Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Top Design 9/3/08--"Impress the Best" summary

Previously on Top Design: there was a first season that no one liked very much, at all. We watched it, having been sucked into Bravo Reality by “Project Runway” and “Top Chef”, but somehow it didn’t measure up. Supposedly it’s been fixed. They have a host now, India Hicks. Todd has the Tim Gunn role now, mentor but not judge. Kelly, Jonathan, and Margaret are all back. Let’s hope Kelly is still dressing like a weirdo. Oh look, her hair is all frizzy and she has a purple sequined beret! Excellent. Just an upfront, I don’t know nearly as much about interior design as I know about fashion and food, so who knows what will happen with this. I do know I’ll probably be doing a better job when “Project Runway” is over and I only have to recap one show a night. (click for more)

Meet the designers time! Nathan Thomas, from New York, says he will bring absolute chic. Ondine Karady decorated sets for Sex in the City. Nice. Shazia Kirmani has her own company. She says the thing that sets her apart from other designers is that she’s brown. Oo, I like her already. Kerry Howard is known as “Big Daddy.” Alrighty then. When he was a teenager his parents lent him $1000 to redo his room, and they were so impressed they asked him to do the rest of the house. Andrea Schroder is a mom, and her husband is Rick Schroder. Yes, that Rick Schroder. What is she doing here? That is too close to real celebrity, I don’t like this one bit. She’s only here because her kids are grown and she’s bored. Eddie Ross is senior style editor of Martha Stewart magazine. He shows up in a waistcoat and jeans looking terribly cute. Natalie Williams refuses to be intimidated by anyone. Preston Lee is tasty. He is showing quite a lot of chest. Wisit Prapong used to be in fashion. Hoping for another Goil, were we? Did you know Goil is on Trading Spaces now? It’s a good fit for his spazzing. Wisit actually has a really good operatic voice, very high.

In comes India and Todd. Oh, Todd. Cut your hair. You look stupid. India is a designer in her own right. She is Heidi, and Todd is Tim. Seriously, Todd has stupid long hair, and a plaid short sleeved buttoned up shirt, and sneakers. First challenge: they have 2 days to fully furnish and decorate an entire apartment. They’ll be divided into 4 teams. Since there are 13 people, one team will have an extra person, and they’ll be penalized by having less time. Todd talks with his hands a lot as he says that they should make sure their own points of view come through, as well as the client’s. Did they tell him to do that? He looks like he’s trying to direct traffic. Or possibly he’s a bad actor in a school play. They’ve already divided them into teams randomly.

More intros: Teresa Keegan is from Vegas. She’s on the red team with Wisit, Ondine, and Nathan. Green team is Shazia, Andrea, and Serge. Serge van Lian is eclectic. He says he “breaks the rules” so he’s probably supposed to be the bad boy. Eh. Semi cute. The blue team is Robert, Preston, and Kerry. Robert Reid, from Houston, has a broad style and attention to detail. The orange team is Eddie, Jennifer, and Natalie. Jennifer Newsom is an architect. She thinks she brings something original.

Off everyone goes to see the lofts. Thank goodness they’ve got real spaces this time. The orange team has to design for Jonathan Adler. Red team has Kelly. She looks normal today. Blue team has Margaret, Green team has India. Interesting. Everyone uses buzzwords and is very particular. The lofts have white walls and concrete floors. All of the judges have a few particular demands. They all know what they want. As the clients leave, they tell them they only have $2000 for the whole thing. They get to go to a flea market! Heh. Various people complain about how in their world $2000 will buy one thing.

The orange team has a concept: “chic and dreamy”. They are looking for bright colors. Red team’s concept is “form over function”. They want it sophisticated and subtle. Blue team is “crisp and glamorous”. Robert tries to override his teammates, and Preston thinks they might clash. Green team has decided on “Caribbean classic”. Andrea has done this style, so she’s kind of taking over. Serge thinks if he wants to win he has to speak up.

At the thrift store, team members get $500. Others go to the junkyard with the same budget. The rest of the money is for flooring and paint. And drapes. Serge tries to go outside the box. Natalie and Eddie run around and find stuff. Kerry and Robert are looking for crisp and modern at the junkyard. They find some gates. Preston has maxed out his budget and says Robert promised him a lamp. Which he did.

Everyone gets ready in the morning. Many without shirts. India comes to get them and makes them come up to the roof. Jonathan is there, with a table full of empty picture frames. India asks them if they remember pop quizzes, and now they will participate in something called “Pop Design”. They have to make shadowbox displays with the frames and things from inside the apartments they’re living in. This is an individual test, and somehow this will be taken in consideration at judging. Winner gets immunity. They’ve got 30 minutes and ten they’ll be displayed in the apartments. So this is like a Quickfire.

Running around, and frantic gluing. I think some people have used their own personal items. Shazia is trying to mount apples without glass. She didn’t even get it up on the wall. Andrea has rocks and a piece symbol, only the piece symbol is wrong. Wisit has fashion sketches and flowers. Eddie has silver stuff but it’s all his own. Natalie has a calendar and stuff for New Year’s. No one gets it. Robert has silverware and barware. Kerry has grass and woven pieces. Teresa has flowers and rocks. Jennifer has “strong women” which isn’t obvious from the design but it looks cool. Ondine just got married and she has a monkey theme. Serge has “breaking the rules” but it just looks random. Nathan has “cleanliness is next to godliness”, but he knows it’s stupid, plus he broke his glass so there’s glass all over the floor.

Natalie’s design was very high school, Serge doesn’t even know the rules, and Teresa’s was disappointing, Shazia didn’t even really get started. Favorites: Eddie had stuff on tops of boxes, Kerry made a beautiful abstract display, Ondine’s was sweet, and Wisit’s drawings were risky. All four of them have won immunity. Wow. Andrea quietly freaks out that both her teammates were in the bottom.

Everyone gets to work on the lofts. Nathan realizes that both his teammates have immunity, so if they lose, he’ll be leaving. Andrea realizes that they’ve got a whole 8 rolls of the wrong wallpaper. It looks like they wrote down the wrong number possibly. Preston chafes at Robert trying to be organized. Andrea takes the covers off the couch cushions and washes them in the sink. She says they’re really coming clean and then asks Shazia to turn off the sink in about 5 minutes. There is ominous music and a lingering shot of the sink so you know what is about to happen. Sure enough, Shazia goes upstairs to wash something else and the sink overflows all over all their fabric and wallpaper. Oops. Now there’s fabric all over the place, but at least Shazia right away owns up to it. Andrea is pretty pissed. The orange team has a lot to do. Jennifer is working on the sofa, because Jonathan really wanted it, but she’s kind of slow, apparently. No one on the blue team knows how to sew. Robert tries to figure out the sewing machine and Preston discovers that there is paint on the floor. He was painting canvas inside the loft, and it seeped through. Oops again. There is a lot of running around, because apparently they only have 4 hours tomorrow to finish.

In the morning, Ondine notices that Andrea’s husband looks an awful lot like Rick Schroder. Heh. Andrea is surprised she figured it out, except that as we see the picture, it’s pretty obvious. She says she’s not trying to keep it a secret, but she wants to be a separate person and have her own credibility. Serge is ready to get some work done.

Back at the lofts, everyone gets right to work. Nathan wants to redeem himself. Robert tries to tell Preston how to do the artwork, but he finally gives up and is like, whatever, I told you what I think. He goes off to make lamps. Jennifer is trying to build a dog bed. I hope that’s big enough. Eddie says every gay has a dog so it’s not a big deal.

Todd comes by to make comments, of course on the second day when there’s really nothing anyone can do to fix anything. He gives Nathan and his team good solid advice on how to hang their drapes. He loves the Orange team’s paint job. The blue team barely talks to him. Todd suggests Andrea make some pillows. I am just noticing, Todd has two armband tattoos. I was not expecting that. He says that time will be the big factor for everyone. There is plenty of last minute running around.

