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Halloween Wars

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Episode Synopsis:

 

Five teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, cake decorator and sugar artist go to battle to create mind-blowing Halloween themed displays that capture a terrifying Haunted Farm. At the end of the battle, one team will be eliminated. Special Guest Judge: Naomi Grossman, who appeared in American Horror Story: Asylum.

 

 

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Ah, Shin Min never change! She is just so nasty, when she says something nice, it is always followed with something horrible. I love her. The small scare was pathetic, One of them looked like a teddy bear eating lollipops. My favorite large scare was the scarcrow thing, but the eggs in the chicken one were amazing.

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The small scare was trolls, right?  What does it say about them that I can barely remember what any of them looked like, other than the one that was missing the bench?

 

I didn't think any of the haunted farms were up to the quality of some of the previous seasons.  There were good details in a couple of them, but overall nothing that wow'ed me.  (I consider the zombie wedding finalists from two years ago to be the high bar for this show.)   I thought the two-headed animal one was the right kind of creepy for Halloween, at least.  

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I am so happy this show is on this site (thank you to whoever requested it).  The opener was a little lackluster when you compare it to the greatness that was the Bling Bats and Dead Men Walking.  I wonder if the talent pool for this type of high pressure competitions are limited (they already seem to be using previous contestants).  I know there are many cake decorators, but how many sugar artists and pumpkins carvers can there be in the world (particularly on this high level)?

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I love Halloween Wars.  I was watching a marathon of last season and actually found it more interesting then originally thought.  The work was better then I remembered.  I think I was expecting so much after the first two years that I was too easily disappointed.  I'm going to try to watch this years with a more open mind. 

 

The short challenge was a bit disappointing to me, but they usually are.  Just not enough time, I guess.  The haunted farm theme held more promise, but still had a few problems.  I think the animals messed them up.  It's hard to sculpt lifelike animals.  I really didn't understand the chicken.  Did none of the team see how cute it was?  Not scary at all.  There were bright spots though.  I love the pumpkin carver on the winning team Bone Crushers (I think that is the team's name, not sure of them yet).   Plus, that was a great demonic looking scarecrow.  Looking forward to next week. 

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I love this show to death! The talent from these sugar artists, carvers and the like is truly amazing!

 

The small scare was okay - yes, that one troll looked like a teddy bear. How on earth did that lady think she could pour and solidy the sugar bench slats, then assemble it in only 45 minutes flat. No way.

 

My favourite of the Farm challenge was the scarecrow and the pumpkin mowing the field. The poor animals in the mouth - loved that one the best! Didn't get the chicken either. Even when they were hashing out the concept, I was like..."A chicken". Chickens are played for jokes, not creepy scary. Just not good.

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Episode Synopsis: The four remaining teams go to battle creating mind-blowing Halloween themed displays that evoke the dire warning: whatever you do, don't go into the forest! Special guest judge, film producer Adi Shankar, will help determine which team will be eliminated.

 

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(I consider the zombie wedding finalists from two years ago to be the high bar for this show.)   \

 

 That would be the Bling Bats from season 1.  They were awesome.   In addition to the vampire Marie Antoinette attacking a zombie, they also did the fantastic 'what happened to Sleeping Beauty when Prince Charming didn't show up' and the demonic chicken hatching from a pumpkin egg, which was one of the best small scares I've seen. 

 

 I wonder if the talent pool for this type of high pressure competitions are limited (they already seem to be using previous contestants).  I know there are many cake decorators, but how many sugar artists and pumpkins carvers can there be in the world (particularly on this high level)?

 

 I think there's a decent amount of sugar artists.  They always seemed to have a decent supply when they were still doing Challenge.  Pumpkin carver, on the other hand, would seem to have a limited pool to pull from.  

 

 I really didn't understand the chicken.  Did none of the team see how cute it was?  Not scary at all.  

 

 Shinmin was dead on about this one"  what was going through their minds using blown sugar for the head. You can't put any kind of emotion or expression in that kind of piece, and that's what the best pieces on Halloween Wars have.  I can give them a little more slack on the lights because if they had managed to diffuse it a LOT more and just had a subtle glow it would have been a cool addition to the piece.  But what they end up with was a mess.

 

I love this show to death! The talent from these sugar artists, carvers and the like is truly amazing!

