Three Reasons “Cosplay Melee” is the Show All Cosplayers Need

By Thursday the 20th of April, 2017 Dovah Diary
If you haven’t been tuning in to the new series Cosplay Melee on SyFy, you’ve been missing out on some serious cosplay talent. Cosplay Melee is a new “game show for cosplayers,” reminiscent of the popular series Face Off. In each episode, four contestants compete for a Ten Thousand dollar prize. The catch? They only have 40 hours to design and create an entire costume
I know what some of you are thinking, “Not another cosplay show! We don’t need another Heroes of Cosplay.” I know the feeling. I had my doubts when the show was announced, too. But now with the first few episodes aired, I firmly believe Cosplay Melee is the cosplay show we all need in the world. Let’s break it down and review three ways Cosplay Melee totally outshines  Heroes of Cosplay. Then we can erase the latter from our memories forever once again… hah.
NOTE: If you are not familiar with the previous SyFy show, Heroes of Cosplay, you can read up here.
The judges of SyFy's Cosplay Melee, sitting at the judges' table on set. From left to right, LeeAnna Vamp, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Christian Beckman.

From left to right, LeeAnna Vamp, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Christian Beckman.

Reason #1: It showcases cosplayer talent.

Plain and simple, Cosplay Melee puts the cosplayer’s raw talent front and center. It showcases their ability to design a custom character, stay “on theme,” choose the best materials for the job. Not to mention they still need to overcome the usual challenges we face as cosplayers. Keep in mind, the trick is whether they can do it on a time limit. And they rise up to meet the challenge! I’m absolutely blown away by the costumes that have come out of this competition so far.

Grace Herbert in her Gaurdians of the Galaxy inspired armor.

Lisa Rosenberg dressed in her "Demon of Pestilence" cosplay melee costume.

Jackie Ruth Craft of Jackie Craft Cosplay, dressed as a White Walker dragon slayer on cosplay melee.

Reason #2: No scripted drama added.

Cosplay Melee doesn’t need to edit in “scripted drama.” The show makes it’s own drama from the game itself. The time limit and issues the cosplayers run in to keep you wondering if they will pull it off in time. It keeps you rooting for the contestants the whole way!

The overall vibe of the show is very positive, and gets you excited about the craft. The judges focus on the positive aspects of each costume, while giving honest, helpful feedback. Even the contestants have regularly helped one another in tough spots, showing the community really isn’t as mean spirited as Heroes of Cosplay made it seem. Episode 1 winner, Xavier Conley of Ebony Warrior Studios, had this to say about the focus of the series:

“This show focuses on the pure joy of building, the bonds made within the cosplay community, and the techniques used to create masterpieces. No fabricated drama.”

– Xavier Conley

Xavier Conley in his cosplay melee star wars costume.

Reason #3: It gives new cosplayers insight.

Last but not least, Cosplay Melee films the actual creation of these forty-hour masterpieces. This means new cosplayers are exposed to techniques they may not have seen before. Instead of hiding the build of a costume like some “secret sauce” recipe, Cosplay Melee interviews the contestants during and after their builds. Every detail the contestants share gives the audience more insight in to the ingenious work-arounds cosplayers find with each and every build. The contestants are also given real-time feedback on their designs – another great insight for improving existing techniques.

Fred Reed, of Fred and Elle Designs, giving the judges some insight in to his progress in S01 E01 of Cosplay Melee.

Overall, I think Cosplay Melee really is the show the cosplay community needs. It showcases cosplayer talent, brings the positivity within the community to light, and introduces a new group of viewers to the hobby. I’m so stoked to tune in each week and see what they can think up. I hope you will be, too!



Emily Schmidt of GBGH cosplay, the winner of S01, E02 of Cosplay Melee.

If you’d like to learn more about the show, check out the Cosplay Melee Website!  You can read contestant “Tips & Tricks,” view final costume photos, check air times, and watch full episodes (with cable log-in).

Below are the links to the cosplayers I featured in this article. If you are interested in seeing all the contestants featured, check out the Cosplay melee site link above!

Grace Herbert, Zonbi Cosplay
Charles Xavier Conley, Ebony Warrior Studios
Jackie Ruth Craft, Jackie Craft Cosplay
Emily Schmidt, GBGH Cosplay
Lisa Rosenberg, Lisa Lou Who Cosplay
Fred Reed, Fred and Elle Designs

All photos are courtesy of SyFy and Dale Berman. I am not affiliated in any way with SyFy or NBC Universal (I just love the show!).