It’s time for our weekly Design Star recap. Tonight was Episode 2, in which we learn that host Clive Pearse likes to joke around, so you might not always want to take him so seriously.
Remember how Clive told the contestants at the end of the first episode that they would be building a house together with $100,000, and sleeping outside on cots until it was finished? Remember the looks of horror on their faces? One of my favorite quotes was from Stephanie, who said:
“Nine people have to build a house next to a lake where there’s DUCKS? I think I signed up for the wrong thing here!”
Yeah. Who wants to have to build a house next to DUCKS? Crrrrazy!
Anyway, so they got all riled up about it for nothing. After debating for two hours how to build this thing, Clive returned and said, “Just kidding!”
Oh. Ha-ha-ha. The joke’s on us. See, this is the thing about Design Star. It’s totally hokey like that.
Instead of building a house with their bare hands, they climb aboard S.S. Clivey, as he calls his little boat, and they head over to the pad they’ll really be bunking in.
The house is pretty bare-bones, except for the kitchen. The first challenge–for real this time–is to decorate the 2 bedrooms, the living room, the dining room, and the sunroom in 3 days for $50,000.
Jerome Scottie (“Bow-Tie Guy”) wants to decorate one of the bedrooms by himself. Mikey V (“police officer by day, decorator by night, hot bod 24-7”) teams up with Matt Locke (whose presentation wowed us last week) to do the second one.
Jennifer (who wears headbands) and Stephanie (who was the “viewer’s choice” in an online vote last week) join forces to transform the dining room.
And the rest of the crew is left to work on the living room and sunroom spaces together. We’ll call them Team Turmoil. It consisted of Awesome Mike (he’s the one who likes to joke that “It’s official. I’m awesome”), DeWayne Paul, who now goes by the name D. Paul, or sometimes just “Paul” (he’s the one making “the ultimate sacrifice” by competing on Design Star), Tricia (who looks like Robin McGraw would if she wore too many extensions in her hair), and Tracee (who wowed everyone with her confidence last week).
Here’s their workroom for this season, which looks more like a bar than someplace I can imagine working. But whatever:
Tracee immediately has issues with her team’s choice of slate blue for the living room. “I am not a slate-blue person,” she says. It’s a “huge compromise” for her. But the team ignores her objections. They are so excited about the slate-blue color that they’re hugging while Tracee rolls her eyes and makes faces.
Tracee wants to express her color preferences by choosing the one in the sunroom, and she chooses dark brown. For a sunroom.
The group groans, but then inexplicably agrees to go along with the brown. Tricia tells the camera that this is NOT her idea, and she doesn’t want to be blamed for it.
Awesome Mike wants a pool table for the sunroom, but Tracee vetoes the idea. Later, when Tracee isn’t around, Awesome Mike and D. Paul buy a $250 pool table anyway–at the paint store. (And I have to ask: a pool table at a paint store?)
Jerome Scottie chooses a rust color for his room. Matt tries to steer him away from it, saying, “Rust reads as orange. They might hate it.” Jerome isn’t worried. He is confident in his decorating style. He goes with it anyway. Later, when he’s painting it on the walls, Awesome Mike comes in and exclaims that Sparkle Josh did that exact same Mystic Tan color in the bedroom LAST season! (I miss Sparkle Josh, don’t you? In fact, I miss most of the contestants from last season….)
Mikey V has a POA–a Plan of Action. I like a man with a plan. He and Matt are going to build a platform…that’ll somehow hold all the beds in the middle of the room? Something based on something Matt saw in Europe or someplace? Okay, I have no idea what they’re talking about. We’ll have to wait and see how it comes out.
Meanwhile, Stephanie and Jennifer are already BFFs. Jen pimps Steph out when they’re shopping for a dining room table, telling her to “Pull your top down and ask for a discount.” Classy!
But it works. Of course.
They buy a table that looks like it’s basically a tree that was cut down and set on four legs. They admire the wood and its beauty. Stephanie says they should’ve paid $3,500 for something that beautiful and solid, but they got it for practically nothing, thanks to the magic of cleavage!
It takes a forklift to get the tree table into the truck. The thing is huge.
When they get back to the house, they beg everyone to help them carry it in. Jerome Scottie says, “If you gotta use a forklift to get it here, why am I pickin’ it up?” (Did he remind anyone else of Stanley from “The Office” when he said that?)
They get it carried in, but it ain’t easy. The next day, one of the first things the Blonde Team does is dump white paint all over the tree table. (And I died a little inside…)
Over on Team Turmoil, Tracee and Awesome Mike continue to bicker and argue like an old married couple. Awesome Mike finds a dog and runs outside to pet it. He’s so excited. “A dog! A dog!”
But Tracee barks at him that he should be sewing, not playing with dogs!
He gets her back by referring to her “Mommy Dearest,” and Tracee gasps, “Oh. That is not nice.” Tracee may have a sense of humor, but we’re not seeing it yet.
Time’s up. Clive tells them to put their tools down. Just then, Jennifer and Stephanie realize that they forgot to take the blue painter’s tape off the walls of their room. Oops. The judges might notice that.
