So for those of you that read my other recaps, you know that I love me some drag queens. While Face Off Season 9 episode 7 isn’t TECHNICALLY a drag challenge as there are no queens in sight (no, no more Vivienne Pinay appearances), the artists do have to make men over into women in their second focus challenge.
They’re taking a page from history when women weren’t allowed to perform in the theater, so men played the women’s roles. Naturally, all of the characters the artists have to create are from Shakespearean plays.
The artists get advice from Ve Neill because she worked on Mrs. Doubtfire. They call it one of the most iconic gender swaps on film. Blech. Sorry Ve. I saw Robin Williams in a dress. So the point of these makeups is not to create a stereotypical drag queen, but a more realistic look.
Now, that’s the criteria according to Face Off. There are points in this episode, mostly in judging, where they are specifically told that their makeups shouldn’t look like drag queens. Drag queen is used as a pejorative. Have the Face Off folks actually SEEN drag queens lately? Seriously – have they seen Courtney Act? Or Willam? Yes, there are plenty of drag queens that aren’t trying to look fishy, but there are lots that do. And you best be listening to them. Tongue pop.
It’s with this in mind that I get really confused with some of the advice Michael Westmore gives the artists. There’s a lot of discussion of building up brows. Um, what? I can understand creating a prosthetic to soften sharp angular masculine facial features, I don’t understand building anything else up. Unless you want to create The Shakespearean Women of the Enormous Head Theatre Company.
Why couldn’t Face Off have brought some drag queens on as consultants? So many of these artists are terrified of doing beauty makeups. Contouring a male face into a female one with makeup is yet another skill set that only Jasmine seems to have done. We learn Ricky’s boyfriend is a drag queen but apparently Ricky didn’t take any notes on how it’s done.
This is where Skin Wars got this kind of challenge right – make your models all drag queens who can give you advice on the paint. I think it could’ve been really helpful in last looks. Granted no painting advice is going to help if your prosthetic is wacky.
Two artists – Jasmine and Ricky – both have issues with their prosthetics tearing and otherwise turning to crap as they paint. They take 2 different solutions: Jasmine takes the prosthetic off & creates her character with just paint. Ricky decides to keep his prosthetic piece & tear it to create sores on Ophelia’s face.
Nora, Scott, Kevon, Ben, Jordan and Jasmine are all safe.
Ricky and Evan are in the bottom. This tells us that Jasmine made the right choice. Ricky….. didn’t.
Meg and Stevie are in the top.
And with that, Meg gets her second win, and Stevie continues her reign of the runner-up. Ricky ends up being eliminated.
What did you guys think of the challenge? I like the challenge of doing something other than a creature, but I think there were some lost opportunities for educating which is something Face Off is usually really great at. Instead of creating some pretty awful makeups, maybe the artists could’ve learned something about gender transformation from the experts. I think it could’ve helped. It certainly would’ve been more entertaining.