Monday, February 19, 2007



Previously on Top Design: The contestants had to design bedrooms for clients they hadn't met. The clients turned out to be 10 years old. Erik's client liked pirates. John had no floor. Erik's pirate ride of a room won him immunity. John's unfinished room got him the boot.

The designers arrive at the PDC. Ryan interviews that he must be under scrutiny, as an artist in a design competition. "It's important to me to have my style be an icon," he continues. I understand what he's getting at, but when I try to parse the actual sentence, my brain hurts. Carisa interviews that she's the youngest and least experienced, plus she has been doing set design rather than interior design -- but so far she's happy with her performance.

Todd arrives and has the designers open up the tote bags sitting at their stations. The bags are full of beach gear. Looks like a clue. Turns out the next challenge is to make a cabana. Some of the designers are psyched (or wisely pretend to be) but Goil has to have the whole "cabana" concept explained to him. For those at home in similar straits, Matt helpfully interviews that a cabana is a private little beach getaway. The designers will have to finish their cabanas at the actual beach. So, finally some relief from the white box rooms. Michael interviews, "I was really excited about this challenge because I designed a cabana once." For the backyard, I'm thinking, but no, "in West Palm Beach." Okay, on vacation, then. Todd reveals that the randomly-assigned beach bags contain postcards from three exotic travel locations. Ooh, another clue. Hey, it's a team challenge! This should suck. The teams:

Todd describes the judging criteria as "originality, ingenuity and just how well you've incorporated your destination into your design." Matt interviews that he happens to be working on a couple of projects in Miami, so he's familiar with "the scene." Carisa thinks her team of "an artist, an architect and a set designer" is an "interesting combination." The teams get $2000 for fabric and materials plus $3500 for shopping at this week's product-placed store, which would like you think that they're exotic. One team will get the win, and one person from the remaining teams will go home. Erik has immunity, so he's safe. Matt shows off his math skills by observing that only two of the team members will be on the chopping block if his team fails. Todd starts the teams off on 30 minutes of designing.

Andrea interviews that her team will be making an elevated cabana, "much like the structure of a palapa" which is raised above the water. Elizabeth explains her thinking to the team. Matt interviews that Elizabeth immediately "took off on the design" so he "stepped back" because you can't have all three people trying to lead the team. Elizabeth interviews that they talked about doing something "more sophisticated" than the "cliché color palette." She tells the team that she really likes their chosen colors -- "It's gonna save us." The colors? Black, grey, acid green and eggplant. Ew. I suppose the acid green could work for a "neon Miami" presentation but the eggplant is way too heavy for a fashionable beach resort. Goil starts constructing a model of a cabana using a flip-flop and some mechanical pencils. It's like MacGyver became an architect. Ryan calls him "my hero." Goil interviews that their cabana is more "modern" and "minimal." And he's not just an architect; he's handy, too.

Todd calls an end to the design period. He orders them to divide up the shopping responsibilities: one person each on hardware store, product-placed store and fabric store. On Team Miami, Erik volunteers to handle furniture and accessories. Elizabeth interviews that she predicted the eventual division of labor from the team's personalities: she took hardware, Erik took furniture, Matt took fabric. Felicia interviews that Andrea was pretty much the structure person, so she got the hardware store, while Felicia got furniture and Michael got fabric.

And now for Team St. Tropez. Remember how Ryan and Carisa got little interviews right off the bat? Ryan interviews that Goil got the hardware assignment "because he was the architect guy." Carisa proposes that Ryan do fabric while she shops for furniture. Ryan interviews that the fabric store "would be a misfit" for him. Carisa tells the guys to "figure it out." Goil starts to tell her something about the fabric, and Carisa asks, "Do you want me to go to the fabric store?" Naturally, Goil says yes. I don't think he was saying, "Ryan will do a better job with furniture" so much as "Someone needs to handle fabric and you sound like you just volunteered." Carisa interviews that she suspects she got the fabric job "because I'm the girl." Which is more or less true. Goil is obviously the hardware person, and I get the feeling that Ryan would almost rather quit the competition than go to the fabric store, like that would somehow be demeaning. And Ryan clearly sees Carisa as a person of lower value, because he's awesome and she isn't. (This despite her top three finish compared to his bottom three finish last time.)

