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Face Off Chooses Which Witch Is The Best

The superteams do witches -- and not the kind with eye shadow and nose rings. The gross kind.

Getting The New Challenge

We're down to seven people, divided unequally into two teams. Superteam 1 is Cig, George, Ben, and Evan; Superteam 2 is Logan, Emily, and Tyler.

The props are, once again, set up in the lab, which makes me wonder why we haven't had more location shoots in this All-Star season. It's mostly just some spooky books and a cauldron. The books are so big they require two hands to carry, ideally attached to an equal number of strong arms.

The challenge will be to make a coven of three witches. Emily has never done a witch before, but she's familiar with the aesthetic. The covens are at war with each other, and they've cast a curse with visible effects on the other witches. So the teams have to pick a giant book with a recipe that will somehow affect what they do. George picks up the book, and of course he does a joke from Army Of Darkness when he does. The books, by the way, look like they're real books, which makes me very happy. I approve of giant, unwieldy books that look like they came from a back room at the library sale.

The first step is to go through the recipe and base the name of a spell on it by incorporating the pickled rat's tail or whatever. This results in "Suffocating Sage Of Willow" and "The Shadow Of The Spiteful Serpent," and now we can ignore the books forever, right? Wrong! That was a silly guess. You can do better. They're actually going to refer back to the ingredient lists pretty frequently when they need to decide on new things to stick onto their witch faces.

Design Phase

Cig has a whole storyline to reel out, starting with a subterranean rat-witch coven that has been forced into the light by a spell that's also turning them into snakes. It seems a little elaborate to me.

Logan is on warlock duty while Emily and Tyler do the two witches. Tyler is going to use the "Breath Of A Dying Man" in that his witch is being suffocated by her own branches. Emily also likes the death breath, which she's going to bring out with a kind of purplish color scheme.

Day 1 Begins

Superteam 1 has an extra person, which means George and Evan can split up their warlock, with George on the face and Evan on the cowl. Cig and Ben each have their own witch character, although everyone's checking in a lot. So far, what they've mostly established is that none of their noses looks like any of the others.

Superteam 2 is in a hurry, so that they can mold their big stuff on Day 1. They're doing two full chest pieces, which strikes me as being a lot of extra work when you could focus in on the face. Chest pieces are rarely anyone's focus, and I don't think having multiple people spend an entire day on them is a good use of time.

Mentor Session

Michael Westmore doesn't like the warlock sketch for Superteam 1 at all. He doesn't see any story with all this rat-to-snake stuff, and the witch element is not prominent at all. He gently tries to get them to consider some sort of cohesive element, but they just agree and go back to sculpting and hoping it ends up okay. They spent the design phase adding details to their backstory instead of making sure they had a coherent plan.

Superteam 2 is going to have wounds that ooze sap, which is a fun idea that ties in to the willow tree in their ingredients. Mr. Westmore thinks everything's looking really good and that they've done a lot of work already. That seems like a pretty good sign. There's no question about which team is doing better right now, since Mr. Westmore had nothing but bad things to say about Superteam 1 and nothing but good things for Superteam 2.

Back To Work (And Day 2)

Emily almost drops her mold, but she catches it. That was not particularly close, but it's the closest we come to mold drama. George is generally worried about how the other team is already molding full torso pieces on Day 1, while his team is still fumbling around on faces that don't go together.

Evan's analysis of why the other team is so far ahead is, "They were instantly excited and were busting their ass on whatever they were doing." And he's right. Everyone's kind of down on their whole concept and as they walk out for hte day, they're discussing the idea of just throwing everything out and starting over. It seems like a dramatic choice, but they need to do something.

In Day 2, Superteam 2's molds all look good, and they start on their faces. Superteam 1 is removing the snake elements from their looks, so they're just doing "diseased rat witches." I'm still worried that's too many things, but they all insist that they're feeling excited bout this.

Logan is doing a mouthless face, because his whole team is very into the "Breath Of A Dying Man" ingredient. That's not something that's inherently visual, but it seems to be the primary thing they're using as a springboard.

Superteam 1 is feeling a little better, and they're really concentrating on having everyone weigh in on everything. It seems like they're doing more collaboration than the other team, where Emily feels like she's got "her look" that she's the only one responsible for. She gets Tyler to give her some feedback, which reminds me that I like how the original two-person teams are still kind of persisting even in the era of the Superteam.

Cig is working on "rat hands," which he normally considers adorable when they're on actual rats. He's doing this instead of a cowl, and I suspect it's mostly because he likes rat hands. There's nothing wrong with that. I'd rather look at something that the artist was enthused about, you know?

