The first time I learned I had a disease was when my parents shipped me off to a Teenage Weight Loss Clinic (FAT CAMP) in New Mexico. As my camp counselor Ryan (hated him on sight) explained it, I wasn’t a two hundred and ninety pound thirteen year old because I refused to move and gorged on Little Debbie Brownies and pounder bags of peanut M&Ms, I was fat because I had a disease. A disease called addiction. He grilled me, tyring to find the “trigger” for my “emotional blocks”, but I wanted no part of it. One day, Ryan forced me to share during Group Boo-Hoo Hour. “It’s time to stop running.” Actually, it was probably time to start, but thanks for the advice, Chunk. “What has brought you here, Flipit?”
I wanted to bite out his jugular, but instead I mustered up the courage to tell a love story. A love between a box of chemical brownies and a little boy who enjoyed living his life to the fullest. Skinny people were mean, and sex was gross (I still thought I was supposed to do it with girls back then), so what’s the point of it all? I wanted to watch Hollywood Squares after school while my mom was at Junior league and eat til I passed out on the papazan. Was that so wrong? I wasn’t looking to be “cured”. I’ll never forget the stunned silence. I like to think that in their heads, the fat kids were cheering. Ryan looked at me like I drowned his puppy, and I couldn’t help but smile.
I gained 11 pounds at fat camp, and brought a few kids with me. One of the proudest moments in my life is taking down the Mayor of Excuses Village.
This week, Top Design taught us camp beats drab, floor’s a whore, and being yourself is key, unless of course you’re a horrible, horrible person.
I may have had some reservations about this show (scratch the had), but when it came on this Wednesday, I white lady-beatboxed along with the theme song, and all week I’ve been humming “hey! Hey he-ey” over and over again. Watching Top Design feels like coming home. It’s a place I can say “grrrrl” out in the open and snap my fingers a lot. Home, sweet home. You always feel a little annoyed and ashamed when you go back there, but no one knows you better.
The Designers have some chill time before the next challenge. Ryan and the Wiggum kid play footsie and giggle while Goil obsesses over his new toy, Ryan’s skateboard. Goil spends the rest of the episode jumping on things that roll. Seriously. He finds something with rollers attached for almost every scene he’s in.
Butch knows everyone hates him, so he gives a speech. He has been HIV positive for thirteen years, and is medicated. Before he came on the show, he was given a huge shot of testosterone and it made him a little grumpy. Well it sure didn’t make you any manlier. What was he like before the shot?
He stresses heavily that he is not making excuses. Of course he is, but it’s one of the better excuses I’ve heard. Hormones can make a person crazy. Ask Alexis Arquette.
This news does soften him in the eyes of the other contestants, even though they aren’t gushing. Elizabeth babbles nonsensically. “John’s suffering. I just hope he can feel well. I hope…inside his soul, he can feel…well.” I’m gonna really fall in love with this chick in a couple of weeks when she’s overworked and under-rested. I have a feeling she’s a goldmine.
Ryan says you gotta hand it to Butch. “He’s an aging prizefighter on some level.” Ouch. You’re lucky you said that privately to a camera man because if Butch heard that he would have had your ass in a sling. Literally.
Todd, our sweet, adorable sock puppet host, greets the Designers and lays down the next challenge. They won’t be working in pairs today. Darn. There won’t be anyone for Butch to freak out on. What are we gonna do for the next hour?! Each Designer will create a bedroom for a randomly assigned client. They don’t get to meet them at first; instead they are given profile cards with interests and occupations. They will have $8000 dollars to spend in the Pacific Design Center, which freaks them all out. If they were shopping at thrift stores and Homo Depot, that would be an awesome amount of money, but there is no lower-middle class aisle in the PDC. Their entire budget could be spent on one piece of furniture. But it is just a bedroom, and they won’t have to buy beds because they’ll be building one for themselves! Suckas! The mattresses will be provided, and so will a carpenter. I want to see more of the carpenters. Especially this one.
They have an hour to do their damage in the PAC, and it’s madness. Goil looks for something “wacky” for his comedienne client and a salesperson suggests a huge glass orb thing, which I will refer to as a bowl since that’s the closest comparison I can find. Four hundred smacks. The most fun to watch is the Wiggum kid, who runs around like a bug eyed baby chick with her head cut off. When he comes in at budget, he smiles and rolls his eyes. “Oh my God, I almost pooped a brick!” When they assemble back at the workroom, Todd introduces them to their clients. 10 KIDS! Surprise! The Designers can’t go back to exchange anything, and the looks on their faces are priceless. That tricky sock puppet!
