‘Cosplay Melee:’ Review and Interviews – Episode 3

Reading Time: 7 minutes

SyFy’s latest competition reality show, Cosplay Melee, aired episode tree last week, and episode four airs tonight!

For more details on the hosts and show format, check out my write-up about the premiere of the series.

Episode three contestants–Garrick, Lisa, Marty, and Jesse. Photo provided by SyFy.

First off, let’s meet the contestants from episode three–Garrick of Knowone’s Designs, Lisa of Lisa Lou Who Cosplay, Marty aka Punko, and Jesse. The theme of the episode was “Angels and Demons.” Each contestant had to chose a feather which was either black or white for demon or angel. Garrick and Lisa both got demon, and Marty and Jesse both got angel. The first challenge was to make wings for their character! Lisa decided to go with a four-winged horseman of the apocalypse design. The other three contestants all went with a fallen angel concept BUT they all approached it very differently. Garrick came up with a cool metal-bladed wing design, Jesse came up with the idea of human-made stone wings, and Marty went for a giant set of wings literally made from the “word of God” although she used a book that wasn’t the actual Bible.

At the judging, Jesse was eliminated. Although I thought her EPS foam was well painted and looked like stone, the judges noticed some spots that were unpainted. I think Jesse’s wings would’ve been more well received if they had movement like the other three contestants. Lisa won the challenge with her four feathered wings.

The remaining three contestants then had to chose a piece of gadgetry to make their wings move. Lisa got to choose first and selected what was obviously the easiest choice–springs! Marty then took the pneumatic actuator leaving Garrick with a linear actuator. Because neither Marty nor Garrick (nor I) knew anything about their devices, they lost a good chunk of build time just figuring out how to get them working. I loved that Marty figured hers out and then quickly helped out Garrick. That is EXACTLY the kind of thing the cosplay community is about and I was hoping to see more of on the show.

I’ll apologize now for repeating this again, but its 100% true. I want more! Not only do I want more details on the builds, but there is so much work that obviously happens between where the build ends and the cosplayers take the stage that I want to see. This might be the last time I say it, but probably not.

Marty’s Angel. Photo provided by SyFy.

Marty really took the judges advice to heart and completely redid the feathers on her wings while keeping her theme. And somehow with the time lost on figuring out the actuator AND completely rebuilding her wings, she was still able to put together an amazing breastplate. It really looked like metal, but the one thing it suffered from a bit was depth. It was pretty monotone and with a bit of weathering, it wold have been perfect. I’m sure this was just a victim of time lost on the other things.

Garrick’s metal-winged demon. Photo provided by SyFy.

Garrick continued his metallic theme wing theme into the really cool helmet he made, and also carried the spandex covered armor look throughout. He decided to also build a sword. I think it could have really made the look, but with his lost time, the sword took time away from polishing the rest of his look. I think the rest was cool enough and didn’t need a sword, and if those cool metal wings popped out a little faster, it would have been really cool.

Lisa’s four-winged demon. Photo provided by SyFy.

Lastly, Lisa came out with her wings flapping, bugs in her hair, bird feet, and fangs. All three cosplayers had great builds, but Lisa really came out and totally embodied her character. She was frightening and magnificent. The judges seemed to agree and gave her the win. This also marks the third time in a row that the person who won the challenge also won the final competition. Time will tell if this was just coincidence or if maybe the challenge winners are getting an unfair advantage.

Episode four airs tonight. Here is an exclusive clip of Steven from SKS Props making foam leather. And for more details on making foam leather, you can check out my own tutorial on making faux leather out of foam.

Keep reading for more contestant interviews (Alicia was on episode one, but I want to share interviews as I get them).

