Styling Star: Episode 7

Here we are again. Yet another group challenge on the show we love to hate. After the double elimination last week in which Stacey and Tom were eliminated, Courtland is left on his lonesome to come bounding back into the apartment excited to have made it to the final five. If it were me, I think I'd have been glad to be kicked off this sinking ship, but apparently these people had no clue how frustrated the fans would be with the new format and how difficult it would be to watch. So who's left? Well, it's Courtland, Emily, Alex, Michael and Casey. I'm just glad I finally can connect the names with the faces...too bad it's still impossible to connect their design styles to the challenges.  
The designers show up to the set of a Sears photo shoot where Genevieve introduces them to this week’s guest judge, John Gidding, host of "Curb Appeal: The Block" who's also a Harvard-trained architect and quite a little hottie.

Genevieve explains that the challenge for the week will be to design a kitchen for a Sears catalog cover including Kenmore appliances. It's basically a white box challenge...three walls, no ceiling and two days to complete it. And Shocker...the designers are to choose, as a group, one of three baskets with a theme and base their design around it. Keep in mind that this is a styling challenge and the winner will be chosen for the best final photo of the space so Emily, who does this for a living, is sent off to work with Courtland and the two of them choose the Italian basket. Emily chooses garlic for her inspiration though she doesn't seem to know why and Courtland chooses the Parmesan cheese for it's color mostly.

The Italian Basket...Courtland LOVES Italian if you didn't catch that.
I think he only mentioned it a few hundred times.

The one thing I thought was a pleasant surprise last night was that the designers were given installers for the cabinets, appliances, lighting and flooring where in season's past, they were forced to do it all themselves often leaving the poor homeowners with un-grouted tile and shoddy workmanship. And here's the deal, designers are not contractors. We work closely with them, but rarely are we installing things for clients. Now, we may give it a whirl at our own homes and deal with the consequences when everything goes awry, but we spare those that are paying us by simply selecting what goes where and why and then bringing in the appropriate people to make it happen. It always bugged me that designers would get eliminated in the kitchen challenge for not hanging a cabinet level or not understanding how to properly install a range hood. At least HGTV did one thing right this season. Way to go...I guess your not complete bozos.

Having just read Emily's blog concerning this challenge, I actually understand the choices a bit better. For example, they only had three choices for flooring, cabinetry and counter tops (sad). After making their selections, Court and Emily realized they had chosen the exact same things as the other team and decided to change the flooring and the cabinets. Bad move on the cabinets and though they thought they changed the floor choice, they actually forgot to and so ended up with this combo. Well, it certainly works for a Sears catalog...I'll leave it at that. Another tid-bit I gleaned from The Brass Petal was that they are forced to choose their paint at the beginning of the challenge and then they're stuck with it. No tweaking, no changing their minds. In this case, it's why we see that "things that make you go hmmmm" purple face on the island and why it's beigeville proper. Strangely, though I would never in a million years have chosen that purple, it does help the pic a bit. I think the chalkboard wall was smart because the room needed some black to ground it...bad. Emily ended up in the bottom two essentially for her styling choices. Another dumb decision on their part, in my opinion. I actually think it was the one thing that brought the room to life. Remove all that stuff...or even half of it...and the space goes dead.

Michael (The new Meana?), Casey and Alex selected their basket first based on the fact that Alex won the last challenge for his brilliant(?) pillow. That one still boggles my brain....but anyhoo, they chose the French basket with Casey choosing the crusty baguette for the color, Michael choosing escargots for the rustic exterior and rich interior and Alex selecting the corkscrew(?) for it's functionality. Basically right away Michael decides he's the head honcho and chooses to display this by being so ridiculously condescending to Alex that you have to believe it's the only way he feels he can get things accomplished in his life. I'm not a fan of this kind of behavior. I don't think it's cute. I don't think it's appropriate and I feel like we've seen his true character. Not a fan. I'm also not a big fan of how Casey followed Michael's every whim...sure, I suppose she may have actually agreed with all of his choices, but it seems unlikely. I was in total agreement with Alex on the flooring, by the way, and the fact that they didn't even let him style the space the way he wanted to try to capture a few perfect photos. Jerks.
 Who does that?!
There was no team winner for this challenge...except for Sears and Kenmore I suppose...but Casey is chosen as the overall winner for her baguette inspired walls. Lord have mercy...seriously?! A wall color wins you a challenge? A beige wall color is the most wonderful thing this design world's seen in decades? Ri-donk-ulous.

Emily and Alex were in the bottom two and Alex was the one to go. What's up with the people who I interview being kicked off the same week? Yikes. Emily's up next and I'm more excited than ever to read her responses because she's so darn quirky and cute and I love her writing style. But, I hope it's not a Design Star death wish...because of all the people left, I think she's the only one who's show I'd be interested in watching. She's kinda like George Bush for me...I might not agree with everything she does, but I'd sure like to have her over for cocktails. Final four next week. For now, I'm off to watch a far more interesting final two...The Bachelorette!
I think I'm kinda Team Roberto...but Chris is pretty perfect, too! Now, THAT'S a tough decision!


Anonymous said...

I don't think Michael's so bad. He probably is just fed up with the challenges and how his teammates are skating by on no talent. I think he'll win the whole thing but I don't know how long his show will last.

Jen of All Trades said...

I have to disagree with you about his teammates having no talent. I don't think we've had the chance to see what they can do on the show, but if you take a look at their portfolios it's obvious they are there for a reason. Thanks for the comment though! :)

davidsonsonsonson said...

I have to say that this was a good post to read. I'm glad that you post this on the blog...

Jen of All Trades said...

Thanks, davidsonsonson! I think I missed a "son" but I'm sure you get that. ;) I'm in the process of wrapping up my review of episode 8 which I'll post in a bit...hope you continue to check in on my little blog and that you have a great day!

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