 

The small scare was okay - yes, that one troll looked like a teddy bear. How on earth did that lady think she could pour and solidy the sugar bench slats, then assemble it in only 45 minutes flat. No way.

 

 I don't know what was up with Team Gloom and Doom.  They should have been the odds on favorites.  They had not one, but two returning team members.  And I remember the cake artist from Challenge and he was pretty good. they simply could not get their shit together.

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Man the team that got eliminated was really drug down by their sugar artist. First she tried to pass off a few slats of sugar as a broken bench. And asks we use our imagination.

Then her barn wall started breaking apart and pedestrian are falling everywhere. I don't have to use my imagination to know she sucked.

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I wasn't surprised that the one with the wart candy won.  It did look like it was the best-done of the four.

 

I didn't think much of the expression on the kid being eaten by the creature.  Looked too old-mannish for a child, and not really as if he was afraid.  But the overall quality of the work was great on that one, too.

 

I want the recipe for that orange-hazelnut-coffee-chocolate-sponge cake treat.  That sounded delicious.  And Shinmin looked like she wanted to reach out and grab a second one if she could.

 

Was there some wonky editing?  When Brian K. was first talking about the Red-Riding-Hood piece, he referred to the monochrome color scheme, but later when they were discussing it, he mentioned something about how they added pops of color with the hood, and the camera focused in on the picnic basket.  I may need to catch it when it airs again, but it sounded off somehow.  It was as if he was saying the color was added after his original critique, though we saw the hood clearly enough while he was talking the first time.

 

A couple of those zombie dolls in the small scare were really creepy.  Much better than last week's trolls.

Edited by ElleryAnne

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Why was there an angler fish (also described as a "sea monster") in a forest?

 

 

Ha!  I wondered the same thing.  I think they explained it away with a mention of a swamp, but it was funny that they heard the theme, "In the Forest" and thought, "Fish!"

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Why was there an angler fish (also described as a "sea monster") in a forest?

 

My reaction too, and I thought it was funny that by the time they introduced their work to the judges, they were no longer referring to it as an anglerfish.

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Not that their work was awful, but I am glad with the team that went home.

Only because I couldn't take another episode trying to figure out what the hell the team leader was saying. His accent was so strong!

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The work that these guys do is really amazing, but I swear the piece that I think is the creepiest/scariest is never the one that wins the challenge. That huge pumpkin with the teeth was well done, but was not scary or terrifying. It was the eyes. They were not evil eyes, just wide open bland eyes with no hint of evil in them. Didn't think they should have won, but that's me.

 

I did like all of the pieces, even the little red riding hood one. It looked creepy but I think the monotone comment was correct. However, the other one with the Knights was pretty monochrome too. I thought the one with the sugar gates was done better, even though the "kid" trick 'o treater looked like he was an 80 year old man! Overall, better than last week.

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Episode synopsis: Three remaining teams go to battle to create a Halloween display capturing an epic battle between mummies and werewolves. Special guest judge Francia Raisa will help decide which two teams will move on to the $50,000 final battle.

 

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Episode synopsis: In the final battle in Halloween Wars, two teams made up of a pumpkin carver, cake decorator and sugar artist battle to create a terrifying display that captures the twisted, demonic world of a Haunted Carnival. Horror actor Lew Temple is the special guest judge, helping to determine which team is worthy of the $50,000 grand prize.

 

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I was waiting for one of the judges to call the the fish team out  on their nonforest story, but they never did.

 

I can see why the monster tree team went home, but what I didn't get the confusion of the judges about their story.  It was a monster tree that ate little red riding hood.  It looked pretty clear to me.

Edited by caci
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I liked the monster tree, and the crack about it needed more color...it's in a dark forest. I liked it a lot better than that bug thing that was missing an eye. Why that team didn't get dinged or have the judges mention it, leaves me shaking my head. I would have sent THAT team home.


I agree with those who say that the boy getting eaten by the fish looked like an old man. He also didn't look scared either. The face wasn't very good at all.

Edited by bookrat

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Putting these displays together must be brutal. Every year, at least one competitor drops out, there are heated exchanges within teams, hissy fits, etc. I don't think the teams know each other and are put together by Food Network. I'm sure the cast at least one team where the personalities are sure to create drama.

