Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Top Design 10/1/08--"Triathlon of Designing" summary

Previously on Top Design: everyone had to be on teams and design apartments for bachelors. Woo. Wisit, Andrea, and Teresa won. Also we saw the return of the Pop Design challenge, this time making everyone design flower arrangements. Nathan, thank goodness, won immunity for himself so he would be safe. The other two designers on his team, Preston and Shazia, argued the whole time and the design suffered as a result. Shaz was sent home for not really contributing and whining a lot. Also Eddie’s team broke a vase in the showroom, and his response was to loudly claim that the vase was not worth the price, and that the store clerk was lying to him. How great would it have been if that guy had called the cops? Also, in an interesting turn, remember when Shaz called Preston an a**hole and stupid “Flipping Out” guy thought it was like, the worst thing ever? They showed that clip except now she calls him a dick. (click for more)

Eddie is tired of all the team challenges. I agree; I’m glad not to have to recap 12 designs all the time, but it’s gotten old. Teresa isn’t being “utilized”. You don’t know who she is, do you? Exactly. Natalie has to prove herself because she’s so young. Andrea is the only one with 4 kids and she misses them.

Everyone comes into the workroom and dear God what is that woman wearing? Kelly has on a sassy black and white checked hat, and a black blouse with giant sleeves. Like, the sleeves have huge layers and look like cabbages and she could fit that hat inside one of them. India stands next to her all “I did not dress this woman.” India tells them two things: today’s challenge will be individual (like you couldn’t tell from everyone complaining about team challenges), and it will be a “triathlon”. She can’t even keep a straight face when saying “The Top Design Triathlon”. Nathan declares himself a “smokerlete” but he’s glad to do his own thing. People in the bottom of each leg may face elimination.

The first leg is the chair leg. Polite laughter. There are 10 unfinished chairs, which they will have to transform. There are stains, paint, fabrics, and more wood. They need to be different, says the woman in the giant blouse. The winners of each leg will get immunity, no matter what happens in the other legs, and there will also be an overall triathlon winner. 2 hours and…go!

Wisit is painting the plain fabric backing. Nathan knows he can get his fabric because everyone else is boring. Andrea claims that her style is clean and classic so she can’t be not-boring. But Teresa is stapling and you can see all of the staples. And the stripes don’t line up. Ondine is making a Betsy Johnson designed chair. Then she calls Natalie’s design over the top. Nathan has gold lame fabric which he is getting paint on. Eddie doesn’t want “wow” but he does want “glam” and “beauty”. He of course thinks his chair is perfect.

Preston’s chair is painted black and has a dark purple cushion. It’s nice but not exciting. Wisit’s painted fabric looks old and antique and I like it. Eddie has bright yellow wood and silver fabric with black stripes made out of ribbon. Immediately I am reminded of Kerry and Wisit’s display window. That is bad. India just says it looks finished. Natalie’s chair looks kind of cheap but I don’t mind it. Andrea’s chair is boring, with striped fabric and a light wash. She ran out of time. Oops. Teresa has some striped fabric that doesn’t line up and it looks unfinished and amateur. Ondine’s chair…it’s bright pink with floral print fabric and whickety wack trim. But it is very Betsy Johnson. Nathan painted the wood blue, and then over his gold fabric he painted some white, but after he taped off pieces, so there are random gold stripes on white. Interesting.

Natalie’s chair was too much and she should have restrained herself. Kelly compares it to Vegas leftovers. Teresa just reupholstered her chair so it was boring. Nathan’s, however, was loud in a good way, and Eddie’s was bold. What? What? Why did no one see the yellow and silver! Ondine took a risk but it was iconic and it worked. The winner is Nathan. Yay! He doesn’t want to give up though.

Jonathan appears for leg 2. This leg is about dining tables. Nathan does an eyebrow pop. (Me: “Ooohhhh, eyebrow pop! I know he’s gay but you’d share, right?“ Kmanpat: “Yeah, I’d share.“ Me: “Woo!“) Everyone gets one table and one set of chairs. Then they’ll get $500 and 30 minutes in the showroom to buy stuff, and 2 hours to work their magic. Natalie picks the table completely opposite of what she’d normally pick. During shopping everyone gets flowers. Eddie scoffs and says this is his job, in a manner that suggests he fails spectacularly. Teresa has a theme going.

Nathan isn’t going to set his table formally, he wants to have a hang-out cottage feel. Natalie is trying not to clutter her table too much. Preston wants his theme to involve his mom. Andrea is making a family dinner. Teresa got hideous dishes that she is painting, but she freaks out because she’s kind of rustic. Eddie credits his grandmother with his design inspiration.

