Mantis and Crane
Emily decides the crane should be old and wise, and Adam agrees that accordingly, the mantis should be young and cocky. Jeff tells them Crane and Mantis learned from the same place, but went off in different directions, and suggests that might be something to work with.
In the Lab
All 12 artists return to the lab and get to work on their cowl and face sculpts. They have to make sure the faces are perfect and flexible, because their characters will have speaking roles in the final battle. Over on Emily’s team, her guys are blocking out all the sculpts while she goes around doing the finishing touches. Before they know it, time’s called and all of a sudden it’s Day 2 and they are back in the lab. Each team has a similar division of labor and everything seems to be going smoothly. At the end of Day 2, they’re thinking they still have a ton of work ahead of them for…
Application Day and Last Looks
The artists finish up their appliances, and the actor/model/fighters enter the lab. Applications go well for Emily’s team and they’re on to painting. George has some issues with applications and has to trim some latex, but it looks good when it’s on the model. It’s a mad rush of airbrushing as everyone finishes their martial arts makeups. They’re all feeling pretty good about their makeups at this point, but how will they come across on stage, in motion and on camera?
Before the big battle, the judges look at each set of characters to see how they look before the performance.
Emily’s team sits down to watch their characters battle, and she realizes she didn’t make backup antennae for her Mantis. They stay attached, luckily. Her makeup holds up between takes, too. The judges think the mantis looks beautiful and they’re impressed with how the eagle’s quills stay in place.
Now it’s Cig’s team’s turn. The dragon’s mouth is coming up a little, so he goes and glues it down between takes. Cig is having a great time bringing his characters to life. He says it’s really just magical. The judges are impressed with how well he chose his colors and broke up the red. It feels very realistic.
Team George comes in for filming, but he’s worried that the makeup is deteriorating because they’ve been standing around waiting for so long since they finished painting. He’s worried he might be screwed. But when he sees the eagle on camera and he’s ecstatic. The judges think the snake is pretty rad.
The shoot finishes up, and the artists are all feeling pretty good about their prospects.
McKenzie shows up for the reveal screening of The Legend of the Animal Scrolls dressed like an award statue about to give herself away to the winner, even though she “has the H1N1” (one of the many flu strains running rampant this year) and a fever of 104. Perhaps that’s why she’s sitting in a director’s chair for the judging. McKenzie never sits down! (Hope you’re feeling better, nice lady!)
Check out everyone’s final makeups:
The judges think her team did an amazing job. The colors on the mantis are gorgeous, like a tortoise shell, and the painting of the crane is just so beautiful. The two silhouettes are wonderful in contrast. It’s a beautiful balance of organic and art combined into one. Glenn appreciates the stylistic nod to Asian flair, and he thinks both makeups are a stunning success. The yin-yang balance of the characters was perfectly designed for the scene.
The eagle’s silicone cast is just beautiful, and his characters looked great in person and on camera. The way he laid hair over the feathers worked like a classic threat display as the eagle’s hair bounced up and down. The fighting styles informed the designs, especially the snake’s arms. The contrasting colors work beautifully against each other, and they used just the right amount of sheen that it really highlighted the scale patterns as they moved on film. The crane’s pulled-back skin silhouette was very striking, and the mantis’ chest was the pièce de résistance because it was so well balanced as an organic character element.
Neville tells Cig everything was “reeeaaallly good.” He did an old age makeup in addition to the hybridization. The paint job and sculpt were so soft, appropriate and clear and it’s truly inspiring. Glenn is extremely impressed with how much Cig managed to accomplish with the time. He comments that the dragon’s chest piece has some of the most sophisticated forms they’ve seen on the show. Ve is so impressed with everything about the Tiger; they just made a lot of great decisions. They’re blown away by the dragon’s complex, yet functional, horned headpiece.
And this season’s winner is… *drum roll* Cig! He wins a brand new Hyundai Veloster. Cig did such an amazing job all season. He really deserves this win. But Emily has no regrets, and George is psyched that his best friend won. All three have a great future in special effects makeup ahead of them.
So that’s the end of another season of Face Off. But don’t worry, you won’t be in withdrawal for long. Face Off season 12 premieres June 13, 2017 on Syfy.