Sunday, September 17, 2006
And the Winner Is ...
Welcome to the season finale, or, as I like to call it, 59 minutes of filler followed by a declarative sentence. We're in a sound stage with the same ugly purple on the walls -- seriously, it's maybe suitable for a tacky Halloween fun house, and that's it. The space is much bigger, because we now have a few bleachers with cheering relatives and friends, perhaps a hundred all told. There's a big, shiny black circular stage with chairs for everybody, and a smaller shiny black circle closer to the audience.
Clive bounds through some nice blue curtains to the applause of the suitably coached audience. Blah blah welcome blah blah Bryant Park blah blah winner. Hmm, this episode is going to be easier to recap than I thought. But first, let's rehash the entire season. Clive introduces the returning bootees. They sit in two curving rows at the far end of the big circular stage. In the back row are Ramona (who makes a big "nyah, nyah" face, because she's actually an eight-year-old with really bad skin), Teman, Teran and Joseph. In the front row are Donna, Vanessa, Tym and Temple. Clive observes that two designers are missing. Since they're the finalists, I'm guessing people have noticed their absence. But you can't just have them sitting on stage like everyone else; their entrance has to be a big production. So let's get on with it. Clive brings out Alice first. She's wearing a pink printed sundress and looks really tanned. David wears are tight brown short-sleeved shirt, jeans and an even darker tan. Well, they are both from the south, and it's early summer. But I'm willing to bet it's just really bad makeup and lighting (perhaps due to the scary purple walls), because everyone looks pretty orange. Even Clive. And he's English, so you know that can't be natural.
Alice and David settle into their hard plastic chairs, positioned inside the curves of the other contestants' rows. Clive is off to the side in a comfier blue chair, because he's not the one being kept on pins and needles. Clive asks David about "life in the spotlight." He reports the craziness at the airport, with people asking him who won. "Aren't you voting?" he asks them. Alice explains that she's the big news in her small town, and when people talk about her, she isn't sure if she has toilet paper on her shoe. Clive promises to tell us the winner -- but first, let's revisit the whole show!
Down in the workroom, Joseph tells the others he's excited to be a part of this. Various shots dealing with the sleeping arrangements -- Ramona volunteers to sleep in the bathtub. Grooming shots, including both Donna and Tym applying hairspray. Down in the kitchen, dishes are piled in the sink and it looks like there's egg yolk on the counter. Donna wonders if they have maid service. Temple and David frolic in the hot fudge sauce. Ramona's little dog was a stuffed animal, which is just weird. Various people use "crap" as an opinion. Temple pounces on Donna for shopping a lot. We revisit the whole Donna/Temple clash. Temple is tired of women being mean to her just because she's cuter than they are. Vanessa's "before and after" theory gets some editing support. I'm thinking it's not coincidental that Donna and Temple are at opposite ends of a row. But they laugh and smile at each other at the end of the clip show.
Clive asks them how they're getting along and Donna says, "Well, right now, we're doing very well." Temple says they're fine as long as they're not competing. Clive asks the others what it was like being around them. David volunteers that they're both "wonderful" but they "just didn't work well together" and should not be put on teams together "ever again." Clive asks Alice how it was to share space with people. She talks about how she got stuck with the lower bunk, and Teman would step on her mattress to climb up. "It was crazy," she sums up. Clive asks Vanessa how she wound up in the relative luxury of the smaller bedroom. She relates how her team claimed it.
Clive talks about people making an impression right away. Vanessa gets teased about her "glamalistic" style, which she takes with a lot of humor. Clive says they had "forensic design people" count, and she said it 21 times in the first episode. Seems low to me. Clive asks Ramona about her cape and the sparkly U on her chest. She explains that she came as UberDesigner. Clive thinks it's "U B Careful Designer." And that is all we hear from Ramona tonight, so I hope you enjoyed it, or at least didn't feel inclined to throw up. Donna gets teased about her intensive grooming schedule with a clip show. Clive compliments her on her appearance tonight. Donna mentions the lack of mirrors in the brownstone. Vanessa reports that Donna brought a whole styling salon with her. Joseph recounts waking up in the night to hear Donna rustling around, looking for hairspray. Clive congratulates Donna on having her hair take up so much time on national TV. (As filler goes, that was pretty cute.)
