Previously on Halloween Wars: Bling Bats got a new sugar artist and became a seriously kickass team as a result. Boo’s lousy cake decorator threw a tantrum, because this is just so hard! Bling Bats blew everyone away, and Something Wicked got sent home for their not-so-scary take on Hansel and Gretel.
The teams come out and line up to meet their guest judge: Rob Zombie, who’s living proof that middle-aged white people can’t pull off dreadlocks. In fact, neither can non-middle-aged white people. Karen still squeals like a fangirl, because she’s of an age to still think Rob Zombie’s cool. It’s probably how I’ll be about Chris Martin when I’m 40. Unsurprisingly, Andrea has stomped and pouted her way home, so Boo’s got a new cake person: Becky from the recently eliminated Something Wicked.
Small Scare: the teams have to pay homage to the Day of the Dead, and they need to include a skull. Boo’s jamming their skull on a stick and setting it in a graveyard. Skulls wants to dip the pumpkin in white chocolate and make that the skull. Ooooh, bad idea. What’s going to make the white chocolate adhere to the waxy outside of the pumpkin? It’s going to start cracking off as soon as you go to carve it, even I know that! Bling Bats want to pay homage to Johnny Cash by putting their skull in a ring of fire.
Pumpkins are hacked apart, fondant massaged, and chocolate melted down. Skulls coat their pumpkin in chocolate and stick it in the fridge to set up while Louise the sugar artist starts making flowers and the cake decorator makes the front of the skull. Over at Bling Bats, Karen’s in charge of the skull. If it turns out as well as the Sleeping Beauty skull they’re going to be in pretty good shape.
Skulls pull their pumpkin out of the fridge and the carver gets started. The skull front looks bizarrely like a big white pretzel. Karen at Bling Bats is hand-painting the skull with all sorts of designs, accidentally smudging a few. Just as I expected, the chocolate on Skulls’ pumpkin starts cracking and melting as it’s handled. It’s not looking good for them. The teams hurry to finish their pieces. Skulls’ skull doesn’t look all that great. The front looks pretty rough to me. Susan drizzles molten sugar over Bling Bats’ candles to make them look drippy. And…time’s up!
Skulls presents their skull, which looks a bit better than when I saw it. The piece is a big skull with candles stuck to the top and decorated with sugar flowers. The judges think the colors are a bit too muddy.
Bling Bats show off their hollowed-out pumpkin with its modeled skull surrounded by sugar flames and candles. The judges love it and think all their skills were highlighted in a consistent and cohesive way.
Boo’s pumpkin skull is nicely carved, but the paint has bled all over it. It’s not terrible, but it isn’t great either. The judges think the skull is well carved, but the rest of it is kind of blah.
Bling Bats win, yet again, putting them three for three on Small Scares. Their reward is they get first pick of the pumpkins. Yay? Now it’s time for the Spine Chiller: they have to create a vampires vs. zombies piece. What? Why versus? Why not just a cake with one or the other? Is this some epic battle of the undead I’ve never heard of? Eh, that sounds lame.
Sketches begin. Skulls wants to go…50’s diner? What? What does that have to do with anything? Bling Bats is thinking big with a Marie Antoinette vampire fighting a zombie. The carver wants to make the frame out of a pumpkin. Boo knows they need to step it up and decides to have a female vampire with a zombie eating out of her head. Ew. And they want to do it life-size, so they’re going to need the biggest pumpkin. Of course, Bling Bats grabs just that pumpkin. Surprise! Doesn’t seem like that big a deal, though, because there are plenty of other big pumpkins over there. Chris, the carver at Skulls, grabs a bunch of pumpkins to make the diner sign.
Susan, the sugar artist for Bling Bats, is going nuts making spun sugar hair and ribbons and all sorts of things. Skulls’ sugar artist is making little seats for the inside of their diner. I still don’t understand their concept at all. Boo’s whole team is packing pumpkin around an armature. Apparently the whole zombie’s going to be made of pumpkin. Building, building, building.
Oh, of course there’s a twist. They have to add…ooze? Seriously, what was the team over at Food Network smoking when they came up with this challenge? It’s all over the place! The teams panic, even though this is a zombies and vampires challenge, so you’d think something gooey and oozy would have already been part of the design. Boo and Skulls are going to put ooze in the brains. Bling Bats is going to do a raspberry puree. See? Not so hard.
Boo’s zombie is really coming together, and Bling Bats worries that their pumpkin work’s not going to measure up. Thing is, it’s not just the pumpkins that count, Karen, and Bing Bats’ overall concepts and the integration of each team member’s talents have been the best throughout this competition.
Skulls starts putting their pieces together and realize the pumpkin’s too big. The carver has to hack off the whole top, destroying some of his carving work in the process. He responds to this by obliterating all his work and starting to carve a whole other pumpkin. That makes sense.
Bling Bats has this whole apparatus set up to try and get their ooze to drip out of the vampire’s teeth, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Their piece is pretty cool, though. They made it look like a painting come to life, with the frame carved out of pumpkin.
Time’s up! Time for The Judgment.
Team Boo’s got a life-sized pumpkin zombie eating the brain out of a kneeling vampire. Their ooze is coconut tapioca pudding brains, which the judges dig right into. Miles thinks it looks cool, but the zombie needs some painting or shading. Rob Zombie thinks the zombie part is great, but the rest of the work doesn’t quite measure up.
Skulls presents their Blood and Brains diner, which is supposed to somehow contrast gore and Americana. It sounds like, even as they’re describing it, they’re realizing what a strange and dumb concept it is. The ooze is vanilla taffy brains that nobody can seem to eat, though the flavor’s ok. Rob Zombie thinks the concept is cool, but nobody thinks the pumpkin work is very well done.
Bling Bats. As always, their piece is amazing. The faces are incredibly expressive, with pulled sugar ribbons and spun sugar hair. They have to serve the ooze separately, using pulled sugar spoons, because of their technical difficulty. Everyone loves the look of the piece, though Shinmin wants to see them move away from the painted backdrops. Rob Zombie likes that it all comes together and looks cohesive, like one person made it, instead of a bunch of people working separately.
Hmm, who do you think will win? Yeah, once again, no contest. It’s Bling Bats. And Skulls of the Abyss is sent packing for just not getting it together today.