Design Star, Episode 6

I've been looking forward to this weeks Design Star all week based on the promos with Donald Trump Jr. and the oh-so-chic Trump Plaza Residences in Jersey City (can you imagine?!). The show kicked off with Vern chatting up "Don" and had him describe what would be expected of the designers. He explained that the apartments had an incredible view of Manhattan and that the focus should be on luxury and attention to detail. "But wait!", I thought as my heart skipped a beat. Could this actually be an individual challenge? Each designer is going to get their own apartment?! OH HAPPY DAY! Skipping through fields of lilies and twirling and twirling!

Yeah. Not so much. Yet again, this ridiculous show decides it would be brilliant to make them each choose a NYC souvenir package that they then have to incorporate into their group design without being too kitschy. Sure. Cuz that's gonna work. As a side note and to totally jump ahead, Vern says in the end that there's no easier way to ruin a design than to do it by committee. WHAT? So you know that and still choose to make us watch group challenges week after week after God blessed week?! But, I digress...

Once again, we're whisked through one brief segment of shopping and decision know the most interesting part...only to have to sit through 30 minutes of judging and departures. Someone give me a dull would be less painful.

Blue Team

Anyhoo, Casey, Alex, Emily and Michael's team decide first and foremost, based on Casey's selection of the architecture and buildings package, that they need to do crown moulding. Well, Casey decides that and Emily is like, and I'm paraphrasing, "Hmph. Yeah, good luck with that." And she's right. Moulding can go really wrong, really fast if you don't know what you're doing. And low and behold, sure enough Casey cuts all the molding straight on...(needs to be mitered and angled)..and when she realizes it's not gonna work she decides to apply it flat against the wall instead of angled. Um, okay. Oh, but wait! Then she nails it all in upside down. Wowza. At least they made the smart decision to paint it dark gray...which is smart because leaving it white would have really given it a traditional vibe when the Trump vibe is a bit more sleek and chic.

Alex selected the "Big Apple Package" which came with a tote bag and a plastic souvenir. It appeared he spent alot of time struggling with what to do with it. See that little pillow to the left...the gray one with the black pleats...yep, that's it. Even he didn't seem to love it and yet, somehow, someway, he won the whole challenge for that darn thing. Won! He won! For that! Have they utterly lost their minds. I mean, Alex, I like you and all...but if this is the most creative and ingenious thing about the winning room then what does that say about the rest of the room?! Oh, and by the way, we were supposed to have an interview with Alex posted here yesterday...but he was a no show. Busy guy, I'm sure, but can I get an email? Common courtesy has fallen to the wayside. :(

Michael ended up with the "Broadway Package" as he chose last, but seemed really happy with it. Yes, he created the light to the left and no, he didn't seem to be impressed with his creation. At least he knew it was mediocre. What I did love about Michael this week is the fact that he seemed to be the only one worried far less about his stupid souvenir and far more with the big picture. I mean this is Trump were dealing with...not Crafty Carol and her Cloggers. He goes so far as to say, "You're ugly pillow or that silly art piece is not going to affect the overall design that much. It's a waste of time." Amen.

I'm sorry, but is anyone as bored reading about this as I am writing about it? I feel like at this point they don't even deserve the write up. Even by little ol' me. "They" being HGTV, not the designers. But, I'll trudge along...

Emily chose the NYC Subway Package and created this art piece out of it. Thanks to the black frame, it ended up to be a fairly good statement against that light wall. I personally thought her brush stroke canvas was better. Emily, as I stated earlier, was the only one unsure about the moulding. And rightly so. I mean did you see those close ups of the moulding? They didn't even reach the corners and instead seemed to have black paint used to visually extend them to the corners...I guess the big black smudge of paint on the ceiling was just an extra added art piece. Insanity that they would leave that like that. Insanity!

The blue team ended up having the winning design in the end. I'm looking at the picture to the left and am getting sooooo mad! Why can't they just give them an extra day and if money is that tight, work it out with local vendors to let them borrow furnishings for a bit of free promotion. I mean, look at how sparse it looks. That sad little eating area and tiny framed print. No accessories but for the "brilliant" pillows. I think I've officially decided to never...ever...eva!...try out for this show. There's no way you can really show off your true talent and instead it seems you're set up to fail! No thanks. I'll pass.

Red Team
Do I really have to even talk about this one?

Taxi Cab Confessions: OMG. How hilarious was Stacy's melt-down...or should I say...meltdowns. Geese. Get it together! The above tray...not so bad. The plastic taxi in a cloche? A cop-out. The bed situation? Are you effing kidding me? No mattress? No down bedding with crisp and luxurious details? Nah. Let's just use the box springs to show off the headboard, throw a wrinkled sheet and a couple of pillows on the bed and step back and  call it a day. Actually, let's then say, "It's perfect!". Wow. I need some aspirin. Needless to say, Stacy, after giving herself "a 60%, is immediately told she's out of the competition. Ta ta. Oh crap! I almost forgot about the drapes she decided to make for the bedroom. She explained that they "didn't have time" to go to the fabric, they COULD have, but didn' instead she decides to use a drop cloth for the fabric and incorporate some of her tacky souvenir crap. Did I mention she'd never made drapes before? Oh, and they were bad, my friends. Trump wouldn't have used those drapes for toilet paper.