I love kids because they can’t help being honest. Wiggum looks like a nervous wreck. Having flashbacks to grade school torture? He’d better pull it together, because he hasn’t even spent a minute with his client and she already has this face:
Elizabeth is going to make a soccer room, and Carisa is going to go with a jungle theme. Matt, our sweet effeminate dad, gives us a peek into what it must be like at his house when can’t afford a pony for his daughter. He is stressed by his client, who’s nickname is “Hollywood”, so he puts on a big, tight smile and has a heart to heart with her. “We were given a certain amount of money to spend, and we already spent it.” His smile tightens and the little girl laughs. Wow. He’s really pretty good with bad news. “So now whatever you like I have to think of how to make in a different way.” In other words, shut up kid, you’re getting what I give you. The girl only hears his smile. What a good dad!
The kids leave and the Designers confer with their carpenters. Gay Dad is ecstatic with his. What Gay Dad wouldn’t be?
The puppet comes in and ups the ante. Not only will they have to change their ideas for the bedrooms to accomodate the kids, they will have to also redesign their beds, because everyone’s getting a twin mattress. Damn you, puppet!
These Designers put a lot of faith in their carpenters. Butch can’t decide which kind of wood he wants for his floor, so he switches to linoleum and let’s the carpenter take care of it. I can’t believe a control freak would be that careless. Must be the huge shot of manliness coursing through his veins.
Jake is going with the flow. His kid is an artist, so he’s gonna paint a big wave on the wall so she can feel like she’s painting at the beach. He also put in a lot of ledges for her cat… so she can have her cat on the beach. We all know how much cats like beaches.
Butch has hit a snag. “I don’t have a duvet insert!” Uh, you forgot the duvet? For the bedroom? His carpenter didn’t have enough money for the linoleum flooring, so he was fucked there, too. Well, thank god he had the good sense to pick the current, hip purple from Monica’s apartment on Friends for his walls. And is he making a headboard with linoleum floor tiles? Good lord, Butch. To his credit, he doesn’t compensate by going on a gay bashing spree. He stays as calm and possible and says he’s going to just do the best he can with whatever pieces are left. Wait. The duvet cover’s too big for the bed. Woops. Ok, now he’ll do the best with whatever’s left.
The other Designers are having a better day. The Wiggum kid is shocked and awed that he’s capable of manual labor. He giggles and high fives Felicia, bragging about his self-installed hardwood floors. “You did it all by yourself?” He shifts his buggy eyes. “All by myself!” She installed her own floors too, but doesn’t mention it. Why stomp on his joy? Ryan decided the huge wave on the walls and catwalks everywhere might be too subtle, so he whips out a gallon of hot pink paint and slaps it on everything cat related. Goil is keeping busy screwing wheels on anything he can, but he takes a sec to jump up and down when his hero, the sock puppet, comes by to complement him. Aw.
Gay Dad has chosen a hanging black drop for his little girl’s head board, but says she’s very sophisticated for a ten year old and he’s confident that she’ll “get it”. Finally, Todd makes his way over to Butch, who’s losing steam. He bitches and moans in his voice over, so we can’t hear what Todd’s telling him, but it looks like he’s giving him some serious direction. Will it be enough?
Butch is busy with his own disaster, but has some faith when he sees Gay Dad place his furniture. “Who puts a silk chair in a kids bedroom?” I know, right? Kids are all about linoleum, Gay Dad! Matt isn’t getting much more love from the Wiggum kid. “I like your lights…” Matt asks him if he likes anything else and Wiggum shakes his head. “Noooo.” LOL.
The Judges are joined by Liz Lange, a maternity clothing designer. Andrea gets tears in her eyes at this introduction. She’s had two sons, so Liz’s design has really meant a lot to her. Liz also works for Target. Now it was my turn to get teary. I’ve got a refrigerator and a closet, and Target filling them both touches me. It looks like the Designers were shopping in a Target, so I can’t help but wonder why every other word out of the puppet’s mouth isn’t TARGET TARGET TARGET. Bravo, either you’re losing your product whoring ability, or you’re getting more and more subtle with your brainwashing. Well it won’t work!
