‘Face Off’ recap: The Seven Deadly Sins

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The top looks this week: Tate’s (left) and Miranda’s (right.)

While “Face Off” has been known for the way contestants help each other, some tensions started to manifest themselves on Tuesday night’s episode, as we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty here: This episode started with only five veterans and two rookies left, and one contestant told another he had to “grow some balls” and stop helping everyone.

And you might be a little surprised at who said that, although as far as who the comment was made to, not so much.

With only seven contestants left, the spotlight challenge in this episode was based on the seven deadly sins. With St. Brendan Catholic Church as their inspiration, each makeup artist not only had to create a look for their particular sin, but had to incorporate a specific color for each one.

Judge Glenn Hetrick challenged them to “bring it to life while trying to avoid the obvious.”

Frank, who had Gluttony, decided to go with a fat suit. If that seems like it’s sort of disregarding Hetrick’s recommendation, Frank felt that if he made it completely over the top, it would still be okay. Unfortunately, there were a few issues even with taking it over the top. The belly and torso piece looked good, but the face was odd in that it just had this huge hanging chin, but the rest the face was not sculpted or filled out in any way. Sure, it was supposed to be over the top, but that particular aspect screamed “this is a prosthetic fat chin!”

Note, this is not a critique of the judges, but my critique based on looking at the face of a fat person in the mirror everyday. Dude, I so could’ve helped you with this if I’d been there.

Tate amped up his storytelling abilities, creating an elaborate concept using the crown he saw in the church to symbolize the eye of God sitting atop a spiral staircase with a snake coiling upward. Yeah, I know it sounds weird when I try to describe it, but it worked in execution.

Speaking of execution… once again, Tate showed he’s able to pull off a huge amount of work in such a short time, and fortunately did not have to deal with any workroom accidents like last week. However, Tate continues to help out other people which is a good thing to a certain extent, and they do have to help each other with big things like opening up large molds where they all have to depend on each other for help. But this week, Miranda was having a hard time with a piece of equipment and not knowing how to change the nozzle on the power washer, which created some tension in the workroom.

While Tate was more than happy to help her try to open her mold for her head sculpt, there were problems with it sticking and it was starting to crack, so he had recommended to her to take the power washer to loosen it up a little bit. Well, poor Miranda was struggling with it and water was spraying everywhere, and she ran in and asked Frank to come help her. Frank kind of snapped at her this week as he was busy doing some gluing on his own design. As Miranda got more frantic, she started to get flustered and upset and finally went to Tate and asked him to help her.

True to form, Tate stopped what he was doing and went and showed her how to change the nozzle on the power washer, but it was kinda clear he was getting a little frustrated and worrying about completing his own work. And to be fair, that’s a little different kinda help than asking for help opening up a mold which they all have to do.

Now, he got the job done, as always. But as the contestants were back at the house after a day’s work, Roy started giving Tate some advice about being wary of getting himself eliminated because of helping people too much.

“Miranda’s got four wins. Us guys have one. It’s a competition. Outside of here we can be friends, but in here, we’re competitors and there’s $100,000 on the line,” Roy told him.

“I’ve got to figure how to say no,” responded Tate.

“Grow some balls.”

Ouch. If that seems harsh, well… I don’t know…

Laney had Greed and was creating a makeup designed to look like a woman with dripping candles. She was trying to fashion them out of PVC, but Tate gave her the idea of using “friendly plastic” — little beads that you drop into water and when you heat up the water turns into liquid plastics can shape.

Tate also helped Frank by being his outline for his mold. And the whole power washer thing. Good sportsmanship, or going a bit overboard? You decide.

Contestants were struggling with various technical issues: Miranda was dealing with “second skin” on her cowl  piece, Roy was having problems with edges, Tate’s piece had broken into multiple parts requiring extra work, and Laura was struggling with so much painting to do.

Tate went into final looks, the last hour of preparation, with less than half of his painting job done. Roy found himself without the time to put in the stitches he wanted to on his Pride character, and had to paint them on.

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Do you think Laura’s makeup (left) should have made top looks? And Eddie’s bottom? (Sorry, Eddie, I just don’t get it)

 For judging, Laura presented Wrath, with her character ripping her own face off in anger. Eddie had Envy, and did a strange design incorporating the actual church for their inspiration into it. I still don’t get it, but Eddie’s, Laura’s and Laney’s makeups were safe this week.

Miranda’s blue Lust had devil-like horns, which reminded me of some of the tarot card representations of The Devil card, also known as “Lust.” Apparently the judges weren’t familiar with that artwork, and criticized it for not being sexy enough as a representation of last. Weren’t these the people telling them not to go for the obvious?

