Face Off Episode 12.01 Recap & Review “Pack Leaders”

After a killer All Stars season, Face Off is back from a very short hiatus (perhaps its shortest yet?) and ready to Divide & Conquer.  This season is being touted as unlike any other season as the artists are divided into two teams that act as two separate makeup FX shops which compete each week.

Since Hollywood’s special effects makeups are created by shops filled with talent, this season, the artists would be working like that this season, divided into two makeup effects shops that will compete head to head. It’s unclear if the “shops” will remain all season long, as in past seasons, teams and pairs were eventually split up. But to make this season unlike any other, that would be the most obvious change. A change I would love to see. Otherwise, what’s the point of the Divide & Conquer theme?

Also, did anyone else think before watching the premiere that this season would showcase two newbie makeup shops and not just a regular Face Off cast deemed as shops? Nothing wrong with the route the show chose, the promo was just a bit misleading and I’m only mentioning it because THAT would truly be a season unlike any other. Although I guess if it were two established shops, the stakes would be much higher and it would be way more stressful and it might perhaps turn into yet another dramatic reality competition show rather than remain what it is now (oh so pure compared to the other comp shows). What do you think?

The judging remains similar to how we saw pairs being judged in past seasons where one team wins, someone from the winning team wins overall, and someone from the losing team is eliminated. However, each week, each team must elect a foreman or forewoman to delegate responsibilities and answer to the judges for the shop’s work (good or bad). I like this and I’m terribly scared by this because this can be a make or break, especially in front of the judges. Oh, man. That’s some trust you’ve got to have in the delegate, for sure. And on the other hand, good lord, talk about pressure on the delegate who could be eliminated for being the delegate in a week gone horribly wrong.

The shops/teams are divided as “Ethereal Effects” which includes Andrew (Challenge One Foreman), Faina, Kierstin, Joseph, Nelson, and Suzanne and “Twisted Six Effects” which includes Alan (Challenge One Foreman), KC, Laura, Nick, Jill, and Philip. The only artists whose names I have placed are the artists with dyed hair. All the rest are a blur at the moment but in time, I will get to know them – it’s really one of my favorite parts of each season, getting familiar with each artist. Anyway…

Host, McKenzie Westmore met the artists in the woods to deliver their first Spotlight Challenge. The shops had to create a werewolf pack with an Alpha, Beta, and Omega. After the challenge was delivered, three wolves, real wolves (!!!), were walked out and the shops got to choose one as inspiration for their pack. Then we got some of the usual footage of the new cast in the lab, taking in the sights like it’s their first venture into Willy Wonka’s Factory as well as the surreal moment of having series mentor, Michael Westmore on board to guide them.

Judges, Ve Neill, Glenn Hetrick, and Neville Page all returned this season (yay!). On the reveal stage, overall, I liked what Ethereal Effects created more. I especially loved the detail of the paint job (particularly the pattern and texture that Glenn mentioned) on the Omega (the Omega was the judges’ favorite) although on the other hand, the chest piece on the Alpha was not impressive to me even though the face was wonderful.

Andrew and Nelson created the Alpha which was solid. Joseph and Faina created the Omega and were praised by the judges. Suzanne and Kierstin created the Beta which fell short. As Neville said, there were some really beautiful things here but also some really unfortunate things. As Ve said, they missed the mark on making a pretty werewolf. Yeah, it was definitely too masculine.

Twisted Six Effects wasn’t very cohesive, which they realized once they saw the other shop’s work. I wonder if anyone on the team realized it in the lab and if so, why didn’t they fix anything then??? Nick and Laura created the Omega, which was a hot, hot mess Didn’t even look like a werewolf, y’all. Jill and Phil created the Beta, which was great and the judges’ favorite from this team. Alan and KC created the Alpha, which was also great.

Based on this, I was expecting Ethereal Effects to win with either Joseph or Faina taking the win, leaving someone from Twisted Six Effects to be eliminated, my guess Nick or Laura. As expected, Ethereal Effects did win and Joseph did take home the first win of the season!! Also, his hometown is Mt. Holly, NJ (I went to high school in Mt. Holly) so shout out to a fellow Jersey kid! There are two Jersey artists this season, so I hope they do us proud all season long.

The bottom artists from Twisted Six Effects were indeed Nick, Laura, and, oh my, the Foreman of the week, Al with Laura going home. She was in over her head but she tried and that was so great to see. All the best on your endeavors, Laura. Now, onto the next challenge. What did you think of the season 12 premiere?

Winner: Ethereal Effects with Joseph Winning
Eliminated This Week: Laura from Twisted Six Effects

Total Eliminations:
Twisted Six Effects: Laura
, Alan, KC, Nick, Jill, and Philip
Ethereal Effects: Andrew, Faina, Kierstin, Joseph, Nelson, and Suzanne

Face Off airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Syfy.