So the remaining artists headed off to Japan!! Although Niko would have liked to travelled with the freshly eliminated Cat, he, along with the other artists, was jazzed to be making the trip, and he wanted to make her proud. What a lucky bunch! I can only dream of travelling there, mostly due to the fact that I hate flying and that trip would be way too long for this pixie!
Like a movie montage, the gang visited the sites. From the famous Tsuji Fish Market, to Shibuya Crossing and the Rikugien Gardens, they were all overwhelmed, inspired and profoundly grateful for the experience.
They ended up at Shomyoji Temple, which represents the ‘land of perfect bliss’, to get their next Foundation Challenge. McKenzie met them with Kazuhiro Tsuji, who is seen as one of the world’s best makeup and FX artist. With films like M.I.B., The Grinch, Looper and 2 Oscar nominations under his belt, the artists were really excited to see him there. He introduced their Oni-masked models and the immunity challenge which called for them to create their own original take on Oni: hideous Japanese demons with ogre or troll like qualities and multiple fingers or eyes. He wanted them to be aware of the fear that they instilled, especially of death, and to put the Japanese culture into the makeup.
Kazu judged the creations, choosing Daran and Corrine as his favourites. Daran won immunity because Kazu liked that his design was different from the others but still had the essence of, and looked like, an Oni. Right after his win, the Spotlight Challenge was revealed, and it was a cool one! McKenzie pointed out how Tokyo had a great impact on pop culture, from The Matrix, to Kill Bill and Pacific Rim, all of which tapped into the anime phenomenon. The gang had to create a hyper-stylized anime character of their own, but it must also be an alter ego to their personalities. That meant finding something unique about themselves and incorporating it into their makeups. They got to go to the Akihabara District, which was anime central! Colours and cartoons everywhere, the artists ended up at a cosplay café called @home café where with the guidance of anime artist extraordinaire Hidetaka Tenjin, the created their characters. Still on an inspirational high, the gang headed back to L.A. so they could get to work.
On Elimination Day, Kazu joined them as a guest judge. I just want to point out that we share the same birthday, and are both makeup artists (I’m retired though). This makes me very happy, but I digress…
Graham created a mad scientist/plant monster. He had a lot of painting to do and had a mini collision with Chloe on application day which left her with a bloody mouth. Aside from that, Graham plugged away. I didn’t like this character at all. I thought it was weird, and didn’t look like anime. The judges like the hair, but felt that the forms were lost in all the blended colours. They also thought the eyes were weird, and didn’t understand the plant arm. Ve thought it looked like a reject from Poison Ivy’s lab. He was in the bottom looks.
Rashaad made a Robin Hood character. His makeup was complete, and the judges admired all the fabrication and work he put in. This look kept him safe yet again. I really want to see this guy win a challenge, just to say he won! Jeez!
Chloe created a soul sucking anime gal named Soul-stice, because Chloe was born on the summer solstice. Despite her literal run-in with Graham, her makeup was cute and looked very anime, but the judges didn’t like the eyes. What they did like was the paint job, which she wasn’t thrilled about during her creation process. She too was safe.
Daran’s makeup was very cool. He incorporated his love of freedom into a koi fish design. It was a graceful piece full of movement, with 2 koi fish swimming around a fish-like face. The judges were impressed by all the details like the “gorgeous” fish scaling, and the nasal openings of the face as eye holes for the model to see. They felt he made good use of animal forms which are prevalent in anime, and Kazu felt the design was different from the others and had a good sense of proportion. He was in the top looks.
George, oh George! He has always wanted to fly, so he created a Superman type character. He struggled with his design, and had lots to do on the character’s suit. He knew had run out of time and that the overall look was sloppy. The judges like the sculpt of the face and head, but felt the whole thing was, yes, sloppy. Kazu said it was cheesy, and they thought he made some horrible decisions along with the sub-par execution. I think he is a talented artist, but this was a real stinker. He was in bottom looks.
Corrine loved Halloween, so her character had a cute witch look who was the giver of tricks and treats. She was concerned that Chloe’s design was too close to hers, so she went for a really good design to differentiate herself. I thought the mouth was weird, but overall it was cute. The judges loved it. They thought it captured the essence of anime, with a delicate sculpt around the eyes. Kazu thought it was the most anime proportion-wise. She was in top looks.
Tyler did a kooky version of himself. He felt he was always in overdrive, so he created a many armed cartoon Tyler. He cast his own arms to create the extra appendages which was cool. The judges felt it looked like “Waldo on L.S.D.”, and admired the vacuformed hair. This fun design kept him safe for another week.
The two bottom looks really threw the judges off. They all felt that George and Graham were both better than what they had created. It was a difficult decision, but they chose Graham to go home. They didn’t see the anime inspiration in his makeup, and the execution was way off.
Out of the top looks, they thought Corrine did an excellent job and made a “quintessentially anime” character. They thought Daran did a beautiful paint job and a bizarrely beautiful creation. Daran was the winner of this challenge! They had no idea where the idea came from, but felt it was an “outrageously great” makeup.
Before the show ended, the judges decided to use the special immunity option for the first time on the show. Because Graham showed such promise and that he could have made it to the finale, they let him back on the show! This second chance fueled him to push on and do much better in the future. I’m glad because I like him. He has a good attitude and great ideas. Glad he is back for more!