back with episode 3 of
and Zach Selwyn’s unkempt hair and glazed eyes speak of a
man who despairs of ever escaping his captivity. This week’s
challenger is a 32-year taxidermy veteran who apparently
thinks dressing like a beach bartender makes him an outlaw.
Meet Mike “Mac” McCulloch and his A game.
Mike will be competing
against Osaka-born Takeshi Yamada, a dapper nutcase with a
habitual mad scientist laugh. Takeshi carries around a
stuffed manatee rabbit, which is an odd affectation but
makes sense when you think about it. (“Coney” comes from the
Dutch word for rabbit, Coney Island is famous for freak
shows, Takeshi is fucking nuts: It all works.)
The theme that neither
competitor will be addressing is The Odyssey. This has Mike
Mac thinking about the ancient Greek poem, which is not much
of a stretch. Takeshi, fortunately, has a goat to pass him
ideas, and will be building a five-headed fox kaiju with
buffet trash horns and spikes.
Mike Mac’s project
involves airbrushing a load of off-the-rack fiberglass fish
blanks, which I can’t believe he thinks won’t count against
him. Mike comes off as an annoying boss and a dull blowhard,
but this is reality TV and he’s being edited to create a
character. Nobody who teases his bulldog with a compressed
air hose can be all bad.
Takeshi, meanwhile, is
patrolling the beach with his bunny and a net, looking for
dead stuff. I am inspired by his choice of beachwear and
fully intend to wear a morning coat, spats, and a top hat
next time I hit the shore.
Seriously, Takeshi is the
most charming thing this show has tossed up all season. He’s
energetic, he doesn’t speak in idiotic sports interview
cliches, and he can laugh at himself. And he does.
Back at the studio, we
have the usual unboxing and assembly montage, with
assistants this week? Hard to tell with the haphazard
staging and camera work. Mike Mac hands the judges some word
salad about his piece and gets called out twice over the
fish blanks. His finished piece looks like a corner of an
aquarium done large, and the only actual animal taxidermy is
the otter. At least one hopes so, looking at the dominant
feature, which is a human scuba diver.
Takeshi relates his piece
to the struggles of his life, including getting hit by
hurricane Sandy, and throws in a SHAZAM! and a total
supervillain laugh. Apparently his process involves using
his own blood, spittle, and flesh. And again, we never get a
good look at the entire piece, which is a shame because
5-headed fox kaiju attended by roadkill bat demons. The
judges clearly love it, and Posehn is ready to make an
The judging portion is
mercifully short, with a few comments that don’t seem to
relate and Posehn clearly having smoked the decision over.
Takeshi wins by a howling margin, as is only just, and
proudly returns to his holding cell.
We have one Immortalizer
still to meet, and I fear he will be a disappointment after
the Takeshi experience. If any good comes of this shambles
of a series, besides Zach’s safe return to his family, it
will be Takeshi getting his own crazy show.
PS. Here is the
spoiler video featuring the last 3 minutes of this episode
in AMC official website.
I became the Grand Champion Immortalizer with the two
highest scores for season 1, AMC television unscripted
you very much for your support and help!
Takeshi Yamada, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
Submitted by Dr.
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