And then there's Tom...

So, Tom chose the Statue of Liberty Package and huffed and puffed his way through painting the bathroom and the ceiling "blueberry blue" as Courtland called it. I actually think it could have worked had he chosen a more midnight blue but with the way it was accessorized or not accessorized and the fact that he chose to not do a shower curtain...a bold nave and white quatrefoil fabric ceiling to floor would have been was bound to fail. So, Tom was the second one to go. Ba bye.

Courtland. What's become of you? This sad Ikea looking floating shelf and a lipstick smeared note and mug, a well designed room doesn't make. You know the show is stifling when someone with this much talent continually produces mediocre at best results. I gotta give it to him though, he was at least embarrassed by the end result and seemed to want to just crawl under a rock at judging.

Ok. That's all I can muster. So, what would I have done? What do I think they should have done? 
How about something like this:

Feels very Trumpish doesn't it? Yet, totally doable. Are we expecting too much? Maybe. 
Jen, out. (a la ryan seacrest)
 (David Scott Designs)


Debbie Minarik said...

You couldn't be more spot on!! Seriously I am so frustrated with the missed opportunities of these "designers". Trump said luxury!! What the heck did they not understand. I haven't seen one designer that stands out or one that I would consider watching. BAD..
BAD..BAD....doesn't even begin to describe this season.

kellyoneill24 said...

Wow... the after pics look more like before pics!!!

Jen of All Trades said... That says it all. You hit the nail on the head! Debbie, I know! Why do we continue to watch?! I think I'm just an eternal optimist and hope each new episode will be the one to really show who's talented and deserves a show. Who do you think will win? Any guesses?

bifty489 said...

I agree, this season is AWFUL. I have no clue who will win and won't be able to decide until we see individual challenges.

Jen of All Trades said...

Will there ever BE an individual challenge? I don't think we should hold our breath. Guess we'll be waiting til the final two. :(

Anonymous said...

this is ridiculous - I think it's the fault of the way the challenges are set up - it's been all group for like 5 eps now and the next one is a group one too, AAAHHH! this is a mess. everyone is set up to fail - I wonder if these contestants are embarrassed...

Candy said...

I keep waiting for Ashton to show up on one of these episodes to say we've all been Punked!... and now they are going to air the REAL episodes!!! Where is all this "change" coming from? I have LOVED every other season of "Design Star". Even Vern seems to be moodier than in the past!

Kris said...

I completely agree with your blog Jen, and with the comments too! These rooms were just awful, and I was embarrassed to watch everything unravel before my eyes! I blame HGTV for setting the designers up for failure by creating another group challenge and asking the designers to incorporate JUNK souvenirs with a luxurious Trump apartment. Shame on you, HGTV!

Marg said...

I had the unpleasant experience of watching the last 2 episodes in one sitting this evening - torture!
I can't believe that it continues to get worse each week.
I was shocked to see them shopping in ABC - one of my fav stores - but for a show with no budget - way too pricey.
I commented earlier about the horrible set. Now the judges facial expressions and overall attitude seems to match their surroundings - dark, mean, cold, and nasty. I don't know if the contestants are performing so poorly due to the atmosphere and constraints not known to us, but the decisions that they have made are mind-boggling to me.
Just bad design and bad television. And yes, I will probably try to sit through another episode next week.
I believe I heard that the winner would get their own web show, not tv show - have to check that out.
Thanks for your recaps - they are spot on!

emily Henderson from The Brass Petal said...

hi guys. i know, i know. for the record, yes there are constraints. and yes, watching, i am embarassed. but keep watching. who knows what could happen.

Rosanne Palazola said...

Hi Jen,

I don't watch these shows and this is WHY I don't watch these shows....they give us designers a bad reputation! Someone sticks a piece of bicycle on the wall, calls it "art" and everyone oohs and aahs. "What genius!" they say...."What garbage!" I say!

Jen of All Trades said...

I agree that the judges just seem to be terribly snarky and glass-half-emptyish this season. What a bad mix they have this year. Guess they should have done a couple of screenings of the first episodes before they continued on with the rest. I think they would have heard a resounding "WTH" from the audience and would have revamped the rest of the challenges. Also, what's up with those TERRIBLE voice overs going on in judging. You know, when they pan away to the designers and you hear Vern commenting in a completely different sounding voice almost like he's in a vacuum? Really bad. :/

Jen of All Trades said...

We're trying to hang in there with ya. It's not easy...but I think at this point we're all invested enough to see the season through. Hope all is well!

Erica said...

I am invested enough to see it through, but I keep watching every week hoping it gets better! I hate that we don't get to see the constraints the designers have to follow, or know the budget, or anything else. That would probably make this show less painful to watch.

Jen of All Trades said...

Erica, Erica! I know. It so would make it less painful...and interesting! How do those bozos at HGTV not know that it would just add to the show if we knew that info?! Grrrrr. See, now ya got me all riled up again! ;)

Naz said...

I'm still aggravated that Michael was a no show. Totally rude!

I was happy for the double elimination as this just drags on week after week.

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