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Episode Recap: Death's Doorstep

The artists must take a comedic obituary and create an eccentric character inspired by it.


Drawing from the whimsy and macabre vision of films like Beetlejuice (makeup by Ve Neill, bee tee dubs), the artists must create characters whose corpses tell the story of how they died. Clues from whimsical obituaries for the likes of Sally Slopes (died while slaloming) and Thomas Watts (electrocuted) will help the artists along.

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For Wendy Wand, the unlucky magician's assistant, Rob decides that the poor girl who was sawed in half by her counterpart deserves a 1920s vibe to do her proper homage. He decks out the design in grayscale as if she stepped right from the silver screen of a classic flick. He even covers the model's naturally full brows in order to pencil in a thin line to frame the eye. The details make the look sing, and Rob earns another Top Look ... though he didn't push the concept far enough for a win. You call that a slice through the abdomen? Where are the guts?

Mel spent a stupendous amount of time sculpting an entire lower torso, twisted by Sally Slopes' missed turn on the slalom, only to wind up covering it with a shiny snow suit. The judges can't love what they can't see! Moreover, this misapplication of time lead to a misapplication of paint, and what should've been whimsical is mostly muddy. Mel is a pretty good judge of her own work, and she knew this would be a Bottom Look.

Melissa is miffed when she gets Suzanne Stitches, who died in a horrific … sewing accident? YAWN! While she's trying not to fall asleep, Melissa actually manages to put together a slick character, turning her model into a human pincushion. The judges don't hate it, but you can't get away from the fact that it’s a snoozeville way to die, so Melissa is just safe. Walter has a bit of panic when the knives he fashioned to go through juggler Seymour Sharp's jugular are too heavy and won't stick to the model’s face. He whittles them down to a manageable size and then heads backstage with Melissa to safe it out. Anna's Rose Mary, who died while cooking pasta, rounds out the safe trio.

Joining Bottom Looks is Kaleb –- his deep sea diver, Finn Waters, died when a fish tried to eat his brain (zombie fish?), and though the judges love the concept, the fish wound up looking kind of like an elf hat and the makeup didn't have any feel of action to it. Likewise Sara N. Geti, trampled lightly by some wildebeest and nudged by a hippo or two, doesn't reach the grotesque, delightful heights it should. It's either that or Johnny's pepto-pink paint job on the character that makes this the Bottom Look. Johnny doesn't feel ready to go home but he knows he's grown as an artist and walks into the sunset with class.

Yvonne labored meticulously over the smile of her Jerry Rig, who home-improved himself to death. Yvonne envisioned a circular saw plowing into the dude's face and swirling his cheeks around it as it spun. At first the smile was too dour, then too manic, but whatever balance she ultimately struck was the right one 'cause it wins the challenge! The character's wig, the color palate, the wardrobe –- all were in the pocket for this Burtonesque challenge, and Yvonne feels the glow of a fresh win.