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This week, McKenzie delivers the Spotlight Challenge at the Aquarium of the Pacific - a fitting place, considering the fact that the artists must base a character on a sea creature. Working in teams of two, they'll have three days to create a full-body creature. Since Brea won last week's challenge, she gets to choose a duo to work with. She picks Rayce and Sue, and the three of them have the advantage of a team with an extra person. But before McKenzie lets the artists loose to find their underwater muses, she announces the twist: The characters will be submerged in a water tank.
Back at the lab, Beki and Miranda are instantly butting heads, with Beki doubting the youngster's capability and Miranda resenting the questioning of her skill. Nix and Jerry have put their early differences aside and are moving forward smoothly with their sea turtle, while Ian and RJ decide to work some wordplay into their concept by making their shark into a lawyer. Back at the loft, some of the workday's tension has carried over, and it seems everyone is choosing Team Beki or Team Miranda.
Application day comes, and it looks as though the mutual excellent work of Beki and Miranda will help them put their differences behind them, but Jerry is not so lucky - he's getting anxious that Nix's paint job will mar the sculpture underneath.
When the makeups go before the judges, Matt and Tara's last-minute fix for hiding their appliance edges - hemming them with a flowy fabric - wins major points and looks great underwater. Nix and Jerry don't fare as well - the turtle face caves in on their model and he can't breathe, the prosthetics fall off and the paints erode. Ian and RJ's shark lawyer also bombs, with his jacket floating up around him the minute he's submerged.
Beki & Miranda and Brea, Rayce & Sue are safe, while Athena & Heather's bold lionfish was one of the best of the week, alongside Matt and Tara's iridescent, flowy lyretail basslet. Matt, who spearheaded the basslet concept, wins the week's prize. The bottom teams included Jerry and Nix, who are slammed for a cartoonish, safe product, and Ian and RJ, for their undercooked shark concept.
When the final judgment comes, the experts deliberate over which offense was worst, the lack of anatomical development in the shark, or overall mediocre quality of work for the sea turtle. Ultimately, Nix didn't fulfill his own potential and is sent home. The judges know him to be an excellent painter, but since he didn't deliver this week, his time in the competition is over.