I totally didn't get the judges criticisim about not understanding the backdrop of that one piece. You have a werewolf in Egyptian gard (looking one step away from Annubis) holding a mummy with a back drop of stones? You can't piece together they're standing next to a pyramid? I guess you needed to see a point to figure that out. I could see dinging it for being underwheleming but really the winning one only had a half a backdrop and the other one was not a correct sylistic match to the scene (as Shinmim correctly pointed out it looked like a Van Gough). I also thought putting the moon pies on the moon looked wierd. In the end I agree with the winner and loser but some of the comments were just odd.

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I found the lack of imagination in the small scare challenge to be criminal. I mean, a robot and monkeyshines? Those things are always one lab accident away from being completely malevolent beasts. I liked the popcorn popper idea way better, although not in execution. I actually didn't like any of their creations for the small scare.

The first thing that popped into my head was a yo-yo coming alive and strangling its user. The middle judge said that the monkey is already terrifying, and I agree with him. I thought the whole point was to come up with a toy you wouldn't already think of as evil.

The losing team's werewolf was awful. The face looked feline, not canine.

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I didn't get the losing werewolf either.  It looked like it had a nightgown on it.  Plus, I didn't like the way the tail stood straight up.  I like each of the remaining teams and will be fine whoever wins, although I think I like the orange team (the names are escaping me).   

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I still can't figure out what the losing werewolf looked like. I want to say a weird mix of cat and dog. The face and raised tail read feline. And why would they have it on all fours?

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I wasn't impressed with either of the small scares this time.  But for the main challenge I think they both did a good job.  

 

Ray's pumpkin face was outstanding.  The twins' faces weren't bad, but I didn't think they were as great as the judges seemed to think.  I didn't think the bodies were well-done, though.  They looked messy.  Also, maybe it's just me, but doesn't it seem just a bit odd to remember to use the term "conjoined twins" and yet make them the stars of a haunted freakshow?  I wish they'd gone with something else.

 

Loved the scary clown face.  That thing looked evil in the best way.  Too bad the boy's face looked so incomplete and cartoonish.  Overall I liked theirs the best.  Even the backdrop looked good.

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Frankly, overall, the calibre of work this season was nowhere near as good as we've seen in previous years. The winning team was a nasty piece of business, all of them, particularly the sugar artist. And the other team's display was better, in my opinion. Not to mention that they seemed much more respectful of each other. Sorry, Halloween Wars. Not too impressive this year.

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I just discovered the show and put it on DVR and was able to watch the last 2 episodes this morning.

 

First of all I agree with someone who posted on last week's episodes that they didn't think they came in the competition as teams and were just individuals put together for the drama.  The host made a remark about them coming together which I think confirmed that.

 

Also I agree with Rammchick about the team not being that nice.  Especially that sugar girl!  Last episode she was yelling at one of the guys for going near her sugar.  Yikes.

 

The team that lost was definitely more respectful but I think the team that won deserved it.  That clown was scary!  And the background..fabulous!

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I hated that sugar artist in Corpse Crushers.  She makes heavy hair, blames the cake guy.  She doesn't make fast and easy fun snakes, it's someone else's fault.  And her mouth, I'd be yelling at her to shut up. 

 

But, I have to say, the pumpkin rollercoaster car was amazing. 

 

Though I think the sugar artist on the other team was better, I have to say, I really didn't like the carnival twins.  The stripes were sloppy, the faces sloppy, the only thing I like was the pumpkin face.  And also, their tasting treat looked like it would send you to the dentist for extensive dental work!

 

For me, nothing can beat that amazing artist from season one.  Seasons after her seem to pale in comparison.

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For me, the best finale had to be the zombie wedding.  That was amazing!

 

I'm glad Corpse Crushers won.  I liked theirs better, esp. the clown.  I  did not like the conjoined twins.  Instead of being creepy, I just thought they were badly done.  I could see the Corpse Crusher team falling apart, though, if the competition had lasted longer.  They seemed to be getting on each others nerves.  I know that their sugar artist was getting on my nerves.

 

Although this season was not as good as others, I still enjoy this show.  I love how it is short and sweet.  Even during the worse weeks, there are still some great designs and carvings.   I hope it's on again next year.

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The winning team was a nasty piece of business, all of them, particularly the sugar artist.

 I remember thinking she was bitchy last week and giving her the benefit of the doubt because maybe she had an off day. But it just turns out she's a royal drama queen and nasty to boot. What a whiner!

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Finally got around to watch the third episode.

