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Episode Recap: Let the Games Begin
The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson guest judges a creature-filled challenge.
In a giant stadium that hosted many great competitions, including not one but two Olympic games, the eager gang meets McKenzie, Ve and Glenn next to a stand of exotic plants. Let's see – a massive arena, a bevy of weird flowers and the makeup artist from The Hunger Games? Yep, get ready for a trip to the Capitol, y'all! The artists have a hybrid predator challenge, just like the Gamesmakers from that mega-popular series.
After McKenzie tells them they'll be working in randomly assigned pairs to meld one of the rare flora with a vicious animal to create their own mutant predator, Ve lays out the guideline that their creations must be SCARY. Nothing cutesy or whimsical for this challenge! Glenn adds that he doesn't want to see a literal interpretation, either, so if you were thinking of making an animal with a flower around its head, think again!
The pairs get back to the lab and waste no time digging into the clay. The Champions swing by once their teams have a little something to show, and they're excited to be working with each other as members of different teams pair up. Laura and Rayce devote a little extra time to Regina and Emily – it seems Emily has gone with a fiercer esthetic for the face of their hyena/shampoo ginger creation, while Regina sculpted a proliferation of flowers across the cowl. When Mr. Westmore arrives, they're finally able to find a compromise that won't cost them too much time.
Mr. Westmore has virtually no feedback for Ben and Darla, who are building a ram/cactus creature – it looks great! He notes that the eyes should be less human, but they're otherwise on to something awesome. He gives Jamie and Rob some direction on how to make the eyes of their piranha/blue thistle predator work more harmoniously in the rest of their sculpt while still keeping it freaky. As the Champions peruse their team members' work, Rayce notes that Anthony and Logan need to focus on anatomy (always clutch!) for their warthog/American pitcher plant – admittedly, a tough feat! Logan pitches in on Anthony's face sculpt and they bring together something appropriately disturbing.
On Day Two, Emily and Regina decide to do a 180 on their design – Emily switches to the cowl sculpt, bringing in the scaling of their flower, and Regina works on the face, emulating the silhouette of the hyena. They're nervous to be so far behind the other teams, but they know it's better to do something well than try to make something broken work! Laura gives Stephanie and Alan some notes on how to blend the various textures going on in their cowl sculpt. They realize they have some form language that doesn't really jibe, but it's so late in the process that they have to head to the mold room. So, too, do Kelly and Daniel, who fell a little in love with sculpting the cowl for the scorpion/delphinium creature and forgot about time. Kelly had issues in the mold room last week, so she's determined not to make the same hasty mistake twice.
The familiar catastrophes appear on application day – Ben and Darla's cowl piece is way too big for their model, meaning they're cutting into painting time by cutting the piece down to size. Alan and Stephanie, who were low on molding time the day before, spend their morning fixing broken patches in the horns of their thorny dragon/coxcomb cowl. Julian and Adam don't agree on the color scheme for their bat/sugarbush protea monster, with Julian voting for a muted green and Alan choosing a more vibrant lime shade. The champs offer what pro tips they can and try not to completely bite their nails off as they watch their charges race against the clock to get all the paint laid down and the edges hidden!
The judges this week are joined by the one and only Peeta – Josh Hutcherson! Everybody's inner fangirl gets a little giddy at the sight of him (some more than others). He and Ve are excited to be working together on a completely different kind of job.
The favorites this week are Ben and Darla, who knocked out a truly original ram/cactus creature that looked like it had emerged from the very rocks of the desert. Neville proclaims it his favorite makeup on Face Off - like, ever!
Joining them in Top Looks are Emily and Regina, who spent most of the last three days sure that they would be on the bottom! Their hyena/shampoo ginger is sneaky and menacing, and the judges love Emily's choice to dye hemp strands various shades of warm brown and use it for hair.
Alan and Stephanie's thorny dragon/coxcomb resembles neither of their inspiration choices, and the bulbous forms on the jaw, meant to be venom sacs, make the face more anime than nightmare. Adam and Julian's bright green bat/American pitcher plant looks, in Glenn's words, like a "bat-ichoke," making it precisely what Glenn asked them not to do. It's a tough choice, since all of the makeups were successful, but ultimately Alan's treatment of the venom sacs sends him home. His passion for makeup is unwavering, and he can't wait to put his new learning to use back home.
Of the top teams, the judges decide that Ben and Darla's work melded their source material so well that they are this week's champs. In particular, Ben's forms on the cowl – horns with buttresses attaching to the skull, and a horny spine emerging from the back of the neck – stand out, and he wins this Spotlight Challenge. He promised himself that if this ever happened, he'd propose to his girlfriend, and so, right here on SyFy, that's exactly what he does! No doubt one big win will follow another, and she'll make him the happiest man alive.