RECAP! Face Off: Wanted Dead or Alive

It’s baaaaack! Finally.

Syfy’s hit makeup effects competition series returns for a 10th (!) season and I couldn’t be more excited.

The season opens with the promise of bigger challenges and “mind-blowing twists” — no easy feat given the last nine seasons of escalating epicness. They also reveal a few special guests for the season, including… Paul Ruebens? Okay, then.

Oooh, a new opening sequence! It’s weird, though I like how they show some of the best makeups from past seasons. But I miss McKenzie’s blue face.

We’re being introduced to the new contestants. Many of them seem to have formal training and decent credentials under their belts, including at least one contestant from Kosart Effects, the school of season 4 champ Anthony Kosar. They all seem okay enough, but no one is really standing out right now. Aw, but Greg is from Allentown, PA – where I lived for the first 2 years of my life. Oh, and Oil City? Okay, PA representin’.

They jump right into a Spotlight Challenge, which is great, because sometimes those short Foundation Challenges seem like a waste of time and talent.

This challenge is to create an alien bounty hunter, using their ship as design inspiration. That’s a big one to start with. I like it.

Interesting. They seem to have skipped the age-old reality standard “let’s look at this awesome house we get sequestered into,” in favor of a few more seconds ooohing and aaahhing over the lab, which really is amazing. The colors! The wigs! The foam, oh the foam!

And we immediately see our first team start to fall apart – Ant and Johnny. Johnny is very negative immediately in the talking head, while Ant plays a little more polite. Noted.

Michael Westmore makes his first appearance of the season. I love his involvement in this show. It seems genuine, and like he really takes it seriously. He comes across like the kind of dad you would hate to disappoint.

Oh, Allentown is not doing well to start. Darn. That little nose and chin took all day? Oh, sweetie… Yeah, It’s pretty clear, 20 minutes in, that Greg and Yvonne and Ant and Johnny are the two teams in trouble.

Application day has arrived, and we get to see the results of these molds. Not looking good for Canada & Allentown. Oh my god those edges are brutal. Sometimes, when that’s said on this show, it’s hard to see. But if I can see those edges from my couch, that does not bode well.

Over on Team Jennifer & Mel, it’s Jennifer’s sewing to the rescue! She may not have as much formal training, but those mom skills can be an ace in the hole.

Side note – Last Looks music is probably my favorite.

The judges! I love this judging panel. Glenn Hetrick (originally from Bethlehem, PA!) is rocking some fresh ink and a new studio. Ve Neill is all smiles and Neville Page is classy as ever.

McKenzie, in a darling dress, let’s us know the judges have a one-time immunity option this season. Obviously won’t come into play tonight, but that’ll be interesting down the road.

My Amateur Impressions:

Kaleb & Walter: Hm. I like the horns and the color palette. His mouth looks a little Muppet-esque, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The paint job on the body is great.

Njoroge & Rob: Birdman. Woman, I mean. Feathers are gorgeous. Really like the profile. But the beak is weird. Maybe it should have been longer, or blended into the face?

Anna & Melissa: Face is interesting. Another one where I love the profile. The cowl looks incredibly detailed. Don’t like the mouth on this one. Looks unfinished from here. Perhaps in person it looks a little different.

Ant & Johnny: Oh boy. This one looks like an alien vampire of some kind with a fish fin and leaf ears. Bottom look? Most likely.

Katie & Robert: Hm. Orangey. Not really sure what to think of this one. It’s not obviously terrible, but it does lack some kind of cohesion.

Yvonne & Greg: Dear god. That’s just terrible. The nose is unenven, and doesn’t match the cowl. The cowl is blocky and it looks like they didn’t even attempt to blend the edges. Yikes.

Jennifer & Mel: Ooh. I kinda like this one. Paint job is fun.

The Professionals’ Impressions:

The judges love Kaleb & Walter’s lizard man and Anna & Melissa’s cowl-tastic alien. They hated Johnny & Ant’s blue vampire fish and Yvonne & Greg’s blob head.

Top team? Ann & Melissa, with Melissa taking the crown for the night.

Aw man, Allentown is going home. Though… it was kind of the clear answer. Oh, well.

Overall thoughts: A good start to season 10 challenge-wise. The contestants seem a little blander than usual, especially for a show built on unique creativity. But it’s early yet. Hopefully one or two contestants will break from the pack.

Beautiful moments in words:

“So… (sigh)… I’m kind of a Texas German mutant.” – Robert

“Form language.” – #Nevilleisms

What did you think? Anybody standing out yet? Let me know!

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