Welcome back to Design Star! I would like to thank everyone for their comments the past two weeks. I’ve learned more about the judges and the host from the TVgasm comment boards than their Wikipedia pages. I appreciate all the feedback! Bring it!
It’s time once again to (gently) poke fun at our cast of HGTV regulars, including some fun at the expense of Clive Pearse (and his hairline and his Errol Flynn beard…that’s just love) as they choose from the pool of aspiring TV stars. Clive is on hand to wrangle the remaining 10 designers for their second challenge.
Episode two starts with our 10 designers assembled to choose two team captains. Paint cans are chosen and the lids are pulled to reveal Amy and Nate as challenge team captains.
Challenged (?) team captains
As Torie seems to dig for the star like the prize in Cookie Crisp box, Clive reveals that challenge number two is the notorious kitchen challenge. There will be two teams of five, chosen… “playground style.” Playground style is a little demeaning, but we’ve all been there. I’ve been there.
Some more than most.
And if the Bill Haverchucks of the world can survive it every day for four years of high school gym class, and it means your own TV show — honestly, suck it up.
Amy is allowed to chose first and she needs someone with construction experience. She’s worked with Antonio in the past and opts for Dan instead. Amy doesn’t find Antonio as charming as our TVgasm readers do. By the way, I expected Antonio to be hardcore slimy gavone, but he’s totally deadpan and I kinda love him. You can vote for him as the fan favorite at HGTV.com, and he’ll win an online series. I’m already making up some names for the show:
Famous Antonio’s Design and Pizza
Ink your space, with Antonio B.
Fuggedabout dull, with AB
So what, no fuckin’ design now?
When Nathan chooses he goes for construction experience and selects Antonio. He also chooses Joy, Jason and is left with Torie. If Torie wants to keep us interested in her, she’s going to have to step it up. HGTV could call in a mid-season replacement before her hairspray dries. And you know Jan Hooks would be thrilled to get on a series again.
Amy also selects Jany, Meredith and Tashica.
Clive is ready to assign the teams their family kitchens. Amy is grumbling mad over having to remodel a kitchen. She’s designed them but never installed them. No fear, you have Dan Dan the cowboy man, he must have more experience than the other contestants…
Where’s that bonding strip?
Two local families are in need of a Design Star makeover, so Nate’s team will be remodeling the Boucher family kitchen, and next door Team Amy will be remodeling the Johnsons’ kitchen. Both teams will receive appliances from Sears and flooring from Lumber Liquidators and $20K to remodel the kitchen.
Amy brings a completely unnecessary level to the challenge and to my intolerance of her and decides to name her team, Team Heart. Aww, tear. They don’t have the most brawn, but they have the most heart! They don’t have the most brains either, which is sad considering the other team has couple people that have modeled their life on a Delta Burke character.
Nathan wisely skips the naming ceremony and states that his main objective is to finish this kitchen. This is an where I think this show could benefit from letting the contestants work all night instead of splitting up their work time into set hours over several days. Nothing is more entertaining than an incoherent fight sparked by a missing paint tray at 1 am, while they are covered in paint and spackle. HGTV is entirely too efficient for my liking.
Team Heart prances in to meet the Johnsons and Amy immediately tells them about her team name. She is Team Heart, because she is all heart. Is HGTV searching for their next star or the next Care Bear? Relax Amy.
If I was Mrs. Johnson, I would just be hoping you’re all heart plus a contractor’s license. I wouldn’t care is she was Team Fellatio as long as I see granite and stainless steel appliances. But Team Sugar and Spice seems to be awfully proud of themselves, they finally stop gushing long enough to find out the Johnsons have two children and want a warm modern kitchen, suitable for entertaining. Mr. Johnson even uses the term “futuristic.”
I agree, this would be badass.
How much of the 20K budget could go towards Rosie?
Bad idea, even with all her settings, she’s never get Joy clean.
That woman skeeves me.
In the other kitchen, Nathan starts questioning the Boucher matriarch, Paula Jones Boucher. She’s a single mother of three and the kitchen is the center of their home — where friends or local politicians stop by and they all hang out in the kitchen. They are very Italian, but she likes Moroccan. I’m not sure where the overlap is there, but Morocco had to be part of the Roman empire at some point, right? I’m going to guess Italian-Moroccan fusion is a lot of red glass stuff and a lot of delicious chicken dishes. I’m looking forward to see what these fools come up with, without the assistance of Google or a trip to the World Showcase.
Nathan starts the brainstorming session, since the Bouchers are very active in the space, they need a functional kitchen. Which is always good because those Playskool kitchens never get my coffee hot enough.
Whoa, that’s creepier than I remember…
Antonio recommends dark granite countertops and Nate also wants rich colors for the walls and cabinets. Nate decides to leave color choices to Joy the Color Expert, who has demonstrated no expertise of colors. I’m not sure she can even pass a vision test… if she had 20/20 vision she would take one good look at herself on television and cancel herself. Woof.
