Face Off Season 3 “Live Finale” Review – And The Winner Is…

FACE OFF -- Season: 3 -- Pictured: -- (Photo by: Tommy Garcia/Syfy)

Tonight marked the live season finale of Face Off and brought the third season of the SyFy reality show to a close. Season three started out with 12 artists and tonight, the results of America’s voting was revealed. For the first time in Face Off history, the viewers were responsible for choosing the winner, which was not something that I thought would be a good idea. I still stand by my remarks that when America votes, the majority of the votes come from the popularity of the contestant; not the talent. But before I talk about the winner of season three, let’s talk about the live finale.

I’m not a fan of the “catch up” shows that a lot of reality TV tend to do leading up to the season finale. I say that having watched approximately three in my lifetime, mainly because I tend not to lean towards reality TV. Competition shows like Face Off are one thing, but you won’t catch me watching to see who gets the next rose or who ended up being voted off of the island.

However, SyFy did a pretty great job with the live finale of Face Off. Allowing questions from the viewers was a great way to make those of us at home feel involved in the episode, and I have to admit a lot of the questions were actually pretty interesting. I especially enjoyed the artists talking about each other’s work and what their favorite pieces were throughout the show.

My absolute favorite part of the finale would have to be the Glenn and Neville’s segment. Every week that I watch Face Off, Glenn uses a phrase that inevitably makes me feel like a complete moron because I have no idea what he’s even talking about. I absolutely adored the way Ve looked at the pair of them and at one point even said “What in the hell are you talking about?” because that fits my thoughts perfectly. Thank you, Ve.

Okay, so onto the results. We have Laura, Derek, and Nicole all vying for the winning prize, right? Glenn has some great things to say about Laura as an artist, and even calls her application techniques “perfect”. Neville talks about Derek and how he has strong form, strong ideas, and does a great job with color in all of his pieces. Then Patrick talks about Nicole and how surprised he was when he returned and found her gone from the competition.

He talks about how leaving was probably the best thing that could have happened to her, because something inside Nicole flipped and she brought her “A” game when she returned to the Face Off makeup room. She brought her game so well in fact, that Nicole walked away with the winning title!

Talk about how one little game changer (this was the first year in Face Off that a contestant could actually be voted back into the show) can change the outcome of the entire series! I was hesitant at first at the thought of an artist returning, and I still waver back and forth over the fairness of that decision. But I will say that based on the contestants that remained, Nicole was my number one choice.

Good work, America!

We have to wait until January 2013 for season four of Face Off, but judging by the small preview that aired, the new season is going to be as great as season three. I will miss this cast so much – I loved the dynamic that they had with each other, and the bond that really seemed to form between everyone. there was no drama, only sincere joy and encouragement for their competitors. Because of that, it really allowed the work of the artists to shine and become the focus of the show, instead of warring egos.

I can’t wait for season four!

Follow me on Twitter! @popKelture

  • Janeljames1108

    I think its bogus that they voted someone back on. It should have never happened. I thought that Roy should’ve been the one to go to the finale and instead they chose Nicole!?! LAME!! I mean she got voted off for a reason andcthen she wins the finale!?!

    • Nice to see that Roy’s “fans” are as bitter as he is. Unprofessional one trick pony Roy skated by on flash and didn’t have the make-up skills of Derek, Laura, and Nicole – that’s why he didn’t make it into the finale. He could do fabrication, but he leaned on that way too much, to the point that a straight make-up challenge exposed his weaknesses. Glenn even admitted as such, telling him that there were always problems in Roy’s looks, but they couldn’t help but be impressed by how much he did. To me, that’s not finale material. Doing the most is not doing the best and Roy was far from the best.
      I would have rather had Laura win, personally, but Nicole earned her way back on through a really cool Day of the Dead make-up and then had several weeks in a row that she was by far the best contestant in the competition, proving that her elimination wasn’t justifiable in the slightest.

      • Cyke24

        I’m surprised that u said her elimination was not justifiable. Just like everyone before her that was eliminated her work that week was not up to par without the rest. Albeit that her work was much better after she returned it is not fair for the rest of the contestants that have been putting their best or in Nicoles case better than her work when she was eliminated, every week. I do believe in seconds chances but they should have waited for a Face-Off All star season to bring her back.

      • If anyone skated by it was Nicole.  Check the weekly stats.  I agree with you that Laura should have won but it was hers and Roys for the taking…..not Nicoles.  I will not watch next year.

