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When the contestants enter the lab, McKenzie explains that the elaborate stone engravings and lush foliage represent the impressive accomplishments of the Aztecs, a people who believed in 13 levels of heaven… a number that fits right in with this season’s theme. Many experts remain uncertain how massive Aztec monuments were built, and some people (with tall, spiky black hair) who will remain nameless (Giorgio Tsoukalos) believe that aliens gave advanced technology to the Aztecs… and then VANISHED! As you do after giving a gift of great value. The challenge this week is to select Aztec gods and reimagine them as aliens.
Damien, who selected the sun god, Tonatiuh, is determined to redeem himself. On his original season, he was a bottom look on an ancient alien challenge, and he aims to incorporate any lessons learned the hard way. He designs a traditional, elongated skull with bright, sunny colors and a helmet that reflects the shapes and patterns of the picture of Tonatiuh. He’s up against Graham again, who is going in a completely different direction with reflective paint and a headdress meant to represent the corona of the sun. The friendly competition should be fun to watch!
Mel is having a tough time with her fertility god, Xochipilli. She wants to incorporate the legends of flowers and butterflies that accompany this deity, but several people compliment her on her fish god. Um… thanks? Mr. Westmore swings by and delivers a few key pointers to transform the nose and smooth out the wrinkles, and voila! Mel’s work thus far is not wasted.
Kelly felt super motivated with Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent creator, but when her over-mask hits a technical snag, she rightly freaks out. The mask, vacuform over clay, won’t detach from the sculpture, and the process of separating the materials damages the mask and costs her time. She catches up by day’s end, but when the makeup reaches the reveal stage, the judges mark it a bottom look.
Matt chose Tlaloc, god of lightening and water, and faces Derek, an artist whom he greatly admires. But he seems to be managing any nerves and sculpting an awesome face and cowl which incorporate Mesoamerican imagery into the biology of the alien. Along with a beautiful paint job of blues and silvers, his piece steps easily into top looks.
And Damien’s work and determination paid off! He joins Matt in the top with an amazing yellow-white-red paint job, hand-painted frog-like eyes, a totally original nose shape… we could go on. He wins this challenge – a huge accomplishment in itself – but to make it even better, Ve gives him one of her coveted compliments: “Bitchin’.” That’s a story for the grandkids.
Joining Kelly in bottom looks is Damien’s buddy and battle partner, Graham. Although his shapes were inspired, the result didn’t read as alien, and didn’t fully incorporate the shapes, colors, or feel of the Aztec art given as inspiration. This is not an elimination week, but you know Kelly and Graham are gonna stay on their toes and turn out something awesome next week.