Reality check: 'Face Off' starts "Life and Death' challenge

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Syfy‘‍s “Face Off” is one of the best reality shows on television, but in Tuesday’s season seven premiere, the producers pulled one of those somewhat disingenuous moves where it’‍s announced that contestants really are not ON the show yet, but first have to conquer some kind of challenge.

No, if you’‍re doing this, you are on the show. Geez.

Anyway, 16 special effects makeup artists walked into a lovely events space in Los Angeles and after what certainly looked like the usual “Face Off” challenge, two deservedly went home. Playing on this season‘‍s theme of “Life and Death,” artists had to incorporate random items and prosthetics into their vision of a creature representing life or death.

Right off the bat, professional cake artist Dina Cimarusti of Chicago set a high bar with her Mother Nature-ish creation. She won the challenge and it also was announced that she has an early, commanding lead in a new feature, the Face Off Tweet Off. 

Fans are asked to tweet about their favorites and at season’‍s end, the winner will receive $10,000. The show’s big winner of “Face Off” takes home $100,000 and a Fiat car, among other prizes.

Among the Tom Savini Special Make-Up Effects program crew (alums, grads and in the case of Drew Talbot, an instructor), there was mostly praise. Keaghlan Ashley from Oxnard, Calif., got especially high marks for using a blue/green palette in creating an almost Hindu-inspired life creature.

“An impressive first showing,” judge Glenn Hetrick said.

Next week: a trip to the world of “Dick Tracy.”

’America’s Got Talent’

When former Pittsburgher Adrian Romoff walked onto the stage for his “America’s Got Talent” second audition, judges Heidi Klum and Howard Stern both remarked they “just love” him. So it was a no-brainer that Adrian, 9, was a shoo-in for making the live shows at Radio City Music Hall.

“AGT” has been a summer staple for NBC and this season continues to be among the most-watched shows in the 18-49 demographic. The live shows begin next week and will run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

After playing “Rhapsody in Blue,” Adrian got the good news and said, “I feel really, really, really, really, really, really, really pi excited, and pi goes infinity.”

Also advancing to the live shows was Mike Super, a “mystifer” who lives in Peters. 

Maria Sciullo: or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.


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