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Immortalized Episode 8: Heaven and Hell

Posted by Amber Keller on April 4, 2013

Finally we have the return of my favorite Immortalizer, Takeshi Yamada. Tonight he goes up against the challenger, Gary Robbins.

Tonight’s theme is “Heaven and Hell”, which should provide for an interesting contest.

Robbins is a Hollywood taxidermist that provides his pieces for television and film, to name a few. His experience is broad and impressive. This will be a challenge for Yamada. Robbins personal goal is to be ranked number one in the country. He plans on using mice as humans. They will be in heaven, but there will also be a dark hell represented. We get to see Robbins working in his Burbank studio. Mice are tedious to work with, as they are fragile with delicate and thin skin. This project has been taking time from his other work, but he’s banking on this to get him some more work in Hollywood.

Yamada’s idea for the theme is guaranteed to blow people’s minds, he claims. He’s going to use a goat as the base, with six eyes and a mermaid tail. He says it will be the devil in heaven. We see Yamada scavenging for carcasses on the beach and working out the measurements and design. He says this is the most ambitious taxidermy he has ever done before.

Back in the studio their crates have arrived and they rush to reassemble their projects and bring them back to life. Robbins presents his piece first by explaining that he has fantasy and fun incorporated into the project. It’s small, but the Hollywood style is apparent. With a devil mouse and a rattlesnake with a tail that shakes, it’s full of clichés. Next, Yamada is up and he starts by saying that his project was inspired by a Buddhist teaching, and he revealed his piece with his familiar shout of, “Shazam!” His hearty laugh and theatrical presence are a delight, and when the curtain was pulled back, we got another unique and striking piece from Yamada.

The judges are not impressed with Robbins’ piece considering he comes from a Hollywood quality studio, but they are all very much into Yamada’s piece. It’s not hard to guess who will prevail tonight.

We have Yamada for the win with a score of 85 to 49! He had the biggest win yet, and boy howdy was it deserved. Amazing work, Mr. Yamada.

Immortalized Competitive Taxidermy Reality Show AMC Heaven Hell

Immortalized 102 Competitive Taxidermy on AMC

Posted by Amber Keller on February 21, 2013

This week on “Immortalized”, host Zach Selwyn introduces the Challenger, CJ Fegan, a multiple award winning and second generation taxidermist from Maryland that wants to prove he is the best, and the Immortalizer, Page Nethercutt, also a second generation and award winning taxidermist, from North Carolina, is a former taxidermist of the year who is familiar with Fegan through his taxidermist father. Nethercutt has judged Fegan’s father and vice versa, allowing for a little extra competition and raised stakes between the two guys.

This week’s theme is the same as the title of the episode, “End of the World.”

Nethercutt likens himself to Michelangelo, being in that he’s a classic taxidermist, whereas Fegan calls himself a redneck. Nethercutt feels that his interpretation of the theme will be to take two animals and have one harvest the other, a cat and a bird. In his vision and in his words, for one of the animals it will be the end of the world, while for the other, it’s the meaning of life. Fegan will be bringing his own interpretation of the end of the world along with incorporating some new elements. He is thinking of having a few animals that will be running for their lives and a few that will be confused.

Nethercutt is very detailed with his cat’s angles and body placement in the mid-action scene. Fegan is meticulous with his specimen’s eyes and exudes confidence about his interpretation of the theme.

Once the contestants make it back to the studio with their creations, they must work to reassemble them away from the steely eyes of the judges. They work hard putting their individual works of art back to life. CJ goes first and explains his confidence on his piece, “Judgment Day”. It’s very large and powerful with the various animals all agitated and reacting to an unseen threat. The animals on top are jumping off a rock that’s about to explode. The fire in his piece is indicative of the theme. Judge Brian Posehn tells him his piece of cinematic and points out that he could make haunted houses if he didn’t want to practice taxidermy anymore. Nethercutt explains his representation of the theme is more along Biblical and natural terms. His piece is much smaller, but with intense details. It’s a powerful and elegant piece in its own right.

In the end it was CJ who took home the crown with his larger than life work of art. What creations lie in wait for the audience next week? Only time will tell.

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