Well, now that I have your attention with this screen shot of Mikey V, let’s start this week’s recap. In episode 6, our Designtestants must face The Dreaded Kitchen Challenge.
If you watched the first two seasons of Design Star, then you know that no team has ever completed a kitchen challenge in the time allotted. With only 2 full days to give a kitchen a complete remodel from floor to ceiling, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
So, you know, there’s always plenty of drama. I can hardly wait!
First off, Trish tells us that she hurt herself on the first challenge when she was helping Jen and Stephanie move that tree table into the house. Remember that? I don’t. I mean, I remember they moved the table in, but did we know Trish hurt her finger?
Here’s the flashback of them carrying the table. Trish is bent over on the left, saying, “I’m fine! I’m fine!” When clearly, she wasn’t. I mean, her whole ring finger is red and puffy. So, obviously, she was NOT fine. Don’t be a hero, Trish!
Apparently it has been swelling up since then and now she can’t get her big honkin’ diamond ring off. Mikey V tried, but he couldn’t get it off, either. And he tried soap and everything, you guys.
Trish and Mikey spend an awful lot of time huddled together in the kitchen, working on this ring thing, and I start getting a little suspicious about Trish’s motives. “Oh, Mikey. I’m in so much pain. Can I put my head on your shoulder again?”
Look at all the fake hair she piled on today:
Clive appears in the kitchen and Mikey tells him he’s late. “I’m never late,” Clive says. “I’m British.”
They head to the workroom–you know that room where they never actually do any work. They stand in front of the paint cans and Clive asks, “Are you ready for The Dreaded Kitchen?” He tells them that they’ll be making over a kitchen for the Page family of Goodlettsville, Tennessee.
The gang will have a mere 24 hours and $10,000 to complete their task–and, oh, yeah, some appliances from Sears. Gotta get that endorsement in.
Who will be the team captain? They check their paint cans and Tracee’s got the lucky lid. Clive says, “It’s Team Tracee!”
Everyone sighs and rolls their eyes. Except for Mikey, who collapses in hysterical “I’m dyin’ here!” laughter. He tells the camera, “She’s the last person I wanted.” He’s never been a big fan of Tracey’s. Last week she totally messed up his POA when it came to shopping. And everyone knows you don’t mess with Mikey’s POA.
Tracee’s happy, though. She wanted to be team captain so she can show her stuff. Although she acknowledges that it could backfire on her if things go poorly.
Clive reminds them that this is about hosting as well as design. Also–dun-dun-dunnn–there will be TWO eliminations after this challenge instead of one. Two of the five contestants will be going home.
The Final Five meet the Page family in person and ask them what they’d like their kitchen to look like. Mrs. Page says she loves red–it’s her favorite color. Mr. Page tells them they HATE the paneling. Both agree that they would like some granite countertops.
And Mrs. Page adds that she’d really, really like some color on the backsplash. Something that would pop. Like, you know, TILE.
Clive tells the gang that their time starts now. They have 10 hours to work until he comes back with his little red air horn.
Trish immediately tells the group that the circulation in her finger is, like, nonexistent now. She’s got tingling going up to her wrist, and Mikey’s not even touching her. “We’ve got to call someone to get my ring cut off.”
Who do we call whenever we get rings stuck on our fingers? The Fire Department, of course! Isn’t that what they’re known for?
Man, the producers are playing this for all it’s worth. We’ve got a shot of the ambulance blaring its way toward the house, followed by a freakin’ fire engine. The guys are wearing all their gear. They’re totally prepared for a wedding ring emergency.
I love firefighters. Does anyone else watch “Rescue Me“? I’m sort of hoping that some of THOSE guys will get off the truck–guys like Franco and Sean and Tommy. That would certainly perk this episode up.
But no. These guys showed up instead:
Some scary old firefighter shows Trish his missing finger. “I got a ring stuck on my finger once,” he says. “Look what happened to me.”
Trish is not amused. And frankly, neither am I. Maybe I just don’t get firefighter humor.
The firefighters proceed to get down to business by pulling out the biggest, rustiest old pliers you’ve ever seen. I think this must be another bad joke, but they’re really trying to cram the things under her ring. She’s squealing, crying, “Ow-ow-ow!”
Jen asks, “Don’t you have a special tool for that?”
They firemen say, “You mean like a ring cutter? Yeah, we got a ring cutter.”
Trish says, “Use that, then, you idiots!” (I’m paraphrasing.) Amazingly, the special tool called a RING CUTTER works better than the rusty pliers. They finally get it off.
