This past Tuesday saw the hit special effects make-up reality show, Face Off, return to Syfy with record numbers.
Not only did Face Off return with record viewing, but an all-new cast, an all-new judge — and an all-new season finale!
Patrick Tataopoulos, judge on the show for the past two seasons, had to bid Face Off goodbye as Tataopoulos heads over to take on the 300 sequel, Battle of Artemisia, in Bulgaria.
Replacing Tataopoulos is new judge, Neville Page, whose credits include lead designer on the Green Lantern movie, head creature designer on Star Trek and Avatar, concept artist on Tron Legacy and Prometheus, creature designer on Watchmen, and many more.
Regarding the all-new finale, Season 3 will see the viewers pick the Face Off winner in a live telecast - a first for the show - on Halloween.
Moving on to the debut episode, the first celebrity guest immunity judge featured none other than Lord of The Ring's Sean Astin.
The contestants met Astin at an exclusive Hollywood location where they were wined and dined while meeting the actor. However, after a few glasses of champagne it was right on to business with the contestants first challenge. Astin ended up choosing the fraternal twin pair of Derek and Eric Garcia as the two top choices, with Eric winning immunity for the next round.
Speaking of their first challenge, the contestants were "wowed" as SyFy and Face Off took the group to visit Fox Studios where they learned they would have to create a creature that would fit in with the Star Wars Mos Eisely Cantina bar scene — with the winning designed being featured on the Star Wars website as a Clone Wars character. Next, they were grouped into pairs and off to design.
Now as this is a reality TV series, there did happen to be a bit of drama between a couple of the contestants, with one of them even walking off set during the judging process and getting disqualified. Ordinarily, you do not see this type of drama with the show, and you can't help but wonder if the contestant in question was picked primarily for that purpose. However, credit to Face Off, the contestant was weeded out very quickly, as the show is much more about professionalism and less about the cheap theater antics of the other reality television shows.
On to the designs, all but one of the contestants' creations was good enough for Star Wars, with the aforementioned walk-off being the lone failure — an alien that didn't befit being a featured course at the Sarlacc Pit.
The judges' winning entry was not my choice, as Laura Tyler and Sara Elizabeth nabbed by top spot (see upper right), but the team of Rod Maxwell and Roy Wooley did pull off a really cool concept.
And yes, Laura, this Star Wars geek approves.
Back to Maxwell and Wooley, the duo created a small humanoid within a robotic exoskeleton for movement. As I said, the concept was great, but it didn't live up to my tastes. My first impression was the alien reminded me of a Mini-Me version of Babylon 5's Londo, not that there is anything wrong with that of course, but again, just not my top pick.
Rod Maxwell ended up with the overall win as the judges favored his facial make-up work more than anything.
Here's a couple images of the winning design, followed by the art from the Star Wars Clone Wars website:
SyFy's "Face Off" airs Tuesdays at 9pm ET.