Face Off (TV series)

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Face Off
Logo for Face Off
Genre Reality
Presented by McKenzie Westmore
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 12
No. of episodes 126 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Michael Agbabian
Dwight D. Smith[1]
Derek Atherton[2]
Location(s) Los Angeles, California
Production company(s) Mission Control Media
Original network Syfy
Original release January 26, 2011 (2011-01-26) – present
External links
Official website www.syfy.com/faceoff/

Face Off is an American reality television game show on the Syfy cable network in which a group of prosthetic makeup artists compete against each other to create prostheses such as those found in science fiction and horror films. Actress McKenzie Westmore, known for her role as Sheridan Crane on the former NBC/DirecTV soap opera Passions and a member of the Westmore family of makeup artists, serves as the show's host, with judges being Academy Award-winning makeup artist Ve Neill (Ed Wood, Beetlejuice, Mrs. Doubtfire), and television and film makeup artist Glenn Hetrick (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5). Creature designer and director Patrick Tatopoulos (I Am Legend, Resident Evil: Extinction, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans) served as judge for the first two seasons, but he was replaced by creature designer and concept artist Neville Page (Watchmen, Cloverfield, Avatar) from Season 3.[3] Industry figures and artists including Brian Grazer, Kevin Smith, Paul W. S. Anderson, Greg Nicotero, Rick Baker, Doug Jones, Len Wiseman and Gale Anne Hurd have served as guest judges.[1]

Each week, the artists face a "Spotlight Challenge" that tests their artistry and techniques to create a full makeup character to match a theme over the course of 3 days. The first day allows for concept design and sculpting for five hours, a second day of 9½ to 10 hours for work in finishing the molding, and a final day of 4 hours in applying the makeup before a one-hour "Last Look" for touch ups. The judges then have the opportunity to look at the makeups from afar and up close, and decide a series of top and bottom looks for the week. One artist will be deemed the winner, sometimes receiving a special bonus prize such as immunity from elimination or a cash reward, and one artist will be eliminated from the running for the grand prize. Some episodes also feature a "Foundation Challenge", a smaller challenge that introduces a new technique on a smaller scale, and the winner is awarded an advantage for that week's Spotlight Challenge, ranging from immunity from elimination to receiving a first choice of theme.

The Face Off winner receives US$100,000 and a year's supply of makeup from Alcone (changed to US$25,000 of makeup in season 2),[4] a "grand prize that will launch a career".[5] The second season added the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid to its prize package. The Season 3 grand prize winner will receive the same US$25,000 of Alcone makeup and US$100,000 cash prize, in addition to the opportunity to become a guest lecturer at the "Make up for Ever Academy" in New York and Paris, and the Toyota Prius v. The prize package for season 4 remains the same with the exception of the 2013 Fiat 500 replacing the Prius V as the prize vehicle.

Face Off premiered January 26, 2011 on Syfy. Syfy announced March 16, 2011 that Face Off had been renewed for a second season. Casting was slated to begin later the same month.[6] Season 2 began airing January 11, 2012.[7] On February 7, 2012, Syfy announced that Face Off had been renewed for a third season.[8] Season three of Face Off premiered on August 21, 2012. On October 8, 2012, Syfy announced that Face Off would return for a fourth season which premiered on January 15, 2013.[9] In the fourth season, the show started an online show Face Off Redemption in which eliminated contestants from Season 4 would have a chance to gain a spot on the fifth season, which premiered in August 2013.[10]

Production and development[edit]

Syfy began the development of Face Off in March 2010 in association with production company Mission Control Media.[11] Syfy confirmed that it had ordered the series in May,[5] and announced the host and judges in November.[3] Producers held open casting calls in Los Angeles and Orlando, Florida and accepted audition videos through September 15.[12]