So Carisa interviews that she's not sure that sending an installation artist to buy furniture is the best decision. It does seem like the fabric store is being designated the assignment where someone could do the least damage. Ryan tells her, "You know, I've been making stuff for like, ten years." Carisa waves a hand and says, "Okay. Whatever." Which means it's not okay, but she doesn't want to hear him talk any more. Ryan interviews that he prefers to make furniture, but he was really up for shopping; he thinks Carisa is "the least qualified." Carisa worries that they won't get "usable" pieces, but Ryan yes-yeses that "utility" will be job one. Carisa is not pacified: "I'm worried. No offense." No offense? She just told him she thinks he's incompetent. Which is actually kind of awesome, considering how Ryan has been patronizing her. I tend to think Carisa is right about the shopping, and she's right that they're not taking her seriously, but the way she's handling it is not earning anyone's respect.

Everyone splits up to go shopping. Michael interviews that he's confident in his taste but has "yet to really let it shine through." No doubt from modesty. But he's going unleash it on this project. Stand back! Carisa interviews that she doesn't care if the guys like her fabrics, because she didn't want to go to the stupid fabric store anyway, so it's all their fault. Because nothing says "I'm a capable and competent designer" like pouting. Felicia interviews that she was pleased with her selections at the product-placed store; she went with "less is more." Erik interviews that he's "always up to spending money," so he had fun. Ryan interviews that he used the color swatches to guide his choices for pillows and other fabric-y things. Sounds like he could have done just fine at the fabric store, then. He continues that he got a lot of "filler" in the form of tchotchkes, so the team will have options to choose from. The hardware store shoppers briskly consult with carpenters (each team gets three). Goil interviews that they had a good plan for shopping, which made him happy. What makes him unhappy is the number of people working on the challenge. He prefers individual challenges.

Back at the PDC, the fabric shoppers wait for the others to return. Carisa confides in Matt and Michael about her disagreement with Ryan. Michael asks how Ryan got the furniture job, and Carisa says Ryan gave it to himself. "I tried to stop him, but I didn't want to be a (bleep)," she explains. Carisa needs to figure out the whole "how to be tough without being bitchy" thing, or she's always going to be "the girl." She interviews that "Ryan's a little on the fringe" and perhaps hasn't mastered "how to put a room together." The other team members return.

Carisa reviews Ryan's heap of pillows and announces that they're going to be "too loud." She proposes covers. Ryan wants to have something to use for "pop." Carisa interviews that Ryan's pillow choices are "just scary" and so she's going to make covers. Sorry, product-placed store! They picked their colors based on the French flag, and Ryan missed the boat. Ryan argues that his choices aren't "too painful." Carisa concedes that they're not "horribly painful" but they're not right. I agree. The only way these pillows work is if St. Tropez is invaded by an army of tween girls. (If the next generation of celebutante heiresses decides to skip high school and start inflicting themselves on the world instead, that could actually happen. So maybe Ryan's on to something. But I hope not.) Ryan interviews that Carisa's ideas are "a little too conservative." He tells her that he doesn't want to make a granny cabana. Carisa explains that St. Tropez is "really, really classy" and Ryan protests that it's "topless women in motorboats, man!". Yes, but those are classy topless women in classy motorboats. Ryan interviews that he wants to "amp it up a little bit" and be risky. He tells Carisa that her fabric choices are "conservative." Carisa protests that she doesn't do conservative, but Ryan thinks she does, based on her last two rooms. Carisa is surprised that he thinks her orange jungle room is conservative, but Ryan says, "Compared to my sensibility, yes." His rooms are like some obnoxious noise which is meant to signify that he's so punk rawk, and anything less daring is just chopped liver. And yet, he bought tween girl pillows. How does that compute?

Felicia tells Team Tahiti that she has a bed frame, and they're making a mattress. Carisa reviews fabrics with Goil, who pronounces her selections "perfect." Todd comes through for a looky-loo. At Team Miami, Erik explains they're providing both indoor and outdoor space. Matt contributes that they didn't want to do "typical Miami" but provide "a respite, a retreat." Todd is concerned that the colors don't really say "Miami," since incorporating the setting was a big part of the challenge. Erik recaps Todd's opinion. He's puzzled because the green and purple say "Miami" to him, and it's best to stick with your first idea. Not when it's acid green and eggplant.

At Team Miami, Todd finds Michael constructing a mattress out of foam and batting for their daybed. Oh, one of those mattresses. How comfy. Todd suggests basting the foam pieces together so it will be easier to manage as they wrestle on the cover. Good tip.

Team St. Tropez reveals their collective ignorance about their location. Carisa says they know about the boating and the class, and Ryan contributes the topless part. Carisa points out the fabric choices which came directly from the postcard. Todd advises them that St. Tropez is "crazy money." Carisa interviews that their cabana needs to be "elegant, sexy, chic."

