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Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge Judges Reveal What Put Episode 2 Winner Over the Edge

Hot Wheels™: The Ultimate Challenge Episode 2 judges told all about what went into their decision in picking a winner.

By Tyler McCarthy

With another Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge competition in the books, host Rutledge Wood was joined by fellow judges and automotive design experts Dalal Elsheikh and Hertrech Eugene in a new Best Builds aftershow episode to break down the latest winner’s build as well as why they ultimately took home the cash prize and a shot at the finale

How to Watch

Watch Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge on NBC and Peacock.

Episode 2 of the hottest new design show on TV saw a battle between two unapologetically Texas Hot Wheels™ superfans. Sheilah, a 67-year-old drift enthusiast, modeled a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle into the Monster Bug, an homage to the Texas Horned Lizard. Meanwhile, Kevin a self-proclaimed cowboy, took a 1977 Fort Thunderbird and changed it into a horse-bucking Texas pride mobile. 

RELATED: Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge Host Rutledge Wood Reveals the Series' Biggest Surprise

Who won Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge Episode 2?

What came out of their respective imaginations were two vehicles worthy of joining the billions of Hot Wheels diecasts in people's collections. However, there could only be one winner. In the end, the collection of judges gave a slight edge Sheilah’s build and in the series After Show, they explained why. 

“That thing had so much personality,” Elsheikh explained. “They really transformed that VW Bug into a monster. We saw it come together and we saw so many separate pieces, and I was really worried I wasn’t going to see it all become one cohesive thing.” 

She added that the finished product, complete with its articulating horns and exhaust, blew her away.

Eugene gave props to the design crew for essentially redesigning the iconic Beetle from scratch. 

“If you really think about it, they took the top of a Beetle and built everything else from scratch,” he said. “They even put it back together backward… Every little element that they did on their car was done in such fine detail. It’s hard not to love it.” 

Although Sheilah’s car came out on top in the end, they still spent a majority of the After Show gushing about Kevin’s Buckaroo, particularly its impressive hydraulic display, which both the car experts made sure to note was a feat of engineering since the Thunderbird is a notoriously heavy vehicle. Ultimately, though, they felt that he didn’t update the silhouette of the vehicle enough to make it a Hot Wheel.

“For me, the tipping point for Sheilah was really that she gave this car so much personality,” Elsheikh concluded. “I mean you cannot look away from those hypnotizing eyes!”

In the end, they hope Sheilah’s imagination and Texas toughness will keep her competitive going into the finale where she and the rest of the Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge winners will compete to have their design made into an actual diecast that fans like them can go buy. 

New episodes of Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge premiere on Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT on NBC. You can catch up the next day on Peacock.