Whew. So Trish and her finger will live to decorate another day.
Now it’s time to get back to working on the kitchen. Tracee tries to get the gang to come together and create a plan for the room, but they seem more interested in getting right to work and letting her make all the decisions about the room on her own. They keep reminding her she is the Team Captain, so she should just decide what they’re going to do.
No, no, no. She wants it to be a GROUP EFFORT. Come on, guys! We have to talk about this! But they’re not really listening. They’re too busy dismantling the room.
She finally gets them to gather ’round long enough to argue over what to do about the backsplash. Mikey V wants to do tile. The other contestants remind him that the tile was what screwed up the teams in the past and kept them from finishing their kitchens on time. They don’t want to make the same mistake.
There is a Curse on Design Star Kitchen Challenges. There are flashbacks to past judging panels with Vern’s voice in a spooky echo as he says things like, “This is unacceptable.”
Look–he made Sparkle Josh cry!
Matt says he will not go for tile. “It’s the death knell for Design Star. It’s the harbinger of death. Whoever touched tile before went home.”
But Mikey V is frustrated because he really, really wants the homeowners to get that tile backsplash. He’s also frustrated that there is still no clear POA. He taps his watch impatiently. They’ve spent two whole hours talking about this so far and getting nowhere.
“Let’s go-go-go,” Mikey says. He wants to be the first Design Star team to get the kitchen done.
“It’s like they want to go-go-go,” Tracee tells us, “and I’m not comfortable with that. I don’t want to run a dictatorship here.” She wants it to be a team effort.
Finally, Matt and Tracee head off to Sears to order the appliances. The other three start working on the room, even though they admit they’re confused about the overall plan and what they’re doing. They start hanging drywall over the paneling. Mikey helps remove the old countertops as only Mikey can:
Tracee gets the appliances ordered, as well as some granite for the countertops. And before they know it, work day #1 is over.
Day #2: Tracee has everything mapped out on a detailed chart. Everyone has their job so it’ll run smoothly.
Tracee heads off in the Design Star van and tells us she’s going to try to be back with everything in three hours, but it’ll probably be four.
It ends up taking seven.
Yeah, I don’t think they’ll even hesitate, Tracee.
The gang gets to work. Mikey takes charge of the power tools, as usual:
Jen says she’s hoping Tracee will shop fast but she isn’t hopeful. Sometimes she can overthink things too much.
Cut to Tracee shopping and appearing to be in no real hurry as she ponders everything she sees:
Clive checks in with the gang. “Where’s Tracee?” he asks. “Shopping,” they say. “How about the infamous tiling?” Clive asks. “According to Tracee’s chart, you should’ve finished tiling 6 minutes ago.” But they don’t even have the tile yet.
Tracee eventually returns when it’s dark outside. “I had to go to 7 places,” she says. “Here’s the tile.” Mikey points out that she was gone for 7 hours and now there’s no time to hang the tile. Now they have no backsplash. Tracee says they’ll have to get creative. Getting creative turns out to mean, “painting the backsplash area brown.”
Clive reappears and time is up for the night.
It’s the final day. They have 2 hours to finish and then there will be 2 eliminations.
Enter Carter Oosterhouse, the host of “Carter Can.” Carter tells them that he’s done over 400 makeovers on TV and has never, ever failed to finish one in time.
They work feverishly to get it done and do Carter Oosterhouse proud. Clive reappears with the air horn and time is up. The challenge is over. They’re relieved that they actually finished it all, and Clive admits he’s surprised this bunch of losers season’s contestants actually pulled it off.
Tracee tells us “I feel wonderful deep down inside.” Well…good for her.
On to judging. Clive warbles, “Whose dream will end here tonight?”
Here’s the kitchen before:
Vern Yip starts off by saying he wants to 100% commend them for finishing for the first time in Design Star history.
It’s completely boring.
Cynthia Rowley wants to know what those two little placemats are that are hanging from the window? Martha snaps that using accessories for punches of color is “so cliche and predictable.” Cynthia also wants to know, “Where’s the ideas? Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the wow factor?”
They show the reveal and the family is thrilled. “It’s so pretty! The floor is gorgeous! It’s open and inviting!”
Mrs. Page points out that she really, really wanted a tile backsplash. Brown paint wasn’t exactly what she had in mind when she asked for “a pop of color.”