Todd gives the designers some good news: they can alter their furniture pieces however they want. And now the bad news: they have until midnight to construct their cabanas and then break them down for assembly at the beach the next day. That's a bit less than 5 hours to work. They won't have electricity at the beach. Matt interviews that he has no idea how they'll get it all done. Todd runs away before the designers recover from their shock and stab him to death with their mechanical pencils. Felicia interviews that with the limited time, they'll probably have to drop some projects. Erik recaps the situation and adds that they have a lot of planning to do, so "challenge" is an accurate word. Elizabeth tells Erik and Matt that the team's priority is to finish the construction. I think the time limit is bogus, especially the way it was presented at the last minute. However, since each team has three carpenters, they wind up with almost 30 labor hours on the project, so it's not completely ridiculous.

Work begins. Goil interviews that he's concerned about finishing on time, since their cabana is more of a "sculptural piece." Elizabeth interviews that she had the idea to wash the lumber rather than paint it, so it would dry in time. Andrea interviews that she's concerned about the roof, because their structure is so big, and they'll have to see what happens. Carisa surveys a lumber layout from atop a ladder and pronounces it just like the design. She interviews that she and Goil seem to be "on the same page" about their modern structure, but Ryan might not be. Now off the ladder, she warns Goil that she and Ryan are "having tension." Goil interviews that "Ryan is not a team player and Larissa is not a team player. No team players here!" He laughs in an "I'm so screwed" way. Okay, now I'm thinking that Goil doesn't much respect Carisa, since he doesn't even know her name. Although his attitude is not so much disdain as the absence of an opinion. Carisa tells Goil that she thinks they're "on the same page." She interviews that she'd really, truly like to "get along with everyone" but "that's not my mission."

With 40 minutes left, Team Miami reviews status. Elizabeth thinks Matt can go back to fabric stuff. With paint all over his hands? Elizabeth interviews that she just has to ignore the stuff she can't control and concentrate on making it work. Matt admits to his team that he's worried, but Erik reassures him about their progress. Matt interviews that he's not fully confident in their design, in addition to being worried about the deadline.

Felicia helps Michael cover their daybed "mattress." He decides he'll crawl inside to push it around. Felicia interviews that Michael's previous bottom three finish has spurred him to a "gung-ho" effort. Well, good for him; that's the right response. Michael emerges, spitting out lint, and Felicia urges him back in to fix the other side. She interviews that she's really happy with her team and their effort. "It was good stuffing with you," Michael confides to her. That's as likeable as he's ever been.

Time keeps ticking. Goil interviews that he's really worried; the other teams seem to have made more progress, but they'll have to do their assembly on site. Ryan and Carisa are at it again, fussing with the cabana design drawing. "We just have a difference of opinion," Ryan observes. What they don't have is a method for resolving their differences. Ryan wants the rafter ends to be cut at a certain angle to "draw you in," but then says that it doesn't matter because they'll have the fabric overhang. Since it doesn't matter, they proceed to bicker about it interminably. Ryan recaps the disagreement as "two different people trying to mesh up, and I don't think it's going to work." More bickering. Carisa interviews that she hopes Ryan can learn from "people with maybe a little more experience in the actual design of spaces as environments and not necessarily as art." Like Carisa.

Ryan draws his proposed cut on a rafter and checks with Goil, who's like "Fine, but we're doing that last." Ryan interviews that he and Goil clicked, but Carisa didn't listen, so making a point or coming to agreement was hard. Ryan asks Carisa about the proposed angle and she says she doesn't like it; she'd prefer straight ends. Goil's okay with the cut. Carisa declines to argue. Goil interviews that he felt stuck in the middle. Carisa asks Goil: cut or straight? Goil says they'll cut it, but at the end. Carisa tells him she doesn't like it, so Goil agrees to leave it alone "for now" because it's "less work." He interviews that it's hard to be the person in the middle, trying to keep the team together. Carisa is still talking about the angle; she thinks it looks like a spear if it's at an angle. Goil is like, "Yeah, we're leaving it alone for now." Carisa leaves, so I guess the issue is finally settled. That was a whole lot of time wasted on something that everyone agreed was a picky little detail.

Morning. Designers get ready for their day at the beach. I don't really need to watch people brush their teeth, although I'm sure their dentists are pleased. Andrea interviews that part of their job will be easy, and part hard. Matt confides that he's trying not to think about the whole elimination part of the day's schedule.

