Thursday, September 20, 2007


Blue Hawaii

Previously on Design Star: Las Vegas. 11 designers. Challenges. Winners. Losers. Todd, Kim and Will spread across the nation to design for real people. Sadly, Will got the boot. And now -- Hawaii!

Kim marvels that she and Todd are the last two standing. She figures she has "a fifty-percent shot" at winning her own show. