It took seven seasons but we finally get to see the Face Off judges in the workshop making creatures. And to make it even better they had some of the best former contestants back to help. Results ahead.

The challenge was to bring two chess pieces to life in a fantasy setting with the twist that one piece was good/light and the other evil/dark. Each judge chose two former contestants to help and they went to work.

All the judges admitted they had not done hands-on start-to-finish work in years but Neville in particular looked like he was in over his head. It looked to me like the contestants did the bulk of the work but Glenn, Ve, and Neville worked hard too and were worn out at the end of each day. But the judges' main strength was having a clear vision of what they wanted to make and keeping their teams on track.

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All three teams produced good results. In one last twist, the winner was determined by the contestants' votes.

I really liked Glenn's Knight and King. Glenn's charity was North Shore Animal League.

Here are Ve's Queen and Rook (who is apparently from House Lannister). Ve's charity was A Window Between Worlds.

I was genuinely surprised that Neville's Bishop and Pawn won. But the win was earned as much by Miranda and Anthony, who each won $5000 cash in addition to the $5000 for Neville's charity, Orangutan Foundation.

Assorted thoughts:

  • I would like to see a contestant vote incorporated into the show sort of like the current fan favorite tweet off.
  • Now that the judges have first hand knowledge of making something for a spotlight challenge I want to see how that affects their judging. Neville in particular should have a better appreciation of what's going on.
  • Miranda didn't distinguish herself in her first Face Off appearance but her work in the veteran season and in this challenge shows how much she's progressed particularly as a sculptor. I'm sure any of the judges (particularly Neville) would hire or recommend her without hesitation if she was looking for work.

You can see all the creatures here.