This time around, the artists met at the Walter Pyramid, an arena at the Long Beach Campus of California State University. Here, McKenzie and judge Glenn Hetrick introduced them to one of my favourite subjects: Ancient Aliens! They mentioned that theorists though places like the Giza Pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England could be clues left from alien civilizations. The first solo Spotlight Challenge was to use a historical site or rumoured alien construct to inspire their own alien who might have built the site.
Damien chose the Giza Necropolis in Egypt. He went for angular and sharper features for his alien to mimic the pyramids. Not seeming to have much trouble with his design, he worked steadily until it came time to the paint. Starting out with a gold base, he tried to create highlighting with a deeper blue that just gave a muddy finish. The judges noticed, and Ve revealed to him that he should have started out with colour and then use the gold to highlight. They thought the cheeks weren’t anatomically correct and felt his forms were rough. He was in the bottom looks.
Keaghlan also picked the Giza Necropolis. She created an alien princess with feline features and a Nefertiti headdress. This alien was responsible for bringing cats to Earth (which would explain my cats and their weirdness!). She was nervous about working on her own, but after Mr. Westmore talked to her about doing a really beautiful paint job and watching her time, she went for it. She had a lot of painting to do for her large head-piece. I thought it was beautiful. The judges loved the bold graphic look and strong silhouette and Ve liked the use of gold and thought it looked prettier up close. She was in top looks.
Stella got Peruvudaiyar Kovil found in India. Her inspiration came from Lord Shiva, creating his mate who erected this monument as a warning to stop his cheating ways. She used a collar seen on a bull statue at the monument, and after talking to Mr. Westmore, figured out a way to have her model move her neck with the extra-large collar piece. Her bejeweled alien was spectacular! A vibrant red vision with a great India influence had the judges raving about the design. They thought the forms were adventurous, and Lois thought the collar and henna on the hand were great. Glenn felt it was a complex and advance makeup, with skilled execution and heeded multicultural references. She was in the top.
Sasha also picked Peruvudaiyar Kovil. Her alien collected animals. She wanted to blend Indian culture into her makeup and use the model’s features in her concept. She felt her cowl was smaller than the rest and that made her really nervous, but she kept going with her concept. She kept her eye on the more experienced artists to learn how to make a mold, and while she had an issue with her mold opening, things turned out quite well for her. I loved how she used her model’s big beautiful eyes to their fullest potential. She was worried about her less is more approach, but the judges loved the Indian influence, the femininity and all the jewellery. They also thought the makeup had great proportions. She was in top looks! So glad she went with her gut despite being nervous about her choices.
Gwen went with Stonehenge. She wanted to create a Predator inspired warrior but struggled with her design. She lost confidence and was concerned. Her chest piece didn’t come out well, and she spent a lot of time patching it, leaving her no time for a decent paint job to salvage the makeup. In her words, the end result was a “gnarled mess”. Unfortunately it showed because the judges did not like the alien. They felt there was no dimension, and her edges were bad. There was also no focal point as the face and torso differed with the amount of paint, and it looked more pagan than alien. They felt that a better use of colour could have saved the makeup and that it didn’t satisfy the challenge. She was in the bottom.
Rachael picked Stonehenge as well, and went with an aquatic alien that got the locals to build the monument for her. Her result was an icy blue alien with a really cool look. She felt it needed a prop, but she was safe.
Doc went for the Moai statues of Easter Island. His idea was an amphibious aquatic alien but he ran into some problems. During the walk-through, Mr. Westmore pointed out that the design didn’t feel like Easter Island, and the makeup didn’t look like the statues. He made a lot of changes to Doc’s design, emphasizing the nose and brow which left Doc reeling a bit. He struggled with the face, wanting to follow Mr. Westmore’s advice but still keep some of his concept. The judges though the makeup look rough and the paint job was monotone and “wretched”. They thought the mouth looked sad and the sculpt was strange in general. He was in the bottom looks.
Drew got The Pyramid of the Sun found in Mexico. He went for a snake-like alien with feathers. His colour scheme was yellow and green and used a stencil for some of the paint job, but in last looks, his airbrush clogged, leaving him to complete it by hand. The judges thought the paint job was flat and incomplete. The didn’t like the stencil aspect although they did think the mouth was great. Lucky for him, he was safe.
Dina also took on the Pyramid of the Sun. Her idea was an alien that used mind control and had a fiery cranium. Mr. Westmore advised her about the texture of the alien, and she created a nice reptilian alien with a great paint job. She was safe.
Jason and George both had Machu Picchu found in Peru. Jason wanted to incorporate L.E.D. lights in the head-piece, but on the reveal stage, I didn’t notice them. he wasn’t happy with the paint, but it did look very alien. George wanted his alien to have no human references. His telepathic alien had squid-like hands and a dominant bright red colour. He liked his creation but felt the vibrant wardrobe might have been too much. They were both safe.
Vince’s Easter Island alien was good too. Instead of running around like the other artists, he simply took a walk and worked on his mental game plan. It was a great sculpt that kept him safe in the end.
Cig went for Angkor Wat in Cambodia. His inspiration was Lord Vishnu and wanted extra arms for this makeup. He used monofilament to coordinate the model’s real arms with the constructed ones. He used vibrant blue and the sculpt matched the monument. The arms worked well. He wanted to maintain the judges’ faith in him from his last win, and he ended up being safe.
The winner was Stella! The judges thought there were so many things that shouldn’t have worked but did. And unfortunately, Gwen went home. Her alien looked like a tribal demon to the judges, and she suffered technical setbacks that she couldn’t adapt to. She was disappointed but like the others who left the show, determined to carry on in the makeup field.
This season is lacking a certain energy. I know there are a lot of contestants, but I feel that the show is edited really fast, not showing some of the artists’ creative processes properly. Because of this, the vibe seems flat. Not sure what is going on, but I would rather they spent time on the production instead of rushing to squeeze in another season. Just my humble opinion…