And let the weekly ritual of “throwing your fellow contestants under the bus” begin:
Tracee tries to blame the lack of a backsplash on “a little glitch with a medical situation.” Mikey V points out that the ring incident took all of 20 minutes and only involved Trish.
Martha says, Wait. Hold on. You’re telling me you called the Fire Department to cut your ring off? (My response exactly.)
The judges berate Tracee for failing to take responsibility week after week for her mistakes. She always seems to be blaming others.
Now it’s time to judge the contestants on their hosting abilities. Matt is the first one up. I think he does pretty well, but Martha says he sounds “too monotone.”
Trish’s turn. Vern says he couldn’t grin any bigger. He thinks she’s completely engaging.
Really? Is anyone else surprised by this? I mean, she was okay, but why do the judges love her so much?
Mikey’s turn. He ends his clip with his trademark, “Don’t forget–I’m Mikey V!” I’m thinking he needs a new trademark.
Vern points out that he still comes across as being “super nervous.” Martha complains that he doesn’t make eye contact.
(Has everyone been following the brouhaha over Mikey V on the Internet? Apparently some old photos…of an indecent nature…have surfaced. The message boards on HGTV are going nuts. No one knows for sure if the photos are really of him, however. HGTV claims it is “looking into the matter.” Stay tuned.)
Tracee does her schtick for the camera. First she points to the granite countertops and says, “You can do a simulated laminate look, too.” Huh? Is granite-looking laminate just as good? I don’t think so. I mean, laminate is what they just took out of there, right?
Then she points to the cabinets and says: “Also, painting your countertops is very inexpensive.”
I think she meant painting your cabinets. Oops.
This is where Design Star drives me crazy. None of the judges mentions this gaffe. Vern simply gushes that she “looks great on TV” and is “very telegenic.” I thought she seemed really stilted and awkward. She seems to have trouble talking on the fly.
Finally, Jen does her thing, and it’s totally unmemorable. I think she compares brown granite countertops to a little black dress hanging in your closet…or something. Cynthia Rowley (who is a fashion designer) thinks it’s brilliant, though.
Back to the green room for the contestants while the judges deliberate. The judges agree that this is, literally, the most boring kitchen they’ve ever seen.
Matt isn’t happy with the judges’ reactions to their kitchen re-do:
I think this is the first week they’ve gotten through the green room without a single tear being shed. Tracee looked like she might lose it any minute, though.
The judges have an intellectual discussion about the kitchen, which basically goes like this:
Yeah. That sums it up.
The Designtestants are brought back in to face the judges. Without further ado, Clive sends Tracee packing:
Tracee steps bravely into the Service Elevator of Doom with one final, jaunty wave. She bursts into tears after the door creaks shut and says she has no idea what’s going to happen now. I wonder if she’s worried about where this elevator is taking her? I know I would be.
She’s determined to go out with class and style. That’s just the kind of lady she is. She says that at home she has a family who supports her, clients who love her, and employees who like her. “THESE PEOPLE (she’s looking at you, Jen, Trish, Mikey and Matt) JUST DON’T MEAN CRAP TO ME.”
She wraps things up by letting us know she’s sick of being around a lot of ignoramouses. Who needs ’em?
Back at judging, Clive tells Jen and Trish they’re safe this week. “Keep up the good work.”
But Mikey isn’t so lucky. Clive says he still hasn’t warmed up to the camera. He lacks the necessary hosting skills needed to be a true Design Star.
Mikey’s show has been canceled.
Poor Mikey. He worked so hard this week, too! He follows Tracee into the Service Elevator of Doom.
He’s disappointed. It stinks. Back to the streets and his patrol car, he says.
And then there were three: Matt, Jen, and Trish.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you like the kitchen any better than the judges did? Do you think the right people went home? Can you muster any excitement over a show hosted by Jen, Trish, or Matt?
If You’re Hooked on Home-Improvement Television:
- Design Star Recap of Episode 5: The Case of the Missing Sofa
- Design Star Recap of Episode 4: Taking the Plane to Nowhere
- Design Star Recap of Episode 3: Stand by Your (Haunted) Mansion
- Design Star Recap of Episode 2: Clive Was Just Kidding, You Guys!
- The Design Star 3 Premiere: Guts. Glory. Goofiness.
- Are You Flipping Out?
- 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
If You’re New Here: Hooked on Houses features decorating inspiration, celebrity house tours, fabulous before and afters, real estate news, fantasy open houses and more fun stuff. I love hearing from my readers, so I hope you’ll leave a comment and join the conversation!