 

The small scare - do these guys not know what scary is? What kind of toys did these people play with as kids? A vacuum? Vacuum? Really? The idea of the robot eating the kid was a better idea - the face is pretty decent, but it just makes me think of a kid getting stuck in the washing machine.

 

The best idea was the Monkey Shines monkey. That would be considered scary, and now just listening to the guy judge's comment - ugh, these judges.

 

For the main challenge, I thought the one with the sarcophagus was the best one. The pyramid in the background, the tools, the mummy was freaking as hell. Awesome. Totally reminded me of the movie The Mummy, to be honest (the one with Brendan Fraser.) Corpse Crushers is the team name.

 

The one with the werewolf holding the mummy in the air was good too, but the mummy looked too comical.

 

The judges comment about the third team (with the werewolf on all fours) saying they didn't understand the background. Really? Sometimes these judges....

 

Okay, Corpse Crushers won - the right decision for sure. And Dead Reckoning lost, but again, for once this seemed to me to be the right decison. Good episode.

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Glad Corpse Crushers won - their rollercoaster cart as a thing of beauty, as was the evil clown. The boy yes, looking totally cartoonish and unfinished, but the rest was spectacular.

 

The other team (Sweet Nightmares) concept was good and the twins were creepy but the suckers/candy lining the front were not well done at all (like I could do even 1% of that), and the devil face looks good, but a bit messy. This teams small scare was really good though.

 

But yeah, that sugar artist - Brea or whatever - what a miserable nasty person. Stop complaining and do your work. The rest are also stressed. The worst was at the very end, and she's like "Guys, we've got to get this done." Yes, you do, ALL of you, including you. If those other two come back as a team, let's hope they pick another sugar artist to join.

 

Overall, pretty good.

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The pumpkins alone justified the Corpse Crushers' win. The Corpse Crushers really put time and detail into their pumpkin--between the contouring of black and purple, and the striking eyes. The judges couldn't get over it.

Contrast that to Sweet Nightmares' pumpkin, which looked like, well, a pumpkin. A carved pumpkin, but a pumpkin no less. I'm positive they would have colored it if they had more time, but, alas, they didn't, which was likely the game changer.

I agree the Corpse Crushers' candy girl had a terrible attitude, but this is an art contest, not a popularity one, so her attitude had no bearing on what I thought of the outcome.

I too thought the conjoined twins were sloppy. The one that was supposed to be making popcorn in his stomach, which was going to be covered by clear candy glass, just didn't turn out. Neither the contestants nor the judges mentioned this feature during judging. That was a pretty major part of the concept to just disregard.

But what do I know? I thought the two-headed snake and its minions were awesome, but that Sweet Nightmares' project looked like a second-grade diorama.

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I agree the Corpse Crushers' candy girl had a terrible attitude, but this is an art contest, not a popularity one, so her attitude had no bearing on what I thought of the outcome.

She and the Pumpkin guy were at each other the whole series, from what I noticed.  She was constantly negative, and he was just in her face doing exactly whatever most irritated her (like making a mess that spread to her station and got into her ingredients) over and over again.  So it was kind of a mix, with slightly more coming from her side.

 

EDIT - Actually watching it back you can see that Pumpkin guy WAS a real asshole.  When the Cake guy is carrying that big ass cake over all by himself, Pumpkin guy just stands there jawing at him and distracting him--the way the Candy girl complained Pumpkin guy did to her when she was working on the snakes.  She at least was tossing towels on the ground and trying to balance Cake guy from behind when he climbed up. Pumpkin guy didn't even approach till the cake was down, and THEN it was just to lecture the Cake guy about how he almost ruined everything. After watching that back, I've decided Candy girl had every right to be negative to him.  He's a total fuckhead.

Edited by Kromm
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It's that most wonderful time of the year - Autumn and the coming of Halloween!! Season 5 of Halloween Wars kicks off with it's first episode, Infestation, airing October 4th, 2015.

 

Episode synopsis:  Five teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, cake decorator, and sugar artist go to battle to create mind-blowing Halloween-themed displays that capture a terrifying infestation. At the end of the battle, one team will be eliminated with help from a special guest judge, actor Robin Atkin Downes from The Strain.

 

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I watched just this episode again with fresh eyes after watching it last year. And of corse Corpse Crushers should not have won.

 

Did you hear all the negative comments they talked about with their piece? Two unfinished items, the boy and the polkadots on the clown which should have been weighed heavily on the scores. If you didn't finish something then you didn't do the task.

