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This is the challenge before the challenge that is the final challenge. It’s the Hemi-Semi-Finals! And it’s gonna involve some booty shakin’! After choosing a Polynesian deity, the artists will create the avatar of that god or goddess, and each makeup will have to be durable enough to withstand the model performing a traditional Polynesian dance.
Emily chooses Pele, the goddess of fire, which means she’s going to have to attempt that monumental challenge of painting lava. Mr. Westmore is like, “Be really, really, really sure you know what you’re doing,” and Emily is like, “Mm-hmm, uh-huh, I know what I’m doing for sure.” But then she gets to the part where she’s gluing on the Styrofoam pieces that will make the black crust of the lava and she’s like, “…uh-oh.” She does not love it. She is pretty sure she’s going home.
She had earlier counseled Tyler not to repeat himself – he was making a face that was similar to his willow witch, with a tree growing out of the forehead – but her advice went (mostly) unheeded. For the god of earth and stone, he created what one judge called an entire diorama on one face. Lois Burwell looks at the river flowing through the rocks on the cowl and calls it “A River Runs Through It”. How we missed your biting wit, Lois! Will you stay?
George had been a little uncertain of his path – he crafted a humanoid turtle for Kanaloa, the god of the sea, with realistic turtle textures, and half a dozen silicone pieces. Applying all the component parts with expertise takes a lot more time than most of the foam pieces the others are laying, and he worries his paint job will be lackluster. His anxiety vanishes when Lois complements him on his sorrowful turtle man, noting how far he’s come since she saw him last.
Cig chose Ku, the god of war, the only god in the Polynesian pantheon to demand human sacrifice. He takes the basic triangles and geometric patterns from the tiki sculpture that represents Ku and expands it along the cowl of the god. He adds skulls to the headdress and lightly bakes an expression of ferocity into the face application. The result is a menacing, fearsome figure with decorations as frightening as they are fascinating. This is the most divine of the creations, and the winner of the challenge. Cig is the first to go to the last challenge before the final challenge, AKA the semi-finals!
Logan is the first to not go to the semi-finals – that is to say, he lost. He couldn’t find inspiration in Lono, the god of agriculture. His final makeup of cracked, dry earth surrounded by lush vegetation didn’t make sense, visually, and his late-in-the-day plan to paint Polynesian tattoos on the performer’s torso was good – but not enough. He leaves with gratitude to lose to such excellent artists, and words of wisdom for his son, which we can all take to heart: he did his best and tried his hardest, every day.