By Emily Rome
Updated September 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT
Nicole Wilder/Syfy

Face Off

  • TV Show

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Face Off superhero challenge!

Contestants on the Syfy effects makeup reality show were tasked this week with creating a superhero and accompanying sidekick, both inspired by a flashy vehicle.

Contestant Jason Milani — who was paired with Rod Maxell for the challenge — selected a black Tatra T87 to inspire his muscles-bursting-out-of-the-skin superhero, but didn’t manage to save the day. Milani watched his elimination episode when it aired last night.

On Wednesday, he got back to work on set in New York City, where he’s creating makeup for a white demon metal rocker character for ROCKtoberFEST. He chatted with EW about what he would have done differently in his final Face Off challenge, the design of his he’s most proud of and which TV show you may see his work on soon.

The episode featured a visit from season 2 winner Rayce Bird (pictured above with Milani) and also brought Clerks director and comic book enthusiast Kevin Smith on board as a guest judge.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In this episode, contestants chose a car to guide their character design. Why did you and Rod pick the Tatra T87?

JASON MILANI: It was just a cool-looking car, and originally for some reason I think we were both thinking it looked kind of like a spy car. But then we realized it right after we picked it that it’s not a spy challenge. It’s a superhero challenge. We both don’t really know too much about superheroes.

Did you feel like not knowing much about superheroes put you at a disadvantage in this challenge?

Yeah, definitely. I only know a few of the mainstream ones. I know there are hundreds of superheroes in comic books and stuff like that, but comic books was never anything that I really got into.

But last week, you felt you had an edge in the Foundation Challenge when you had to create fight makeup.

I studied martial arts for five years and got my black belt and all that stuff, so I knew where I was going with that.

I find it interesting that even though your fellow contestants had probably seen good fight makeup in countless movies, having real-life experience with fight bruises was still helpful in that challenge.

Yeah, definitely. I think there were some makeup looks [by other contestants] that looked like somebody got a pipe to their face versus a fist, and there were some older-looking bruises versus a fresh bruise, which it was supposed to be.

Back to the cars in last night’s episode, I was surprised no one picked the car that looked like a rocketship!

After watching the episode last night, I was thinking, “We should have picked the rocketship car.” We could have done some Martian, alien superhero and it would have involved a lot of makeup. It probably would have worked a little bit better for us, but at the time, you got a minute to pick it. You look at the cars, you pick one, then of course you think of something else after you make a decision.

Aside from picking a different car, what would you have done differently if you had this challenge to do over again?

Just totally different characters. Probably something that involved more of a comic book-style thing. Something a little bit more out there than trying to keep them normal-looking and just slightly changed. I think that was our downfall. Maybe a small mask or cape would have helped out.

When judge Ve Neill came by to check on the progress of your designs, she was picking on Rod a lot. Did she say anything about your makeup that didn’t make it into the final cut of the episode?

She said that she liked the design for the headpiece, that she could see how I incorporated the style of the car into it. I didn’t seem to get any negative feedback from Ve then.

Why do you think the judges eliminated you and not Rod?

I don’t know. I wasn’t super happy with my makeup overall, and maybe they just knew that. Maybe the judges were just expecting better from me.

You got some nice words from Kevin Smith at the end of the episode – he said he wants you to come work for him! Do you think he was serious about that?

I don’t know! I tried finding his contact information so I could actually call up and ask him. After my elimination I didn’t get to run into him or anything. If I can get Kevin Smith’s contact info, I will definitely ask him if the job’s still open!

What work of yours on Face Off were you most proud of?

Despite the fact that there weren’t enough jewels in my pirate makeup, I thought that was a cool character ’cause I tried to do something real and not over-the-top. I think that was effective. And I like my zombie mad hatter as well.

That must be a tough decision to make through out the show – Do you go for realism or something out there that has a major wow factor?

That’s definitely tricky. It’s harder to do something that’s more realistic. But does anybody at home see that as impressive, or do they want to see some big pow-in-your-face thing?

What was your favorite off-camera moment on the show?

Probably just hanging out with Rod and Alana. We were all roommates. Pretty much every night before we went to bed, we would just sit around and BS and laugh about things that happened during the day. Me and Alana were the two youngest, so we’d pick on Rod a bit for being the oldest. We’d make fun of Rod, how he’s going to get all of the single moms as soon as he’s done with the show.

What are you working on right now?

I’m in New York City right now, and I’ll be here tomorrow and Friday working at the Saturday Night Live shop. Just doing some regular shop stuff. Prosthetics. Things like that.

Does this mean we’ll see some of your work in this weekend’s episode of SNL?

I’m not sure yet. Don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow. Everything is new. I just started working for them last week.

You’ll be back for the live season finale on Halloween. What are you most looking forward to about that?

Just to see everybody again. Nobody lives near me. I know Derek, Eric, Laura and Roy – they’re all pretty close to each other in Florida and Georgia. And then everybody is west coast. And then there’s me in upstate New York. So it’ll be nice to see everybody again and share some laughs.

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