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Episode Recap: Monkey Business

The alien creations from the season premiere have crash-landed on the Planet of the Apes, and the artists must crown its King Primate. Guest Judge: Rick Baker.


The contestants have just been handed a whammy of a twist: with just one additional day, they have to create a third character based on one of the primates McKenzie brought to the lab, a hostile native alien that encounters their marooned alien duo.

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For #TeamRayce, this means a reimagining of their concept: instead of their silvery warrior alien enslaving the native arachnid alien, they decide that the interloper has discovered a simian race enslaving the arachnid race. They choose a capuchin monkey and develop her into an elderly, elegant monarch.

#TeamLaura goes with the squirrel monkey and immediately finds that their challenge is to transform such a wee cute creature into a vicious enemy. Gregory has ideas on how to alter the face with scarring, so he takes the lead on the face sculpt. #TeamAnthony chooses the mandrill, a simian that lends itself more readily to a bellicose characterization, so they transition will be a straight mandrill makeup, rather than a monkey/human hybrid.

Even with the extra day, the teams face difficulty getting everything done in time, and this creates conflict. On Anthony's team, Kelly, when rushing to get a mold done, makes the setting agent too thick, and when Ben discovers this, the two have a spat as they lay burlap and paste over the sculpture. Ben later discovers that his own mold for a positive for the aliens' hands didn’t cure properly, and the fingers become detached from the palms. He has to jerry rig the pieces back together, costing him time and quality on the finished product.

Meanwhile, Laura's trying to coach Gregory to go more simian with his face sculpt, and get the anatomy of the wrinkles and muzzle right. He's not heeding her advice as well as he should, and to make matters worse, he agrees to take the lead on the many molds the team has, cutting back even further on the attention he should be giving to the face sculpt.

On application day, Logan’s piece for the primate ruler is in desperate need of patching, and Rayce really feels for the guy – having this be your uphill battle on the very first application day is no picnic. Later in the day, however, Logan picks his nose up from the grindstone and sees that not only are they no longer behind, but the piece looks really frickin' good!

At last looks, Emily from Team Laura starts to regret her decision to ventilate the monkey's hair – definitely the most labor-intensive way to go – and sheds the first tears of the season. But we get it, girl - with Rick Baker, makeup artist on the revamped Planet of the Apes as a guest judge, we'd be freaking out, too!

When the final looks walk onstage, the champion coaches are filled with pride. Their teams still have a long way to go, but the amount of work and skill evident in those characters is impressive. The judges give props to Stephanie, Julian, and Gregory on Team Laura for their "older" alien – the one that hatched first and has adapted from its aquatic homeland to its new desert environment by growing scales and changing its color scheme. They also love two characters from Team Rayce: the enslaved arachnid, created by Regina, Logan, Adam, and Rob, and the aging monarch, created by Logan, Anthony, Regina, and Rob.

Not so sweet was the feedback for Team Laura's monkey, created by Gregory and Emily, but it’s the face sculpt and paint – Gregory's work – that they really critique. Emily needn't have worried so much about her hair work!

The judges didn't love the larger alien from Team Anthony, a collaboration from Kelly, Daniel, Anthony, and Ben. Both Ben, whose sculpted hands should've been ditched in favor of a simple paint job, and Kelly, who delivered a flat sculpture, are on bottom looks, along with Gregory, for his simian leader. Because of the questions of anatomy and muddy paint work, Gregory is the first of this season to go home.

Of the top looks, the judges decide that the ruler from Team Rayce's group was the standout, and since Logan worked on both of their favorite characters and was also pivotal in making the simian ruler refined, powerful, and complex, they award him the season's first win! Rayce is so proud of his team, and Logan is elated to go from the stress of the start of the day to the peak of winning his first challenge.

See all the looks from this episode's Spotlight Challenge.