      • TskTsk


        Quite agree, there’s something uncomfortable with the whole idea of bringing back eliminated contestants to spice up the show close to the finals. Something fishy comes to mind.  

        As well, to the responder prior…your passionate and adamant defense of Nicole is admirable and easily reminds one how easily a Make-up challenge won by Roy and earned him an immunity seems to have slipped your memory as everyone seems to be focused on the shenanigan of Nicole’s re-entry from eliminated back to active contestant.  

        I don’t have DVD-R so I’m relying on pure recollection and I remember that there was a Make-up Challenge where there was only one judge: someone who represented Make-Up Forever (a major sponsor for FaceOff). The challenge was for the contestants to create a make-up to complement the high-fashion clothes the models were already wearing and two stood out: ROY and DEREK. Derek was commended because he used a lot of the Make-up Forever products but Roy WON on the basis that his work was the only one that carried cohesiveness in the over-all design from the fashion on to his make-up, and that’s according to the judge.  The challenge was under tighter time constraint than the typical 3-day run, so the contestants were under more pressure to put out quality of work.

        It would be nice to know what was your point that a straight make-up challenge exposed Roy’s weaknesses? Would you like to review your DVD-R and cite a more specific example or judges’ comment?  Compared to Make-Up Forever’s, considering it is the manufacturer for the product the judges use on their own work. So you think the sponsor/manufacturer would know less than what the judges would be talking about? That indeed would be a very cool concept.

  • DSH

    I have enjoyed the past 2 seasons of Face-off and watching the artists grow.  That being said, I was completely floored when they brought Nicole back on and she won!  She most certainly improved, but wouldn’t everyone improve if given a chance?  Considering Roy’s strengths at fabrication (and Glenn’s constant comments about how he “played safe”, and Nicole’s weak fabrication attempts for many of her early entries, I felt that this “amazing result” was manufactured.  I’m disappointed and dismayed about this turn of events.  I may not watch Season 4.

  • -Mr. B.

    I think the reason they had Nicole return was because when Joe walked off in episode #1 it threw the count off for the entire season… It also caused 2 contestants is sit idle instead of being part of the final challenge teams.

    • Cyke24

      Nobody was eliminated that week… right?

    • Rogar131

      They didn’t eliminate any one that week after he stormed off, so essentially he was the de facto elimination.  The “restored contestant” was probably planned from the start, to change thing up a bit. In that respect, it obviously succeeded.

  • Jetman

    Totally done with this show. Nicole skipped a few challenges, got to go home, relax, and recharge, while the rest were still going at it, then comes back and knocks Roy with the chintzy Werewolf in a dress costume? I also believe her win was manufactured and dropped this show to a new low. The shows not supposed to be a popularity contest, it’s supposed to be a contest of skill.

    • Jetman

      Laura and Roy have been consistently fantastic in the show, and rarely if ever had bottom looks. It should have come down to those two and Derek in the finale. Ah well, have fun with the next ‘big fashionable personality’ in S4…

    • Christine

      Thank you!! What is this now, American Idol?? Nicole is very talented and she was my second favorite of the finalists. But when you have Laura, who was never on bottom looks, who obviously showcases talent and consistency, that’s the person that needs to win. Not because they have a story… I dislike the popularity, viewer-voting system. I am not qualified to choose a winner of the competition, the seasoned judges are!

  • bmichelle

    I was disappointed that the final decision was handled this way. I too believe that viewers voted more for popularity and the drama related to Nicole. She is definitely talented but Laura and Derek were often in the top looks as well as winning outright. They also had to compete in more rounds than Nicole. I took that into consideration when voting. My choice was Laura.

  • Becklyn13

    The fact that she was kicked off and then came back and kicked ass is what helped her win.

    Though, I was very sad when Roy left. That man was AWESOME!!

  • Rogar131

    Was hoping Laura would win, as she was the most consistent throughout the run of the competition, but all three of the finalists were very good this year, and Nicole did step up since she was restored to the show.  I was more annoyed with the lack of a final competition, like last year, and felt like the audience vote tends to favor the best story over the work itself. Maybe they can have the home audience vote for a special prize, and let the judgement come back to a final competition. Ultimately, I missed seeing new makeup designs. Also, last year’s bringing in all the competitors as the finalists’ crews was a really good, especially as this was such a good group of contestants without much drama (after Joe, of course).

    • Rogar131

      I do see that they had a final competition now.  I guess it was Tuesday.  I was still dealing with Hurricane Sandy then, by way of an excuse.