And we're at the beach. Team Miami discusses the orientation of their cabana. (In Miami, I think the question is not so much "gay or straight" as "gay, straight, bisexual or omnivorous." Oh, wait, wrong orientation.) Erik interviews that he doesn't have to work for himself, what with the immunity, so he's working to protect his teammates. That's not very cutthroat of him. The trucks pull up and the designers have 4 hours to put everything together. Ryan interviews about the "build it at the beach" plan. Michael's interview reminds us that Team Tahiti's cabana will be raised off the sand. Elizabeth and Erik paint an acid green stripe down the length of some boards. Erik interviews that it was Elizabeth's idea, to break up the bulk of their structure. Carisa whines to a couple of seamsters that she's a New Yorker and therefore essentially allergic to beaches. Goil interviews that "Clarissa" would step back and criticize things (Carisa tells the seamsters that she can't tell how long things will take, since the 4-hour cabana build is not part of her repertoire) but Ryan was surprisingly ready to dive in (Ryan energetically helps construct the cabana). Ryan calls for Carisa, but she's busy misting a hunky carpenter. One must have priorities, after all. Matt frets about finishing some more; he's feeling vulnerable.

Todd drops in. He compliments Team Tahiti on the profile of the structure; it looks really "dynamic" from across the beach. Felicia says they've been too busy working to gaze at it from a distance. Todd assures them that it looks good. Michael jokes, "It takes a village of gay designers to build a cabana." Wait, Felicia and Andrea are gay? Todd warns them that they only have an hour left, "so make good choices, okay?" Workety-work. Michael looks up at the non-existent roof of the cabana and announces that he likes it that way. He interviews that the structure looked good with "the sky as the roof" so they chose not to build the roof even though they had the materials. This is what happens when you don't wear a hat at the beach. Goil calls urgently for a seamstress with scissors. Todd announces the 5 minute mark. Felicia is incredulous about the time remaining as she hauls a rug across the sand. The workety-work continues. Todd calls 30 seconds, and then counts down the final five seconds. Everyone celebrates being done. Erik recaps Todd's color criticisms of the previous day, but he thinks they got it just right. Elizabeth thinks everything "came together." Todd sends everyone off to get ready for the judges.

And here they are. Todd recaps the challenge and introduces the judges. The guest judge is designer Kathryn Ireland, whose name once caused me great confusion when she was called "Kathy" Ireland. The winning team gets a weekend at the Viceroy Hotel, where Kelly designed the cabanas. Somebody other than Erik will get the boot. Jonathan lists the judging criteria: "overall design and execution, originality, ingenuity, how well you incorporated your resort destination into your design and, of course, on teamwork." Carisa looks at Ryan like, "Oh, wait, teamwork?"

The judges stroll. First is Team Tahiti. Felicia explains that they all started sketching designs based on the "typical Tahitian hut." Margaret asks about the roof. Andrea explains that they had planned to build one, but "made the conscious decision" to skip it. Michael thinks the cabana wins the prize for fitting its locale.

Next, Team Miami. Elizabeth explains that their design came from Miami's architecture, which is not just art deco but a mix of many influences. Erik describes how he came up with the louvers at the corners, to play with light and let the occupant be both "seen and unseen." Jonathan asks about the wood and Elizabeth replies that it's a wash treatment. Erik repeats his color assessment. Matt is just relieved and happy that they got something done. Wait, Matt was worried about finishing? You think they could have mentioned it more than half a dozen times.

Team St. Tropez. Carisa explains how they drew inspiration from the postcard's picture. Kelly verifies that the top of the structure is supposed to be unfinished. I think she's talking about the natural wood, because the cabana has rafters and a fabric awning. Goil talks about the difficulty of cantilevering the structure on its supports. Ryan is happy that their cabana isn't ordinary.

The judges head off to regroup in the White Room. Carisa voiceovers that she doesn't want to get the boot. Matt confides that everyone did well, so it could be a tough call.

White Room. Jonathan tells the designers that they'll be interrogated to find out which team member was responsible for which decisions. All the teams made some bad decisions, and someone's gonna have to pay.

