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Face Off's toughest challenge yet leaves some contestants on edge (PHOTOS)

With Ryan, there's never a dull moment. He's a self-described goofball with strong passions for family, traveling, scary movies and reality TV. Halloween is his favorite day of the year, and he celebrates every fall by working at one of ...

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet

"This will be the most difficult challenge in Face Off history," host McKenzie Westmore warned. "We like to call it The Gauntlet." It was clearly stressful from the start, culminating in the most surprising elimination of the season.

For the first time ever, Face Off ignited a trio of back-to-back-to-back challenges that sparked an intense makeup showdown with one overall champ. "The Gauntlet is a series of three challenges, each stage testing a different skill set, and each more difficult than the last," Westmore continued. "At the end of each stage, your makeups will be inspected and we'll rank you from first to ninth place. Your rankings will be combined over the course of the competition to give you an overall position on the leaderboard. At the end of The Gauntlet, whoever is ranked in last place will be eliminated."

You could almost see the sweat dripping off the contestants' foreheads in anticipation of the battle beginning. Even viewers were feeling the heat at home.

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Stage 1

The contestants had to show off their version of man vs. nature, creating an appropriate makeup showcasing a frozen or overheated character. After the two-hour challenge, it was clear that Jasmine had misunderstood the actual task. "He was exposed to some exotic poison," she said when explaining the motivation for her makeup to the judges. She didn't grasp that her character was supposed to resemble a victim of desert abandonment. Whoops. In the end, Nora was named the first-round victor.

Here's how they all ranked at the end of Stage 1: 

  1. Nora
  2. Jordan
  3. Scott
  4. Meg
  5. Ben
  6. Jasmine
  7. Evan
  8. Stevie
  9. Kevon

Stage 2

Using models with prosthetics already applied, the contestants had just two hours to focus on creating a flawless paint job that completed their specific character. Kevon climbed from the very bottom to the top position in this round.

Here's the full ranking rundown in Stage 2:

  1. Kevon
  2. Ben
  3. Jordan
  4. Meg
  5. Nora
  6. Jasmine
  7. Scott
  8. Stevie
  9. Evan

Stage 3

The final round was also the most heavily weighted by the judges. With just four hours before moving on to last looks, the contestants were tasked with creating three total makeups. One of the characters had to be the hero (featured makeup) with two background sidekicks.

Below is a closer look at each of the finished makeups with the final rankings of The Gauntlet.

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Finished looks

Jordan

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

Kevon

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

Scott

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

Ben

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

Stevie

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

Meg

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

Evan

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

The judges selected Evan's makeups as the overall Stage 3 winner. "My first take on this entire thing was this guy looks like he's on his way to a Trojans game and he got stuck in a perfume commercial with this chick over here," judge Glenn Hetrick said. "But your main makeup is so good that it makes up for it. That's exactly what this is about. The hero makeup is just awesome."

Nora

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

Ranked among the best in Stage 3, these makeups ultimately landed Nora the overall top spot in The Gauntlet leaderboard. "You definitely achieved what you set out to do," judge Neville Page said.

Jasmine

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

Jasmine found herself getting eliminated, as these makeups landed her at the very bottom of the leaderboard. "I think your makeups were just a little bit too intense for me," judge Ve Neill said. "You really overdid it. He's a solid, orange bronzed angel. It destroyed any kind of dimension in his face and destroyed the look of the group for me."

Some viewers weren't too happy Jasmine was eliminated.

Here's a view of the overall Gauntlet leaderboard after all three stages:

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet
Image: Syfy

I was just as shocked to see Jasmine get the boot, because she has been a strong contender all season long. With few weak points in her performance up until The Gauntlet, it definitely left me scratching my head on how she was the person sent packing. Strange stuff.

Face Off forces contestants into brutal battle known as #TheGauntlet

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Do you think Jasmine deserved to be eliminated? At this stage of the competition, who do you hope wins the entire season? Weigh in and dish your thoughts!

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