The orange team is up first. They didn’t put any floors in downstairs, but there are wood floors upstairs. It looks cozy, with light blue green on the walls downstairs up to about mid torso. Lots of blues and whites, but upstairs are some oranges. Jonathan loves the dog bed. There’s red and orange on the bed, with wood. And this fabulous lamp. The blue team has dark dusty rose sofas in the living room, with these great iron gates in the dining area, and a dark blue bathroom. Kelly points out there are no lamps so it’s a good thing they have a candelabra. The bedroom has dark wood and a dark blue bed, which looks very rich. But then the headboard has pink flowers. Still no lamps. No one owns up to that. Green team is next. Stupid crooked mirror on the floor next to the front door. India is worried about that. The couch looks like crap. I guess Andrea took out the stuffing, and told Shazia not to put it all back, but it looks like she put the extra stuffing in the cracks of the couch or something. The bed is white with red stripes. It’s kind of good. Andrea says she was in charge of the bedroom, and seems to be taking credit for everything. Red team has a very warm loft with dark leather and lots of dark accents, along with a great table with a mosaic top. The bedroom is in beige and wood and it’s pretty cool. I think I like the red team the best but I want the blue team’s iron gates.

The judging takes place in a huge open room, with the judges all together on a couch and India in a matching armchair. Jonathan liked his loft, and the style reflected the designers. He said it was a little Golden Girls but all in all it was great. The other team that did well was the red team. They listened to Kelly and had some great shopping finds. The red team wins! That was the team with an extra person, and you notice they didn’t show how they had less time to work. The orange team gets to leave the judgment room also. Margaret had demanded hot pink and not dusty rose so she was mad about that. Kerry blames it on Preston. Kelly liked the art in the kitchen but the bedroom was lame. India tries to get Preston to throw someone under the bus but he refuses. Kerry also refuses. Robert immediately says that Preston has horrid time management skills, and spent a lot of time scrubbing the floor when the paint seeped through the canvas. She says they didn’t get lamps, or think about how one lives in a loft, things like where to put your drink. Preston speaks up and says that it’s Robert’s fault they didn’t have any lamps, because he said he could get them done. India also feels like she gave her team a clear direction. Margaret thought that the bedroom worked but the rest didn’t. Shazia admits to ruining the sofa. Serge says he worked the whole time on the floors, and Andrea pipes up that eventually she made him stop working because it was taking too long. When Serge says “I disagree” she smiles the most smug, condescending smile at the judges and proceeds to describe all of the work she did. Then she says that her teammates don’t have talent. They ask if Andrea was the leader, and Shazia explains how Andrea knew the style so they just kind of let her run things. This team has no qualms about pointing the finger: Shazia and Andrea point at Serge, and Serge points at Shazia.

Margaret feels her loft was random, and the thing she got that she wanted was the point. And the desk, and then Kelly pipes up that she got the bar. Margaret protests that she did not ask for the bar, and Jonathan knowingly says, “You asked for the bar.” Hee. They continue to joke around some, which is cute. Finally when they stop Jonathan says that India’s loft was worse, although her bedroom was better. He thinks Andrea saved that loft, and Shazia’s story about the sofa bored him. Serge didn’t seem to contribute to the design very much. Margaret finds it difficult to figure out who is responsible for her horrid loft, because that team was so protective of each other, up until Robert threw Preston under the bus. In the waiting room Robert tells everyone not to take things personally. That takes some balls. Preston did work hard but he is responsible for the sofas in the wrong color. However, Robert should have known that making lamps was a poor use of time.

Kerry has immunity from the Pop Design challenge so he is safe. Andrea saved her team so she is also safe. So that’s how we’re viewing that, I guess. Preston bought the dusty rose sofas, Robert didn’t get the lamps done, Shazia hid behind Andrea and told a long story about the sofa, and Serge was labeled the weak link but didn’t defend himself well enough. India tells Serge they can’t live with his design so he’s going home. What, no catchphrase? He’s had a good experience, but he wished he could stay longer, etc.

This season: lots of running, breakage, I think more team challenges, drama. Oh you know there is drama. Santino! Andrae! DANIEL FRANCO! Oh, that’s going to be fun. And a short montage of Kelly’s odd clothes. Jonathan Antin that asshat that had that show Blow Out. Simon Noonan who is so precious. Oh man, I hope Santino asks for some super crazy nonsense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is simply matchless :)