Teresa: black table top with red and yellow dishes and black utensils. There are brown napkins and a yellow vase and some dark glassware. It looks pretty cool, kind of Zen and not fussy. She says her design style is modern an a little Asian. Natalie: white and blue china, with these white lanterns with votives in them, and a very tall flower arrangement. Lots of yellows and oranges in her flowers/orange branches. Those lanterns are too big. She’s got blue blows and white bowls. Jonathan doesn’t like her flowers but he says he likes the rest. Eddie: long table with brown and white oval chargers and dishes. Down the middle of the table are two long boxes with green flowers and in the center are some candles and votives set tin seashells. It’s very clean for all that. Andrea: white table cloth, light blue and white dishes and roses, and silver candlesticks. It’s very light and clean. She claims it’s for her daughter’s birthday, but it’s kind of old for that. Her actual house is more rustic but this was a good chance to branch out. Nathan: sanded the table top and then didn’t set it. Instead, the dishes and glasses are stacked near one end, like for a buffet. There are lots of flowers and fruit and it’s very rustic. They like it. Preston: white table cloth with a dark green cloth over it. He also did not set his table, but because he’s got a smaller table and the tablecloths it looks more crowded. He’s also got a little display thing, like you would put petit fours on. Too many flowers. Wisit: each chair has a cover with something painted on it. The dishes are white and the covers and napkins are blue. In the center are some wicker square baskets with lids and white flowers. It’s very seaside cottage. He says he’d love to entertain friends with food and opera singing, and Jonathan says, “Shut up! Can we hear some?” so Wisit obliges. Hee. Ondine: green runner with palm trees, white chargers with green bowls. The table is white, and there are yellow roses everywhere. She calls it “garden tea party” which I can see. Jonathan tells her that he doesn’t see her in the table setting at all. She agrees and says this isn’t reflective of her taste. So…why did you do it then?

Ondine didn’t have an emotional connection with her table setting, and Preston’s wasn’t practical and had too many flowers. He wasn’t in that table setting either. Eddie’s table was very chic and could have been in a magazine. Thank goodness, that would be like Kayne failing the Miss America challenge. Once again Nathan’s design impressed the judges, being interesting and unexpected and great. Nathan wins again! He seems surprised. He feels terrible for winning twice and keeping others from immunity. “I feel like all of the other contestants want to pour Visine in my coffee. *pause* I’m sure I’m going to be poisoned.” (Kmanpat: “I’ll protect you!”) India sends them home to sleep before the next leg.

In the morning Andrea says everyone is tired. Eddie is sure he can win this leg. Nathan is also feeling confident. No shirtless shots today.

Margaret appears to judge leg 3. India says they have to make a “breathtaking space”. They will take inspiration from nature, and tell a story, and India says “breathtaking” again so I’m trying to think of how that will work. They’re designing sets for a photo shoot. “Breathtaking”? OK. They’ll also have the chance to have their sets photographed for Elle Décor. India tells them they’ll only be shopping at one location: a garden center. Heh. Dress out of flowers time! But they get $1000 which should be enough for lots of flowers.

Shopping time! Nathan is buying cacti. Eddie buys a birdbath and an urn. He just wants to do pretty. Teresa is going Zen. Natalie wants Martha’s Vineyard. Andrea is buying vegetables. That might be cool.

They’ve got 4 hours to work. The spaces they get to work in? The fake “rooms” from last season. Actually, I think they might only be getting two walls. Wisit is making a formal paneled room. Somehow. Ondine has bright neon green walls. Teresa wants a Zen bliss feeling but red walls don’t so much make me calm. Nathan’s walls look horrid, because they are baby poop brown and in addition to that color they’re all splotchy. Then Teresa appears and says they’re doing the same finish and isn’t that so great? Nathan’s response: “I diarrheaed in my mouth.” He does not want to be like Teresa. At all. So he’s painting over everything, and Natalie thinks it looks better. Preston mentions his grandma, and he is taking on the challenge of painting stripes. He said they didn’t specify it has to be a garden. Cut to Andrea’s space, which has a fountain and stepping stones and is definitely supposed to be outside. Eddie has a big circle of sod. Teresa praises him and he says that he just loves all her tobacco colors! Then he fakes smoking a joint and coughs. Ok, that was bitchy and funny. Natalie has a ton of roses, and she starts talking about her mother that passed away 3 years ago.

Everyone goes home, so I guess they’ll be judging tomorrow. Eddie and Nathan laugh at Teresa. Andrea acts superior about Eddie’s pretending to like things and how he’s not genuine.

