Face/Off Season 2: Advice for Reality Show Contestants

February 17, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More


It’s no secret that Mrs. Nerd and I are reality TV junkies. Last year SyFy captured our interest with their newest reality entry, Face/Off. This spin on the typical “last person standing” show revolves around folks exhibiting their skills with special effects make up.

Back for a second season, it’s obvious that SyFy has a monstrous hit on their hands. Tapping into their fan base’s love of creatures and horror, it’s easy to see why folks who watch the channel love this show. I have to give them credit for this. When “Gilligan’s Island” can get a reality show, it’s good to see one that is conceptualized to appeal to a niche.

Not only that, it’s a pretty great reality show. Why? Because it doesn’t dwell exclusively on the backstabbing and social interactions. The majority of each episode is spent on the artist trials and tribulations, as well as the judges critiques. Because the judges have the power to eliminate folks based on their skill, scheming behind the scenes doesn’t have a huge effect on the out come.

I won’t say there isn’t behind the scenes drama. Anytime you get that many people, let alone creative people, fighting for a prize there is going to be drama. That’s just a given. To be honest, just from watching there are people on the show that rub me the wrong way. But hey, that’s just me.

Which brings me to my main point, which is advice for reality show contestants. It’s simple, really. If there is a previous season of the show, watch it before you go to film your season. It doesn’t matter what the show just do it. Learn from previous contestants mistakes, and try not to make them yourself.

(Spoilers start hear for Season 2, sorry!)

The person I’m thinking of specifically is Athena. She seems to have no concept of the time constraints they are under. She seems to spend time focusing on tiny little details while missing the big picture. The green Sleestak looking guy on the right hand side of the page is an example of this. While her partner was sculpting the face, she was playing with trying to make individual scales. The team end up repeating stencils over their body to make scales. This caused one judge to comment on the look of “Painted Underoos”.

She had done this in previous challenges, and you could just tell she doesn’t have good time management skills. If she had watched the previous season with a learning eye, Athena would have realized that this was this was a large part of the success of the people who went far in the show.

Athena came on to the show as an accomplished body painter. We failed to ever get to see this on the show. She would have known from previous shows, this isn’t the place to learn new skills so you better bring your A game.

There are a couple other things I think the contestants have missed from the previous season of the show. At least on a consistent basis.

The first thing is paying attention to the mouth. In the first season, the judges were very observant of how the mouth was worked into the makeup. The really wanted to see that it both worked and look right. Teeth applied to the cheeks and lips don’t make the cut folks! (The judges have been looking at this so far in season 2, but not really commenting.)

The second thing is to make sure you have a complete concept. Having a great head on lackluster body will not win you very many points. Shark lawyer, I’m looking at you.

Even though McKenzie Westmore is the daughter of the king of Star Trek makeup, everything isn’t all foreheads and noses. I really haven’t seen a lot of folks working outside the humanoid box this season. The creature from season 1 that had the backwards head is what I’m talking about. Take some chances people. Not every creature needs eyes, 2 legs, or 2 arms. Hopefully as the season goes on, we’ll see some folks break from the pack.

If your curious, I have similar advice for some other reality shows.

If you are going to go on Survivor, learn how to build a fire from scratch. It amazes me that very few people have ever been on that show that have this skill.

Amazing Race contestants, study up. I would tell them to learn some basic phrases in a variety of languages so you can get around. Also, study a map and learn your countries and major cities before you leave.

RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants, I got nothing for you.

Bringing it back to Face/Off, I’m really enjoying this season. You know these folks are trying to break into the biz, so some are going to be average and some above average. It’s a great way to see some of tomorrows cream of the crop early in their careers, and I’m sure well be seeing more of some of these folks one of these days.

And don’t be afraid of getting hooked on this show if you haven’t watched, SyFy tweeted the other day that  Face/Off has been renewed for a third season.

Visit SyFy’s Face/Off for more information.

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  1. Engineernerd says:

    In my defense, I had not seen the premier of the newest season of Survivor when I wrote this. Yes, somebody made fire on the first day and I was impressed.

  2. Errex says:

    Well, just now local cable is getting the first season of this show, and so far I must say it has kept me entertained. 😉

  3. yo go re says:

    And remember, toy fans should already be watching this for one very good reason

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