After the Designers perform the opening number from A Chorus Line, Jonathan, Margaret, Liz and Kelly check out their rooms.
Goil has gone with clean lines and seemingly empty space. But since everything’s on wheels, the kid can change it around however he wants. The bed pushes back into the wall, in case the kid wants to feel to poor for furniture. I hoped to see his client run in, jump on a rolling table and crush that huge glass bowl on the floor into pieces, but no such luck. There’s also a large plastic bell pepper, in case you weren’t confused enough by the bowl. Glass and peppers are two things you don’t give to a kid, but Goil’s design is pretty cool. There’s a desk you can pull down from the wall and a little hutch for Goil to “hide” in and shoot the judges with a ball gun. Oh, Goil, you’re so child-like!
Carisa wears a red top to match her red room, making her all thighs and a floating head. I don’t know how much the little boy liked the shocking red room with shiny leopard print throws on the floor, but he loved the ropes she has hanging from the ceiling. I just pray he doesn’t have any depression as a teenager.
Andrea went with a very adult look, but the colors were light and pretty and she built a Murphy bed into the wall, so the space could be used for different things. Felicia stuck with an adult room, too. She painted a bike on the wall and hung a bike rack over it, but I don’t think it’s gonna be enough to impress the Judges. Tilt.
Speaking of askew, Butch went from having a problem with the floor and the duvet to having a problem with every single thing in his room. The walls were stark, except for a pair of misused bedside lamps and three small, ugly paintings. Half his floor was painted (poorly) and the fabric around his bed wasn’t cut, stitched or pinned right. His mattress wasn’t even centered. Please don’t let anyone bone it harder than he did. Now that he’s decided to stop the drama, there is no reason to keep his crazy ass.
Elizabeth did a soccer themed room and it was kind of a disappointment. I had high hopes for her after last week’s joint win with Goil. She painted waves on her wall and put a soccer net over an indent in the wall. To make it even messier, she put a chintzy gamer’s chair with a pile of yellow rope on top in the corner. What’s up with the rope theme today, Designers?
The ropes are dropped but the waves carried on in Ryan’s hideous room. He tells the Judges that his client only has one friend. A cat. You can’t get away with shoddy design just because your client’s a loser, dude. The bed looked like a tomb with a hot pink mattress on top and the “easel” was just some raw wood leaned against the wall. The cat walks look dangerous for kids and cats, and little girls with no friends shouldn’t be encouraged to wear hot pink boas. It just makes things worse.
Matt’s Hollywood room came off pretty well. The black curtain looked depressing and cheap as a headboard, but his wall of lights looked cool when it was turned on. Also, with Gay Dad’s constant, bright white smile, you just gotta love him. Erik’s Pirate room is ugly as hell to me, but he did the most childlike room out of everyone. The back wall looks like dilapidated shingles and the rug is ultra-modern Euro-tacky. But what do I know? If I had to design a kids room it would look like this.
The Wiggum kid painted and put the floor down HIMSELF, but he didn’t do much work on the whole designing for a kid aspect of the challenge. His room looked like a guest room at my Meemaw’s, minus a Holy Bible and a whiff of Selsun Blue. The Judges ask where he got the Home Sweet Home pillow and he proudly says “the de-part-ment store!” before realizing the question wasn’t a flattering one.
Back in the White Room, the Judges praise Goil’s work. The rolling bed was ingenious, but how would it work in a real room? He said he’s trying to teach kids about space. Um-kay. But in real space, the bed could never work because you’d have to roll it into another room. Goil looks confused by this news, clearly an example of someone who should not teach children about space.
Carisa’s room was generally good, but could have used a touch of softness. Andrea gets teary when the Judges relay her client’s critique. She wanted glitter. Damn kids! Is Andrea always crying or is she just a teary eyed girl? First the bald spot, now teary eyes. God, how many obstacles does one woman have to overcome? Just throw in a hunchback and be done with her.
