Have you been watching Cosplay Melee? We have! While we can’t say the new reality series by SyFy is practically perfect in every way, it is such a huge and positive jump forward for the Cosplay Community as a whole that we’ve been tuning into every episode and cheering all the contestants along!
What is Cosplay Mele? A reality competition show based on cosplay – a mashup of Face Off and Chopped, as a friend has described it. Four contestants per episode have a theme and make a prop or accessory (the first two have been Space Opera Helmets and Game of Thrones Weapons) for the first half of the show. The top three then go on to make a whole costume, and the prize for the winner is $10 000!
(Warning, of course, that there will be some small spoilers in this post!)
One real treat for us has been seeing how much Worbla is ubiquitous throughout the show! That’s not product placement on our part, but rather that the cosplayers polled in advance of the show gave their list of supplies they’d need to have on hand and Worbla was just as expected as foam and glue! So of course, we cheered to see some of the amazing pieces made with Worbla on Cosplay Melee, and reached out to some of the contestants to ask them a bit about being on the show!
First up is Jennifer aka Jinglebooboo, who created a beautifully sleek design that was inspired by the Children of the Forest and House Baratheon.
Q: Cosplay Melee has proven itself to be a fan favorite with only two episodes. I think we all heaved a sigh of relief when the first episode proved it was going to be a very different show than that Other Cosplay Reality Show that happened. Were you nervous applying for it? Did the interview process give you a sense that it was going to be much more about the creation process and not about drama?
A: When I first heard about the show I was a little bit worried about what kind of light they were going to put me and the cosplay community in. The more I talked to the network and casting agents I become much less worried. They seemed so welcoming and interested in what we cosplayers create and I knew when I went to my first face to face interview that they were planning on a show based on the creation process and I loved that! I completely lost all my fear at that point and never for a second regretted being a contestant.
Q: It’s pretty clear that the contestants know about their themes – no one on your episode was clueless about Game of Thrones (While I would have had to ask “So wait, which ones are which?” when the houses were named.) Did you fill out surveys or were you asked about what media you were comfortable with?
A: They did have us all answer questionnaires on what types of materials we loved and what subject matter we tended to cosplay beforehand. That being said we were unaware of what our subject would officially be until the show. I am a HUGE Game of Thrones fan but I had actually not mentioned that beforehand so it was pretty exciting for them to put me onto an episode with something I did not expect in the slightest.
Q: Did they let you keep your project? Or is it on display somewhere with SyFy?
A: We did not get to keep our cosplays afterwards, which is probably a good thing because I would totally wear it everyday XD I am not sure what will happen with them afterwards but I do hope to see it again someday.
Q: What was your favorite part of the workshop? Any tools you wanted to take home?
A: I was so in love with the airbrush. I had used one a long long time ago in high school but never on cosplay armor. It kind of changed my life and even though it was my first time using one (on tv at that ha) it was so easy and made all my worbla pieces look so good. I definitely am getting one now because I can’t stop thinking about how magical they are and keep borrowing my friends.
Q: One part of your episode that made us laugh was the editing around your breastplate. Watching, I knew for a fact you were going to be fine pulling it from your form – were you really worried it might tear? Or is that the magic of editing going on there?
A: I wasn’t too worried but even the tiniest worry probably comes off as fear on tv. I had never put worbla on a mannequin in that fashion before so of course a little bit of the unfamiliar fear kicked in. But with the amount of safety precaution vaseline I used if that breastplate did stick it would of been pretty shocking looking back.
Q: So you used Worbla instead of foam for a lot of your build – why was it your go-to material?
A: I have always been a huge fan of Worbla and have used it on almost all my cosplays. I love that it is sturdy and durable and i love how well it can take curves and fine details. I tried the black worbla for the first time on the show and was in love with how smooth it was post heating and it honestly saved me a lot of time smoothing my pieces in the end.
Q: What Worbla project are you most proud of, that you’ve made in your own time?
A: My favorite Worbla cosplay I made was a character named Cherche from Fire Emblem. I had leg armor, arm armor, a chest plate, hip things, a neck guard, and well, I was pretty much just armored out everywhere.
Q: And lastly: What suggestions would you give someone who wants to compete in the next series of Cosplay Melee?
A: My suggestion to you is to not hold back and push yourself. I was going to play it really safe on the show but am so proud of myself for pushing my abilities and in the end I am so proud of my cosplay. Never hold back 🙂
Jennifer has created some amazing work, and we have a gallery of some of our favourite images below. Check them out or find her full gallery on Facebook, at Jinglebooboo. Finished costume photos below by JwaiDesignPhotography and WeNeals Photography and Retouching.