See Team Tahiti's room at

Team Tahiti: Michael is looking rather pink, but Felicia and Andrea don't seem sunburned at all. Margaret loves the gauzy curtains wafting in the breeze. Kelly wants to know why they skipped the roof and the shade it would have provided. Felicia explains how they planned a roof with retractable sections. "But it wasn't there," Kelly protests. Oh. Right. Andrea explains how they looked at the structure from across the way and decided to skip the roof, so that the cabana would be a sort of "fantasy." Jonathan likes that word, because he thinks a cabana should be a "fantastical, dream-like space." Kathryn thinks it looked unfinished. Margaret observes that the design wasn't particularly exotic; was that on purpose? Michael protests that they didn't want to be too "literal" and "if you want to go to Gilligan's Island, you can do that." Margaret coldly replies, "There is absolutely something between Gilligan's Island and what you did." Michael adjusts his glasses, belatedly realizing that he still has a head only because Margaret is contractually obligated not to shed his blood.

Overall, the structure works for me. I like the curtains wafting in the breeze, but it looks like you can fasten them down if you're not into the wafting. The lack of a roof is a major problem, though. The other main flaw is that the cabana looks so bland. Tahiti inspired the paintings of Gaugin, after all. I don't think they need tiki torches and thatching, but some bright colors -- a nice, jungly green, for example -- would convey a sense of the tropics.

See Team Miami's room at

Team Miami: Jonathan wants to know Matt's opinion of their work. Matt praises the combination of outdoor (for showing off) and indoor (for privacy) spaces. Jonathan agrees that part was well done, but he hates the colors. He wants to know who to blame. Elizabeth volunteers that she "started" the color selection, but she remembers it being a team effort. Matt gets quizzed again on the team leader. He says that Erik and Elizabeth ran with the design, but everyone decided to include "pops of color" to a neutral structure. Jonathan wonders if Matt participated in the designing, since he's not seeing anything Matt-like in it. Matt says that Erik and Elizabeth had a meeting of the minds right off the bat, so he went along with the cooperative effort. Kelly thinks the indoor space was "too small." Kathryn can't picture herself sitting back there. Erik wants to revisit the color complaint. Kelly thinks their colors were more Vegas than Miami, which has "refreshing" "sherbert" colors. Margaret thinks acid green doesn't say "resort" or "beach" or "water." Elizabeth protests that they passed the colors by Matt, who had been working in Miami. Kelly wants to know who had the "final word." Elizabeth talks about blending three individual styles. Kelly thinks you have to speak up if you see something you don't like.

I like the louvers at the corners and the two connected spaces, but that's pretty much it. The flaps of fabric remind me of a car wash and the colors are boring when they're not ugly. It's just not a happy or relaxing space.

See Team St. Tropez's room at

Team St. Tropez: Ryan got roasted. I guess tough guys don't wear sun screen. Jonathan guesses that the cabana structure was Goil's work. Goil explains that the team direction was to reference nautical elements like yachts and masts and sails, so the structure reflects the theme. Jonathan describes how he found the structure very St. Tropez-like, but the interior was "Buffalo" with its "warm and cozy" colors and fabrics. Jonathan verifies that Ryan bought the furniture and Carisa shopped for fabrics. Margaret wants to know if they thought of blue. Carisa's like, "We had blue" but the judges are looking for something brighter and less denim-like. Margaret finds the look "heavy" with "earthy, grounded colors." Kelly thinks they were too literal interpreting the postcard. Jonathan asks Carisa if she felt shut out by "the guys" and she confesses her sense of exclusion. She brings up the "I should have gone shopping" issue again, pointing out Ryan's lack of experience. Jonathan asks Ryan to comment, and he says his experience is with "space." In other words, working in three dimensions instead of fabric's usual two dimensions. He agrees with Jonathan that he could have "done something" with the furniture -- presumably, if they'd had more time. Kathryn is forced to call their cabana "boring."

This one is the most pleasing to my eye in terms of color, but those colors have nothing to do with St. Tropez. I think they should have kept with the yachting theme and at least gone with more nautical colors, instead of basing the palette on the French flag. Navy blue isn't particularly St. Tropez, but it's crisp when paired with a bright white. The red is just wrong, and so is the boxy furniture. They need deck chairs with slats and curves, not rattan cubes.

