The sign on the entrance to Stage 7 at Hollywood’s Sunset Gower Studios reads “Closed Set – No Photography”. Filming of the third season of The Game Show Network’s popular SkinWars body painting contest is underway and the identity and progress of the contestants is a closely guarded secret until the ten episodes are screened. All the contestants are sequestered away during the six-week shoot without access to the potential distractions of cell phones and television until they are either eliminated or master the creative challenges to claim the $100,000 prize money.
Robin Slonina, Las Vegas-based artist and owner of Skin City Body Painting, has been a producer and judge for each Skin Wars series. She laughs, “We call it body paint boot camp, but we look after our contestants. They stay together in a house with a pool, barbeque and pool table, and the current group have been entertaining themselves by choreographing and performing song and dance routines.”
Taking a break from filming, Slonina and fellow expert body painting judge, New Orleans-based artist Craig Tracy describe what they will be looking for in the winning contestant. “Our three main criteria are creativity, technique and the execution of the challenge, and the artists must be able to work under pressure. It’s anyone’s game right up to the last challenge. A contestant could be winning the whole time, then make one mistake and they’re out”.
Transformation icon Ru Paul completes the judging trio and X-Men star Rebecca Romijn hosts. Skin Wars season three is scheduled to screen early 2016.