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reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

One of my favorite challenges in the history of Face Off is the season-one challenge, where the contestants made themselves up to look like other people and then interacted with their own family members, to see if they’d be recognized. The results really showcased their talent.

Read More about Face Off finally did a realistic makeup challenge, and this happened

Face Off has been introducing new challenges this season, its ninth, and they’ve improved the Syfy reality competition significantly.

Professional talent competitions like this live and die by their challenges, and the challenges have had more of a spark all season: engaged couples transformed into zombies who were then married by host McKenzie Westmore; two models merged into one creature; Rorschach ink blobs as inspiration for characters.

There’s a lot of variety that has nudged the show out of the rut it’s been in recently; the episodes don’t feel as interchangeable with other seasons, and the variation has resulted in some contestants excelling one week and failing the next.

Read More about New challenges freshen Face Off’s makeup

A very interesting Face Off challenge led to the most disastrously comic makeups that I can remember. Pairs of artists randomly chose a gate, and created both the gatekeeper and the creature being guarded by the gatekeeper. (The foundation challenge—creating characters using Rorschach inkblots as inspiration—was also inspired.) Jason described his gatekeeper character as “a …

Read More about This is the funniest/scariest make-up in Face Off history

Face Off concludes its eighth season tonight after a strong season overall. That’s thanks to the challenges, the returning champion mentors, the contestants, and the work. The challenges, some of which we’ve seen before, were interesting and often produced creative work: dolls come to life; steampunk characters from a western; creatures designed by children. I …

Read More about Face Off winner Laura Tyler on why she returned as a mentor

Face Off ended its seventh season last night, and the finale had hints of next season’s twist: three past winners returned to work with the finalists. Alas, that didn’t work, at least not as television; there was no real reason for them to be there, and their contributions mostly faded away. I hope the coach twist …

Read More about Time for a Face Off facelift, but please keep Lois Burwell

Syfy’s Face Off will get a new format for its next season, one that borrows heavily from shows such as The Voice and Big Brother by having returnees coach teams of contestants. Ve Neill is also returning. The “Return of the Champions” season will have three former winners who each will be in charge of a a five-contestant team. The …

Read More about Face Off’s new twist: borrowing coach twist from other shows