They loved Tate’s not-so-obvious interpretation of sloth, where his character was constrained by the snake coiled around it and that spiral staircase leading to the crown. On the other end of the spectrum, they weren’t too happy this week with Roy’s or Frank’s makeups. I’ve already elaborated on some issues with Frank’s makeup, but Roy’s was really rough this week and the judge’s took him to task for it.

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The bottom looks this week: Frank’s on the left and Roy’s on the right.

So that meant that two veterans were in the bottom this week. I know Roy’s makeup was a bit rough, but they really hammered on meeting the criteria of the challenge, which makes the decision to keep any safe a little bit questionable.

I still don’t get it.

But anyway, I’m not a judge, except the armchair variety. For the top two looks, Moran does Lust was another beautiful sculpt, but the judges felt it didn’t have enough T&A, to put it bluntly. They felt that Tate followed the challenge directives more closely and gave him the win for this week.

And then there was the bottom. While both makeups had problems, it didn’t exactly take a genius to figure out who was going to get the ax this week not only did Franks make up come off a little more fake looking, the Roy is one of the front runners of the season, and that means it’s gonna take a lot to get him booted off. So despite coming on strong here in the last few episodes, it was Frank that was sent home this week.

In tweeting along with the episode, one of the cruelest twist to this illumination, is that this show aired on the anniversary of his father’s death. I mean, how much worse can it get? #BadTiming

Now that leaves us four veterans and two rookies as we march toward the final three for the finale. who do you think will be the next to go? Can the rookies keep going, or are they about to drop off as the last that trends are the big winners so far this season: Miranda, Tate, Roy and Laura. Only Laney and Eddie remain for the rookies.

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

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‘Face Off’ recap: Circus of the aliens

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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.

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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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Face Off recap: The art of makeup

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Two of the top three looks this week in the art movement makeup challenge, from Laura (left) and Laney (right).

On Tuesday’s episode of “Face Off,” contestants reinvented the Mistress of the Dark and a little history of the arts, putting their own spin on art movements from Cubism to Expressionism. Once again, a couple of familiar faces came out on top, but another veteran reminded us that even though he didn’t make top looks, he’s still a contender: Many fans thought he should have been in the top three this week. And another newbie bit the dust, leaving only two standing. One of which, made top looks again.

Do we have an upset in the making?

The episode kicked off with the foundation challenge with Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Makeup artists were tasked with creating a new horror hostess, with Elvira serving as judge and inspiration. They also got a professional hairstylist to help out with the transformations.

Top looks for the challenge were Tate’s scary nurse, and Roy’s “cousin” to Elvira, Elmira. But in the end, Roy came out on top again, earning a huge makeup kit from Krylon and immunity for this week. The guy is on a roll, y’all.

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Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, with host McKenzie Westmore.

Alana had been taken to task last week for her similar sculpts in some of her past makeups, so this week she stretched herself and took Constructivism, thinking that she would be able to really relate to it as she had a history with construction and architecture. But after the fact, she realized that she didn’t understand the concept behind that particular art movement, and was drawing a total blank as to what to do for her make up this week.

Veteran Frank also chose Constructivism, and created a makeup that not only reflected the art movement, but also symbolized the downfall of iron and the rise of plastics. Talk about going beyond the basic concept of the challenge, and really understanding it.

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Frank’s makeup served as a metaphor for the fall of iron and the rise of plastics.

On the other hand, Tate chose Surrealism, and it became apparent he maybe didn’t understand his art movement quite so much. Don’t get me wrong, his makeup was elaborate and cool-looking, but didn’t quite fit the assignment, which came back to bite him in the butt later.

Speaking of problems for Tate, he found himself in a real bind this week, when trying to work with his 300-pound mold, he dropped it on his hand, creating a bloody mess. A real bloody mess, not the special-effects variety. It was apparent he needed to be seen in the hospital, so he had to leave the set and go to the emergency room to have his hand looked at, losing three hours of time in the workshop.

But did you see Tate fretting over getting things done and in panic mode? Oh, hell no. Not only did he not panic, but he still got an insane amount of work done, 13 stitches later. And no, it wasn’t due to the magic elves, but due to staying calm, and more importantly, getting a little help from his friends.

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Tate managed to do this despite three hours in the ER getting stitches to his hand, and having only minimal use of it once he got back. Dude, you are one insane motherf***er.

You see, that’s the thing about this show that separates it from any other reality shows you’ve ever watched on TV. These contestants care enough about their art and the people with them on the show that they do not engage in cutthroat tactics, stupid drama and sabotage. They even help each other out all the time in small ways, most commonly with opening up molds and so forth.