Season Premiere Finale Winner Runner(s)-Up Number of contestants Number of episodes
1 January 26, 2011 March 16, 2011 Conor McCullagh Gage Hubbard
Tate Steinsiek
12 8
2 January 11, 2012 March 14, 2012 Rayce Bird Ian Cromer
Robert "RJ" Haddy
14 10
3 August 21, 2012 October 31, 2012 Nicole Chilelli Laura Tyler
Derek Garcia
12 12
4 January 15, 2013 March 26, 2013 Anthony Kosar Kristian "Kris" Kobzina
Wayne Anderson
14 11
5 August 13, 2013 November 5, 2013 Laura Tyler Tate Steinsiek
Roy Wooley
16 13
6 January 14, 2014 April 22, 2014 Rashaad Santiago George Schminky
Tyler Green
15 15
7 July 22, 2014 October 28, 2014 Dina Cimarusti Cig Neutron
Drew Talbot
16 14
8 January 13, 2015 April 14, 2015 Darla Edin Emily Serpico
Logan Long
15 14
9 July 28, 2015 October 27, 2015 Nora Hewitt Ben Ploughman
Evan Hedges
16 14
10 January 13, 2016 April 13, 2016 Rob Seal Melissa Ebbe
Walter Welsh
14 14
11 January 24, 2017 [13] April 25, 2017 Cig Neutron Emily Serpico
George Troester III
16 [13] 14

Season 1 (2011)[edit]

The first season of Face Off was won by Conor McCullagh of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Face Off Season 1 drew an average audience of 1.4 million viewers per episode during season 1.[6]

Season 2 (2012)[edit]

The second season of Face Off was won by Rayce Bird of Shelley, Idaho. Season 2 premiere episode posted the best ratings performance for any Syfy original series since November ‘09,[14] even increasing from those ratings in subsequent episodes.[15] The finale drew over 2.4 million viewers,[16] and was SyFy's most watched unscripted telecast ever.[17]

Season 3 (2012)[edit]

Syfy held open call auditions for the third season on November 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California and Orlando, Florida. Filming began during the spring of 2012 to be ready for a summer release. The third season of Face Off premiered on August 21, 2012. The selected contestants were revealed to the public on June 29, 2012. This is the first season of the show where two relatives have been selected as contestants: fraternal twin brothers Eric and Derek Garcia were among those chosen to participate. While Neill and Hetrick remain as judges, concept designer Neville Page became a replacement judge with Tatopoulos appearing in the season premiere, a subsequent episode, and the finale.[18] The season finale was broadcast live on Halloween, October 31, 2012 and viewers voted for the winner. Halfway through the season the first five eliminated contestants (excluding Joe Castro who was the first contestant ever disqualified from the competition in the season premiere) were allowed to compete in a foundation challenge, with the victor returning to the show. This challenge was won by Nicole Chilelli of Sacramento, California, who went on to become this season's champion.[19]

Season 4 (2013)[edit]

Syfy picked up Face Off for a fourth season on October 9, 2012 which premiered January 15, 2013.[20] A sneak peek of the upcoming season premiered during the live season 3 finale. Season 4 was won by Anthony Kosar.

Season 5 (2013)[edit]

Syfy picked up Face Off for a fifth season.[10] During season 4's Face-Off redemption, Eric Zapata won a place as one of the eight returning contestants who are to compete against eight new contestants. This was the second season that a contestant voluntarily left the competition, when Laney Parkhurst departed in episode 11. The season was won by Laura Tyler, who was a finalist on season 3.

Season 6 (2014)[edit]

Season 6 started January 14, 2014. This season was won by Rashaad Santiago. This season had a theme of "extremes". During this season the judges had the power to save one contestant who would have normally been eliminated. This season also featured a trip to Tokyo, Japan, where the artists competed in an Oni foundation challenge and found inspiration for an Anime spotlight challenge.

Season 7 (2014)[edit]

Season 7 was announced on April 18, 2014.[21] It premiered on July 22, 2014. This season features a fourth judge, Lois Burwell. Season 7 was won by Dina Cimarusti. This season also focused on the theme of "life and death" and used this theme for many of the challenges. This season employed the one-time save of an eliminated contestant that was introduced in season 6.

