‘Face Off’ recap: And the winner is…

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…

Laura.

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.”

Indeed.

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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‘Face Off’ recap: A barrel of laughs

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The top looks of the night on “Face Off.” Unfortunately, the best part of Roy’s makeup, on the left, is cropped out of the photo, but you can see the whole thing below. And Laura made top looks on the right.

Tuesday night’s episode of “Face Off” provided a little comic relief, as contestants got to create a scary — but funny — makeup for the spotlight challenge. With only six makeup artists left, competition is getting fierce, and only two rookies started this episode. So was it a veteran or a rookie that went home Tuesday night?

You don’t really think I’m gonna tell you that right at the beginning, now do you?

But before we got to the spotlight challenge, the six remaining had to create a Grim Reaper makeup look for guest judge, production designer Patrick Tatopoulos. Tate and Laura had the top looks, although Eddie had a really interesting original reaper makeup as well. But it was Laura who came out on top again, creating a makeup with pre-made prosthetic pieces that looked seamless and custom. And for her efforts, she won immunity.

So then contestants moved on to the spotlight challenge, where they had to create a scary but funny ghost look inspired by the Laugh Factory, which is supposed to be haunted. Judge Ve Neill, the artist behind the classic “Beetlejuice” makeup, told them she wanted something “creepy and scary, but make him bitchin’ and fun guys.”

Some contestants had an easier time with this challenge than others. Laura struggled a little bit with trying to figure out how to work funny and scary together. Eddie was really struggling with developing a story for his character and ended up starting over from scratch at one point.

Tate, on the other hand, was having no trouble at all. Probably because the horror people usually have a sick sense of humor. Tate created a scalped cowboy character, Bone Cap Bill, complete with skeletal hobby horse.

“He might be the host of the children’s television show in the netherworld.”

Be glad this guy became a makeup artist and didn’t open a day care center. Just sayin’.

Actually, I have to kinda take that back. Because Tate demonstrated another common characteristic among hardcore horror fans that most people don’t realize… they’re big teddy bears. Once again, he saw Laney struggling with her wig to get an electroshock effect for her rock ‘n roll ghost, and the guy just couldn’t help himself… he had to help.

It’s who he is. And why fans love him so much, besides his obvious talent.

For the record, Laney reported on her twitter that she returned the favor by helping Tate with his hair for the judging process. And I mean his hair, not his makeup model’s hair. Do you suppose she’s also the one that painted his fingernails black?

Anyway, Roy absolutely had no trouble whatsoever coming up with the concept for this task.

After being in the bottom two last week, he let it be known at the beginning of the episode that he was coming out with guns a-blazing, and going back to his old method of big fabrication and big looks: Roy had been taken to task by judges for trying to do too much fabrication and not enough makeup in the past, and was tired of toeing the line.

Hell, yes.

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Roy and his creation this week on “Face Off.”

And boy, did he deliver. Roy created a Vaudeville-inspired makeup that looked like one small person sitting on the shoulders of another. And the second character was hidden until the model opened the trench coat, like a pervy exhibitionist.

And that’s when things got crazy. Something happened that has never happened before on “Face Off.”

Judge Glenn Hetrick has gone completely bipolar on us as of this episode. The notoriously blunt  judge has actually been pretty tame all season, or at least tame for him, given some of the extremely harsh criticisms he’s dished out in the past. Well, tonight we saw him back in his old form of brutal critiques, but we also saw him… laughing.

Yes, you read that right. He not only smiled, he laughed. Out loud. I didn’t even know Hetrick could LOL. But I swear to you, it really happened, and I have the DVR proof.

I don’t know about you, but I say if anyone makes Hetrick laugh, the show is over for the season. That person just wins. Remember Roy, if you don’t take the whole thing, you are the contestant that made the Man of Iron LOL. No one can take that away from you.

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The “safe” looks from Tate (left) and Miranda (right.)

Despite struggling a little bit, Laura did another great makeup on her mad scientist (I should just write that in all my recaps in advance) and found herself in the top looks as usual. For reasons mentioned above, I think it’s pretty obvious that Roy was the other top look of the night. Tate and Miranda were safe. So that means that Eddie and Laney, both the rookies, were up for elimination.

And this is where it got a little ugly. To be honest, it wasn’t just Hetrick that went in for the kill, but the other judges, as well. They really took Eddie to task for his baseball-inspired ghost, which was very stylized and had a bat stuck to the back of his indented head.

The judges kept referring to it as an asparagus head. Unless it’s a vegetable challenge, that’s not a good thing. Then Hetrick took him to task when he couldn’t answer where he drew his inspiration from.

“That’s a problem when you can’t tell me that. You see what I’m saying? It’s not funny, it’s not telling the story, and it doesn’t feel at all like a ghost.” Then during deliberations, he hammered on him again. “I really don’t like it. I’ve had enough of back stories that try to make sense out of something that does not fit in with what we asked them to do. You would never be able to pull that off on set.”

Please Glenn, speak your mind. Yikes.

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The bottom looks: Eddie on the left, and Laney on the right.

Then he went to work on Laney, who didn’t have one of her best days as far as critiques. While the color of her electrocuted rock guitarist was very monotone and gray, the criticisms thrown at her seemed much harsher than expected.

“It does not tell me the story and how she’s a ghost,” said Hetrick. “I don’t understand why her skull looks like that. You used these very confusing forms to create your head sculpture and it does not make me laugh. It just makes me… confused.”

And Neville Page piled more on.

“I’m pleased with how ambitious you are, but I’m disappointed that you did not satisfy the challenge,” Page told her, then continued in the deliberations with harsh critique. “She’s got to stop infusing every piece with her personality. It has got to be standalone.”

But when push comes to shove, the bottom line is that not only did Laney’s look come out better, but she’s had many top finishes where Eddie has really struggled most the season until the last episode or two. And so, Eddie was sent home this week, while Roy was crowned the winner for edging out Laura in the humor department. Actually, there was a lot more than edging out… that was freakin’ hilarious.

That leaves Laney as the only rookie still standing, and four veterans left. From here on out it’s going to be epic, folks, a real clash of the titans. Laura and Miranda have tons of wins and mad painting skills, but Roy’s and Tate’s makeups are consistent and have huge, insanely-creative ideas that they execute well. Laney has had a lot of top looks, so you can’t count out the rookie.

But for the finale, it can only be three, so we still have to cut two more, painful as that is going to be.

Tune in Tuesday nights to Syfy to catch the latest episode of “Face Off” and check out the gallery below for the looks this week, and check out the video: You’ll see Roy modeling his little man piece. [Insert your own dirty joke here. ]

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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: 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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