Lafayette’s Brittney Pelloquin has painted her way to the final five on the third season of GSN’s competition series, “Skin Wars.”
And who does she see as her biggest competition ?
“Everyone, at this point,” the 28-year-old Broussard native said Friday from her studio there.
“Everyone” translates to the other four finalists — Tiffany Beckler, of Rock Hill, South Carolina; Rick Uribe, of El Paso, Texas; Michael Mejia, of New York City; and Alison Kenyon, of Grass Valley, California.
Hosted by Rebecca Romijn, “Skin Wars” is television’s first body painting competition show. Its mission is to find the country’s most innovative body painter. Sitting at the judge’s table are well-known body painting artists Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina, and the mononymed entertainer RuPaul (Andre Charles).
Starting with 12 contestants in April’s premiere episode, each week the artists must complete a small and a large painting challenge, with the judges sending one artist home after their critiques.
“Oh, it’s a blast,” Pelloquin said, of working with the inimitable actor, drag queen, model, author, television personality and recording artist RuPaul. “But, believe it or not, he can be a tough critic at times, too.”
This week, the artists’ models will be breast cancer survivors, whose stories the finalists will interpret into their artwork.
The episode is particularly poignant for Pelloquin.
“So many family members that it’s (cancer’s) taken from us, and so many that are going through it now,” she said. “It was extremely moving to at least make a change in someone’s life and help tell their story of survival.”
The artist said she’s working on a small fundraiser in conjunction with the episode.
“I want to give back to someone in need who’s battling cancer right now,” she said.
In contrast, last week’s episode was all about fun, as the crew headed to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California (the show was shot in Los Angeles last year), for inspiration in transforming their models into underwater sea creatures. The final products had to withstand water, as the models were submerged in a tank for judging.
Taking the theme “back home,” Pelloquin painted an abstract version of an alligator, recalling ’gator hunts with her grandfather, Jimmy Pelloquin, of Basile.
“I think you created your own creature and it’s mesmerizing. It’s fierce and fabulous,” Slonina said.
“That young lady knows how to paint,” Tracy added.
Pelloquin said in the small challenge shown in the beginning of each episode, the contestants have very little time between finding out the task, and completing it.
“The big challenge, you get it fairly late at night, so you have a night to ponder,” she said. “You can choose to sleep or struggle through it, and stay up all night, and that’s what I did 99 percent of the time.”
Although she’s finished near the top on several challenges, Pelloquin hasn’t won one yet, and said she finds that both frustrating and motivating.
Back in Louisiana, her business has gotten a boost from her exposure on “Skin Wars.”
“A lot more recognition, a lot more respect for what I do, which is much appreciated because that’s what I’m trying to gain the most, is for people to see and understand what I do for a living and where I come from,” she said. “And that it means a lot more to me than just paint on a surface. It’s a much deeper affection and passion that I derive from it. It’s just as much about who I’m painting than what I’m painting on them.”