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Breaking: Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat

Did I just turn your world upside down? If so, my heartfelt apologies. But apparently we Westerns have been wrong a lot time about this. Hello Kitty is in fact, not a cat.

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Leave it to an anthropologist to be the one to discover this mistake. Christine R. Yano, out of the University of Hawaii, is curating the upcoming Hello Kitty retrospective at the Japanese American National Museum. When she submitted her written texts for the exhibit to the good people at Sanrio, they sent back a correction.

“I was corrected — very firmly,” Yano said. “That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”

Oh. Well, that *does* explain her having a pet cat, which I always thought was a touch odd. Next you’re going to tell me Keroppi wasn’t a frog either….

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Face Off Season 7: The Merry Old Wonderland of Oz

Our contestants meet McKenzie on the Sony Pictures lot, standing at the end of a large rainbow sculpture with a Mad Hatter’s tea party next to her. The rainbow is an homage to 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, which is the inspiration base for this week. The Alice In Wonderland tea party props, next to McKenzie, represent the “big twist.” The challenge this week: Create the familiar Oz character as if they had wound up in Wonderland.

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There only being five major Oz characters to pick from under tea cups, our ten contestants are once again in teams. For the second time this season, they’re allowed to pick their partners themselves, instead of the producers assigning from off camera. To wit:

  • George&Drew: Wicked Witch of the West
  • Stella&Dina: Winged Monkey
  • Cig&Damien: Scarecrow
  • Keaglan&Rachael: Tin Woodman
  • Jason&Sasha: Cowardly Lion

Sketching time happens near the props before heading back to the lab to start sculpting. Before we make it back to the lab though, we’re already inundated with Sasha and her insecurities allowing herself to be mowed over by Jason, despite his admitted weakness on this challenge. So much for the judges telling her to grow a spine last week.

Cig and Damien are working so fast, they’re already starting towards the mold room when the Westmore Family Walkthrough arrives.

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  • George and Drew have a stereotypical witch’s face under way. Michael suggests sculpting the mouth into a better perma-frown.
  • Stella and Dina’s monkey has jester hat ears. Michael says that little bits of fur would not hurt.
  • Keaghlan and Rachael have an art deco looking tin woodman sculpt. Michael is very positive.
  • Cig and Damien are chased down in the mold room. Michael frets their concept is too busy.
  • Jason has no ideas, yet Sasha has knuckled under. Too bad Michael does not say that. Instead he says exactly what people have said to Jason about his sculpts on a regular basis–that’s it’s not big or bold enough, and there’s not enough whimsy.

Jason seems shocked that everything Sasha was trying to say was worth listening to. Now that’s it’s been told to him by Michael, maybe he’ll listen? Turns out the answer is no. Meanwhile, Stella quietly takes over Dina’s face sculpt and makes it into something she deems acceptable. She then cuts little tuffs of Rachael’s purple hair to use as monkey fur. Sure beats fun fur.

Day two finds Cig and Damien deep into fabrication. Stella sends Dina to do molding grunt work, while she makes the wings. At least when she runs into trouble, she turns to Dina to ideas for how to fix it. Sasha obediently do their team’s grunt mold work, leaving Jason in the dangerous position of staying in charge of their team’s lack of design. It also allows him to blame her when he can’t get the cowl mold open.

On Application Day, Rachael is finishing the prop work while the models arrive. Everyone is running on time with their painting. Except, of course, for Sasha, who “follows Jason’s direction” only to discover that’s an even worse idea than allowing him to be in charge in the first place. As we head to last looks, the only questions that remains is which one of them goes home: him for the terrible design, or her for being an insecure ninny and allowing him to create this terrible design.

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