This week, the artists went to a bridge over the L.A. River, where scenes for movies like Terminator 2, Grease and Chinatown were filmed. It was a fitting intro for the next Spotlight Challenge: Trolls! Described as “oafish but devious”, trolls often live under bridges. The artists had to create their own trolls inspired by bridges from around the world: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, The Corvin Castle Bridge in Transylvania, The Dragon Bridge in Bali, The Helix Bridge in Singapore, The Tower Bridge in London, and the Python Bridge in Amsterdam. McKenzie told them to keep in mind the location, design, and cultural setting of the bridges when coming up with a concept. They also got a special treat-the great character actor Doug Jones, know for his roles in Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, was going to come in on application day to help the models get into character and work on movements for their specific trolls. He would also be a judge on the reveal stage. It was really cool to see him work with each model to bring out the troll characteristics. He was amazing interpreting the makeups for the models, and just watching his lanky, lithe frame transform was a treat!
Anthony picked the Helix Bridge. His troll lived in a rainforest and fell asleep only to wake up in modern society. He wanted the troll to blend with, and become a part of, the bridge by genetically altering himself in order to fit into this new world. He sculpted the face with a rocky texture that faded into a more modern, angular shape and wondered if the judges would get his troll. The makeup was interesting, but the judges felt the character didn’t belong to the bridge, and Doug thought the transition was a problem. There was confusion in the sculpt and the design lacked a clear goal. He was in the bottom.
Julian picked the Corvin Castle Bridge. He went with a troll that was a servant of Dracula. His final makeup was a bit rough-looking, but he made it through to next week. Stephanie worked on the same bridge, and created a troll that blended into the trees. Her troll looked like the cousin of the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt. I though it was cool though, and she was also safe. Adam chose the Dragon Bridge, and created a fallen warrior that was cursed. He made a hump back from a piece of foam, incorporating vine and leaf shapes as well as a snaky texture. The face of his troll was really good, and he too was safe. Logan’s Golden Gate troll would have a burnt look. He really liked the character, and even though there was a cool mask detail, the judges thought the concept wasn’t appropriate for a troll. He was however, safe.
Jamie worked on a troll that lived under the Dragon Bridge. He was the protector of the dragon statues on the bridge and blended into his environment. She was advised by Mr. Westmore to go easy on the vegetation to show more detail, and she sculpted a wood texture for the makeup. Her troll was very nice with a solid sculpt. The judges loved the chest, paint job and wood sculpt, and Doug told her he loved the details and would wear the makeup himself! She was in top looks.
Darla picked the Python Bridge, but she had trouble with a concept. She struggled for a bit, and even with help from coach Laura, was hating what she came up with. Laura was a little worried about the lack of direction, and hoped for the best. Mr. Westmore told Darla to go more traditional route with the troll features like a bulbous nose, and add some depth to the sculpt. Her troll was “meh”. Not enough detail for me, and the judges thought the round shape didn’t read troll-like, although they did like the paint. For someone who started out strong, she seems a little lost lately. Luckily she was safe.
Rob’s troll lived under the Tower Bridge. He was a prince who loved a princess but was cursed by her disapproving father, the king. He wanted to extend the back of its head and horns. He noticed the troll was starting to look like an alien, but kept going especially since Rayce approved. Rob was happy with the end result, but the judges thought otherwise. They felt the forms were flawed, and the face was mask-like. Glenn did like the paint but thought the anatomy did not look troll enough. He was in the bottom.
Emily picked the Golden Gate Bridge. Her troll was a girl who jumped off the bridge and take on the shapes of the rocks on the nearby island. She added rock textures to the sculpt, but ran into some problems in the mold room. It was her turn to have a mold lock on her, and to add insult to injury, her chest piece cracked. Ben helped her open the mold, but she would have a lot of patching to do. Her foam edges were also really thick. She had to paint fast to make up time for all the repairs. Her colours were nice, but the judges thought the edges were hard, and not literal enough to look like rocks. Ve thought it wasn’t a beautiful character for this challenge, and Doug didn’t like the transitions but liked the paint. She was also in the bottom.
Ben chose the Python Bridge. Since kids go swimming there, he wanted to do a fun troll who went disguised as a little girl. He had to put a more fantasy spin on in according to Mr. Westmore, and so he did. He added a beer belly for some fun, and a hyper exaggerated face. His troll was different to anyone else’s, and that worried him, even though he liked his troll. His was my favourite! It was hilarious, and beautifully sculpted. The judges loved the sculpt as well as the whimsy, and Neville thought it was a courageous move to go so different. Doug loved the laughter and the way the model portrayed the character. Glenn thought it was the best detail work of the night, and that it all worked. Ben was in the top looks because of his bold choices.
Kelly’s Tower Bridge troll was a mother who haunted the bridge where her child fell to his death. After Mr. Westmore told her to troll up her makeup with more lip and nose, she went for it. Coach Anthony put the brakes on her momentum when he noticed her paint was getting muddy, so in last looks, she had to change it up. I really liked her troll. It was a really great sculpt, and Glenn thought it was astounding. He liked that she used the model’s features and Ve liked the monotone colours. Neville didn’t think it was a troll but it was still good, and Jones liked the performance. She was in the top with her washed out colour palette and creepy, compelling character.
Rayce had to speak up before any decision was made because two of his team, Rob and Anthony, were in the bottom. He had given his team a pep talk before they started the challenge, telling them to think outside the box and skip making a traditional troll, and I think he felt responsible for their weaker showings.
The winner this week was Jamie!! I was really happy because I like her. She is quiet but one to watch and seems to have a very likeable character. The judges loved that she embedded the culture and history of the bridge, as well as the wood sculpt. They thought it was her best work so far, and encouraged her to keep up her focus. Bravo Jamie!
Anthony went home. His paint job and un-troll-like character did him in. The judges were impressed by his passion and expected him to do well as this was just one step in the right direction. He felt it was a life changing experience and was revved up for the future.
So far, Team Laura still stands with one artist gone and Rayce and Anthony have both lost two artists. I am really loving this team twist this season!