Tate has always been one of the biggest helpers in the work room, and now, even though he is one of the front winners to win this competition, everyone joined in to do some of the basic work that needed to be done while he was gone at the hospital. They cleaned out his mold and put in the first layer of latex, so he would still have a chance of getting this project done when he came back from the hospital.

As awesome as it is to watch the process of special-effects makeup, this is what really makes the show stand out from anything else on TV. It’s downright criminal that this show was not nominated for an Emmy in reality series. And it damn well should have won, on both the quality of the competition itself, and the quality of the people involved.

Okay, I think I can get off my soapbox now, but that had to be said. Or typed, as it were.

Anyway, while Tate was getting help from other contestants, Miranda was struggling with her tremendous lack of confidence in her concept on her Cubist makeup and felt she was going completely in the wrong direction. She has struggled for several episodes due to a lack of confidence in her work after a couple of early wins, but now falling to the middle of the pack.

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When these looks are deemed “safe” (middle of the pack), you know shit just got real. Roy’s on the left, and Frank’s on the right.

Alana was crying for help from adviser Michael Westmore ASAP, as she ended up spending three hours trying to come up with a clear concept. But despite Alana’s struggles with this challenge, she found herself safe this week along with Roy and Frank, meaning they were neither the top three nor the bottom three looks.

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BFFs: Alana’s safe look on the left, and Miranda’s top look on the right. Is it just me or would Jean Paul Gautier really dig these?

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The other two bottom looks this week: Scott’s on the left and Eddie’s on the right.

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Face Off recap: Trick or Treat

Two of the top three looks this week on Syfy’s “Face Off:” Tate (left) and Roy (right.)

If you watched Tuesday night’s episode of “Face Off” on Syfy, you learned something very important: do not use light-up eyes on any makeup if you become a contestant on the show, or cotton candy for hair. We also got a sharp reminder that this is anyone’s game, as one promising newcomer stumbled, another rookie stepped up his game, and a struggling veteran finally rose to the top of the pack with the challenge that was right up his (dark) alley.

If you follow the show, that probably gives you a pretty good idea of the veteran I was referring to above, but let’s proceed.

Before the contestants got to the spotlight challenge, they had a challenge with guest judge Valli O’Reilly for a prize of immunity from elimination this week. Each artist got a different set of monster teeth that they had to fashion into a full makeup.

The three favorites of O’Reilly were Roy, Tate, and Miranda. All three did great makeups, but seeing how Roy used that netting to create texture on his model… It was a pretty good guess he might take the top prize, which he did.

Then they moved on to the main event, the spotlight challenge, which had a trick-or-treat theme this episode. Each artist had to choose from between five different classic Halloween costumes: vampire, clown, scarecrow, skeleton or devil.

Is anyone else getting the urge to break out the Halloween candy, like, right now?

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Send in the clowns: Laney’s top look (left) and Scott’s bottom look (right.)

The top and bottom looks belonged to Alana, Laney, Tate, Roy, Scott, and Lyma. Although, it’s worth noting that newcomer Eddie did his best work of the competition so far with his version of the scarecrow, and one could argue that he might have been deserving of making that top three. It certainly shed a new light on him as a competitor in this series.

But the actual top looks belonged to Laney, Tate, and Roy. Roy did a devil with huge bat wings fabricated along with a sort of burnt lava-like makeup job. Tate was back to his horror roots, doing a scarecrow with a pumping heart. Laney had some issues with her clown, not realizing the cotton candy hair would melt in the hot lights, and yet she still pulled it out for top looks.

Speaking of which, if you don’t want to  impress the judges, do lit eyes. But if you do want to impress Ve Neill, do hairy armpits. If you don’t get that, you need to watch the episode, already — I can’t spoon feed you everything!

Then there was the bottom.

Scott did a serial killer clown that had pulled out his own heart to use as a squeak toy. To the untrained eye, it actually didn’t look so bad, to be honest. Kinda good, maybe, despite being a somewhat… lopsided sculpt. But then there’s a reason that the rest of us aren’t  judges on “Face Off,” I suppose.

The best part about the design was it prompted the first real “Glenn Hetrick zinger” (TM) of the season: “It looks like a misshapen Bert and Ernie.”

You gotta love a man who can be brutal and funny at the same time. Unless, of course, you’re Scott. Poor guy.

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Lyma (left) and Alana (right) rounded out the bottom looks this week.

The next look on the bottom, Lyma, not only got a harsh critique from Hetrick on her sculpting and paint job, but Neville Page took her to task for the red lit eyes.

“This is something that, for me, never works… when creatures have glowing eyes. What this does is it cheapens it.”

