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We're down to the wire...only one challenge left before the big finale, and the contestants are going to give it everything they've got. They meet McKenzie at the Burbank Airport, where she introduces them to Dave Salmoni, host of Savaged, and he, in turn, introduces them to some amazing birds that will be their inspiration for the Spotlight Challenge. They'll each create a bird/human hybrid, and as they sketch ideas, Dave tells them a little more about their birds to give them a little something to work with. Roy chooses the Blue-Throated Macaw and goes for a concept of a military experiment creature who scouts the rainforest for untoward activity. Tate chooses the elegant Egyptian Vulture - he's always wanted to do a vulture creature, and has big plans - literally - for this design. Miranda goes for the Silver-Cheeked Hornbill and Laura, who chose the Umbrella Cockatoo, plays with its long life-span and molting phase and decides to do a balding, old age makeup.
In the lab, Roy immediately goes for a design that's not only hugely ambitious, but also features his signature prodigious fabrication skill. Instead of sculpting a body and laying feathers over that, he decides to sculpt nearly every feather on the bird, and give it a huge, proportional wingspan. That means he has to build his own frame out of a mannequin body and chicken wire - how MacGyver! - and then sculpt a four-foot piece on top of that. Everything's moving along until he starts to lay the burlap and ultracal onto the sculpt to create the mold. He looks away for one second and the whole thing tilts. He can't catch it in time and it smashes onto the table.
Roy is shattered, along with his mold. It seems he's lost hours of work, the heart of the concept, and possibly the entire competition, but Roy does not quit. He picks up his piece, gives it a good look, and figures out what he can save and what he can cover. He re-does the mold and cracks it open when the schedule doesn't allow for a minute more. It's not the smoothest piece he's ever made, but it will be presentable and keep him in the game - he hopes. He made it to this spot - the final four - last time he was on the show, and he's not taking anything for granted.
Tate is also going big, and is a little worried that he won't be able to pull it off. He's sculpted a huge torso, head, and cowl weighing several hundred pounds in its clay form that he'll lay feathers on once it's out of the mold. Even if everything goes perfectly with the mold, he still has to paint and put the finishing touches on a massive piece, and he prays that he can get everything together.
Miranda has promised herself she'll manage her time better to make up for her incomplete makeup last week, and though she stops her sculpt on the face to work on the hands, she goes back to it and winds up with a sliver of time in the mold room. She's once again on the back foot going into last looks, and though she badly wants to advance to the finals, she has a sinking feeling that this will be her last time before the judges.
Laura has planned her time scrupulously, so she's in good shape, but she has also gone for a huge concept with the marriage of an old age makeup with a bird/human hybrid makeup. The competition is fierce tonight, and the finale hangs in the balance, but the judges love the risk she took in going more human with the piece (she's the only one to incorporate flesh tones) and applaud her smart design style and decision-making.
Tate wins the challenge for not only the amount of work he churned out, but also the theatrical styling of the feathers and the broad, imagistic concept he brought to life with his vulture-man. He wins the challenge and is the first artist to go to the finale. Laura follows quickly behind, having outshone even her own past work with her makeups this season. As the final two contestants wait to hear who's name will be called, their stomachs are in their throats. When Roy hears his name called, he's speechless, grateful beyond words that he made it to the finale after all this time and work. Miranda congratulates him on advancing forward, and he reminds her what an accomplishment it is to have surpassed so many challenges. She feels deeply fortunate to have had this experience, and is eager to learn more and go farther in her career. The three finalists wish her a fond goodbye, and drink in the sweetness of their wins.