'Face Off' Season 7 premiere: McKenzie Westmore 'panicked' over Robert Englund's Freddy Krueger

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If McKenzie Westmore hadn't known the world of movie makeup already, she surely would now.

The former co-star of the daytime serial "Passions" hails from an Oscar-winning Hollywood makeup family, which continues to make her an ideal host for the Syfy competition series "Face Off." Its seventh round begins Tuesday (July 22), with the season-long theme "Life and Death" giving the new contestants special-effects makeup challenges related to mortality.

"When I learned about this theme, I loved it," the pleasant Westmore tells  Zap2it. "Anytime there's extremes like that with our show, you know it's going to be action-packed." Viewers' tweets will determine a weekly "fan favorite," with the overall favorite getting $10,000 at season's end.

The first new "Face Off" features actor Robert Englund, alias Freddy Krueger in the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise.

"I panicked and almost couldn't deliver my lines," Westmore admits. "I have been obsessed with Freddy Krueger since I was a little girl. That was the horror villain of my time - and maybe there's a sickness to it, but being that I grew up among severed heads and bloody thumbs, to me, Freddy was the man!"

Of course, those unattached body parts were in the workshop of Westmore's father Michael, a "Face Off" contestant mentor who earned an Oscar for transforming Eric Stoltz's appearance for the 1985 movie "Mask." Other relatives' work dates back to such classics as "Gone With the Wind" and "Creature From the Black Lagoon."

Among the many "Face Off" twists for Season 7 is one that's evident right at the outset: None of the contestants is officially part of the show yet when it begins, and their first challenge actually is their final audition for one of those slots.

"This is the first time we've ever done that," Westmore confirms, "and it was a shock for me, too, to find out that's how we were starting off. Here we are at Season 7, so we have to keep changing it up. It can't always be the same game."
Photo/Video credit: Syfy