 

Sweet Nightmares only had negative comments of the canopy height and the sugar looked too pulled (too many bubbles I guess). They praised that piece like crazy. What changed their minds? Did they feel they should give CC a win since they've already lost once before?

 

They both had quality issues, SN's arm looked deformed and a chunk missing from the right clown's face. CC had tears in the face from the heavy sugar hair. So those issues are canceled out. Now judge whose piece is complete, finished and follows the theme.

 

I hope season 5 will be more fair than last season.

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I more or less watched the whole competition again last night and I agree.  I thought the same things last year when I first saw it.  I actually didn't like either of the final displays and thought they'd done better work in previous episodes.  Also, I didn't like the woman or the tall guy on the winning team not that that should have had anything to do with the judging.

 

I love this show though and I'm looking forward to the new competition.  I'd give a lot to see Karen Portaleo and Richard Ruskell compete again but they're not included so I'm hoping for someone with similar talent this year.

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After watching other seasons, I really can't stand this host.

 

 

I thought it was just me who couldn't stand him.

 

 

They must not have a lot of people wanting to be on the show.  So many people this season seem to have been on before from the introductions. 

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I was prepared to dislike the new host because I was fond of Justin Willman but I ended up liking him just fine.  He used most of the same lines and even pulled a couple of Justin's goofy gags so I assume most of that was producer-driven.  I was happy with him.  He's cute too.

 

I love this show and all the holiday themed shows because they feature talented people who are who they say they are.  I have no problem with people being on for a second or third time.  There were familiar faces on the old Challenge all the time.  I liked that because I got to "know" them.

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I didn't mind Rossi Moreale.  He seemed like he was trying too hard - especially when he and Shinmin Li were joking about whether the former host (they didn't mention Justin by name) used to do whatever Rossi was doing at the moment.  But overall I can't say I minded him.  (btw - does anyone know why Justin Willman isn't hosting it this year?)

 

I'm not sure yet how I feel about any of the teams, other than that the woman who specializes in buttercream sculpting (I think she's on Team Morbid Morticians?) might get on my nerves.  

 

Too bad for the zombie dropping the phone, because that was a pretty decent work, but I agreed that the orange pumpkin deserved the win for the smaller challenge.  That face was the best thing in it.

 

Infestation is a gross subject anyway, but I wasn't a fan of MM's motel scene.  It was less "Halloween" and more "disgusting".

 

I liked the crawly effect of the centipede work but the child's eyeball was too cartoonish for that one to win. Glad they managed a second window, but wish the editing didn't make every drama so end-of-the-world.

 

I would have liked the movie theatre scene to win.  Those seats were great, even if the characters were cartoonish.

 

The two in the bottom were easy to pick out even while the work was going on.  The exterminator work just looked like a bunch of spun sugar and it was obvious they'd get tagged for the lack of detail in the shape.  And why do devils even count as an infestation?  There was some good detail work on some of the faces in that one, but in general it didn't work.

 

Still, glad to have this show back for another Halloween month.

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I love this show but miss Justin. I did think Rossi was hot on "Temptation Island" many moons ago, though.

I love spiders and want to try that tasting element so I was sad that team got bounced. That lawyer was awful.

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New host sounds like he's reading from a script. 

 

I had to laugh at the guy in "Two Ghouls and a Guy" because he just walked right out as soon as their name was called at the end. He didn't even think about waiting for the ghouls. 

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I liked this episode overall. I actually liked the spiderweb infestation, but I get what they said about no hint of a person there. But it was good. First time I've seen the judges raves about ALL of the treats.

 

Did think the demon "infested" Lawyer team should have lost though.

 

Really liked the cockroach/gross landlord in motel challenge, but yeah, the ButterCream Queen is annoying - it seems to be all about her.

 

New host is okay, but I think he's trying too hard. Still, love the artistry and the sheer talent these people have. Amazing.

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What was up with the curly cue, villain twirling mustaches in this episode. How can anyone think that's a good look?! Only if you are an evil cartoon character.

The buttercream lady got on my nerves as well. Its icing woman calm down you didn't cure cancer or something!

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The four remaining teams compete to create mind-blowing Halloween-themed displays that show a mutated and terrifying hybrid horror. Special guest judge, actor Benjamin Papac from The Walking Dead, will help determine which team will be eliminated.

 

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