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Don’t tell the other episodes we said this, but this may be the most fearsome foursome to compete against each other so far! Derek, KC, Miranda, and George… it’s gonna be a cool night.
Their first challenge is to choose a plant from the garden (that somehow magically grew in the lab) and transform it into a human/plant hybrid, a la Greek gods in pique with their human obsessions.
Miranda chooses a bird-of-prey looking flower – bright red with greens and yellows – and finds a wig that matches the colors almost exactly. She just has to look out that the furry liberty spikes don’t look too much like a good luck troll! KC falls in love with an orchid, and crafts a story of a priestess transforming into this feminine flower. She gives her lovely model a paint job of purples and whites, and crafts an awesome petal cowl out of foam, held on with staples and a prayer.
Derek also brings some purple paint into his scheme, which the judges find odd: his plant, the Indian Corn cactus, is purely green. Newlywed George chooses a plant that his newly-wife grows (an artichoke) but goes a little too monsterly where the challenge was beauty. He is the first to go home, but since he’s a Face Off favorite, we may just see him again.
The remaining three jump from Greek mythos to the contemporary mythos of superheroes. In specific, they’ll be creating characters around the Infinity Stones, those gems of untold powers that are scattered around the Marvel universe, from Doctor Strange to Thor and Loki.
Derek has been enthralled by Marvel since he was a wee boy, and maybe goes a little too complex with his notion for the wielder of the Reality Stone. As the clock ticks down, he realizes he won’t be able to map out the complicated alchemical symbols he envisioned, and instead paints them on a bit hastily. Miranda seems like she might be making a big green blob, but layers on some gorgeous colors and a symbol for time on her character’s forehead (he’s the keeper of the Time Stone).
KC has the Soul Stone, which is glowing orange, but the judges feel her choice of that color as the main focus of her makeup was a misstep. She cleans it up with some really cool graphic patterning, but her work isn’t quite as strong as her counterparts’. She goes home, but we’re confident she’ll keep working towards her goal of spreading the love of makeup through education, and make it a reality.
The final round is here, and it’s the greatest one of all: Derek and Miranda must face their childhood fears. Using their very own descriptions of their childhood images of the boogieman, the remaining two artists must make manifest their nightmares.
For Miranda, however, the challenge itself becomes a nightmare when she loses the face prosthetic she was planning to use! It’s like one of those dreams where you have to take a test but you totally forgot to study. At least she’s wearing pants in her nightmare. And she might win $10,000. That barely ever happens in our nightmares.
Anyway, she manages to find a prosthetic and carve a creepy smile into it, and cover the model’s eyes in a way that makes them look swollen shut. She then veils this waxy monster with a shroud, and there’s a solid scare factor there. Her paint job is on point, especially considering the time setbacks she had.
Derek described his boogie as something skeletal with way too many eyes, and long spider’s legs for fingers. Eew. He goes old school with a material called cotton latex, spreading it across the model’s head to make a gooey yet boney silhouette, and a material called fish skin to make what little skin the creature has look cracked, saggy, and weirdly shiny. The effect is chilling, and the judges have a hard decision ahead of them.
They think, and they talk, and Miranda and Derek are going a little crazy wanting to hear who won, and finally the announcement comes – it’s Miranda! She made such strong work across all three challenges, and it’s a huge relief that her third time competing in these hallowed halls is the charm.