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Episode Recap: Wasteland Warriors

The teams must create the driver behind Mad Max-esque post apocalyptic vehicle. Oh, about that cliffhanger…


This is an elimination week, so everyone’s a little nervous. When they’re dropped off in an arid landscape with no sign of McKenzie… they wonder if their lives are about to be eliminated. But then! In the distance! A cloud of dust… a car racing along a windy road… Could it be? It is! It’s their fearless host, driving a Hyundai Veloster, the car that will be awarded to the winner!

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Everybody’s guessing that cars will be involved in the challenge, but when six battle-ready post-apocalyptic roadsters come screaming over the hill, the artists explode with excitement at the thought of creating a Mad Max-esque warrior to drive their chosen whip. McKenzie tells them that they’ll be using Hyundai’s slogan, “We make things better,” to amp up their driven drivers. They’ll use at least three of the assorted car parts in their vehicles’ spare parts kits to incorporate in their Warrior makeup.

Cig and George take the word PHOENIX, painted on their monster car’s hood, as a name and concept for their warrior. A do-gooder in a bad world, she purifies evil with flame after escaping a fire that scarred her from top to toe. Logan tries to keep his and Logan’s character grounded in physics, while Logan wants to go gravity-defying samurai on this thing. Logan looks… uncomfortable. When Adam crafts two curving swords instead of traditional samurai blades, and Logan accidentally breaks one, their road gets rough. Adam feels hemmed in. Logan feels dismissed. Can they get back on course for the win?

Using a smoke detector, an on/off switch, and a cage, Rachel and Gage endow their scavenger warrior with the ability to sniff out danger as well as gasoline and water, those two most valuable resources in the post-apocalyptic landscape. Emily and Tyler use the wing-like features as inspiration for a feather Mohawk-ed, arrow-shooting warrior. Keaghlan and Melissa have basically a rolling armory as a vehicle, so they create a half-woman, half-machine warrior with a gun for an arm. Ben and Evan are feeling pretty down on themselves, and head back to the lab with a concept that’s shaky, at best. Eventually they take the “beetle” element of their dune buggy and use it to create a burned fighter who has created a shell of armor for himself. Finally, they’re on the road again.

When they finally hit the reveal stage, the contestants find a thrilling surprise – Paul W.S. Anderson, director of the Resident Evil franchise, as well as Death Race (a film that knows a thing or two about post-apocalyptic road rage). Since the number of teams is dwindling, the judges will speak to each team about their work.

All the judges love Ben and Evan’s burned out character, with special love going to the anti-freeze cooling mask he wears to keep from burning up. Paul notes that having a mask and a face prosthetic split their time, and he wishes one or the other were sharper and more complete. Cig and George’s Phoenix is a universal hit, with Paul even volunteering to be purified by fire. They laid down hot gelatin on a nylon face mask to mimic burn scarring, which saved them a bunch of time and allowed them to perfect other elements. The attitude, concept, and execution of this character leave the competition in the dust, and George and Cig win this week’s challenge!

Emily and Tyler had immunity going into this challenge, but they didn’t rest on their laurels. Their warrior is immaculate from her towering headdress to her tiny, ritualistic piercings. Unfortunately, she’s too regal and polished to fit this week’s challenge – so their immunity is coming in handy.

Rounding out bottom looks with muddy paint jobs, poor design elements, and last-minute patches are Keaghlan & Melissa, Rachael & Gage, and Logan & Adam. As they await the fateful words that will pronounce who is going home, McKenzie makes their heads spin with the proclamation that, in the spirit of “We Make Things Better,” they’ll get one more hour to take the judges’ feedback and improve their makeups.