As the inaugural season of Syfy's "Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge" progresses, several things are clear.
First, despite the wide-ranging skill set brought to challenges by Ben Bayouth of Woodland Hills, Calif., the judges aren't going to hand him victories. In fact, this week he was in the bottom two, although the artist going home was Russ Adams of Ogden, Utah.
Second, Seton Hill senior Jake Corrick is a very fast study.
Although he is a talented sculptor, Mr. Corrick has had to learn puppetry and figure out the basics of animatronics. The competition began with 10 and going into next week's episode, "Alien Press Conference," he is in the top four.
The latest challenge was staged on a large swampy-looking set. Asked to create predators that hid in plain sight, the artists came up with creatures whose natural camo resembled grasses, flower, rocks and the like.
Mr. Corrick created a cycloptic carnivore that blended in with tree branches. It wasn't named a top look but amused the judges. The winner for the second consecutive week was Melissa Doss of Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
Seton Hill has been hosting viewing parties at the college for its students and faculty. "Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
• Gavin Edmondson, an admissions counselor from Meadville, Crawford County, was one of 30 would-be "MasterChefs" who competed in Los Angeles for a regular spot on the Fox show. Season 5 debuts at 8 p.m. May 26, as the chefs cook up their best dishes for judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot.
Top prize is $250,000 and a cookbook deal.
• "Dance Moms" diva Abby Lee Miller will be a guest judge Monday on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m.). She'll join regulars Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba on the ever-so-sparkly set of the live show.
ABC also promises something called the Celebrity Dance Duel, which might be side-by-side couples dancing, but considering the many new twists producers have thrown at viewers this season, it's anyone's guess.
Maria Sciullo: email@example.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.