We’ve only got six contestants left. How did that happen? I know I missed a couple of weeks, but it’s still a bit of a shock to see such a small group arrive at the lab. That’s followed by another shock: a Foundation Challenge! Those have been few and far between this season with their precious immunities. That’s partly because the show wants to push the judges to use their own “one time special immunity” (a thing that hasn’t happened yet. I think it’s also because The Gauntlet is basically three Foundation challenges smooshed into a single episode, filling the season’s quota.
Anyway, the challenge for the Immunity prize is Valkyries, judged by long time make up artist Douglas Noe, who is here technically to plug his work on the Marvel franchise. (I suppose the Valkyrie theme sort of ties back–Norse gods were man’s first superheroes or something.) The results aren’t bad either–having gone through The Gauntlet at this point means that these guys have gotten pretty good at them. Yvonne’s is probably the most straight forward and plainest. Walter’s mouth bothers me, though I see where the inspiration comes from. Robert’s is downright obnoxious, which should surprise no one. Mel and Melissa are merely ok for me. If I’d had my druthers I’d have given the win and immunity to Rob. But the expert disagrees, and Melissa is safe sailing for the rest of the hour.
On to the main challenge, which is back in the lab after the set dressers and lighting folk have gotten done with it to turn it into….a bordello? No, a faux Middle Eastern palace, filled with lamps. Genie lamps! Everyone gets to pick a lamp for the rubbing, and create a make up design inspired by the spirit’s cramped, oil-laden home.
With only five designers for the eliminating, let’s see what Westmore thinks of their designs.
- Mel: She got the biggest lamp of the bunch, which is covered with animals, and is thinking to sculpt an antelope. Westmore says this is the worst idea ever.
- Walter: His lamp has dragons on it. Somehow it’s perfectly fine for him to make a dragon based design, but not for Mel to make an antelope.
- Robert: His lamp has a red center, which he decided is a cat’s eye” despite it having nothing to do with cats. And yet somehow it is perfectly fine for him to make a cat, but not for Mel to make an antelope.
- Rob: He has this green patina’d lamp with big square handles. His design is basically to make a genie that looks like that. Westmore approves, though he frets about the nose.
And that’s all we have time for! Sorry Yvonne and Melissa! Mel winds up starting over, and spiraling down into our now-familiar semi meltdown of self-doubt. The difference is, this time she’s not got a partner to walk her through her issues or give her a critical eye to pull her out of it. The result is that she never does, making hers the hardest of the threads to watch this week.
Meanwhile, in those who thought they were fine and then nosedive we have Walter. In the opposite corner is those who had no idea what they were doing and then discover things are great, we have Rob. I’d rather be in Rob’s corner, since Walter’s freak out leads to the dreaded mold drama edit. But, like most Mold Drama, when all is said and done we have our usual “then a miracle occurs” and everything turns out just fine.
Let’s see how the judges find this looks.
There is a fourth judge this week! A guest judge has joined the table! This is not a drill! For those thinking Doug Noe would come back, bad news. This week’s extra pair of eyes (and whose existence is a near certain guarantee the “special one time immunity will not be used this week) is none other than Bill Corso, who designed the make up on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. No, his work has nothing to do directly with the challenge. The show’s just excited to have landed a guest judge of that stature. We’ll let them have it.
Melissa: The lamp pattern on the model’s skin makes her look like a tiger. (PUT A TIGER IN YOUR LAMP.)
Yvonne: Pachydermal? More like Elephantine. (At least no one offers her genie a peanut.)
Rob: I love this one. I love that he took the copper patina green and used it for the skin, so the genie is technically the traditional green, but not cartoon green. The block shaped “jughandle” (lamphandle?) ears are fantastic. And on top of that, he looks intimidating. The only part I don’t like is the tile paint on the arms.
Walter: I will give it this: the end result is really intricate and, given the mold drama, surprisingly complex. I love the horns, and that the genie is kind of unisex. But next to Rob’s it looks less like a genie and more like a goblin. I understand why the judges choose him for the win–it’s the paint job, stupid!–but I would have given it to Rob’s. (That’s twice this episode I thought Rob should have won. Hmph.)
Mel: It looks like an Ice Blue Cardassian. Also,. the way the paint job is done makes it look more unfinished than deliberate. I think this is a case where she should have gone with her original idea instead of questioning herself to death.
Robert: Do you like how his model is holding up the glass int he official portrait to hide her face? Thankfully the morphs exist, and though they’ve airbrushed his work into decency, it’s still pretty obvious that his result was less “genie” and more “cat” crossed with a “harpie.” The judges have been patient with Robert for weeks, but now he’s not just gone and done something goofy that’s half-making fun of the challenge, but he’s done it in front of a very high-end guest judge who is gives this all of the side-eye he can muster.
There is no argument from the judges. You don’t embarrass the show like that. Goodbye Robert.