Face Off Season 9 Episode 5 recap: The Gatekeepers

Face Off season 9 episode 5 Jason lizard Channel Guide Contributor

Face Off Season 9 Episode 5 finally gives us a Foundation challenge. Ben thinks the workroom looks like they’ve entered McKenzie’s therapy session. The artists must create something based off a Rorschach test. They’ve got 2 hours and the winner will get immunity for the Spotlight challenge. Each artist gets a different inkblot on their tablet.

There’s a ton of different ideas, all of them really cool. The artists seem to be doing better work with less time to overthink things. Face Off decides not to give us a good look at Jason’s makeup, which doesn’t bode well for his time lasting much longer this season.

Meg and Jasmine were the top 2 artists according to guest judge Eryn Krueger Mekash. Meg gets the win and immunity for the Spotlight challenge. We’ll see if this puts her on an upswing for the season.

So the next day the workroom has a bunch of gates in it. This is a team challenge – 2 artists have to select a gate. The two artists need to create 1 gatekeeper and 1 creature behind the gate. Stevie is terrified because that means it’s 2 makeups & that’s a lot of work. Um, isn’t that 1 makeup per artist & isn’t that what Face Off does every week?

They are selected randomly by selecting keys from McKenzie’s keymaster bag. It’s like Tim Gunn’s button bag, but much less sinister.

The teams are:

  • Ben & Jordan
  • Stevie & Evan
  • Ricky & Jason
  • Kevon & Scott
  • Jasmine & Nora
  • Meg & Libby

Libby’s piece will be a boar-like creature even though Meg has immunity and Libby has little experience with animal forms. Way to challenge yourself? Maybe? Ricky & Jason also run into issues with both of their characters. There’s lots of walking away & rethinking happening with those two.

And then Libby drops her cowl. Oy. It’s now got a huge dent on the side of it’s head so she’s got to fix that.

On the technical side, in this episode we learn about Ultracal – a natural product the artists use in making molds. As it’s a natural product, sometimes it’s fussy. Today it’s fussy. The molds aren’t setting up quickly as they normally would. So there’s several artists babysitting molds, frustrating them. Longer time actually making the molds also means less time to clean out the mold & actually use the mold to create a final piece. Fun!

Jason goes into last looks with only a baldcap on his model. Ooof. One hour to do what the other artists have been doing in 4 hours.

On the mainstage, Stevie and Evan and Kevon & Scott are in the safe zone, so they all get to go back to the lounge & ride this judging out.

Unsurprisingly, this week’s bottom 2 looks are Jason & Ricky and Meg & Libby. Meg is so, so very lucky she’s got immunity this week.

In the top we’ve got Jasmine & Nora and Ben & Jordan.

Both winning teams created really cohesive, detailed work. Jasmine & Nora named their characters Brenda & Jose. Ben & Jordan created head to toe looks with details that worked to further each character along. On the weak side, Jason was barely able to get his creature out on stage and when he did, it came with what one of the judges called ’70s roller-derby hair. The judges reservedly liked what Meg did, but it was clear that Libby didn’t know much about animal shapes or anatomy.

In the end, Libby was sent home this week. Not sure how Jason keeps squeaking through, but I have a feeling he’ll be going home soon. Meg doesn’t seem to be getting better either. She’s got good ideas but she seems to fall apart a little each week.

Should Jason have gone home for his lizard Shawn Cassidy? Will Meg get it together? What did you think about this week’s episode of Face Off?


  1. McKenzie, please have respect for the contestants by referring to them as ‘artists’ instead of ‘guys’. You would never refer to Vi Neill as a ‘guy’.
    McKenzie, are you a ‘guy’?

  2. Oh and Meg…she is hangin on. She did do great with the river mermaid, loved her thinkin on her toes with the sponge being used, but she REALLY is gonna have to step it up, amongst these guys. I mean I forgot to talk about the other gates but WOW, they know what they’re doing too so if she wants to compete…she better bring it. And yeah, that magic name bag is like Tim’s button bag, just no dramatic music with it. Which is kinda said, they’re missin a huge opportunity for a drama sound effect!

    • And plus when she’s done well, she’s done very similar looks – pretty female character, interesting bone/growths coming out of her head. She needs to do well on a Spotlight & start showing some versatility.

  3. Ruthie….

    Ok, Libby’s “hyena demon” wasn’t great by any means, but Jason’s surfer lizard gets through? Not fair, At least Libby TRIED, and her anatomical reference was wrong, but Jason gave the snake HUMAN EYES, I mean he KNOWS better cuz he’s a more experienced artist, plus his entire costume read mummy not shaman (at least to me). I mean I don’t think Libby was gonna last amongst this cast for too long anyways BUT this week she deserved to stay. Jason got off for this one. I agree with Glenn, this was total old school Land of the Lost, and not the revamped 90s version they did on Nickelodeon, nope, I’m talkin the 80s super cheesy version!

    • And believe me, I’m a huge fan of cheese, but that lizard was just sad. Although when the comment ’70s roller derby hair’ came out, all I could see was Shawn Cassidy & Farrah Faucett. That made me happy. I have a feeling something was said about the ultracal not setting & perhaps they cut him slack for that.

      But I don’t think he’s got many more chances.

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