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Syfy's Cosplay Melee Challenges Cosplayers to Outdo Each Other for $10,000

posted on by Eric Stimson

As any con-goer can tell you, cosplayers put a lot of dedication, skill, patience, creativity, and an eye for detail into their work. In fact, sometimes it seems like the most impressive cosplayers draw almost as much attention as the guests. Cosplayers have received more and more mainstream attention as well, as demonstrated in a new reality competition series on Syfy channel, Cosplay Melee.


A cosplay of Inuyasha's Sango (not part of the competition) by Jennifer Rose

Cosplay Melee introduces four different cosplayers each episode and presents them with two challenges. First, they must design and craft an accessory within an eight-hour time limit; then, they must design and craft an entire costume within two days. If a panel of judges — actress Yvette Nichole Brown (Shirley in Community), professional cosplayer LeeAnna Vamp, and costume designer Christian Beckman (Tron: Legacy, The Hunger Games) — deems their costume top-notch, they can win $10,000. On the other hand, if their accessory doesn't pass muster, they are eliminated before the second challenge.


Xavier Conley, who won Episode 1's prize for his costume of a "crime lord of the Outer Rim"

Each episode uses a different theme and gives its cosplayers some guidelines on what to design. For instance, Episode 1 focused on costumes from space opera and had its contestants create headgear and flying devices. Episode 2 cribbed from the popular American fantasy TV series Game of Thrones, challenging its contestants to design weapons and costumes from several of that show's warring factions.


Episode 2's finalists. The center costume of Goditha the Wildling by Emily Schmidt won.

Cosplay Melee airs on Syfy on Tuesdays at 10 PM Eastern Time. Syfy also aired a reality show called Heroes of Cosplay in 2013, although it focused more on the backstage drama of the masquerade events common to comics conventions. A similar Syfy show, Face Off, focuses on makeup and prosthetic artists.

Source: Cosplay Melee official website


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