Even before Tuesday night’s finale on “Face Off,” seeing the previews that the final challenge involved ballet, I went in thinking it would be Laura who won. I love Roy and Tate, but those big brutes creating makeups for “Swan Lake?”

Or, as Roy said more succinctly, “Oh, crap. Ballet.”

Hmmm… that challenge sure seems geared to Laura’s wheelhouse of elegant, beautifully painted makeups. But was I right or did one of the boys show they could pull it off and take home the top prize? Well read on…

Like on previous season finales, former contestants came back to help out with the final creations, although only six returned for the finale, split between the veterans and the newbies. Then the finalists had to choose their teams: Tate chose Alana and Lyma, Laura chose Miranda and Eddie, and Roy picked Scott and Frank.

Each team had to create the maiden in mid-transformation to swan and the evil sorcerer, with four days and two assistants. Laura’s theme for her makeup was the Italian Renaissance. (Boy, there’s a match made in heaven.) Roy chose the Ming Dynasty, and Tate chose the Industrial Revolution, which could give his makeups a harder edge to balance the girly concept of ballet.

Yep, that could work. But can the horror guy keep the makeup beautiful and not go too far into horror?  Uh… yeah. See below.

Meanwhile Roy still seemed to be psyched out about the fact that it was a ballet makeup, and not having any ideas for concepts. Even after Frank chimed in to get the team started with some ideas about incorporating alchemy, he was struggling to lead his team. Then he had problems with cracks in the molds, putting him behind more.

Tate seemed to be a little more tense than usual, and while he maintained his patience, he commented that Lyma needed to stop thinking for herself and follow his delegation more.  He gave his team very specific directions, but his team faced another disaster when the inside of one of his molds was full of holes. Tate scrambled to try to save his maiden mold as there was no time to redo it, and as a consequence, he was unable to finish his sorcerer mold that day.

Tate was not a happy camper.

Meanwhile, Laura made sure she gave Miranda a strict timeline of three hours to finish her cowl sculpt. Very good idea, Laura. But it had some serious seam issues causing a loss of about an hour to correct. But Team Laura seemed to be running pretty smoothly. And Laura, crafty veteran that she is, covered some of the seams with a beautiful multiple-row pearl choker that covered the whole neck. Smart way to cover those glitches, and cool in its own right.

Then Roy’s team seemed to start pulling it together and getting a lot done. Not too surprising given the position he found himself in last week, but he managed to hold it together and pull things out.

Likewise, Tate’s team came together, or at least seemed to from the edit of the show, and we didn’t see any temper tantrums from Tate. But who are we kidding… can you really imagine him or Roy or Laura going diva at this point? Rhetorical question.

Now, Tate wasn’t completely out of the woods yet, as he still has almost all his painting to do during final looks. So that was not good. And Roy was still trying to put on feathers… Yet the veterans came through and got all their work done and were ready to go. All that Tate was still sweating was whether or not the latex crown would stay intact throughout the dancers’ performances.

The dancers in makeup put on a breathtaking performance for a full audience, including the former contestants: Scott and Frank wore hats like Roy’s to pay homage to their team leader. There were no major makeup mishaps noted during the performance, but hard telling what may have been knocked loose her messed up during the performance before the judges moved in to take a closer look.

Judge Glenn Hetrick loved how Roy’s couple worked together but noted that the transition between feathers and skin on his swan maiden could’ve been a little smoother.  Neville Page felt Roy had created his own iconic look, and “that’s one of the greatest things you can ask for in character design.”

Tate’s maiden had a stunning beauty makeup that made the judges gush, with all three expressing that they felt it was the best swan of the group, particularly Ve Neill. Page lauded his bold choices that created “exceptionally strong characters” and “unique silhouettes.” But Hetrick felt his sorcerer makeup needed to reflect a bit more of the architecture of the Industrial Revolution.

But oh man, Laura’s makeups were beautiful and immaculately detailed as always. That evil sorcerer… evil but oh-so-elegant. The judges felt the maiden could use some more feathers on her head because it was a bit “helmet-y,” but otherwise loved it. And you knew Hetrick would just soil himself at that Italian Renaissance makeup, noting the “savage grace” of the designs and that when her dancers took the spotlight, it was the highlight of the dance performance. But let’s face it, he’s loved Laura all season.

After the judges took a closer look, I was thinking it was down to Tate and Laura, as Roy’s was rock solid, but not quite reaching the “wow factor” of the other two. But I was still leaning towards Laura: Her two makeups were equally mind-blowing, whereas Tate’s sorcerer was just a little too weak. More “derelict” than sorcerer, according to Hetrick.

So the makeup artists had make-upped, the dancers had danced, the judges had judged and all that was left was announcing the winner. And the winner of Season 5 of “Face Off” is…. cut to commercial. Finally, at the finale, I remember that they’re gonna cut to commercial right before they announce the winner.  Just in time to forget that again before the next season rolls around in January.

But anyway… the true winner is, without any further ado, without any further dragging this out in anticipation so that you’re just saying would you please tell us already instead of just rambling on and delaying the moment just give it to us already girl stop playing games…


But don’t feel too bad for Tate, who is directing his first feature film as we speak (including his pal Norman Reedus), and even Roy didn’t seem too disappointed at the loss. “Sometimes you have to eat your cake without icing, but it’s still cake.”


Judging from the previews for the next season, it looks like not only is “Face Off” going bigger, but they’re going international and doing a little traveling. It’s sorta like “America’s Next Top Model” without the douchey drama, and with way cooler contestants, host, and judges.

Eat your heart out, Tyra.

See y’all for the next season of Syfy’s “Face Off,” which debuts in January 2014.

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