GeekDad:
When did you first get into cosplay?
Alicia Bellamy:
I first got into cosplay six years ago, but then took a three year break (because of a relationship) and got back into it about three years ago.
GeekDad:
Why do you cosplay?
Alicia Bellamy:
Everyone cosplays for different reasons, and for me, it’s several. Growing up I dealt with a lot of teasing. I wasn’t the most attractive kid and people only thought I was weirder because of my interests. (I was constantly talking video games and the like.) I was also not your typical “girly” girl. In school, everyone found different reasons to tease and bully me, that and an abusive relationship right out of high school really destroyed my self esteem. Cosplay has helped me grow so much as a person and really learn to love myself. It’s strange how dressing up as other characters can help you truly find yourself. Cosplay has also helped me find my true artistic expression. I have never found something I love as much as building armor, digitally and physically! Another reason why I love to cosplay is to make others smile and happy. Some of my best experiences have been at conventions when a child has thought I was Wonder Woman. There is nothing like seeing that child smile :). Like I said, I cosplay for several reasons–for myself and for others <3.
GeekDad:
When did you find out you were going to be a contestant and what went through your mind when you found out?
Alicia Bellamy:
I found out I was going to be a contestant about a month or so before filming, and I was so excited! Don’t get me wrong, there was some fear and nervousness! Let’s be real, the last cosplay TV show did not go as well as we all had hoped so of course I was nervous about that. Luckily a lot of those concerns were dealt with right away. Then it was just the feeling of complete fear. How the heck was I going to build a costume in that amount of time, and holy crap I was going to be on TV! LOL. I was so excited and also felt so honored to be asked to be a part of this experience!
GeekDad:
What did you learn about yourself and about your own process from being on the show?
Alicia Bellamy:
I learned to stay true to myself. I was placed into a theme I honestly knew nothing about and the challenge of the headpiece scared the crap out of me. In my design, the headpiece was more of an accessory and not the main focal point. I was hoping that a clean and beautifully simple piece would just get me through to the next round so I could really wow with my full design. Sadly, I was wrong, but I couldn’t be happier with the simple gorgeous piece I knocked out in such a short amount of time, and I could not be more proud that I kept true to myself and my design sense. On the downside, I can say that even though I was able to get a clean piece in a short amount of time, if I had used foam I probably would have been able to do a larger piece faster.
GeekDad:
Has the show inspired you to try a new technique or build something you hadn’t previously considered?
Alicia Bellamy:
The show has really inspired me to push myself as far as I can. I finally feel comfortable to tackle my dream costume that I have been waiting to do for six years. It’s really made me feel confident in my skill set, and I am so ready to build the most badass thing yet!
GeekDad:
Is there anything you really wanted people to know or see that didn’t make it into the final cut?
Alicia Bellamy:
I really wish they had showed more of my story in the episode. I understand my background was mostly cut because I was the first eliminated, but I was sad that the only thing people got to know about how I got into cosplay was because of a guy. While that is true, there is so much more I wish was shared! I have worked my butt off to do this full-time after leaving my salary video game job. I am a risk taker, and a hard worker, and I wish people got to know me more for who I am. Another thing I wish was shown was Christian telling me he would hire me in his shop because of how clean my piece was in only 8 hours. :/ As someone who is trying to do armor and prop creation for a living I felt like that would have been an amazing addition!
GeekDad:
Do you have any plans to make a final version of the character you created on the show?
Alicia Bellamy:
I have zero plans to make the final costume. I am a strong believer in learning from the past and moving forward! I want to just make as many badass things as I can, and I have so many more plans!
GeekDad:
Alicia, Your headpiece looked amazing and fit so well with the look of the Riddick series and armor. How did you feel when you got eliminated even with such a great piece?
Alicia Bellamy:
First off, thank you so much! When I made it, I really focused on 2 things–making a piece that really looked like it could fit into the world of the Necromongers and making a piece that showcased my skill set and something that was clean and I could be proud of (even given the short amount of time). I won’t lie, when I got eliminated, I was VERY sad. They cut out a ton of crying (luckily, lol) but I wanted nothing more than to stay and build my whole vision. Don’t get me wrong. I was happy for the other contestants (we had become decently close during filming), but man, I wanted nothing more than to stay and continue to create! In an ideal world, I wish the elimination hadn’t happened at all. I think it would have been so amazing to have four epic costumes at the end rather than just three! So hopefully next season we can see four whole costumes and not just three!

Episode four airs tonight on SyFy (you can also get episodes on Amazon if you don’t have cable).

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