Joy is an outside the box thinker, so she selects tones of red, yellow and blue. Seriously. Antonio has a more innovative palate in his neck tattoos. Joy is really scraping the bottom of the Crayola box with this choice.
Joy is also in charge of selecting which walls will be painted in which tones. Blue up top, yellow around the counter top and red on her face when the judges see…. In my preview post, I definitely misjudged a few designers. I thought Jason would be stronger and I thought Woody would be weaker, but I was dead on with Joy — she sucks at her job.
Team TenderHeart captain, Amy, wants to replace the cabinets, lay a dark floor and keep the granite counter tops very light. She envisions the kitchen to be very linear and modern.
Tashica is charge of accessories for Team Heartsong. Breaking them, apparently. The wine the Johnsons would like to showcase and house properly in their kitchen end up smashed on the floor. Tash, I’ve seen the previews and I’m sorry to say that your pride will be shattered next.
Amy’s on the way to the cabinet store. While Dan battles to keep Tash focused in the kitchen demolition.
Back at Team Nathan, Jason pisses Antonio off by telling him that they will be the labor for this challenge. Antonio snaps back, “says you.”
Later Jason receives a fish wrapped in newspaper, misunderstands the intent and decides to use one of his many accessory for the room.
In reality Jason is a great help to Antonio with the demolition and the cabinets — and in turn Antonio may actually be a great addition to a little act Jason is getting together:
…We just have a cowboy and Nate looks good in feathers, so construction worker or biker — it’s really your choice.
Team Nathan is selects a very dark granite for the counter tops and a lighter “veiny” granite for the island when the granite delivery guy stops by. Using the term “veiny” to describe anything gives me the creeps. I’m having visions on Madonna’s arms and diner showcase shrimp cocktails in this kitchen. Blech.
Amy is on the hunt for a light countertop because the Johnsons like the idea of a dark floor. Luckily the granite sample delivery guy is at the house. Why are people always complaining about house remodels when a granite guy will bring samples to your house? I can’t get Pizza Hut to cross the highway, but for a little free promotion this guy will load up a truck full of rocks and make house calls? Damn.
Antonio and Joy the color specialist run out to select cabinets for their team, they leave the demo crew at the house. They needed Joy for this task, so she could recommend a brown stain on cabinets to go with the least complex color scheme imaginable. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when she tells Antonio’s that the hardware for the cabinets should be metallic and she would love to see all the cabinets attached to the walls. A masters, really? Maybe a master’s degree in Finland is roughly equivalent to a drivers license here? They just keep letting you take the exams until you pass?
Jany and Amy are picking out cabinets for Heartburn, while the team members at the house are on demo. At the showroom Jany hones in on a deeper cabinet color while Amy dances around and doesn’t make a decision. After executing many fascinating thinking poses, she decides to go with exactly what Jany said from the minute they arrived in the store. It was a challenge since they were back and forth choosing from a wall with only 8 samples.
Joy Hickey, the trailer park queen, reminds the audience that color is very important in this challenge. Then shouldn’t you have drawn inspiration from a palate larger than the complimentary crayons at Denny’s? I am glad to see you’ve omitted use of your go-to neutrals, primer and rust, but you still need to step up your game there Crab Shack.
Antonio and Joy decide on a slightly distressed looking mid-range cabinet color. I could I have chosen this, I redecorate my kitchen in my head all day. I’m not a designer, I just have a job in a cubicle. And I’m still waiting to be wowed.
At Sears, both teams pull a lot of stainless steel appliances. No shocker, all they really have to do is measure correctly and they won’t fuck this up.
Since the team members on house arrest have finished demo, they are fully prepped and awaiting the shoppers’ haul. Both teams hope to get the cabinets installed before the end of day one so that the granite has time to go in on day two. I don’t know what would happen if the granite never gets installed. I hope that the designers would have to finish the counter tops with a wicker basket weave or those fabric bands we used to make potholders at camp. That could work.
Amy is thrilled to find her team has completed demolition. She stares in awe at the kitchen until Dan introduces the idea of filling up the empty space. So smart cowboy. Even on the back of such a sturdy plan, stop staring–move stuff, Amy is cracking under the pressure. She starts to cry. If something goes wrong, she knows it’s on her.
Remodel a kitchen or ride a cowboy?
That brings us to the end of day one. 12 hours are allotted for day two. Both teams know that all the shopping and painting has to be completed.
Antonio is starting to get pissed at Nate. His lack of experience means he is leaning more on Antonio’s construction experience and isn’t leading.
And your little dog too.