And last on the bottom was Alana. While her work has been very good throughout the season, I have to confess I kept feeling there was some repetition I couldn’t quite put my finger on: A certain common theme of a very round, smooth, pale face that seemed to be done week after week.

And apparently, Hetrick was seeing it as well, and sort of went off on it in deliberations.

“It doesn’t look anything like a ram,” he told his fellow judges. “She can’t just tell us it was supposed to be something and then bang out this super simple form that she uses in every makeup. That’s not going to cut it.”

With some of the harsh comments Hetrick made in deliberation, it looked like a fan favorite might be heading home. But, instead, rookie Lyma — who had done some of the most original work this season — was sent packing, despite looking like she might be a dark horse to make the finals after last week’s top three finish.

All bets are off on this one, folks. Well… almost all bets.

Veteran Miranda started off really strong and continues to do very solid work, but last week Laura and Roy really showed what got them so far the first time around. And while Laura didn’t make the top three this week, she still put in a very good makeup in an area that’s not really her greatest strength.

Roy made top three again with another great makeup, and with immunity. He may not be the horror guy that Tate is, or the beautiful fantasy painter that Lara is, but he sort of lands in the middle space between the two, able to do some of each. His versatility may be the key to winning it all this season.

And then there’s Tate. If you’ve been reading my recaps of “Face Off,” you know I love my horror guys (Eric Fox!) Well, Tate finally took the top prize this week in his perfect wheelhouse of horror makeup. Not terribly surprising, I’ll admit, but as I’ve pointed out before, many fans felt his previous work this season was being seriously overlooked.

As a horror chick, I think you know where I stand on that one.

With Lyma out as a possible dark horse, there is still newcomer Laney that could upset the veterans, or if we start seeing more work from Eddie as good or better than what he did this week, you never know how far he will go. Hopefully, this bottom-three scare for Alana well pushes her to stretch herself and make use of the skills she has to really push the envelope and create something new and mind blowing from her — she’s far from out of it. Likewise, Miranda is running strong and getting more confident in her makeup. Well, sometimes she’s more confident. Someone on twitter likened her to the girl in school who always thinks she’s going to fail the test and gets an A+.

But, all that aside, if I was a betting woman (and as a poker player, yes, I am a betting woman) I’m putting my money on Tate, Roy, and Laura for the final three.

There, I said it. Sue me. Send the lynch mob with the flaming torches.

Who do you think should have been in the top, the bottom and sent home? Comment below the gallery of photos from this episode!

Next week’s show features Elvira, so tune in Tuesday night to Syfy for the next episode of “Face Off.” And check out this interview with Tate about some cool projects he has in the works.

 

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Face Off recap: Mother’s Day in September

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Laura and Roy’s top looks this week on “Face Off.”

“Face Off” contestants paid homage to Mother Nature and their own mothers Tuesday night, creating a “mother goddess” makeup that incorporated some element of their own mamas on the latest installment of Syfy’s makeup artist contest.

The eleven remaining artists converged on the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanical Gardens to get the details and some inspiration from host McKenzie Westmore, and some advice from last season’s winner Anthony Kosar.

“You really want to bring out the feminine features. Make all the forms soft, subtle and really elegant.”

With that, it was obvious this wasn’t going to be horror-guy Tate’s week to shine. But a chance for the fantasy artists to really step up, and step up they did.

Namely, Laura.

Talk about working in your wheel house. She’s struggled a bit early this season, even finding her self in the bottom looks in a collaboration, but the old Laura was back and back in a big way this week, blowing judges away with her gorgeous paint job and sculpting. Judge Glenn Hetrick gushed… yes, gushed over the amount of work she had done, and done so well.

“If this was a group challenge I would’ve been thrilled with the level of detail. But she did it herself.”

Neville Page was also impressed.

“She’s freaking gorgeous! It’s just such a sublime pallette… I want to use it because it’s so beautiful and I can’t get over it.”

But lest you think it was a runaway win for Laura, let’s talk about Roy, who had such a rough time last week. The only thing that saved Roy from elimination last week was another contestant creating a makeup that was worse than his, after Roy had a technical disaster that forced him to throw together something last-minute. Fans were in a panic that he might be eliminated, but he survived to come back this week, and he came back and redeemed himself in a big way.

Roy’s homage to his mother’ green thumb took the form of a tree goddess with branches coming out of the head and shoulder areas, then roots forming a skirt on it. It was elegant and big and dramatic… sort of like what you would expect if Cher’s favorite designer, Bob Mackie, designed a tree goddess. Judges loved that he went with more of a gray color for the “bark” areas, rather than some kind of a dark brown, giving it a softer, more feminine feel.

