Face Off Is On The Side Of The Angels
Devils are also represented at the same time, to varying effect.
Welcome back! Since this is an even-numbered episode, one team will be sent home. Last week's winners were Keaghlan and Melissa (Team Bluehair) so they're safe. Last week's bottom two were Stella and Melissa (Team Blonde) and Ben and Evan (who have no hair-based team nickname), so they're the ones in the most danger this week.
Getting The Challenge
Normally, when the challenge is given out at a special destination, one suspects the interference of product placement. I don't think that's what happened this time, unless the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Pasadena has a really unusual outreach program. Everyone's here for a challenge that is sort of religion-themed, although not in a way that actual religions would recognize. The idea is to take an "angel character" and a "demon character" and apply them both to a single model. One designer claims to be "a real theology nerd," but I don't think this is actual theology.
There's also something about how the designers are supposed to use their own traits for the angel and demon characters to represent, but I'll just say right now that the judges don't seem to care about that, and nobody's traits actually come through in the final designs. There's a lot of talk about "jealousy" and "stubbornness," but it can all safely be disregarded.
Everyone sits in pews (because: church) and throws around ideas. But all the talk is about what traits the angels and demons will represent, which, as I explained in the previous section, turns out to be basically irrelevant. The concept of "selfish" vs. "giving" comes up a lot, as more than one team thinks it would look cool to have an angel that represents charity being taken advantage of by a parasitic demon that represents...taking advantage of charity. Cig and George are going to do an angel chiseling herself out of a stone demon, which, like a lot of things at this stage, sounds like something that could either look cool or terrible.
Sculpting Day 1
Right at the beginning, Tyler says, "Our angel has compassion and she is taken over by her devil's guilt." This sort of vague statement that sounds like it almost means something is basically what everyone says about their designs. The challenge of doing two opposed characters on one model is a lot more interesting than what traits the designers project onto them, but everyone is coming at this from the angle that I personally find less interesting.
Having said that, it's fun to watch people start turning clay into stuff. Ben's a little worried that they're going too big, because his cowl really looks more like a devil hoodie. After consultation with Evan, he scraps the cowl and starts over. Because everyone's in these teams for the long haul, there's a lot more partnership on display than we see in one-episode teams. It looks like the designers are benefiting from the ability to talk out their ideas with someone they know, so I'm getting cautiously optimistic about this season's format. Until the first person goes on record with complaints that they don't like the teammate he or she got assigned.
Ben's new plan is to have the devil character wrapping itself around the angel.
Michael Westmore is here again to dispense excellent advice that some designers will unwisely ignore. McKenzie isn't with him for the second episode in a row, which makes me sad. I always like to imagine that after they do the mentor rounds, they go have lunch together or something.
Most of Mr. Westmore's advice is to balance out the angel and devil sides, since a lot of people are just doing mostly one side or the other.
Stella and Jasmine were very late off the mark, since they still hadn't decided what they were going to do when everyone else had started sculpting. And after Mr. Westmore's advice, they're even more lost than before. They end up having a discussion that never quite escalates into an argument where they call each other stubborn a lot. So now they're doing a bull head, because bulls are stubborn. And there will be a devil inside the angel, pushing out the wings, which doesn't sound at all confusing or hard to read.
Birthday Party For Tyler
Hey, it's Tyler's birthday! Everyone signed a card for him, and it's very sweet. And short.
Also, I note that Logan wrote "Happy birthday, Buttface...off!" Good one, dude.
Sculpting Day Two
Melissa and Keaghlan don't come up a lot in this episode, because they have immunity so there's not a lot of drama surrounding them. But they do have this thing going on where they've decided that an angel's halo grows out of its head, and a devil's horns are from breaking it. This is pretty elaborate, and it means that Keaghlan has to work extra-hard on making the halo part of the cowl so it looks perfectly symmetrical. It will eventually not work, so Melissa will fabricate one that looks fine.
There's very brief mold drama, in which Jasmine and Stella try to open a mold early and decide they'll have to make their wing nubs on application day. It's not terribly dramatic, but it's important to see mold drama once in a while that actually results in the mold not being used.
George, of course, continues his streak of modeling his team's work.
While it's fun to watch people run around in a panic while I'm relaxing on my couch, there aren't a lot of huge, obvious good decisions or bad decisions to be seen. Rachel painted something that Gage thought was too vibrant, so he darkens it up a bit, and that eventually pays off in an offhanded judge comment that it looked muddy. But it's not that big a deal.
The Final Results
We kick things off with Stella and Jasmine, who have not done a great job.
The face is sort of devil-ish, but I don't see any angel elements at all. I guess that stuff on the model's belly is supposed to be angelic, but it just looks like stuff glued to a model's belly. I'm going to skip the face, because what is this:
Ben and Evan have their model's face being an angel and then there's a devil face kind of glued next to it.
I'm not crazy about it, because the devil face looks too artificial. And it kind of reminds me of the school nurse on South Park with the conjoined twin fetus on her face.
Well, Cig and George said they were going to show an angel sculpting herself out of stone, and that's what they delivered.
The concept comes across pretty well, but I think it's a little unusual to have a character that can't really do anything but be in this one post.
Tyler and Emily decided that the most sensible way to show an angel and a devil on a single model was to just do half on one side and half on the other.
Logan and Adam (who I've been referring to as "Team Dude" in my notes because I can't remember either of their names) did this thing where there's a devil with random angel parts applied in places.
The idea is supposed to be that the angel is clawing its way out from the inside, but I don't buy it.
Keaghlan and Melissa ended up here.
I don't think the halo really reads as either a halo or as "the place devil horns come from."
Rachel and Gage split their model so there's angel in the front and devil in the back (or "mullet-style") instead of one on the left and one on the right ("Two-Face style").
They're unsure of the result.
Niko and Cat did a pretty straightforward Two-Face style, except that they were careful not to have a sharp dividing line down the middle of the face.
For the wings, they followed the advice they got from Mr. Westmore, so one's a devil wing and one's an angel wing, except that both wings are recognizably similar. And they're recognizably wing-like, which doesn't always happen.
The part where the judges look at the models up close is always a lot of fun, as big tough guy Glenn Hetrick says things like "The shapes coming off the head thrill me." He's back to his old self, where he very much likes logical anatomy and good forms, and very much does not like the random stuff that Stella and Jasmine glued to their model. Ve loves the beauty makeup that Niko and Cat did, possibly because there's a tendency on this show for people to overvalue sculpting and undervalue painting and makeup.
The middle-of-the-road teams are sent away, leaving five teams that are the best and worst. That's weird, right? Shows normally have the same number of teams in the best and the worst.
The top teams are Ben/Evan (who are told that they created something "artistically beautiful"), Emily/Tyler ("an exquisite visage"), and Cat/Niko (I didn't write down a specific quote, but Ve continues to love the makeup). The bottom teams are Logan/Adam (no one agrees that they're looking at "an archangel who is giving in to his lustful urges") and Stella/Jasmine (Glenn says the forms are "meandering," which is something he does not care for).
Then the judges repeat all this by themselves, then they repeat it AGAIN when it's time to deliver the chop.
Eventually, Cat and Niko win, and they seem pleased. And then Stella and Jasmine are sent home, and they do not seem surprised. No one is, really.
Putting two opposing characters on a single model is a really interesting challenge, and I think we saw a good range of approaches to it. And while I don't dislike Stella and Jasmine, it feels fair that they went home after being in the bottom in the first two challenges.