The contestants are treated to a mini circus performance right there in their very own lab courtesy of the cutting-edge troupe Cirque Berzerk. Co-owner Suzanne Bernel helps McKenzie outline the challenge for them: In pairs of their own choosing, they'll create a dark, sexy, alien circus performer, and the makeup will have to hold up during a full-out athletic performance on the reveal stage. Tate is happy to be working with Frank - a genius in the mold room - because the injury he sustained keeps him from making molds with anything resembling ease.
Laura and Roy quickly snag each other as partners since they've wanted to work together for years. They start work on an alien animal tamer who has a parasite attached to his belly, but when Michael Westmore does his walk-through, he cautions them to go more sexy on the face. This is a major setback, but they move forward like champs. Miranda and Eddie also face a speed bump when they realize that the crown piece they've sculpted for their character is reminiscent of a character from "Hellboy." They do a little maneuvering and turn it into something completely new.
Alana and Laney are excited to work together, although Laney is highly apprehensive of this challenge since aliens are not her thing. She does as much as she can to feed Alana's enthusiasm - every time they've worked together, they've been in top looks, and they want to keep that streak going. Laney breaks from the planned concept when she feels like she's not contributing enough to the sculpting and creates a cowl with scales similar to those she sculpted for the body. She forms a split in the cowl that the performer's unruly dreadlocks can come through, but Alana doesn't like the look. Loathe to squash Laney's creativity, she doesn't say she doesn't like it, and misses her chance to edit a critical piece of the makeup.
Once application day comes, Alana sees that the cowl has really rough edges, but Laney doesn't want to spend the time it would take to blend them. They lose time arguing over how to deal with the problem, and Laney finally capitulates to Alana's growing anxiety over being eliminated for messy edges - the same issue that sent her home the first time - but in last looks they can't make up the time spent on indecision and their paint job suffers for it. The piece that walks onstage survives the trying circus performance, but the various elements of the piece are incongruous and unfinished. They are the only team to land on bottom looks. Both women have been dreading this moment since the reveal happened, and when Alana's name is called, it's hard to say who's more upset. She bids a tearful goodbye to the remaining artists and leaves with a new mix of disappointment that she's leaving and pride that she made it this far a second time.
In top looks are Frank and Tate, who created an awesome, ink-stained skin for their contortionist model, and Miranda and Eddie, who blew the judges away with their symmetrical head and cowl sculpts – two pieces that meet as perfectly as if they were done by one person. The judges award the win to Miranda, and she's amazed to take home her fourth win of the season.
The artists must create a clown character that terrifies €“ AND performs a routine.