Time for the judges to confabulate. Jonathan thinks Team Tahiti had "panache." Kelly liked the "nice negative space" among the clean lines. Kathryn likes the "modern" aspect of their "reinterpretation." Margaret adores the curtains, but the downside is the lack of a roof. "You're gonna get fried," Kelly predicts. Jonathan is still loving the fantasy angle, but Margaret argues that it wasn't a fantasy challenge and Jonathan is forced to agree. Margaret can't stand Team Miami's colors. Jonathan agrees: "I feel bad because I know that color is, like, subjective, but I just couldn't get beyond it." The judges try to analyze what was so bad about the acid green. (What about the eggplant?) Kelly sums up, "It's like the colors that you go to the paint store, and the paint's on sale." On the plus side, Margaret loves the indoor/outdoor design, although the indoor side needed more square footage. Jonathan and Kelly both think the design needed more Matt. The judges suspect Elizabeth was the driving force behind the color palette. Jonathan is struck by how they all keep going back to the color. Kelly wonders if Erik was "too domineering" but Jonathan thinks it's hard to tell; maybe Elizabeth was driving. Kathryn is ready to hire Goil based on Team St. Tropez's structure. Kelly agrees that the cabana was "original" but "the architecture and the furniture absolutely had no dialogue with each other." "And no dialogue with St. Tropez," Jonathan adds. Margaret thinks the curtain ceiling is less "chic" and more "hamburger shack." Kelly disagrees with the choice of Ryan to handle the furniture shopping. Jonathan doesn't like Carisa's choice of colors, especially the brick red. Kathryn thinks the red throw was "St. Tropez in February." Kelly argues that the design doesn't reflect much of Carisa, and Ryan made "poor choices." And the judges have agreement.

The designers return. Jonathan praises Team Tahiti for the Tahitian feel and the "ethereal" drapes, "but where was the roof?" Team Miami is praised for the indoor/outdoor design but scolded for the "cramped" indoor space and "terrible" color. Team St. Tropez had a "fantastic" structure but a "bummer" of an interior that didn't suit the locale. Team Tahiti takes the win. Michael interviews that he "really needed" the win (to offset his two previous finishes in the bottom) and it will motivate him for the next challenge. Jonathan awards them the weekend getaway prize. Andrea interviews that the win was a big "validation" but they also get to have a "girls' weekend, all three of us."

Now for the bad news. Erik still has immunity, so he's safe. Goil is safe. Carisa is safe. Ryan is spanked for not reworking the furniture and therefore disappointing the judges. Elizabeth is spanked for "apparently" picking the "horrible" colors. Matt is spanked for not speaking up. Matt is safe. Elizabeth gets the boot, so Ryan is safe. Jonathan hugs Elizabeth and sends her off to Todd. Elizabeth is quietly displeased. "I think we successfully achieved a good, solid design," she interviews. She defends the color as "not the worst color." Well, it was definitely in the neighborhood of "worst." Todd arrives for consolation. He compliments her commitment. Elizabeth confides that she was really hoping to last longer. She interviews, "I just wish I didn't go out with ugly colors. (bleep)!"

Right winner? I think I would have preferred no winner. All the teams made some major mistakes, and not because of the time constraints. But they had a prize to award, so I guess someone had to win. Team Miami had two major flaws (the color palette and the small indoor space). Team St. Tropez had two problems (the furnishings and the color palette). Team Tahiti had only one major flaw (the missing roof). So I can see how they took the win. But the main reason they didn't have a bad color palette is that they really had no color, and that's disappointing.

As far as the judging criteria go:

Based on all the criteria, I think Team Tahiti comes out ahead. Of course, if you start weighting the different criteria, you'll get a different result.

Right loser? The judges booted Elizabeth on the presumption that she was responsible for the color palette, so there are two points to consider. First, was the Team Miami color palette the worst mistake? Team Tahiti's roof omission was at least a contender, but since they won, I have to take it out of the running. Team St. Tropez's interior was wrong, but not actively ugly; it would look fine in the right setting. So yes, I think the Miami color palette was the worst mistake. Second, was Elizabeth responsible for the color palette? I think not; I believe it was a group effort. However, it seems the team failed to make that clear to the judges. With Erik and Elizabeth working so well together, it's hard to distribute responsibility for every little decision. I do think Matt missed an opportunity to play devil's advocate a bit, to keep the others from falling into the trap of groupthink. I can see it's not necessarily in his personality to challenge the prevailing tide, but I think a top designer should be able to do that. All three of them were candidates for the boot, but it's easiest to make the case against Matt.

It was nice to see them venture beyond the PDC. Now if we could just do something about the logistical awkwardness of the judging.


In regards to Team Miami's color choice, I did notice that when Elizabeth was talking color and mentioned acid green and eggplant, one of the guys made a horrid face, caught the eye of the other guy and shook his head. I think it was Elizabeth's decision, but the guys should have spoken up if they didn't like it. Maybe I read it wrong, but that's what I saw. -J
No new Blog entry - I so enjoy your blogs they make me laugh - and I miss your comments

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