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Episode Recap: Living Art


Before we get down to the big challenge this week, McKenzie has a fun surprise in the form of the sexy, campy, gothic icon Elvira. The Hostess of Horror is there to judge the Foundation Challenge, where they'll outfit models with a fresh, new take on Elvira's classic look. There to help are hairstylists who will add that oh-so-important touch to the final look. Elvira chooses Roy, Tate, and Miranda as her top looks, and Roy, who created a purple, bat-themed makeup for his character, Elmira (Elvira's long-lost cousin) wins the challenge. Along with it, he gets immunity in the Spotlight Challenge and a ton of makeup from Kryolan.

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Quick on the heels of this brush with a scream queen comes the Spotlight Challenge. In a bright and sunny gallery, the artists meet with McKenzie and Neville- a studio artist quite apart from his work in special effects makeup - where they learn that their challenge will be to create a character that is a living, walking work of art inspired by one of the movements represented in the gallery. Laney moves straight for pop art and sketches a woman who serves as commentary on social media's effect on women. Alana is less focused in her choice and picks Constructivism, a movement she knows nothing about. She's hoping it has something to do with construction, since that used to be her job, but when she reaches the lab, she finds she was wrong and can't move forward. When Mr. Westmore arrives to counsel them, he helps her find her way and she's able to start, but she's already lost three precious hours of the challenge.

Tate has been daydreaming about this challenge and sculpts a huge, surrealist castle for his model to wear on her shoulders, but when he goes to open his mold on the second day, the hundreds of pounds of clay fall on his finger, causing it to bleed and go numb. Medics rush him away, and he's not sure he'll be able to return to the competition. Laura and Roy swing into action and start cleaning out his mold, and they're joined by other competitors who don't want to see Tate fail because of an injury. When he returns three hours later, the first layer of latex is in his mold and though a lot of work remains, he's still in the game and not flat on his face.

The amount of work he manages to complete is impressive:Tthe three-foot castle stands well on the heavy foliage of the model's costume, and the face and castle show variety and specificity in their paint jobs. The judges like what he did, but don't think it's enough actual makeup - it falls more into a "costume" category - and they don't find the esthetic to be surreal. Despite his impressive accomplishments, he lands on bottom looks. Joining him in matching grey jeans and black tops are Eddie, whose take on Van Gogh's "Starry Night" overshot his mark of "stressful night" and landed in the realm of horror or burn makeup, and Scott, who took a personal story and put it in his art.

Scott also chose surrealism, but the symbols of a whiskey bottle, cigarette, severed ear, and giant heart overpowered the genre and muddled the message. He is sent home with words of encouragement and, after being on bottom looks four times in a row, perhaps a sense of relief.

But it's ladies on top this week, with Laura, Miranda, and Laney holding it down. Miranda walked onto the stage thinking her cubist take on a sorrowful guitar player was a wreck, but was relieved to hear the judges praise the deft expression of emotion through form in her work. Laney's work perhaps best encapsulated the spirit of all the chosen movements and was expertly executed. Laura's cubist man - an asymmetrical sculpt with dozens of layers and dimensions paired with a symmetrical blue-meets-red paint job - wins the top prize. The amount of color and depth she was able to bring to her work is unreal, and the judges are once again floored by how much she accomplished.