Top “Face Off” look this week on the left, with the look that seemed to come in second per the judges’ comments.

On Tuesday’s episode of “Face Off,” contestants paired up again, creating one team of two powerhouse makeup artists, one team of stylish girls, one team of the guys next door, and one veteran/rookie team to rule them all.

With only two rookies left, and six veterans, was it a rookie or veteran that went home this week?

Tonight makeup artists went right to the spotlight challenge, pairing up in teams of two of their own choosing to create a dark and sexy alien circus performer. Now they didn’t have their normal models, but had to create makeups for performers in Cirque Berzerk, and these makeups had to stand up to an actual performance by the punk-gothic circus troupe.

Suicide-Girl Laney and fuchsia-haired Alana paired up, as well as manly duo Tate and Frank, and Miranda teamed up with rookie Eddie, who has struggled a bit but showed promise in the last few episodes. That left powerhouse team Roy and Laura together, who have been dominating the competition the last few episodes.

The promise of that alone was enough to make a fan’s head explode. Explode in a good way.

Now, you might think Laney and Alana working together on a burlesque-y, sexy, gothic, alien circus performer would be a match made in heaven. You might think that, but shockingly, you’d be wrong.

Yeah, I know.

You see, Laney hates aliens. To compound that particular problem, for some reason Alana was just having a really hard time connecting with Laney on ideas, and was having a hard time communicating with her. It seems that because they are friends, she was struggling to express her critiques of the cowl that Laney was making till the last minute. Ultimately, Laney insisted on removing the cowl Alana didn’t like, because Alana felt very strongly that if they were in the bottom looks, she would be the one going home, as Laney had never been in the bottom two.

Watching the pair’s struggle to come together on a design, and the growing tension was extremely uncomfortable for many fans, I’m sure. But things got a lot more uncomfortable, I’m afraid. And a lot more painful before the episode was over.

On the other hand, fans were likely beside themselves with joy seeing Roy and Laura pairing up for the first time. The two had been on the same season previously, but had never had a chance to work together. Maybe the expectations were too high with two such talented artists, but this week, despite the tremendous promise of the two working together, while their makeup wasn’t bad, it wasn’t as mind-blowing as expected. But to be honest, it would have been hard to live up to a lot of fan expectations on that pairing.


Roy and Laura’s makeup this week (left) and Laney and Alana’s.

Tate and Frank worked together, although Tate was still somewhat injured from last week when he dropped a 300-pound mold on his hand. So that left Frank to do most of the molding work with Tate working on other things to create their punk, mohawked circus girl.

Miranda and Eddie sort of formed the “odd man out” team, as Miranda is close friends with Laney and Alana as well, and Eddie is one of the guys with Frank and Tate, But someone had to be that odd man out in each of those trios. And if Laney and Alana proved that working with close friends sometimes isn’t the best idea, Miranda and Eddie proved that working with mere coworkers can be a splendid idea.

The two did run into a bump in the road when Frank pointed out that their sculpt looked like the Angel of Death character in “Hellboy.” So Miranda and Eddie regrouped, and the next day came up with a brilliant way to modify the sculpt and make it more unique. And as it turns out, make it better.

Miranda has struggled the last couple of weeks with confidence in her abilities, despite landing in top looks last week, but this week her pairing with Eddie returned her to the forefront with a vengeance, and the two created a beautiful makeup that made top look.

As in one. Singular.

With only four entries in this week’s challenge, that meant three teams — or six of the eight contestants– were facing possible elimination after it was announced that Miranda and Eddie had the sole, official top look. For a moment, it looked like rookie Eddie might actually have a chance at winning a challenge, as he did a beautiful job sculpting the back piece of the cowl that went with Miranda’s front piece. But in the end, Miranda logged her fourth win of the season. And Eddie got a solid pat on the back.

For the other three teams, Tate and Frank pretty much came in second place with their great punk rock girl, and although Laura and Roy’s makeup caused some confusion in the judges with its odd parasitic insect attachment, the judges deemed only one pair as being the bottom look this week.

I told you this was going to get more painful before we were done.

Laney (left) and Alana with their makeup this week on "Face Off."

Laney (left) and Alana with their makeup this week on “Face Off.”

Fan favorites Laney and Alana were on the chopping block. And even before the decision was announced, Laney in particular was very distressed that she or her friend would be going home. Judge Ve Neill took them to task for the confusing paint job that didn’t make sense to her. But the most damning critique of the night was for the facial sculpt.

“The facial sculpt, which sets the tone for the whole makeup, was not alien, was not dark and was not sexy,” said judge Glenn Hetrick. And that was the ultimate criteria that determined which the two would go home.

And that was done by Alana.

Laney immediately started sobbing and saying “I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” over and over and holding Alana’s face in her hands. It was downright excruciating to watch. Alana managed to pull herself together enough to say that being on “Face Off” again was the “best stress she’d ever been under,” but Laney almost seemed to take the elimination harder despite being safe to continue the competition.

Even judge Neville Page looked like he’d been pretty teary-eyed, and I strongly suspect that editors did some cutting in there to show the judges and host McKenzie Westmore keeping their composure on this one.

There just ain’t any sugarcoating it: this elimination sucked. Big time. And it continued sucking just as much second time around, watching it on DVR. If you haven’t watched it yet, you may want to think twice. And if you haven’t watched it yet, what are you doing reading this?

So… that leaves us with seven contestants still standing.

Face Off” returns next week on Tuesday night, to further torture it’s masochistic fans with what can only be another painful elimination. Let’s face it, it’s just gonna be pure pain for fans from here on out.

Or at least pain mixed with some really kick-ass special effects makeup. Let’s hope that gets us through it.

Check out photos from the episode in the gallery below. “Face Off” airs Tuesday nights on Syfy.

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