Heartburn still has to finish the cabinets and start to tile. Even though it is common Design Star knowledge that tile = unfinished mess, they’re going to tile. Jany’s out is buying tile for the backsplash. While Amy is trying to appliances and cultivate a happy dance. Dan is slowed down by the weaker players on his team, like Tash.
Antonio has asked Jason and Nate to install the microwave. They don’t, instead they run off to the store when Antonio’s not paying attention. Unfortunately Tone needed to go to the hardware store, which he can’t do — and now needs to find time to install a microwave, which he didn’t want to do. One more strike and Nate’s going to find himself bricked inside the wall “without the skill set” to get himself out.
Nate is happy to head out on his first shopping trip. He didn’t get to go out on the last challenge because he was busy recreating parts of his childhood on the dining room walls. He and Jase are having a blast strategically fusing Moroccan and Italian by purchasing everything on the clearance table at Pier1. If there is anything I’ve learned from style shows, it is that once something gets all muddled, just call it fusion and you’re golden.
Torie is the first person in season four to show some ingenuity and decides on a faux hammered metal backsplash, that that will take a fraction of the time that tile would.
Joy jumps in to stir up some shit and tattles on Tone for not liking Nate’s leadership. Nate tells the camera that he should be respected because he’s the leader.That’s how most great leaders are made. Not by climbing the ranks and being a dedicated worker…You pull a star out of a can.
Two more stars and they make you a general.
Tash is in charge of Heartburn’s accessories and she’s running late. So far she’s been portrayed as a sloth with highlights and this shopping trip didn’t help improve her image.
Amy doesn’t want to disturb Dan, so she tries to move the refrigerator into the kitchen on her own. She only succeeds in making some ridiculous strained grunting noises that will haunt my dreams.
With one hour left in day 2, everyone says how little time they have left, and how little time there will be tomorrow, and Heartburn still doesn’t have countertops, but Jany goes ahead and starts haphazardly throwing up tile anyway. Isn’t there a red flag going up here? A Care Bear stare? Can nothing alert them that this is a bad idea?
When will you understand?
Day 3, Only 3 hours remaining.
Nate’s teams still has to finish painting and add lighting and accessories.
Heartburn arrives in the kitchen to find completed floors, but the granite countertops are fucked. The cabinets weren’t square, so there are gaps in the granite.
In Team Nate’s kitchen Tone commends Torie on her backsplash, however Jany half asses the tile over at Heartburn. She didn’t have the time. Is there a more advanced form of “duh” that would be appropriate here? Super-duh, Hyper-duh, Fucking duh!
Accessories are going into the Boucher’s kitchen. Antonio is taking inventory of the room when the oven hood falls and they’re in a race to get it back on it’s mounting before time is called. To their credit and my dismay, there is no finger pointing or name calling, everyone pitches in and it is replaced in time.
However, Tash and Amy have only allowed for 15 seconds to accessories their kitchen and next to nothing gets placed in time. Amy cries because she knows she’s fallen short. She wanted 100%.
Up first is team Nate:
Nate is commended for finishing, but Vern says “it looks like a rainbow threw up in there.” They love the backsplash, they don’t care for Jason’s styling. There wasn’t a strong overall vision. Nate doesn’t help his cause by saying he just wanted everyone to have a say in the design. He’s great at delegating, however without someone to reign in the team, his kitchen is more of a mosaic than a cohesive design.
The family likes it anyway because it was perfect interpretation of their Italian-Moroccan concept, which looks more Spanish-Tibetan meets a carnival claw game to my untrained eye.
Heartburn is up and Amy says they wanted a warm, modern design for their family.
But the Amy’s soothing description doesn’t disguise their errors and the judges spot the mistakes.
Vern says a lot could have been disguised, Gen says it’s soulless. Tash admits that she had the accessories but she couldn’t get them in the room in time. Seeing as there was no drawbridge, moat or dragon protecting the kitchen, the judges are not buying her excuses.
The family initially likes the design, but quickly spots the finishing issues.
When called to account for their failures, Dan says he felt like the silent leader since he had the construction experience. Amy says she spearheaded the design. Since the cabinets were askew and the design is half-assed, I’m surprised they even copped to that. I would continue blaming Tashica for not putting the bowl of oranges in the kitchen and hope to avoid the axe.
The judges have made their decision. They congratulateTone and Dan for leading the remodel on both teams. Jany, Jason, Meredith BB and Torie, made some contributions and are through to the next round.
Nate, Joy, Amy and Tash are at the bottom. Jen can’t pick a goddamn color and Nate didn’t lead, but they completed the kitchen, so they’re safe. Down to Tash and Amy: Amy– no strategy, Tash — couldn’t execute. And it’s Amy who gets cancelled.
There’s gotta be work in Care-A-Lot.
Check back in next week for the first individual challenge, the white room. Unfortunately it’s not padded and Joy is not in restraints. Damn.