Face Off's George Gets His Groove Back

George shines as the show shifts to individual competition, and some people are sad to lose their teammates.

Getting The New Challenge

We're down to six people, and that means it's time to get rid of the teams, both super- and regular. Everyone will be competing individually from now on, which makes George sad. He prefers working with friends, which is reasonable. In fact, the teams seem to have gone pretty well, since a bunch of the competitors are wearing shirts with pictures of Ben, who went home last week. (Okay, for now it's just the people who were on the superteam with him, but Emily will also have a Ben shirt later in the episode.)

The two former superteams begin by driving themselves to the Long Beach Civic Center. If this is product placement, I think I have to question how the city of Long Beach spends its money. We're here to use the Long Beach City Hall, because the challenge is to make an Intergalactic Senate, and the City Hall looks vaguely governmental. Everyone gets a random dossier to follow.

Design Phase

Tyler's alien is going to be from a planet that's 85% covered by an ocean made of liquid diamonds. This makes me wonder how hot it is there, since I think diamonds are pretty hard to melt. And they're not even still diamonds once they melt, right? It's just molten carbon at that point. But Evan's using this as his starting point, and it's up to him what that means.

Cig is starting with a silly wardrobe (on his creation, I mean; he is not dressed any sillier than usual) and explains that when he doesn't have a solid direction to go it, his philosophy is just to go in "a" direction and see where he ends up. You can't sit around and hope that inspiration catches up with you, you know?

Logan is doing a religious character, which he is hoping to achieve by creating a pointy head like a "bishop hat." He says "bishop hat" several times during this episode, and it's because he couldn't think of the word "mitre." I'm only using it now because I kept shouting it at the television.

Evan wants to do Mad Max in space, which sounds like a great idea to me. But in his explanation, he lands on "really gross frog-looking thing," which is not as Mad Max-y as I was hoping for.

Day 1 Begins

George is doing a big-eyed, bug-headed alien guy. I feel like bug-eyed monsters haven't been very common in the last fifty years, so I'm looking forward to it. He's going all the way with it, so the model will be seeing through the nostril slits instead of the big hilarious eyes on the side of its head. George isn't entirely thrilled with this plan, but he's got the same attitude as Cig, where he's gotta do something. He's also being taken out of his competition mindset because he's come to think of Cig as his other half. So he takes a break and smokes a cigarette by a dumpster, then comes back to hit it hard. He also says, "Just because we're not on a team doesn't mean we can't help each other. Cig, do this sculpture for me." He can still hang out with his pal, which should help.

Emily congratulates herself on choosing to do a male alien, which is out of her comfort zone. It's admirable, but I also kind of feel like it's a good idea to do things you know you're good at. It's about time for her to knock out an amazing wig again, just to remind the judges who she is.

Mentor Session

As is now traditional, Mr. Westmore flies in, issues a whirlwind of good advice, and flits away. He's worried about Cig's little nose, and thinks maybe Evan's froggy face is too much. Could George put a fin on top? It all boils down to him wanting the looks to be more alien. It's probably great for the contestants, but it's shortened so much that it's nearly incoherent on television.

Back To Work (And Day 2)

Logan discards his pointy bishop skull in favor of something more alien, which turns out to mean "a lot of ridges all over the place." That might be the Westmore influence.

Now that George is feeling better, he's back to joking around with everyone. He introduces the question of what workroom item everyone would use to fight a bear, and he doesn't like Logan's plan to use a circular saw. George would use a pen. I'm sure he's got a whole plan of attack. I don't think I'd mind if they threw out the rest of the show in favor of just watching everyone prepare for bear fights. Producers are always promising unexpected twists, right?

There seems to be a little extra time at the end of day one for almost everyone. Cig has time to make a cool sci-fi alien sword, which George immediately plays with. George makes some alien hands by starting with opera gloves and adding layers of foam, although he's willing to throw them out if they end up too much like oven mitts. Tyler gets to try out some painting. Everyone's doing great except Emily, who tried to make some flat pieces to help with blending and then couldn't get them out of the mold. It's one of the rare pieces of mold drama that results in the mold just having to be thrown away.

