In all the chaos surrounding the events of Hurricane Sandy, I neglected to mention 'Face Off' and its terrific season 3 finale, which aired live on October 31, 2012 on Syfy. I'm happy to rectify that now, as the finale marked the show's best thus far, balancing the design work with a chance for competitors to reunite and discuss the show, answer viewer questions live, and even to look back at their best moments.
Ultimately winning the night was makeup artist Nicole Chilelli, whose 'water' designs for her witch and demon were a hit with audiences, and with more than one million viewers participating in the voting process that crowned her the winner. Chilelli had previously been eliminated from the competition, but fought her way back into the competition after winning a "Day of the Dead" design-themed challenge. She became a viewer favorite after openly discussing her battle with fibromyalgia, increasing momentum near the competition's end by winning two separate challenges.
In the final challenge, the three finalists (Chilelli, along with Derek Garcia and Laura Tyler) had to create designs for a duo of "Immortal Enemies" -- a witch and demon, under the themes of fire, water, or earth. While I loved Laura's gorgeous, brooding birch-inspired "Earth Witch," I agreed with the judges that the accompanying demon didn't feel like it was from the same world. I felt the same thing with Derek's designs -- his "Fire Witch" was incredible, with the lava seeming to glow under her skin, but the demon just didn't seem to come from the same landscape for me. Only Nicole's lovely "Water Witch" felt to me like she was from the same world as her bristling "Water Demon." And I loved the graceful lines of the witch's face, and especially the coral that emerged like a natural crown from her head.
I'll be posting a more detailed recap of the final two episodes shortly, but meanwhile, congrats to Nicole, and to all the finalists for a terrific ending to a great season.
Pictured: 'Face Off' winner Nicole Chilelli with her final challenge creations, Photo by Nicole Wilder/Syfy