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Although dressing up in costume for fan conventions has been around for more than 70 years, the general public doesn’t really understand the fan-favorite practice. “Cosplay Melee” aims to change that.
Syfy’s reality competition show, premiering Tuesday, March 21, aims to demystify cosplay, a portmanteau word comprised of “costume” and “play.” Sort of a “Project Runway” for geeks, the series shows the competitors in action, creating their costumes from scratch within a specified time limit.
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“It’s an art form for nerds, and I say that with all the love that I can muster because I’m a nerd,” the show’s host and self-described fangirl Yvette Nicole Brown told IndieWire. “Nerds, they’re just people who are really, really into stuff. So you could be a nerd about jigsaw puzzles, you could be a nerd about ‘Star Trek,’ you could be a nerd about gardening. Cosplay is a particular art form for those that really, really love characters and creating. It’s everything: It’s sewing, it’s painting, it’s creature work, it’s weaponry, it’s like the entire gamut of creativity for those that really love genre. I see ‘Cosplay Melee’ as a love letter to cosplayers, and a love letter to those that love cosplayers.”
Brown helped IndieWire break down the elements of the competition below:
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The Cosplayers: Each episode, four people from all walks of life enter the “Cosplay Melee” workroom to compete. They may have an ordinary day job, but they have an extra drive to create. “You can’t do cosplay without passion,” said Brown. “As far as winning this competition, if you don’t have the heart to build from the ground up and make a new creation, this isn’t the show for you. They technically are considered amateurs…I think that a few of them have won contests and should win contests, but I have to say,...
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