At the historic Bob Baker Marionette Theater, who’s namesake was a puppeteer with work in films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the last 5 artists got their Spotlight Challenge. Keeping in mind the setting, McKenzie wanted them to create a character inspired by a classic doll. They had 7 dolls to choose from, but their characters would have to be inspired by demonic dolls of Hollywood like Poltergeist and The Conjuring. Their guest judge would be writer, director and producer Don Mancini, creator of the Child’s Play franchise and Chucky, the possessed doll that we all know and love!
Logan picked a voodoo doll. His concept was a person who is turned into a voodoo doll by sorcery. He wanted to have an infused burlap look to mimic the doll he picked, and Mr. Westmore told him to work on the edges of his burlap sculpt to make it look real. Coach Rayce thought sculpting the burlap was not a good idea, but Logan disagreed until he re-thought his approach. He ended up scrapping his original plan by the end of Day 1 and would have to start fresh the next day. Rayce was happy because Logan saw that he had to be more deliberate and selective about his choices and work on his forms. He created giant pin from foam tubing, armature wire and a clown nose to convey the voodoo doll concept. At one point, Logan and Rayce were not meshing with the direction of the makeup, leaving Logan confused and frustrated. He was not happy but did his best. Even though he initially wasn’t proud of the makeup, his voodoo doll came out well. It did look slightly scarecrow-like, but the pin was a great decision that Glenn loved because it told you what the character was. The judges liked the overall vibe although Ve wanted a few more magical elements. Don liked the Chucky-esque look with the stitched skin and Neville liked the colour palette. He was safe.
Emily picked the rag doll who was ripped apart by the family dog, left in the rain and gets revenge on the family. She got creative by using ropes of crepe wool to get texture for her chest mold. Mr. Westmore suggested a loosened, hanging thread look for her button eyes. The chest mold fell over as she opened it but only suffered a small crack that she could work with. Her flat mold for a shoulder piece, however, cracked and she had to scrap it. She created a jute dreadlock wig and Coach Laura’s suggestion to use a sanding machine to make it look matted helped out with time. Emily used cotton to look like the stuffing was coming out of her doll that replaced the shoulder mold, and it all came together. The judges loved the featureless but expressive face, and Glenn loved how the hair affected the silhouette and character. Don thought it was spooky and sad, and Ve loved her crepe wool technique. She was in top looks.
Adam took on a baby doll. His concept involved a doll that was a portal for a tentacled, soul sucking demon. Rayce felt both Adam and Logan should play it close to the challenge to avoid any slip-ups, but Adam wanted to go for it. Mr. Westmore told him not to overpower the doll aspect and the point of the challenge with the monster concept. Rayce warned him that the concept was not reading doll-like, but Adam stuck to his guns and wanted to push the boundaries. His doll was pretty weird-looking. The judges thought the face wasn’t realistic and the details were off. The blacked out mesh eye looked like a bad pirate eye patch, and Glenn thought it was too big of a concept and not appropriate for the challenge. Ve wanted a more rubber look and doll eyes, and Neville thought the concept wasn’t animated properly. Adam was in the bottom looks.
Darla created a creepy porcelain doll. The cracks in the porcelain would release evil, and Coach Laura suggested an exaggerated head to sell the creepy factor. Mr. Westmore told her to branch out the cracks, and Darla ran with that advice by creating an infected look with intricate cracks all over. She made a wig of messy dirty curls and since her face piece came out perfectly, she was able to apply it quickly to concentrate on all the painting she needed to do. She used Pax body paint and thinned-out alcohol paint to bring out the cracked aged look of porcelain, and she really focused on detail. Her haunted doll with an enchanted mirror was amazing! The judges loved the porcelain look and the wig, and Don thought it was “so freaking disturbing”. Glenn noticed the larger head and thought it was thrilling, and Ve thought the sheen on the skin and the paint job was spectacular. Darla loved her own creation as well, and it got her into top looks.
Julian got a ventriloquist’s doll made from a sacred tree by a witch. Mr. Westmore advised him on how to make the mouth move like a real dummy’s mouth, and Julian found the task of sculpting wood and hair difficult. Because the doll came from the 16th century, he had to create an aged paint look by using algenate for cracks, but was not happy with the outcome as it looked muddy to him. It was creepy but the judges wanted more, especially with the paint job which was too much of the same tone. Don though it looked like one of the zombie ghosts from The Fog, and they all wanted a better wood sculpt. He was on the bottom as a result.
The winner was Darla! I knew she had it in her! The judges loved that she pulled off such difficult shapes and textures. The person going home was Adam. His design didn’t come together, and it was too far from the challenge, but Neville was sure he would be working soon. It’s coming down to the wire, and I am really curious about who will make it to the finale since Darla and Emily were my first picks, but we shall see!
Team Laura: Darla, Julian and Emily
Team Rayce: Logan