Bum, Bum Bum, Bum, Bummmmmmed!

Here we are again, folks. Design Star Episode 8 and down to the final four. 
Oh, the excitement of it all. (Notice the period and lack of exclamation point on that sentence.)
So, let me remind you who was left:

Courtland, Casey, Michael, and Emily

The four designers start off by finding out they're off to brunch at Centrico in NYC. They spend much of the brunch patting each other on the back and just "psyched to have the morning off". And then Vern walks out and they all act as though it's a huge shock. Really? Cuz HGTV doesn't have the budget to allow you to show what you got, but they are gonna spring for brunch and give you fancy time off? Not likely, Gullibaloos.

So, Chef sanchez, who also hosts Chef vs City on Food Network, tells them he hopes they remembered everything about the dishes they just ate because they are the inspiration for the challenge, which is to recreate a dining room space that has seen better days. Yet again, my heart stops momentarily as I await the news that each will have their own dining room with a $20,000 budget and free reign to simply express their own personal styles representative of  the show they hope to have, but my little bubble is burst when it's explained they'll be designing in pairs. Oh, and add to that the fact that there isn't a real client...yet it's not a white box challenge either. They simply took a couple of smallish apartments, threw a bunch of thrift store items in it willy nilly and called it a challenge.

Whatchoo talkin' bout, Willis?

So, here's how it went down:
Casey picks first because she won the last know for her amazing, ummmm, can't even remember what. She selects the tamale.
Courtland chooses the empanadas.
Emily picks the huevos rancheros and Michael ends up with the fruit platter. Even he cracks up at the irony of that one.

No shopping is allowed this challenge and they are given the task of taking all the items in their apartments and simply re purposing them. 

Emily and Michael check out their space and Michael quickly describes it by saying, "Where is the dead body, because it looks like someone just keeled over and died like 40 years ago."  And it does look like someone died and I'm pretty sure her name was Design Star. Cuz, really?, this is what we get for the final-four challenge?

You can tell right away that Emily was in it to win it this challenge. Her idea to paint the ceiling kelly green was bold and I felt good about it right away. Michael started off by taking the coffee table, cutting it down and turning it into a bench...a bench with no real seat, mind you, and one he ends up throwing a mini-tantrum about and leaving unupholstered with a fabric runner to give it that magic touch. Sweet.

He did however come up with a great idea to break apart all the angel figurines and glue them to an oval mirror's frame. After painting it a high gloss black it really did look like an expensive baroque piece. The judges questioned his use of black on it which I thought was ridiculous. I thought it helped to ground the space and I liked that he didn't go obvious with the fruity color thing. fushia would have been cool had they then turned that horrible framed print on the wall into a sort of modern art piece and painted it fuscia as well. Emily was genius with that chandelier. And the painted hutch with the wallpapered interior was an upgrade as well. I feel like the drape styling is a miss, but that's just me.

Overall, though, the space still seems VERY amateurish and how could it not with the parameters set for them?! We're now down to the bottom three by the end of this challenge and this is what we're forced to look at. A couple of good ideas and a bunch of empty and average looking space. 

Ok, so did anyone else's jaw drop when they showed the space Courtland and Casey would be working on?! Brick walls and not nearly as much crap and Christmas stuff to have to re purpose. I mean the brick alone made the room seem warmer and more charming, so in my opinion they had far less work on their hands. What's up with that? Didn't matter though, they still managed to mess it up.
Courtland felt he needed to rebuild the top of the table...and added varying size planks that were stained...pretty good looking, if a bit rustic. Meanwhile, Casey was upstairs re-upholstering the chairs...I guess I should say hot gluing the fabric on and pretending to be reupholstering...wth? You're hot gluing the fabric on? And where did you get the fabric?! Is there a fabric fairy that delivers? If so, I need her number. 
Ok. I need you to sit down because I have some shocking news. Courtland decided he needed to do a faux finish. I know. I know. I couldn't believe it either. I mean, it comes so out of left field! Not only did he do yet another one, but he decided it needed to be orange. Purty. He explained, "It moves you in a way that the empanada does in flavor", no it doesn't. Casey said it reminded her of a mexican restaurant and not a high end dining space. You said it, Frank.

Casey made an ottoman out of the area rug. I have to say, I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit when I saw the rug because I have the same one in my living room. I thought I hated it before, but when I saw it in this space I knew that it's gotta go. Immediately.  

So, at the end of the day...this very long day...the designers sadly seemed to be thrilled with this challenge...kind of like a caged and starved animal would be thrilled with a teaspoon of sour milk. I personally, want to throw this laptop down the toilet so I don't have to write about this farce of a show anymore, but I'm all in at this point. Courtland got the axe, by the way. I got a headache. And if life's really like a box of chocolates, this show is like that really crappy one in the box with the weird hard raspberry fluff inside. A HUGE disappointment.


Marg said...

Your synopsis says it all! I commend you for actually watching the episode. Once the challenge was announced I pretty much gave up and half-watched/listened while doing other things. I couldn't take it any more.
Two things really bother me about this season: First off, these designers put their lives and livelihoods on hold to participate in the show and I don't think they were given a fair shake based on previous seasons. Secondly, I feel that HGTV must have little regard for their viewers in airing such an farce of a series - it' a bit insulting.
But here I am - in for a penny, in for a pound - same bat time, same bat station next Sunday.

Jen of All Trades said...

Oh Marg! I just couldn't agree more. I think those are the exact two things that are driving me crazy, too. Like you said, they put their lives on hold and sacrifice lord knows how much to be there and HGTV turns it into an unwatchable mess that we just continue to hope will get better each week. Sad. At least next week is an individual challenge...even if it is an outdoor sunroom. Maybe the final two will get to work on a fast food restaurant with a $100 budget! ;)

Naz said...

I had so much hope for this show. Vern turning into a mini Trump is laughable.

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