Face Off Season 9 episode 7 recap: All That Glitters

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.

Willam, as a drag example, way more womanly than the makeups in this episode. Neville… Ve…

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.


  1. Late to the viewings (and the blogging) but had to search after watching this one. I was also equally appalled at what was produced when we have so many amazing examples of beautiful gender swap makeups.

    Did anyone else think what a shame it was Jason was sent home the episode before? Didn’t he say in his intro that he does drag makeup as part of his schtick? Even if his other work was sub-par I would have liked to see him on this challenge.

    (Speaking of out, a minor note – there was one point where Neville qualified that the issue with Evan’s makeup was it looked like a _bad_ drag queen. Another hint at his never-yet-acknowledged sexuality?)

    With Ricky coming out on air that makes three out folks this season (Nora, Jason, and Ricky) which is a record (Season 1 and 7 each had two). That’s pretty neat.

  2. Ruth,
    I’ve been dying to chat about this episode all week (since we work 20 feet away from each other).
    my thoughts…
    1) This group of contestants is meh.
    2) When are the male contestants going to learn how to do beauty makeup? It’s not hard. I’m tired of the “I’m a man, I can’t make women look pretty,” B.S. If you want to be a professional makeup artist, you need to be well rounded. Get practicing, fellas! Grab your mom, do her face, and take her out to dinner looking all purty.
    3) Ricky’s makeup looks like Bizarro Gwynneth Paltrow.
    4) Evan’s makeup looks like Tim Curry from “The Rocky Picture Horror Show.”
    5) Kevon’s makeup is mangled Julia Roberts.
    6) I thought Stevie did a great job making her male model look female from the nose up. Especially the eyes! But the skin tone that she chose was terrible! Too much orange!
    6) Something is up with the latex pieces that have been made this season. In prior seasons, people had great results running poly-foam appliances the morning of application. This season and last season, artists have rushed to get their molds ready for foam latex and they’re using molds that aren’t completely dry. The resulting latex pieces have gummy tops, rips and air bubbles. If they’d let the molds dry and cure, they’d be much better, even with the inferior poly-foam material.
    7) I am obsessed with all of the clothes that McKenzie Westmore wears. This season she’s wearing fewer bandage dresses and more paneled sequin frocks, which I love.
    8) Who decided that Michael Westmore needed spray-on foundation when he comes in to mentor the artists? Can they give him a little but of light brown mascara? The airbrush has completely washed out his lashes!
    That’s it for me.- Kellie

    • I like the girls more than the guys. With the exception of Scott, a lot of the guys are running together for me. I have to look them up on the Face Off page to remember their names.

      And SERIOUSLY on the beauty makeup. Come on! It’s like Drag Race contestants not having a character picked for Snatch Game or learning how to sew – THE CHALLENGES DON’T CHANGE THAT MUCH FROM SEASON TO SEASON! YOU KNOW YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO DO THIS! GAH!

    • To me, Evan’s is more community theatre’s version of Interview With a Vampire. In drag. Did no one think to tell him that wig was horrible?

    • I’m wondering, seriously, if the workroom had some HVAC issues filming this season. They also had the issue of the molds not drying properly in an earlier episode.

  3. I know! Even if they didn’t have drag queen models, if they had gotten Mathu Andersen to give them a workshop, I think the paints would’ve been SO much better. I agree that Meg deserved the win, but she’s got to add some variety to her paints. Her stuff looks good, but when she does well it’s usually the same pattern of paint, and usually some blues. Girl’s gotta get some variety to her skill set.

  4. Ruthie!!!

    Hmm….Ok. First things first, why couldn’t ANYONE tell Evan that he kept pronouncing Hecate’s name wrong?!?!? He kept saying it like “Heck-It” and I cringed every single time he did it! I feel like judges and fellow contestants were behind the scenes just crackin up letting him say it wrong. They was wrong and they know it! LOL.

    Now onto making the men into women…umm…le sigh. As an avid watcher of Drag Race myself I, too, was a tad bit disappointed in the lack of beauty in these BEAUTY make-ups! I mean kudos to Jasmine or realizing that less was better (plus adding the tears, so smart), and Meg honestly deserved her win, for making a pretty fairy bug queen, but everyone else felt meh to me. For some reason these foundation and beauty challenges are the ones that keep getting this particular set of contestants. Sort of like they wanted the basic skills but felt that the challenges were gonna be more on the fantasy or large scale so that’s what the honed in their central skills on. But if they watched past seasons, they should know beauty make-ups can save you from eliminations plenty of times and if it’s truly well done, win top looks. I’m kinda surprised they didn’t have a drag queen come in to help, I mean I know that’s not what they were going for but like you said, it would have helped, and hell, it would have been HILARIOUS. Okuuuuuuurrrrrrrr (tongue pop). Oh and I bet Ricky’s boyfriend is probably like “SMH, my man gets to turn a man into a women and he gets sent home!” Naughty Ricky, he’s “got some ‘splainin to do!” (Lucy joke, hehe)

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