The unofficial title of Face Off's Season 3 premiere should've been "Why Change What Works? Also: Star Wars!" Because TV's best reality competition (that is not So You Think You Can Dance) returned this week and it was business as usual: Meat 'n potatoes drama, backbiting, and sincerely talented competitors. And as if this show couldn't get any geekier, the main challenge involved creating characters who'd look at home in the Star Wars cantina scene! (Which, let's be real, George Lucas hasn't tolerated prosthetic makeup for decades now.)
We met the new cast of charmingly awkward makeup artists on top of the Downtown Los Angeles Standard where they were greeted by host McKenzie Westmore and Rudy himself, Sean Astin! The new crop contains a pair of twin brothers, at least three women with hair that's dyed bright red (one of whom is currently dating a Season 2 contestant), and two flighty men (who were destined to be "randomly" paired together). After a very brief and ridiculous challenge involving creating makeup that involved whatever the contestants found outside by the pool, we came to the main Star Wars-themed challenge.
There were warnings from the beginning that things weren't going so well. After having only seen a season of this show, it's clear that many artists only have two designs up their sleeves: aerodynamic demon and hamburger-faced ghoul. We saw a lot of both, including the hilariously awful entry by the losing team of flighty men which was deemed "unacceptable" and "offensive" by the judges. (Seriously, check out the barefooted abomination in the photo gallery below.) However, the repulsive gnome in a mech suit was truly inspired (if not necessarily appropriate for the Star Wars universe).
And then, in a reality TV moment that seemed as genuine as it was dramatic, one of the men on the losing team stormed out and was disqualified before he could be eliminated. The reason it felt so genuine was how unprepared the production seemed: The cameras had to re-enact the door slamming and then only appeared to have six seconds of footage of the contestant walking across the parking lot, which was played twice. Oh well! Who could've imagined that a grueling reality TV competition may not be the best place for sensitive eccentrics? It's frankly surprising this sort of thing hasn't happened more often.
Anyway, this 90-minute season premiere was as entertaining (and creatively inspiring!) as we've come to expect of Face Off. From the teaser montage it looks like a lot of fun stuff might be in store, including an increasingly impressive roster of expert judges and a live broadcast of the final competition. It's still not clear just how talented these competitors are—and we likely won't know for sure until the challenges are more individualized—but for now take a gander at the below gallery of supposed Star Wars creatures and let's judge them together!
Which creature did YOU like the best?