Season 8 (2015)[edit]

Season 8 was announced on October 22, 2014. It was premiered on January 13, 2015. During this season the 15 new artists are placed into three teams of five, each coached by a previous winner of Face Off. The coaches were Rayce Bird (Season 2 Winner), Anthony Kosar (Season 4 Winner), and Laura Tyler (Season 3 Runner Up, Season 5 Winner). If every member of a coaches team is eliminated, that coach leaves the competition as well. This season was won by Darla Edin. She was part of Team Laura, making Laura the first person to win Face Off twice.

Season 9 (2015)[edit]

Season 9 was announced on April 8, 2015. It premiered on July 28, 2015. This season had a theme of "surprises" and featured two new challenge formats: focus challenges and The Gauntlet. In a focus challenge, the artists are given two days (as opposed to the usual three allotted for a spotlight challenge) to create a makeup that focuses on the face and strong application is emphasized. The Gauntlet is a series of three consecutive foundation challenges, each testing a different aspect of the artists' abilities. The least successful artist after the three rounds is eliminated. The season finale took place on October 27, 2015. The winner of season 9 was Nora Hewitt.

Season 10 (2016)[edit]

Season 10 was announced on October 27, 2015. It premiered on January 13, 2016. In this season the judges were allowed to save one contestant who would normally be eliminated, a device previously used in seasons 6 and 7. The winner of this season was Rob Seal.

Season 11 (2017)[edit]

Season 11 premiered on January 24, 2017. The season featured an all star cast of 16 returning contestants and had all of them working in teams of two until episode 8. From this episode 9, the competition is individual. The winner is Cig Neutron.



  1. ^ a b "Syfy's New Reality Competition Series, "Face Off," Premieres Wednesday, January 26 at 10 PM ET/PT". Thefutoncritic.com. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  2. ^ Bibel, Sara. "'Face Off' Renewed for Season Seven by Syfy for July 2014 Premiere". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  3. ^ a b Rice, Lynette (2011-01-28). "Syfy special effects show 'Face Off' gears up for January premiere". Insidetv.ew.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  4. ^ Thill, Scott (2011-01-26). "Review: ''Face Off'' Is ''Iron Chef'' for Makeup and VFX Artists". Wired.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  5. ^ a b "Syfy orders new 'Paranormal Witness' and 'Face Off' reality series". Realitytvworld.com. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  6. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (2011-03-16). "Syfy Renews 'Face Off'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  7. ^ "Syfy 2012 Winter Programming Includes Return Of Hit Series 'Being Human,' 'Face Off,' 'Ghost Hunters,' 'Ghost Hunters International' And 'Merlin' Plus Premieres Of New Series 'Monster Man' And 'Lost Girl'". Zap2it. 2011-10-11. 
  8. ^ "Syfy Renews Hit Competition Series "Face Off" for a Third Season.". Futon Critic. February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ "'Face Off' Renewed By Syfy for Fourth Season - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2012-10-08. Archived from the original on 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  10. ^ a b Seat42f. "Syfy Renews Face Off". Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  11. ^ "Marcel Vigneron show among eight new reality shows Syfy developing". Realitytvworld.com. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  12. ^ "''Face Off'' profile, MySpace". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  13. ^ a b Webb Mitovich, Matt. "Face Off: All Stars Cast Revealed". TV Line. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "Face Off Sets Ratings High". TVbytheNumbers. January 12, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Face Off Series High 2nd Week Straight". TVbytheNumbers. February 9, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ "March 15th, 2012 Cable Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. March 15, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Record Breaking Unscripted". TVbytheNumbers. April 2, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  18. ^ Lachonis, Jon (June 27, 2012). "Face Off Season 3 Premiere Date and New Judge Announced". TVOvermind. 
  19. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (August 15, 2012). "Season 3 Finale of Syfy's 'Face Off' to be Broadcast Live From Los Angeles, CA on Halloween Night". TV by the Numbers. SyFy press release. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Syfy Renews Face Off For Season 4". Cinema Blend. October 9, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  21. ^ "'Face Off' Renewed for Season Seven by Syfy for July 2014 Premiere". TV by the Numbers. April 18, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 

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