Face Off: All Stars Season 11 Premiere “Abstract Aliens” Review


I’m not going to say I’ve watched every episode of Face Off, but when I did it was always one of the most astonishing sixty minutes to watch of any show. There’s something marvelous about the things these people do. The ones known and unknown behind the scenes who can create the most beautiful creations practical and complex. This looks like one of those special seasons where they tend to bring back old faces. An interesting first experience when not all of them you may have seen before, or maybe some return that you really liked in the past.

With this first episode of Face Off: All Stars for season 11 they do the usual thing which introduced us to the contestants, and more importantly the teams that they are split off into. Part of me was assuming they would do that cliche thing of tossing each of them with someone random, but it was better to see that majority of them had some sort of history together. When you’re looking for the best result out of some of them, that comes from what they can do with partners they have confidence in. That doesn’t mean things would go perfect, but for a start a lot I would think want to get to whats awesome about what these artists do rather than the possible drama between them. The added twist to these teams for season 11 was a plus. In the spirit of competition again you want the best out of them and you want to make sure that they are in it for every challenge now knowing that both artists on a team are at risk of going home instead of any one as an individual. This goes for the idea of immunity too which forces you to have consistency throughout the weeks. It goes without saying that the prize for this season was worth the effort they would put into it.

The first spotlight challenge for this season was a creative choice. Incorporating green screen technology for the first time in Face Off history left them open to so much potential in what they can come up with. Green screen is always a tricky mechanic to deal with. You either do it very well, or it just doesn’t mesh. In general the fact that not too many have experience with this put them all on the same level.

The conceptual stage as usual is where I find the most appeal in Face Off. Sure some might enjoy the more hands-on process with the models and sculpting, but this is where you see that wheel turning in their heads to set them on this initial path. Fascinating is the word I would use because these aren’t ideas that anyone could just think up on the spot. It takes a lot of thought between what you’re both capable of and how you’re incorporating the desired outcome of the challenge. The sculpting stage was interesting as they did have fun when it was time to get cracking on the molds. I would call this a critical stage knowing that this part sets the tone/pacing for the rest of the creation. Seeing them play to each others strengths was a step in the right direction from there. Setting goals for the days and all.

None of this didn’t come without the setbacks, though this was where the resolve of these teams were tested best. Not by how well they worked together, but how they worked through the obstacles that held them back. A few teams definitely ran into some problems that anyone could have at this stage. The improvisation was better than you would expect having so little time left for the finished product. When it came for the application phase, this was where that sense of urgency hit. Working with the models is where you could legitimately see if the choices you made up to this point were right. All the designs don’t matter if they don’t look exceptional when put together on the person wearing it. By the end of this phase it was obvious that the problem most of them shared was being too ambitious. Not that you can’t be ambitious, but you can’t argue that its the biggest risk you can take on any project.

The showcasing of their creations was cool for some of them. You could see off the bat which ones were incomplete. The ones that were complete on the other hand looked great. When it came to the judge’s analysis of what some of them did I can agree with. The ones who played into the challenge one-hundred percent, and the others who didn’t do enough. The winning team for the first night was hard to argue with. The last season I watched of Face Off had one of the contestants and I liked her skills.

Pacing was a big thing here at the start of the season having eight different teams. It was a good thing that they were showing us progress that wasn’t every little step of the way. This included the judging that went by smoothly. They weren’t drawing us away by things that would be considered time-consuming.

This season 11 premiere for Face Off: All Stars was the perfect start to what they have in store for us this time around. “Abstract Aliens” took  things to the next step with green screen, and hopefully they keep pushing boundaries with twists like this. The teams know what they are dealing with now, and they can only improve or sink from there.

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