Now it's Temple's turn as "does not play well with others" girl. After her clip show, Clive asks her to tell him "in two seconds" if she has any regrets. Temple says that she wondered how she was going to get people to believe in her as their leader when she didn't have any experience, so she just reacted by instinct. Clive throws it to Tym, who recaps the whole "two minutes" difference of opinion. Temple says that the countertops really did take just a minute to cut. Alice points out that they weren't attached. David praises her hard work in the finale and Alice agrees she has "endless energy." And it's true. New motto for Temple: Worky, no talky.
Clive talks about intensity and emotion. Clip show of everybody crying. Clive wonders how people can cry so openly and yet truthfully on camera. Alice talks about the emotional journey, and getting close with everyone, and it hurts when their dreams are dashed. Teman adds that the only thing they could do outside of the challenges was get to know each other, so that really bonded them, and they saw what everyone could contribute. Vanessa was surprised to find herself caring about people in such a short time. Teran mentions that they didn't get to say goodbye when someone was eliminated. Clive wants to revisit Josephs' boot, when his teammates were holding his hands. He really appreciates the way Alice stood up for him, since he couldn't have said anything. Alice saw him as a sacrificial lamb.
Time to revisit the judging. Clip show of harsh comments. Clive brings out Martha and Vern. Cynthia sent a video message; she's busy preparing for her runway show at Fashion Week, but she wishes Alice and David the best of luck. Clive asks what surprised the judges. Vern relates how they judged the design, so the interpersonal stuff surprised them. Martha adds that they were looking at collaboration, but only based on what they saw in the results in the studio. Clive asks the designers for their opinions of the judges. Vanessa brings up the booting of Joseph as team leader, when other team leaders (that is to say, Temple) didn't get booted. Vern answers that Joseph didn't lead the team in the design element. Martha agrees that other team efforts had strong design directions. Clive introduces a clip show of the judges being impressed. Clive prods the judges to praise the designers some more. Martha is astonished at what they managed to do with such tight time limits. Vern says they were asked to do things that top designers couldn't have pulled off (probably because top designers have people to do the implementation for them).
Clive introduces the outtakes, mistakes and silly moments. Tym thinks it was great to relive that fun. Everyone had so much passion. David explains that they really did bond. Teman says the silly stuff was what the designers carried away with them. Clive asks David about all the shirtlessness. He explains that he sweats when he works, and it's just natural to be shirtless down in Miami.
Time to get down to business. Clive brings up the Bryant Park challenge. David thought it was really hard to deal with both the interior and exterior perspective. Alice agrees. She had spent the break brushing up on various techniques, none of which helped with a glass room. We see the final rooms again. Clive asks the judges to comment again. Vern praises both of them. He was relieved no one painted the glass. David's approach was intellectual and Alice showed sophistication. Martha loved the challenge. Alice's colors looked great on camera and David created a whole new environment that "transported" her.
When we return from commercials, Alice and David are standing in front of short pedestals. Clive asks about their respective cheering sections. David brought family members and friends to cheer; Alice has parents, step-parents and in-laws, plus friends. Clive brings out a couple of paint cans. Alice and David do not seem thrilled to see them again. Clive thinks they'll like these paint cans, for a change. They open their cans and each finds a key. Clive tells them they've both won a brand-new product-placed vehicle. Much clapping ensues as we hear about the product-placed vehicles.
So it's time for another commercial break. When we return, Alice and David are once again standing up. But we still have time to fill, so now we get a clip show of their mutual admiration society. Alice reports that she's shaky but excited; she appreciates every vote she got. David is also nervous, but he'd be happy to lose to Alice. Clive brings out Judy Girard, the president of HGTV. She thanks all the contestants for their contributions, and tells the finalists that they love them both. But there's only one contract in the envelope. She hands it over to Clive, who extracts the results and studies them carefully. Finally, Clive announces: "David, you are HGTV's new Design Star!" A giant bucket of confetti pours down on him and there is much rejoicing. And we're done.
Anyone surprised? Me neither. Alice will do fine; I'm sure she'll have many new opportunities. Now what I really want to know is, what is David's show going to be like?