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For their first solo challenge, the contestants will have to create an original pirate character inspired by a mystery element. One by one, the contestants learn the objects that will be their foundation, ranging from spyglasses to urchins to jewels. McKenzie tells them that, to up the stakes this week, the winner will receive a $5,000 prize. She gives them time to sketch aboard a replica vessel ship used in Pirates of the Caribbean, then it's back to the studio to start sculpting.
Alana and Rod are both facing challenges - Alana because she has never had to fabricate so much on her own, and Rod because he pushed himself so much in last week's challenge that he badly hurt his wrist. Effectively, he's only working with one hand this week. Alana's inexperience causes her to mold pieces inefficiently, and at the end of the second day, several other artists have to help her clean out her mold so that she can stay in the game.
Ve, who created makeup for all of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, comes to the lab, notes the ambition in Sarah's project, warns Eric of the dangers of putting a steampunk element in Glenn's line of sight, and sees that CC is not incorporating her element - barnacles - into her makeup as thoroughly as she could.
Everyone rushes to get their pieces finished during last looks, and when the models walk on to the stage, the artists know it could be anybody's game.
Top looks included Sarah, whose fabricated sea urchin spines pop out of her model with great sculptural movement. Her color palate of purple and chartreuse was a great choice, and to top it off, she had a gag where yellow goo oozed out of the characters wounds when the judges approached. Laura took her "shell" inspiration to the next level by making the face of her character the creature living in the shell, and Roy's idea to house his inspiration - daggers - in the torso of his character is ingenious.
At the bottom were Eric, who was, indeed, lambasted by Glenn for a half-assed steampunk integration of a spyglass, C.C., who got the color palate all wrong for barnacles, and Jason, who only integrated his element of jewels in the palm of his character's hand. Ultimately, C.C. went home, but the judges encouraged her to take her substantial talent and keep trying.
The winner this week is Sarah, who is so pleased with the result that it's all she can do to fight back the tears.