Now it’s getting real.
After 6 weeks of preliminary competitions, tonight three of the second place finishers competed again in a last-ditch effort to move on to the Nail’d It finals. In Nail’d It Episode 7, the semi-finals pit Celeste, Kandi and Jami against each other in a battle for $10,000 and a spot in the finals.
Age 28, The one who loves to say “Bling” she’s suffering from a mystery illness. We last saw her in Episode 4, where the artists had to create the Church nails and fantasy nails based on high heels. Celeste says, “This is a second chance at life.”
She is the 23 year-old Wild Child of the nail industry. She calls herself the “Nail Ninja” but I’d call her the “Nail Joker” or the Katy Perry of Nails. Her light-hearted approach to nails and her candy-colored hair makes her stand out. We last saw Kandi (with candy-pink hair) in Episode 3, where the artists created zodiac-inspired nails for clients who were all healers and then Kandi and her competitors competed in an epic bridal nails challenge. Her salon is the aptly named KandiLand. In this episode, Kandi’s hair is Smurfy-blue and her skirt and hair wrap have nachos on them. So tasty! I missed Candy, She’s such a crazy diva. This show needs her trash talking.
She’s the 27 year-old owner of Nailville in Sacramento, CA and the artist who loves “Duck Feet” nails. I hope that no one has to recreate her signature look again because in Episode 1, poor LaTaoy had to make duck feet nails and did not move on in the competition. Remember How Jamie waged war against “frenemy” Classic? Also in Episode 1, the artists created designs for entertainment and lifestyle bloggers based on their signature accessories.
Quick Dry Challenge
This week the competitors need to put a twist on the traditional French Manicure. They have only 60 minutes and have to work according to their client’s demands and needs. They can’t use traditional French Manicure colors pink and white. This week’s clients are cutie-pie nurses.
Halfway through the time period, Kandi’s client informs her that her nails need to be shorter so Kandi has to basically start again.
Jamie is struggling with a pinkie nail that wants to pop off
Elaine Watson and Tom Bachick are this week’s judges. They are looking for personality and the classic French manicure re-envisioned.
Jamie chose a beautiful blue for her client’s nails and is really open to the judges critique. She wants this so bad! She use d a lot of crystals to hit imperfections in her color transitions, but as befalls a lot of nail artists on this show, when you bedazzle nails, the elements can shift from where you wanted them to be and end up looking sloppy.
Kandi choose pale green and purple, more professional and muter versions of her client’s favorite colors. Kandi’s designs are sweet —they look feminine and delicate and adorable. And her client thinks they perfectly represent her.
I don’t love the hearts on every single nail, but when Kandi describes her client, a nurse, as the “heart of the hospital,” my heart skips a beat. So sweet!
The judges call out Celeste for not using enough traditional French elements in her design. I love how she used the heart beat on two of her client’s nails. And I like her color palate toolooks exactly like the same color that Kandi used!
It’s a tough call, but the judges award the win to Kandi. She’s obviously excited, and is relieved that her talent matches her ego and trash talking. She’ll have a big advantage in the elimination challenge, and we know she’s going to gloat the entire time.
In the Elimination Challenge, the three artists will have 7 hours to create fantasy nails inspired by their darkest nightmares. My darkest nightmare is that my teeth fall out of my mouth while I am in public. And if you look up what that means, of course every website has a different interpretation. But if you ask Sigmund Freud, it’s totally sexual. But with him, everything is sexual.
The artists’ designs must include 3D artwork which is Kandi’s stregnth. I think that Jamie’s episode was her first time using 3D artwork, so hopefully she’s practiced making stuff out of acrylic.
Jamie is terrified of Koala bears. A stuffed koala toy that her dad bought for her used to terrify her and she used to dream that Koalas were trying to eat her.
Kandi is going to present a food nightmare theme, with an Alice in Wonderland twist. but like having to eat cereal with water and a hamburger with a finger inside of it. It doesn’t really seem like a dream that anyone would have, but rather a theme that she’s forcing to show off her sculpting talent.
Celeste has had a reoccurring dream about a dead little girl (freaky!) so she’s going to have a zombie theme with a messed up-looking zombie girl. I just love what a cool-headed competitor Celeste is; The time pressures of competition seem to affect her the least.
The contestants get right to work and with three hours left, Adrienne announces Kandi’s advantage. For the next three hours, Celeste and Jamie have to share a single chair, a single light and a single set of tools. Jamie seems completely frazzled by this new development, but Celeste just plugs away. She’s actually entertained by Kandi’s craziness.
Elaine Watson comes in to check one the artists and give her opinion of their works in progress (but after more than half of the time has elapsed, what can she really do?). She thinks that Kandi needs to up the fear factor, not the yuck factor. Kandi adds a few last-minute bugs to her gross food, since people are afraid of bugs. Elaine likes Celeste’s idea but lets her know that she’s already seen (and been impressed by) chains on nails. I’m not sure what Elaine thinks of Jamie’s nails, and to be honest, I’m not sure what I think of Jamie’s design. Koalas are too cute to be scary, even if they’re rabid Koalas.
During the break, nail artist Sarah Waite shows a star-stencil nail design which would be extremely cute on a little girl (and families with small children sometimes have cooky-shaped hole punches)
After the break, it’s time for judging. This week, the models are wearing black hoods, masks and gloves, and the only thing peeking out from the blackness is the nail art. It’s so creepy and cool and I hope we don’t see a model trip and fall (but also I secretly want to see a model trip and fall, and not get hurt).
Celeste presents her designs to the judges first. Celeste’s morbid death nails look like freaky Freddy Krueger nails. They are amazing (and terrifying). Her zombie girl 3D shape is astounding. The judges think that her 3D girl is so fantastic, that her other 3D shapes pale in comparison and wish that she’s done more. But I think that even without a single 3D element, these nails would be super scary. Celeste is definitely the artist who made best use of the Elimination Challenge theme. (and the nightmare that inspired it is straight out of a Japanese horror film!)
Jamie is up next and her Koala nails are nice and bloody. But I’m just not afraid of koalas, so despite the blood, it’s just not scary to me. Maybe if her fear was a fear that was more fear-inducing I would like her designs better, but It just feels a little talk-showy to me, where Celeste’s design is straight out of American Horror Story. The judges love the two nails that Jamie made that look like a Koala’s paw. Elaine says, “I will never forget this set of nails.” The judges like that she took something sweet and turned it psycho.
Kandi is up last. It is impossible to deny that she is a gifted artist, but Elaine doesn’t think that Kandi’s nails really scary. But Kandi is really more of a cartoony artist, and her talent in 3D acrylic sculpture is phenomenal.
Jamie is the first artist eliminated and the competition is down to Celeste who mastered the theme and Kandi who has incredible talent. In the end, talent wins and Kandi moves onto the finals. Celeste is such a classy competitor and was honored and grateful for the experience. I really like her and hope she does well in life.
Now that Kandi is in the finals, I hope that she is paired up with Classic who had a giant ego too. It would be fin to see the two artists go toe to toe. But first, we have another semifinal competition next week.
images © Lindsey Byrnes / Oxygen Media