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Episode Recap: Burtonesque
With the number of contestants getting smaller and smaller, everyone is feeling the pressure in a new way. Rayce, who misses his wife and kids immensely, is determined to channel those feelings into his work.
To tell the gang about this week's challenge, McKenzie brings them to L.A.'s Watts Towers. Theses strange metallic sculptures, reaching up into the sky in the middle of a plain urban area, exemplify the aesthetic of the filmmaker around whose work this week's challenge is created: Tim Burton. Just as Burton took the profession of a barber and turned it into something magical in Edward Scissorhands, so must each contestant take a profession, picked at random, and turn it into something extraordinary. They have some sketch time at the Towers, and then it's off to the lab for day one of three.
Sue feels she needs to step up her production levels from last week's poor showing, so she plans a toymaker with a virtual army of puppets, but when Ve - who has, herself, worked on five of Burton's films, including Beetlejuice - stops by, she worries that it's an insane amount of work for anyone. Beki thinks of the simple makeups of Burton's Alice in Wonderland and decides to do a baker that relies more on character makeup than on appliances, but when she sees the work that everyone else is putting in, she doubts whether she has built a complex-enough piece. Rayce builds a story around a cellist in love with its instrument, which Ve thinks is awesome.
On the final day, Sue is running around like mad trying to get everything done - she even has her model working non-stop to do the last-minute cutting, gluing and drying - and just barely makes it out the door in time. Her aesthetic is all wrong - more old age makeup than Tim Burton character - and lands her on the bottom of the pile. Ian also gets low marks for hiding his excellently made props on the back of the model, rather than displaying them up front. Beki's fears about not doing enough work prove true. The judges wonder why she put so much time into making a cupcake when she could've created a whole world, and this error sends her packing her kit and heading home.
The judges are crazy for Matt's ice cream man, complete with waffle cone hat and chocolate-sauce-and-sprinkle lipstick, and RJ's bellhop character, on a lanky, Burton-esque model wows the judges, especially guest judge Catherine O'Hara, with its character tics, ringing bell hat and "chest" of drawers (in the model's torso) full of discarded clothes. But it's Rayce's combination of cello and cellist that wins this week's prize - the prop cello and the model are each taking on traits like their beloved, and the craft, artistry and imagination that are evident in this makeup make it a clear winner. Since Rayce put all of his love for his family into his work this week, the victory is especially sweet.