On to the first judging of the season. The living room is up first, and the judges approve. Here are the before and after shots of it:
The judges like the slate blue color. What they don’t like is the lack of pattern. Mommy Dearest/Tracee suggests that she would’ve added pattern, but no one listened to her. She basically lets them know that Awesome Mike was the problem because he didn’t listen to a thing she said. Awesome Mike is shocked. Shocked!
The brown sunroom is next, and the only thing the judges like is the cheapo paint-store pool table. Verne says the chocolate walls are (duh) not a good color for a sunroom. Tracee argues that she picked the color because brown is a neutral, “so your eye sees past it, through the windows, to the view outside.” Um, yeah. Right. That makes sense.
Vern patiently explains that the eye will even see a “neutral” like dark brown because it has a lot of depth to it. Tracee sticks her chin out and says, “I have to disagree with you.” No kidding. She really said that. To Vern. I keep trying to like her because she’s from Louisville, but she’s making it difficult for me.
Here’s what it looked like before and after:
That sunroom was seriously bad. The little bar area had bright green paint that clashed with the traditional green of the pool table. And did anyone notice that they replaced the hardware on the bar with sticks that looked like they had come from the yard? This is something Hildy would do on “Trading Spaces.” And since TS is on another network, I don’t think they got any points for that.
Next up: Jerome Scottie’s orange bedroom, which he describes as 1970s retro. Who could sleep in a room like that? The judges agree with me. Martha says, “The orange and brown is very harsh.” Cynthia, who my son calls “the Paula Abdul of this show,” even says, “I hate it!”
Vern chimes in to say, “There are 15 things in that room that are far worse than the color!” Like that bedding. And the window treatments. And the bare walls. And the fact that he’s got some people sleeping “to to toe.”
You can almost see the light of Jerome Scottie’s “show” flickering in the background. You get the feeling he’s not going to be with us much longer.
The judges like the second bedroom much better, however. Matt and Mikey V. have pulled off what Vern calls “The single best solution to a bedroom challenge I’ve ever seen on this show!” Wow. Now that’s a compliment for you.
The bed arrangement is very clever. But do two people have to sleep together on top? How does that work? I couldn’t quite figure out how they’d get up there, either. (But I was pretty busy taking photos and notes, so maybe I missed the explanation. You’ll have to fill me in.)
And, finally, the dining room, which Jennifer and Stephanie thought would be fun to paint black. Yeah, black. But then it was actually just a dark gray in the end. I think they decided to just leave the dark primer on the walls and return the black paint, right? (Did anyone catch that?) Still, the walls were dark.
And then there was the tree table, which no longer looked like a tree, because they painted it white. And they took the white mantel and painted it to look like wood. Very confusing. The judges thought so, too. And Vern had strong words about the painter’s tape snafu, basically calling them failures for not getting everything done on time.
The BFFs cried. There were a lot of tears in this episode. And then they were all sent to the Green Room while the judges deliberated.
The judges felt that all the in-fighting in the living room/sunroom team was “very unattractive.” The team members agreed. Back in the green room, they chided Tracee for “throwing everyone under the bus.” Why do contestants on reality-TV competitions always use that phrase? Tracee got so upset that she ran from the room, crying.
But oddly enough, the one who seemed most upset was Stephanie, who wept and wept:
“I hate that we’re fighting! I’m so ashamed to be associated with all this fighting!”
Has she not seen this show before? Or any reality show on television? There is always fighting! And people are always throwing each other under the bus.
Okay. So in the end, the judges call them back and announce that Awesome Mike, Matt Locke, and Tricia/fake Robin are the top three.
D. Paul and Mikey V. are safe.
And Tracee, Jennifer, Stephanie, and Jerome Scottie are in the bottom four.
The girls were all given lectures about “standing up for your work” and “finishing your projects on time,” etc., etc. But in the end, Clive Pearse looked at Jerome Scottie and said, “Your show has been canceled.”
(As goofy as this is, it’s better than “Top Design’s” catchphrase: “See you later, Decorator.”)
The power on Jerome Scottie’s flat-screen TV screen went out. He walked through the big metal door and we saw the “ON AIR” sign go to black as the door clanged shut behind him.
Jerome said, “I did not in my wildest dreams expect to be the first person to go home.” After a bit of reflection in what is apparently a service elevator they have him in, he philosophizes: “But life goes on. Yes. Life goes on!”
Words to live by. Goodbye, Bow-Tie Guy. We hardly knew ye.
So what did you guys think about this week’s episode? Were you ticked that the set-up from last week (that they’d be building a house) was just a big prank they were playing on all of us? Do you think the judges made the right decision when they gave Jerome the heave-ho? Do you think Stephanie will find more things to cry about next week?
If You’re Hooked on Home-Improvement Television:
- The Design Star 3 Premiere: Guts. Glory. Goofiness.
- The HGTV Green Home 2008 Has a Winner!
- Stephanie Dee Wins the HGTV Dream Home But Doesn’t Look All That Thrilled
- Bravo’s “Top Design” Gets New Host for Season 2