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Episode Recap: Junkyard Cyborg
Nicole goes into this week's challenge feeling strong from last week's win, while Sarah is attuned to the unease of having the numbers of contestants drop to five after Alana leaves.
The inspiration site for the Spotlight Challenge is a junkyard, and when McKenzie tells them they'll be scouring the place for parts to design a cyborg, Roy gets fired up - this is his comfort zone. Sarah is less enthusiastic, as her Mennonite upbringing didn't include a ton of info on cyborgs. The artists race through the aisles and snap up any piece that catches their imagination, then head back to the lab and get to work.
When Glenn stops by the next day, he's most excited by Nicole's cybernetic warrior princess and Derek's automated soldier, whose mechanized parts have taken over his entire face. Glenn worries about Sarah, who is working without a clear vision or knowledge of how cyborgs work, and Roy, who seems to be going over the top with another huge fabrication.
Glenn's visit seems to galvanize Sarah, and she moves forward with purpose. She sculpts, molds, and runs a chest piece in only a few hours. Laura sees the work that Roy's doing and feels she hasn't done enough, so she scraps her idea of "Post-Apocalyptic Soldier" for a character who lives in a world where mechanical additions to the body are half-practical, half-cosmetic, and builds a backpack power source. On elimination day, Laura's model gets sick, costing her valuable time during last looks, but he returns and she's spared the agony of going onstage without a model.
Joining the judges this week is Gale Anne Hurd, who produced The Terminator as well as The Walking Dead, an award-winner for prosthetic makeup. Nicole's makeup makes a huge impression on Gale, who says that she'd love to take Nicole and her model to Comic Con - Nicole, of course, lights up at her words. The judges really admire the way Derek managed to incorporate junkyard pieces into his work, and his color choices and mechanized face piece are lauded for their divergence from well-trod concepts.
Nicole's inspired character wins this week's challenge, and she's overcome with emotion. As the judges review the bottom looks - Roy, who focused more on fabrication than makeup, Laura, who had no clear direction in her creation, and Sarah, who couldn't answer in-depth questions about how her creation actually worked - they realize that Sarah's makeup was simply not at the level of her peers'. Her uncertainty of what a cyborg was, hence how the mechanization would fit into or replace the humanity, crippled her technique. The judges thank her for showing her creativity for so many weeks, and she goes home grateful for this powerful learning experience.