Logan has some cool glowing mushrooms that are going to go on his tree witch's back. They look nice now, but glowing elements don't always show up well on the reveal stage under the bright lights.

Application Day

George isn't worried about some mild imperfections in their molds, because they're already doing diseased rats. "It's like an extra sore we didn't have to sculpt," he explains with a smile. George does most things with a smile. Evan has to tear his face foam a bit to get it free, but George still thinks it's fine. These are characters that can stand a few random lumps.

Cig applies his rat hands, and this is when we find out he's never applied hand pieces before. It looks pretty good, though. Ben also has some hands to apply, but he's not able to get to them before Last Looks. George takes that on, although he also has a ton of work to do. Ben paints the hands quickly and ends up just covering them with fingerless gloves.

Superteam 1 is still desperately putting on latex in Last Looks, while Superteam 2 is just doing final touch-ups and fine detail work. When this happens, it's usually bad news for the team that's behind. You'd rather spend your last hour adding just the right highlights than frantically spray-painting the whole thing.

Reveal Stage

There is no guest judge this week. This makes me a little sad, because normally I'd get to go on about someone's credits at this point. So let's just get to Superteam 2's looks.

Emily's is interestingly textured.

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I thought they were all doing a wood thing, but hers looks more like stone.

The middle witch goes much stronger on the wood theme.

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It's got cool hair made out of sticks, which I can only assume were done to demonstrate that just because Superteam 2 has Emily doesn't mean they need to have fancy wigs showing off her hair work every time.

I'm not a huge fan of the last voiceless one.

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The face is fine, but I do not like the weird chestpiece at all. I'm also not a fan of the hand-waving that all three models have adopted to represent a state of general witchiness.

Superteam 1's first witch is much more basic, and it kind of looks like she's just got a bunch of sores and vaguely rat-like features. But it also looks like it might be more witchy, because hunches and facial sores have been witch signifiers for a long time.

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See? This feels to me like a standard "gross witch" makeup.

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Normally I try to provide individual commentary on each look, but I can't really tell the difference between this and the previous one. They get points for a cohesive theme, certainly.

The sores are big and crude on the last one, which was done primarily by Ben, and it seems like it's a little more simplistic than the other two.

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I have to say, I don't think this episode showed witches at their best. They're a lot more Snow White's Evil Queen than The Craft's...everyone. At least the rat aspects are a result of the curse now, as opposed to the original plan, which was for rat witches that were being turned into snakes. That seems like a lateral move rather than a curse. If anything, it actually moves them up the food chain by one notch, so I'm glad it's gone.

Judging

Neville finds Emily's kind of boring. The glowing mushrooms don't glow much, but Glenn likes the positioning: "The form on this makeup is absolutely astounding." And he loves the finger pads that came from Cig's deep knowledge of rat hands. Neville praises how on-point the noses are. The judges love Superteam 1's work a lot more than I do. And more than the team itself does, I think. The skin problems were there to represent irritation from the dried nettles in the recipe, and there's allegedly an ouroboros-shaped sore that connects all the looks. Just looks like a round sore to me, though. The rat element that predominates was from the "pickled rat tail," and Glenn says that decision was brilliant; I think he, like Cig, just likes rats. He also loves the skull shapes. Ve Neill is more into the little details like the hands and ears. Neville just loves the noses and profiels. In general, the judges like the first two a bit more than the last one (which is Ben's), but it's almost all praise.

SuperTeam 2 also gets praise for its sculpting. Their witches are all from different covens that have banded together, which explains why they don't really look cohesive. The judges like the one with stick-hair the most. Emily's stone-face is a little uninteresting to Neville. Glenn thinks it was searching for a form that it never found, but that the paint job mostly saved it.

The judges have to decide between a coven where all three look pretty much the same and a coven where all three look wildly different, and...the winning team is Tyler, Emily, and Logan. That's good, because I don't think we want 4 vs. 2 next week.

The losing team is Ben/Evan/Cig/George. And the person who goes home is Ben. Glenn clearly feels bad about that, because he showers Ben's work with praise, and Neville practically promises Ben a job; it's just that everyone else did slightly better. So Ben's still a bit bummed, but he always kind of comes off that way.

Verdict

It's a shame to see Ben leave, but it was going to happen eventually. My top three at this point are easily Cig, George, and Emily, and as long as one of them doesn't go home, I'm probably okay with any elimination. I'd be even more okay getting away from the team format sometime soon.

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