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Face Off evolution challenge brings Nora Hewitt to tears

As a tie-in promotion for a new Syfy show coming in December, the final six makeup artists vying for the top title found themselves in a battle of evolution.

But this is Face Off. It can’t just be about evolution. Instead, the contestants had to create a human being who has survived a disastrous scenario on future earth.

Sculpting tears

Nora found herself struggling with her design during the early sculpting phases.

“My brain and my hands are not communicating,” she said. “For some reason, things just aren’t working.”

Instead of relishing in her frustrations, as would happen in strategy-based shows like Survivor, several fellow contestants tried to comfort Nora as she wiped away tears. Viewers also tweeted their love and support.

“I’m really frustrated and really down on myself,” Nora continued. “To be feeling this mentally disconnected from my main tools [hands] right now, it’s killing me. I’m totally screwed, and I’ve got nothing right now.”

After getting through her emotions, Nora started the entire sculpt over and quickly felt more confident in her changes. Despite her struggle and tears, the judges deemed her toxic pollution evolution makeup safe from elimination.

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Nora Hewitt's evolution makeup
Image: Syfy

I’m rooting for Nora. I think she’s worthy of winning the entire show.

Missing the point

The drama didn’t stop with Nora. After mentor Michael Westmore offered his critiques of everybody’s early sculpts, he returned to the lab with concern for the direction in which Scott was going. Instead of feeling like a humanistic evolution, the worry was that Scott’s design was too alien-like.

Naturally, Scott was pressed for time because he was too far along to simply start over. Instead, he evolved his nuclear fallout evolution makeup with minor alterations that had a strong, immediate impact on the way everything looked. True talent right there.

He, too, was deemed safe by the judges.

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Scott Fensterer's evolution makeup
Image: Syfy

How did the rest of the makeups rank? Below is a full rundown of which makeups were the best and worst of the battle.

Best of the best

These makeups were labeled the “top looks” of the challenge.

Evan: Severe drought

Evan Hedges' evolution makeup
Image: Syfy

“Really beautiful design choices with regard to those additional gill-like slits,” judge Neville Page said. “It’s very difficult to pull off the symmetry in that, too. That detail is done with real nice accuracy, so it feels purposeful.”

Judge Glenn Hetrick said it was the best work Evan has done all season.

For those reasons, he was named the challenge winner.

Jordan: Ice Age

Jordan Patton's evolution makeup
Image: Syfy

“Looks like a cross between a Bigfoot and Santa Claus,” Hetrick said when they took a closer glimpse. All of the judges really liked it, with Ve Neill adding the “character is fantastic from head to toe.”

At risk for elimination

These were ranked as the “bottom looks” of the challenge.

Ben: Volcanic disaster

Ben Ploughman's evolution makeup
Image: Syfy

“It’s not your best work,” Hetrick said. “The details seem a bit dodgy to me. I’m not quite sure that you’ve honed (sic) in on exactly what it is and how it works. Because of that, I think there’s a conceptual failure. It’s definitely not up to par with some of the things we’ve seen from you in the past.”

Neill was most critical of the fact that somebody evolving in a volcanic environment wouldn’t have any hair.

But his wasn’t ranked as the overall worst. That title went to…

Stevie: Polar melting

Stevie Calabrese's evolution makeup
Image: Syfy

“There’s a couple of elements that take it away from what I was looking for in this challenge,” Hetrick said. “Several components are a bit crooked and off-center. They don’t seem to have been designed with a purposeful asymmetry to emulate nature, but rather, they’re crooked. There’s a difference.”

Although the judges weren’t too tough on her, Stevie was eliminated.

Stevie Calabrese's evolution makeup
Image: Syfy

“The competition is so tough at this point,” Hetrick said. “You just can’t afford to leave the door open for anyone else, especially when it comes to the finest of details.”

Although she had tears in her eyes, Stevie went out of the game with a smile on her face. “I feel like a badass getting this far,” she said. “The competition helped me grow as an artist. There’s no more questioning myself, and that’s exciting. I’m ready to continue my career.”

Stevie Calabrese fights back tears as she's eliminated from Face Off
Image: Syfy

Bummer. I really liked Stevie. She had some of the most creative makeup methods this show has ever seen. Remember this feather trick she did last week that was so effectively simple to create tribal markings?

Stevie Calabrese's unique feather technique on Face Off
Image: Syfy

Viewers were also sad to see Stevie go.

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Face Off slideshow

What are your thoughts on Nora Hewitt’s emotional struggle during this challenge? Do you think she has what it takes to win? Who is your favorite? Do you think Stevie deserved to be eliminated? Weigh in and tell us your thoughts!

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