'Skin Wars' contestants paint their way to a gripping finale
Three finalists vie for a chance to win the Game Show Network competition and become a body-painting champion.
As beloved television personality RuPaul Charles would say, "Oh. It's on."
The second season of the Game Show Network's body-painting competition "Skin Wars" culminates this week in what's sure to be a visually stunning, emotional finale with three artists from around the world vying for the grand prize package: $100,000, a trip to the World Body Painting Festival in Austria, their own custom paintbrush line and a year's supply of body paint.
The three finalists – American Aryn Fox, Israeli Avi Ram and Russian Lana Chromium – have made it through emotionally and physically grueling challenges as they showcase their individual talents on an unconventional canvas – the human body. Each week, the show devises new art themes for the contestants to embark on. Episode 8, for example, found the artists turning their muscle-bound models into robots, some with bizarre backstories that had even the judges confounded. (Cue the dancing pecs!) Another challenge required the contestants to paint their models into a corresponding background in a technique the judges called "Nature Blend." When all was said and done, Fox, Ram and Chromium were left standing ahead of the finale, set to air at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday, Aug. 19. Of those three, one winner will be chosen. Who will it be?
To help you prepare for this week's finale, here's our closer look at each finalist.
Aryn Fox is a makeup and tattoo artist who specializes in the horror and gore genres, as evidenced by the totally awesome job she snagged as a makeup manager for a haunted house in her hometown of Cincinnati. But on the show, Fox's time-management problem has led to some close calls. Her creativity, talent and dedication are undeniable – just look at that ingenious use of color in her robot piece – but those subtle hints of unfinished work may be her downfall.
Sweet, charming Avi Ram can't seem to get through a scene without getting choked up about how much he misses his mom. The Israeli-born artist honed his craft working at his airbrush T-shirt design shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before auditioning for "Skin Wars" on a lark, so he's arguably the least experienced body artist in the competition. On the show, he dedicates much of his work to his beloved home country, vowing to go back someday and use some of his winnings to help his mom. And we think he just might get his wish – Ram's work consistently stands out for technical expertise, and his shy, aw-shucks disposition has him winning over judges and fellow contestants alike. Just look at his Episode 9 creation, a flawless interpretation of the "Nature Blend" theme:
Don't be fooled by this Russian beauty's Barbie-blonde looks and disarming smile. She's a competitor, and she's not going down without a fight. After successfully beating out that other blonde in the competition, over-confident North Carolinian Cheryl Ann Lipstreu, Chromium seemed to get a little more bounce in her step. But it didn't last long, as a few small-but-significant mistakes continued to seep into her work, mistakes that the judges just couldn't let slide. Only time will tell if those errors will cost her the game.
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