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Episode Recap: Alice in Zombieland


The Foundation Challenge this week is to create a realistic-looking fight makeup, so McKenzie brings the artists to a competitive boxing gym where they meet their guest judge, Laila Ali. Nicole and Jason are the top looks, but Jason, who has martial arts experience and knows what can happen in a fight, wins the challenge with his understatement and accuracy - and in so doing, gains immunity for this week's Spotlight Challenge.

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The next day, the contestants find themselves in the gorgeous Descanso Gardens where McKenzie tells them that the challenge this week is a mash-up between Alice in Wonderland and zombies. Some artists are psyched, but Sarah, who grew up in a Mennonite community, is stumped. At a loss for how to turn the Cheshire Cat into a zombie, she consults Nicole, who tells her to just mash it up. 

Neville visits the studio to check on everyone's progress. He's impressed with Roy's concept of laying decaying skin over the skull and having the flesh of his Queen morph into the character's crown and garments. He worries slightly about Rod's concept - a Queen who needs to constantly gorge herself on fresh blood - since it's a complicated story, and the fleshiness of the character doesn't read "zombie".

Everyone is working as fast as they can to execute complex, ambitious makeups, and virtually no one thinks they're stacking up to their competitors. Alana can't get her ears to stand up on her model's head and rushes to Roy for advice. He helps her clear out some of the foam, making them lighter, and she nearly kisses him out of gratitude. Nicole, whose paint job isn't working out the way she wants it to, is further stricken when her airbrush breaks. She has to do the rest of the paint job by hand, a much slower process, and she runs out of time for some critical details.

Elimination time is here, and the judges rave about Laura's Mad Hatter, who, though spooky, is somehow sympathetic; Roy's Queen, with her fleshy crown and keen details throughout; and Derek's Cheshire Cat, with an awesome paint job and asymmetrical, gory details. Guest judge Paul W.S. Anderson awards the win to Roy, whose concept and execution were both exemplary.

On the bottom are Nicole, Rod, and Tommy. Tommy's design felt sloppy to the judges, with a tacky, incongruous costume, while Rod's character felt like neither a zombie nor Alice in Wonderland's Queen. It was Nicole's flat paint job and tearing edges, however, that got her eliminated. Though she was a breath away from having immunity this week, she's proud of the work she's done on the show and will continue to pursue her passion in the field of special effects makeup.