As you can see in the top photo, both Laura and Roy really outdid themselves this week.

And yet, there was still one more person who really stood out on this challenge. And it wasn’t a veteran, but a newbie. Lyma proved that her earlier painting misstep was a fluke, and her earlier version of a high-fashion Humpty Dumpty absolutely was not a fluke.

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Lyma proved she’s a contender this week, making top looks.

Is there anyone else that can totally see that huge, blond, branch-sprouting wig on Lady Gaga? Watch out Glenn, someone may be coming for your job.

When I saw that stuffed bunny that she was going to put into the clear pregnant belly of her goddess, I was really worried for her, but she colored it down and mixed it in with other elements so that it didn’t look so “stuffed animal.” And with that, she turned what could have been a silly disaster into a brilliant fertility symbol that the judges really loved.

There were also many other very good makeups this week, with Miranda, Alana, and Laney also turning in nice finished products, despite all the horrible things that went wrong for poor Laney this week. First, when Tate went to help her with getting the mannequin out of her mold, the head broke off. Broke off of a fiberglass mannequin.

Someone obviously does not know his own strength.

So now after trying to help out a fellow competitor, Tate found himself scrambling to fix his error and make the mold work for Laney. Fortunately the master of “keep calm and just get it done” was able to reattach the head of the mannequin so she could finish the piece: Simply grabbing another mannequin wouldn’t have worked as it wouldn’t have matched up with the old one.

So Laney survived that crisis, but then she had a sick model during final books, who in fact, had to leave early, so that Laney couldn’t even finish her makeup. Fortunately, she had enough done and done well enough to avoid the bottom looks. But even she acknowledged that lacking a a more elaborate makeup probably wouldn’t be enough in the future if she was going to stay competitive. Laney’s got a good eye and a good sense of design, but she will have to step it up a little bit and go big to stay in this competition with so many good makeup artists.

And then there were the bottom looks.

Scott, Eddie, and RJ found themselves on the bottom this week. Eddie’s makeup lacked femininity to the point where the model actually looked like a man with the bulky silhouette and the lack of beauty makeup. It was like all of her body but the face was a three-dimensional topography map with foliage, wearing a toga. Scott’s very orange goddess seemed to be more inspired by Alana’s fiery hair than his mother. And then there was veteran RJ.

“Oh, honey,” as Ve Neill would say.

RJ found himself in the difficult position of being asked to create a makeup based on a concept that he’d had already done in the finale of his previous season on the show. So he made an ill-fated choice to try to go completely different.

Actually, there was no try, there was only do. And in this case, Yoda was dead wrong. Don’t do, RJ. Please.

But he did do a concept paying homage to his mother in the 60s, complete with beehive hairdo and horn-rimmed glasses, and little bees on wires coming out of the beehive. Then he put her in a Jackie O get-up.

(Insert sound of crickets chirping.)

Sometimes trying to think out-of-the-box just doesn’t work. And this was one of those times: There was no sugarcoating the results this time around, and while Glenn was unsurprisingly vicious in his critique, Ve delivered the coup d’état.

“This is a total failure this week, honey.”

Which is such a shame, because RJ has created some of the very best makeups that have ever been on the show. Namely, that adorable bellhop character which was one of my favorites of all time. It was no fluke that he got to the finals in his previous turn on the show with his talent.

But, alas, RJ will not make it to the finals this time around, as he was sent home this week. And Laura was crowned the winner.

Laura and Roy reminded us this week they are down for the long haul and heavy favorites for making the finals, and Lyma surged to the front of the pack in the newbies still standing, showing she could be the dark horse in this season. Fan favorite Tate was in the middle of the pack this week, but c’mon… the horror guy just wasn’t suited to this one, not that his makeup was bad. Some fans wondered why he would create a somewhat “ugly” makeup when paying homage to his mother, but I have a feeling Tate’s mom understands that, coming from her son, that’s the highest form of tribute, indeed.

And speaking or Tate, please tune in Thursday night at midnight ET to hear my half hour interview with him on my new podcast. We dished on “Face Off” contestants and judges and what fans can expect to see from him the rest of this season, as well as his upcoming feature-length directorial debut and his projects with Clive Barker. We also talked about working with everyone’s favorite zombie killer, Mr. Norman Reedus.

Are you really going to miss that? But if you can’t tune in Thursday night, never fear. You can still listen to the podcast recording on the website, so please check it out… no excuses! And check out a teaser audio trailer below the gallery.

(BTW, if you like flowers that Alana, Laney, and Miranda were wearing in their hair at the judging on the show, check out Alana’s “Rotten Roses” on her Etsy site: She makes them!)

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