  • tatis

    No fair!! I think Laura or Derek should have win this!  way more than Nichole! They were in all the show!

  • Andreamill79

    It should be that the judges decide, they are the ones who know best. I think having viewers call to vote ruins the purpose of this show.

  • Ella

    The second McKenzie mentioned her fibromyalgia, it became obvious to me that Nicole was going to win. Audiences love someone who has to fight through adversity to do what they love, where judges will respect them, but still judge the quality of what they’ve done. Nicole was sent home for a reason (her work for half the competition was not up to par) and I think that if the judges had picked the winner, they would have congratulated Nicole on working so hard to overcome her disease, but still handed Laura the win for being, as Glenn said, “the best makeup artist in the competition.” 

    • Charmed200630

      I todal agree with you.I also have Fibromyalgia and I know how it feels to work hard every day and hurt all the time. But it wasn’t a good reason to win the competition knowing that she used her disease to win something that she didn’t earn just makes me sick. We all have thing wrong with us at some point in our lives but we all still have to do what we have to do to get by.I feel sorry for Laura she really got the bad end of the whole ordeal. 

  • Charmed200630

    I think that Laura and Roy was overall the 2 best contestants and I also think that Roy should have made it to the finales and not Nicole.I really don’t think that Nicole was bad at make-up but she was not the best.I also think bringing her back was not far to the ones who was there from day one.My fav was Laura she was the one that showed great talent with her make-up even the judges said that and they are the ones who are qualified enough to know.But i also think that Roy is very talented as well yes he did do alot of fabrication but he also stayed true to his talent and that is what made him win and stay in the top most of the time.Overall it should have been Laura that won and I am so dispointed that she didn’t.I hope that next season that the judges do the picking and not the people.I love Face Off because there are alot of talented people and i can’t wait every week to see what they come up with.I could never stop watching but i do hope that this does not happen agian.   

  • Sarah

    Roy was awesome/best/most creative/most helpful etc and should have been the winner!!!! I agree that if Nicole got to come back and was awesome because “it lit a fire under her” then couldn’t that apply to every person who was sent home based on a bad round?  She also got to skip several rounds which she could have been horrible at and been sent home. Quite sad.  Also the popularity vote at the end.  Whose idea was it to have non-makeup artist (regular Americans) judge. People that don’t know anything or very little about makeup artistry should not judge markeup artist work.  I get you want to have America feel involved but these people work behind the scenes making amazing works.  They are not like American Idol and America’s Next Top Model that have to live off America’s love to get jobs and sell their talent. If they wanted a non-biased vote they should have brought in other makeup artist (pro and amaturs) to judge. Nicole was good – don’t get me wrong, I did like her work and I think she earned her praise (honestly even I wouldn’t have said no to a second chance), I like Derek and Laura too (Roy #1) but of course America is going to vote for the underdog – Nicole. I still do like the show though – what other reality TV show shows the competitors actually helping out their rivals. I remember Roy for instance helping Laura learn to do that cobweb thing with glue and a hair dryer. And I remember other contestants helping out when someone could open their mold.  A show where people want to win but they also will help out their fellow makeup artist. It is good and I will continue to watch.  BTW – Go Roy!! (^o^)/

  • If they run the show the same way next season, I will not watch it any more.  Letting someone who was sent home come back was bad enough, but letting the viewers chose the winner ruined the whole thing.  So many people admited to voting for Nicole because they liked her story or simply thought she was “hot”. As someone said before, if they want to involve the viewers,maybe they can vote for a special “viewer’s choice” award, but leave the real judging to the experts. 

  • Kazzandra-Bolanos

    My favorite was originally Laura, but then when Nicole came back by winning the Day of the Dead flash challenge, I thought she was great.

  • Skippeydoo

    People keep saying final vote should have went to the judges who know what they are doing. Remember, it was the “knowledgable” judges who put Nichole into the finals over Roy. So maybe like America the judges are also caught up in the story cause it supposedly brings ratings. This like any other voting competition show is corrupted. The best, laura and Roy, rarely win.

  • Aarana2020

    Ya garbage if your eliminated that’s it also missing to be judged while gone that’s crap Nicole won not having to compete all the challenges another fail system of choice.

  • Kirtlink

    Done with the show. Bringing one back that did not live up to the others was tacky and just plain wrong. Then for her to win was over the top. How lame is that! Awful and I feel bad for the others who were never kicked off and lost to this one!