In the morning everyone gets an hour to work. Natalie would take an Elle Décor spread over immunity. All 4 judges show up to judge. Kelly has on a sequined shift dress in pale blue with a beehive hairdo. Only they crimped her hair before they put it up. Preston: white, olive green, and maroon stripes, with a big metal chair with vines wrapped around it. There are 2 topiary trees and a smaller rose bush. He thinks his space is like a real room and it would work in a cropped shot. Teresa: mottled red walls, that I guess are finished but they look like when we painted Kmanpat’s house and we didn’t put down a primer in the one red bedroom and none of use knew how to paint so it looked horrible. There are a lot of low tropical plants and brown containers. It’s sort of jungle, but there aren’t nearly enough plants for that. There’s nothing in the center, everything is around the walls. She also didn’t do anything to the floor, because she thought she’d screw it up. Wisit: “Springtime in Paris”. He’s painted a door, and furniture on the walls, and then hung fabric for curtains. There’s a strip of sod, like a doormat, and some light flowers in white containers. The painting looks bad, though. The floor has a zigzag herringbone floor. There’s bamboo along the floor because he ran out of time to make it his curtain rod. They like it, I guess. Nathan: brown walls, with cacti along the walls. There are pots hung on one wall, and a low table and bench. It’s supposed to be a transitional space, not a formal room. Natalie: dark gray/blue walls, and a white bamboo framework. There are two Adirondack chairs painted white, and along one wall there’s a hutch with more plants on it. It’s a cute room, but not really a good photo shoot. All the plants are in gray pots. The hutch is like a work station. But the judges really like it. Ondine: neon green walls, the same white lattice as Natalie, and the same chair. There’s a stove painted white, and some shutters. A rug of sod, a low table, and a work table…it looks like a photo shoot. It also looks like a regular room with some twists. She wanted to do an interior room. Andrea: yellow walls, and lots of vegetables. She put giant mounds of dirt to raise some trees in the back, because she couldn’t afford taller trees. There are stepping stones and a fountain. Jonathan wishes she’d done something unexpected. Eddie: light green walls with stripes in a dark color, a circular mat of sod, and some nice flower arrangement in the center. There are some ferns in the back. All the pots are black. Someone (I think Kelly) says it’s still a little granny. Eddie clutches his pearls in horror.

The judges get a chance to chat a little bit before the contestants come in. They just talk about the third leg, though. Natalie nailed it, it looks polished and thoughtful. Her chair sucked but she picked it up. Eddie is dusty and granny. His room was not glam, and Margaret is bored. Preston is too complacent, but the chair in his photo shoot room was great. Wisit took his room in a good direction, with some fantasy, and more ideas than everyone else. Nathan played it too safe with his photo shoot, although is table was great. Ondine was creative but disheveled and doesn’t impress anyone. Andrea’s fountain was nice but the rest of the room was too boring. Teresa chose nice plants but she kept the plastic pots and it was unexciting. Margaret says it’s where you wait for valet parking.

Everyone comes in to get slammed. They start with the winner of leg 3: Natalie! Wow. She’s so thrilled. Jonathan announces that the overall winner of the triathlon is Nathan. Of course. He and Natalie get to leave. Preston, Eddie, Wisit, and Ondine are all safe so they get to leave too. That means it’s down to Teresa and Andrea. Jonathan asks Teresa what her best leg was, and she thinks leg 3. They tell her those were great plants but it wasn’t together. Jonathan says that if she’d done something tiny but awesome they would have loved her. Her chair wasn’t that dramatic either. Andrea lacks contrast. Her colors don’t have wow, and they don’t excite anyone. Kelly tells her to dig deeper into the color palette. Jonathan was especially disappointed with leg 3. She says she’s in the same environment all the time and it’s hard to get inspired. Jonathan tells her not to be insipid.

Teresa has not wowed anyone in any way, and he voice hasn’t been heard. Her whole style is Zen but she hasn’t done a really good job with it. Andrea’s voice has been heard, but it’s boring. Kelly says she has to open up her fandex, which I guess is that thing with all the paint colors, but India is like, “Spandex?” and they all giggle. Jonathan would love a jolt of color somewhere. Her execution is poor as well, like the plants on piles of dirt. Backstage Andrea thinks she just had a bad week.

Andrea is one note and predicable, and Teresa took her chance to show them who she was and ended up in the bottom for 2 out of 3 challenges. So Teresa is going home. She’s sad to leave and thinks she‘s the weakest competitor but not the weakest designer. She’s thankful for the opportunity.

Next week: India is shaking things up, Nathan is freaking out, I smell another team challenge. Wisit is lost.


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