Application Day

The foam on George's face has shrunk a little, meaning he's got some gaps between the face and the cowl. So he folds the cheekbones backwards, which somehow covers up the gaps. It's not perfect, but it's going to have to do. That's what George says, anyway. I can't see what he actually did.

Evan has a bigger problem, because he glued his face piece on a little askew and didn't notice until it was already stuck on. His only hope is that his big frog guy is so weird that a tilted face somehow makes sense.

Emily has reached the painting stage with no plan, which is a little worrying. She finally decides that an alien can have basically any color scheme, so she grabs some turquoise and taupe and gets on with it. There's a lot of focus on various people's painting plans, which is very interesting to watch but not fascinating to read about. There's a lot of greens and purples and blues.

Right before Last Looks, George realizes that his model's teeth or too nice, and he needs some mouth dye. With twenty seconds to go, he runs around like a maniac grabbing anything he can fine, which Cig "helpfully" explains that since they're not teammates, he can't help. I think he probably could have if he'd really wanted to.

Reveal Stage

What, no guest judge? I've got an idea. Why not let Mr. Westmore judge an episode? That'll teach people to take his advice seriously.

Logan has kept his vaguely religious theme, even though the head is no longer pointy.

Syfy

The cowl is a little off-center. And the hands are bumpier than the face would suggest. I'm not a huge fan.

Emily's head is very blocky, with a lot of veining.

Syfy

The paint job is kind of uninteresting on television, but I think the shading between the turquoise and taupe is more interesting in person.

Tyler has put in a lot of work.

Syfy

There's a lot going on here, huh? And the paint helps highlight the detail. And with all the stuff going on with the face, it still feels like it has a personality. I like this a lot.

Evan has made a cartoony frog guy.

Syfy

I hate this. Even if the face were on straight, it's not to my taste at all. No thank you, sir.

Cig made something unsettling.

Syfy

Cig said he was going to use green and purple, and that led me to expect something a lot more colorful. As a result, this feels unfinished to me from a color perspective. It's kind of a big mass of stuff, and I don't know where I'm supposed to be looking.

George made a big bug head.

Syfy

This is what all aliens used to look like, possibly because it's fun to draw for a pulp magazine cover.

Judging

The judges seem to like the sculpting more than the painting this week. Logan and Cig both get feedback that their painting kind of disguised the cool shapes they made. But they like the painting on Emily's face, because Ve is delighted by the touch of turquoise.

Evan's is described as being kind of like an old Doctor Who creature, which I believe is not a compliment. Ve also compares it to the Goons from Popeye, which is a reference from the Popeye comic strip. (I'm pleased to report that I got it.) George's is a cantina character from Star Wars, and I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I mean, I know I'm in favor of it, but I feel like professional creature makers probably strive for a little more subtlety.

Logan and Cig are safe. George is in the bottom (oh no!) because the judges think his creature looks too coarse, like it's a toy design. Glenn tells him to think "feature film close-up" with everything he does. The other person in the bottom is Evan, who gets a lot of very negative comments. I don't even look at his creation. Those big vertical lines are nostrils? Gross. The judges dislike the sculpting and the painting and the application of the face. It looks like Evan's in more trouble than George, which makes sense because there's no way they'd send George home after one misstep.

Emily and Tyler are the top two, and they're pretty happy about it. Tyler doesn't mention the liquid diamond part, but he does say his planet is 80% ocean, which is why he went aquatic. That's not much more ocean than the Earth has, and I don't have gills. I'm just saying. Tyler's commentary is completely positive, while Emily's is only almost completely positive.

The phase of the judging where the judges talk amongst themselves is usually just a repeat of what they've said before. This is still mostly true, but in the middle of everyone showering Tyler with praise, Neville says that everything Tyler does is "competent." I guess that's a compliment, but it sure doesn't sound like one.

Tyler is the winner, and Evan is sent home. This seemed pretty inevitable.

Verdict

I didn't like seeing George in trouble, but he has a great story arc.

Almost all readers liked this episode
What did you think?

Discussion

Explore the Face Off forum or add a comment below.