Monday, May 23, 2016

'Skin Wars: Fresh Paint' review

The official Skin Wars: Fresh Paint logo
GameShowNetworkNews has finally reviewed a full episode of upcoming RuPaul-hosted Skin Wars spin-off Skin Wars: Fresh Paint, which premieres Wednesday, June 15th on GSN.

Mentors for this episode of Skin Wars: Fresh Paint:
Natalie Fletcher (Season 1), Shannon Holt
(Season 1) and Cheryl Ann Lipstreu (Season 2)
The episode starts out with the six contestants, vying for $10,000, getting introduced by host RuPaul (who is the Rebecca Romijn of this version of Skin Wars). In the episode we previewed, the Skin Wars all-stars are Natalie Fletcher (Season 1 winner), Shannon Holt (Season 1 runner-up) and Cheryl Ann Lipstreu (Season 2, 4th place). We have heard about other prior Skin Wars contestants coming back to the series and these all-stars/"mentors" will be changed up throughout the eight episodes.

Contestants, mentors and RuPaul on
the set of Skin Wars: Fresh Paint

Natalie Fletcher, Season 1 winner, returns
to mentor contestants on Skin Wars:
Fresh Paint
For the first challenge, two contestants are paired up with one mentor, labeled "Team Natalie", "Team Cheryl Ann" and "Team Shannon". The twist is that only one contestant per team will advance to the second round. The real downside to this process is that you can have two of the strongest contestants out of all six contestants on one team who both had the strongest artwork where one has to get eliminated. You can have two weaker contestants with the weakest artwork on one team and one has to advance. This process is flawed.

The Challenge 1 results are solely picked by the mentors. Each mentor chooses which one of their contestants advances to help win the episode. Six contestants in the episode quickly get knocked down to three.

Natalie Fletcher mentors a contestant
on "Team Natalie"
In Challenge 1, the mentors were suppose to do little to assist the contestants. In Challenge 2, where each mentor is down to one contestant each, there is more of a hands on approach. Mentors spend multiple hours with their contestant helping, designing and even debating about what to put on the model. For example, mentor Cheryl Ann Lipstreu and her contestant had a good debate-even an argument-on what to do in order to win.

Artwork on a model in Skin Wars: Fresh Paint
The judging for the second challenge is done by Emma Cammack and Mat Gleason, who are both profound body-painting artists. Cammack was a guest judge on Season 1 of Skin Wars. Cammack and Gleason choose to eliminate one contestant-mentor pair. The losing mentor becomes the third judge.

The third challenge is the longest length where the mentors have more of a hands-off approach. Over the 5 hour period, the two remaining contestants are only allowed to discuss with their mentor for a 15 minute period at the beginning and 15 minutes again in the middle.

RuPaul (Host) and Cheryl Ann Lipstreu (Mentor)
The final decision is made in front of the three judges, with RuPaul as moderator. Judges make decisions, give commentary to the contestants and welcome the finalists back in to the room, similar to how it is done on Skin Wars.

Artwork on Skin Wars: Fresh Paint is displayed
similarly to how it is on Skin Wars
A serious downside to Skin Wars: Fresh Paint is that the series naturally lacks what brought viewers in to the first three seasons of Skin Wars. It is expected, given that these are "anything artists", but not life-long bodypainting artists. The artwork, as expected, is not as good and eye-popping from the fantastic work displayed by the competing artists on every regular episode of Skin Wars.

The six contestants vying for $10,000
at the beginning of the episode
The good factor about Skin Wars: Fresh Paint is that there is a healthy crossover with Skin Wars, which is getting RuPaul to host. Skin Wars: Fresh Paint is also faster-paced than Skin Wars. The real test is how well Skin Wars: Fresh Paint will hold on in ratings as direct lead-out to Skin Wars.

During Challenge 3, when contestants are only
allowed to discuss with their mentors for two
separate 15 minute periods, watch from behind
the scenes through T.V. screens showing
what is happening in the moment.
Grade: C+. Skin Wars: Fresh Paint does deliver but the episode put me to sleep. I am more of a traditional game show person and applaud GSN for efforts like The Chase, Chain Reaction, Idiotest and Winsanity over Skin WarsSkin Wars: Fresh Paint remains very similar to the format from August. If you liked that, you will like this. If you want a new GSN show in June, try Winsanity.

Skin Wars: Fresh Paint judging panel, with
host RuPaul

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