Even a little help from her friends wasn't enough to save Alana Rose Schiro on "Face Off" (Syfy, Tuesdays).
Ms. Schiro, a graduate of the Tom Savini Special Make-up Effects program in Monessen, almost didn't get a mold finished halfway through the latest challenge. Two other artists helped, but in the end, her "Dr. Seuss" hybrid creature was deemed "a morbid failure" by judge Glenn Hetrick.
But judge Ve Neill was kind in her assessment, and as Ms. Schiro signed off, she told the panel, "Thank you all so much -- This has been the best stress I've ever been under in my whole life."
"Face Off," which attracts a viewership of 1.7 million adults each week, recently was renewed for a fourth season.
"It's a pleasure to continue to showcase talented special effects artists with this addictive program," said Mark Stern, president of original content.
• On a double-episode premiere of "Ink Master" (Spike TV, Tuesdays), Pittsburgh's Sarah Miller settled in for some fundamental challenges. The latest was to cover or repair bad tattoos of the volunteer human canvasses.
Things did not get off to a good start when fellow artist Steven "Kay Kutta" Givens won a body art challenge and earned the right to assign everyone else their cover canvas.
"Kay Kutta? I would consider him to be my arch-nemesis on the show," Ms. Miller said. "I can't argue a point with him because to him, facts are not facts."
Need we mention he gave Ms. Miller one of the cruddier challenges, although almost all the others said they deemed their assignment the worst.
Nonetheless, Ms. Miller advanced to ink another day. In fact, although she didn't win the challenge, she appeared to be runner-up, with judge Oliver Peck calling her portrait of a woman "really fancy and it's beautiful."
"Sarah kind of rocked it," agreed judge/host Dave Navarro.
The show is accepting applications for Season 3 contestants as well as volunteer canvasses available in the New York/Tri-State area. Apply online at www.inkmastercasting.com. Fans also can vote for their favorites at www.spike.com, and producers say the votes will count toward determining the winner at a live finale in December.
At stake is $100,000 and a magazine photo spread.
• There were few surprises with "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition," which premiered Tuesday on Lifetime. The young (ages 6-13) dancers were very talented, their moms were for the most part stage-y, and everyone was wearing way, way too much makeup.
Yet here is a surprise: The first episode was better than expected.
One's tolerance for bickering moms might temper one's enjoyment of these sort of reality shows, but taking a page from the well-regarded "So You Think You Can Dance," the judges actually offered concrete analysis. (Abby Lee Miller's note to Zack, the lone guy in the group: Skip the shorts and wear longer pants; it'll make the lines of your legs appear straighter).
Sure, there were tears and some catfights. One 13-year-old, speaking in defense of her lackluster performance, broke down and said how hard it has been for her since Mom and Dad are going through a divorce. More than one mom questioned the girl's sincerity.
The program is just one episode old and already there is star in the making: a 6-year-old named Asia Monet Ray.
• "American Idol" is still accepting online auditions for Season 12 at www.americanidol.com.Hopefuls can submit a video of themselves singing a capella and one submission per person. Rules and terms and conditions are available at the website, but here are the basics: Auditioners must be age 15-28 as of June 5, 2012, and a legal U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident eligible to work full time in this country.
Maria Sciullo: email@example.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG. First Published October 13, 2012 4:00 AM