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…and before you know it, we’ve reached the semifinals. How time flies!
Five artists remain, but there are only three spots in the finale. That means, of course, that this week’s challenge will be a double elimination. This is not what anyone was expecting, and the pressure instantly ratchets up a few notches!
The challenge is a great one, though: based on sounds harvested from the cosmos by NASA, the artists will enter their first solo challenge of making a fun, friendly alien ala Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Men in Black. They don their headphones and get their hands in the clay!
When Mr. Westmore stops by, he underscores how tricky it can be to make a creature that looks like it could be from another world, but is also friendly and has a light-hearted spirit to it. Faina is having a particularly hard time making her slick squid salesman soft enough to talk to but weird enough to wonder about. She leaves the face for day two, trusting in sleep to guide her to a better idea.
Nelson is going with a classic, large head shape, but bringing in elements of birds and tree frogs. His alien is a tourist in love with human culture, complete with cheesy Hawaiian shirt and massive camera. Looking around the lab, Nelson notes that while his alien is totally fun and friendly, it’s may be more goofy than the others. He’s just hoping that it’s what the judges are looking for.
Andrew is finding that balance with his character’s métier of rock star. Since his space sound is reminiscent of drums, Andrew creates a dreadlocked young hopeful sending her demo tape in to NASA. KC also relies on personality with her snapping- turtle based alien, but on the final day she also brings in a fun blue-and-red paint job to amp up the whimsy.
Kierstin knows she’s gone pretty far to the “alien” side with her creature whose head is one giant sound receiver – an ear, more or less – so she adds some laugh lines around the mouth (and around all six eyes) to tell the story of happiness. She also brings in a gorgeous paint job with turquoise and chocolate, and some brightly colored flowers that her alien gives as gifts.
And if the artists thought the twists were over for this challenge, they were wrong! Here to join the judges panel is the legendary creature creator, Rick Baker. He helmed the makeup for such films as Men in Black, so he knows a thing or two about a thing or two. Everybody’s freaking out that he’s judging their work, in a good way and a bad way at the same time!!
It’s an incredibly tough competition, but the shapes and colors of Kierstin’s work, matched with the extraordinary way she’s been growing as an artist, make her the winner of the challenge and the first finalist. Although Andrew had some difficulty with a too-heavy cowl and a rather simple paint job, he joins as the second finalist. KC is third, and considering she wasn’t sure she’d be able to finish her makeup due to crazy bad edges and her model sweating the paint off, she feels pretty freakin' good!
Of course this means that Faina and Nelson are going home this week. They both did amazing work, and we know we’ll be seeing more from them soon.