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Episode Recap: Death Dealers

Fortune favors the bold this week, as the artists and their battle partners create makeups based on actual tarot card readings.


For some, the number thirteen evokes feelings of fright, nervousness, or ill omen. For these artists, it equals fun, which is why they’re so excited to find out they’ll be creating an avatar of the character on the thirteenth card in the tarot: Death. As inspiration, they’ll all get mini-tarot readings from two of Hollywood’s most sought-after readers.

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Mel is super excited to see what the medium has to say, but when cards are pulled for her and her battle partner, Matt, they basically cast his fate as the winner and hers as the runner up. Let’s see if she can wrestle with fate and come out dominant this challenge.

Damien and Graham have an equally unsettling reading: it wasn’t strange enough that they were randomly paired with each other after three earlier head-to-heads – but now they pull two out of three of the same cards? Some deep psychic power is at play here, no doubt.

Damien has been the victor in their previous battles, and is putting his faith in the theory that the cards say he can reverse that trend.

Jordan and Walter also have some karma to work out, it seems: after Walter leaves a critical shoulder piece to cure in the mold room, Jordan, his battle partner, “accidentally” knocks it over, causing it to break. Oopsie doopsie! No, we’re sure it was an honest mistake, and Jordan is properly embarrassed – but that won’t stop Walter from teasing him publicly and mercilessly for as long as they know each other. And as some point of redemption, Walter wins this battle – in fact, Jordan’s work was in bottom looks.

By the time she reaches last looks, Mel has salvaged her sculpt from what Mr. Westmore called “possibly a stroke victim” to represent a half-human, half-demon harbinger. She keeps her paint job austere in response to earlier criticism.

Matt delivers an opalescent angel with a pope’s miter as a cowl and religious symbolism throughout the anatomy. It’s a stunning look and a clear winner.

On a previous challenge, Graham tried to outdo Damien by loading his sun god with feathers, paint, and gewgaws – much like a child with all the toppings at a fro-yo spot. This time, he sculpts a simple, skeletal mask and complements it with a sublime, pink-and-white paint job. It’s eerie, ethereal, and very reminiscent of the tarot that inspired the challenge.

Damien, meanwhile, has a really cool makeup, but it doesn’t call to mind the tarot. Moreover, his color scheme – bright pinks and purples – feel totally out of place. Looks like the cards were in Graham’s favor this time.

Although Kevon managed to turn out a ton of work, his reaper doesn’t have the subtle paint work and refined sculpt that Derek’s does. Glenn and Neville place Derek in top looks, though Ve feels the paint work needed major revision.

And though Jordan nearly sabotaged Walter (kidding! kidding!) the latter still manages  to win the battle, while Jordan is a bottom look. He and Damien are truly relieved no one is going home tonight.

Of the top looks, the judges rave about the sophisticated sculpt and inspired paint job on Matt’s character. He wins the challenge, and will have the special treat of an industry insider helping him on the next round.