Butch’s critique started with his busted ass floor. He went on (for way too long) about not getting the wood he wanted, then he shifted blame to his carpenter’s shopping skills. The Judges look annoyed. He insists that he’s not making excuses. Kelly brings up his un-reachable built-in bedside tables. He argues that they’re perfectly fine, but the Judges don’t let it go. He insists that they worked and says “you’re wrong.” Good move, buddy. They still won’t let it go and he says “they’re the perfect distance, for a queen size bed.” Liz drops the sweet face for a second and reminds him that the bed isn’t a queen, he is.
Felicia’s room was pretty, but way too serious for a kid’s room. Elizabeth’s soccer room wasn’t serious at all, but it was confusing. The green outdoor carpet didn’t cover the whole floor and her table with built in buckets didn’t make sense. Lucky them, they were followed by Ryan, who’s cat on a beach room was a total blunder. His sport coat didn’t help.
Jonathan asked why there weren’t books on the shelf, and Ryan said it was because it wasn’t a shelf, it was a catwalk. Jonathan said without a cat it looked sad and Kelly called it too “cat-heavy”. LOL. Ryan tried to stick up for himself, pointing out that he built and easel on the wall and an art station in the bed, but Margaret wasn’t having it. Who builds an easel and puts the supplies on the other side of the room? He said he keeps his supplies across the room, and she reminds him he’s not 10. But she loooves his jacket.
The Judges are a little annoyed with Gay Dad’s choice of using black in a kid’s room, but they liked the wall of lights. Margaret loved Erik’s pirate room, saying it would get a lot of attention if it was in her magazine, but Kelly thought it was too theme-parky and recommended a little restraint next time. She should take her own advice and not dress like a slutty teen from the 80′s. Her leggings and cut off gloves remind me of when my mom turned 50 and started wearing tiny sunglasses with colored lenses. She wouldn’t stop until I started calling her Diane Keaton. Anyhoo, I hate Erik’s room, but I’m glad to see Sean Hayes on TV again.
Wiggum sticks up for his Home Sweet Home pillow even though they found it depressing and stale. He blabbers a non-sensical reason for the pillow (“I interpret the pillow as being…not old.” Uh, thanks for your thoughts) which leads Kelly to say she felt like going into his room was like walking into an assisted living facility. LOL Kelly, never change. Ralph keeps his calm, but there’s no tellin’ what’s lurking behind those buggy eyes.
The Judges excuse the Designers to chat privately. They all liked Goil’s work, except for the random weirdness placed on the floor. Andrea did an ok room, but the Murphy bed scored for her. Felicia’s space looked like a hotel room, but she got points for being the only one to make the last minute twin bed work. Ryan’s room was disliked by all. “You just can’t design a room around a cat!” Oh, Margaret. That one line has won you a fan forever. Jonathan found the whole thing depressing, and he didn’t have any kinder words for the Wiggum kid. Old, sad, stale. But Jonathan! He PAINTED and put the floor down HIMSELF! Kelly said it looked like it was done by a State appointed designer. Ha! I am getting to like this white room. Butch’s room was terrible, and he only made it worse by complaining and making excuses. Jonathan said “He’s like the mayor of excuses village!” Kelly gave that one a polite chuckle. So witty, this guy.
They named Erik’s pirate room the winner. You’re the professionals, but ew. Butch, Ryan, and the Wiggum kid are in the bottom three. I honestly thought Ryan would be ousted, because Ralph and Butch have the most potential for disaster/drama, but Bravo actually got rid of the worst designer instead of the least interesting. What the hell kind of reality competition is this? Butch says he’s got the talent, the drive, and the gift, and even though he feels cheated, he keeps his chin up for his last kiss on the cheek from the puppet. He tells Todd “I was still picked out of hundreds and hundreds of people to be here! I’m still a winner!” Awww. No, you’re not.
So what do you think, dear Readers? Did Butch deserve to get reamed? Is the Wiggum kid slightly retarded? Can you design a room around a cat?
Sidenote: Since we are all obsessed with the internet, which contributed to the design and shaping of one of our greatest icons, I would like to acknowledge the passing of Vickie Lynn. Let’s please all take a moment of silent holla for Anna Nicole Smith. (hand clasp and whisper.) Hollllaaaaaaaaaaaa! Even in death, people make fun of you, and even in death, you seem so fabulous and unaware of it all. Oh, well I guess you are unaware, being dead and all. I love you ANS. Thanks for all the fun you’ve given us over the years. Sorry if we ever hurt you. May the angels be with you. Amen.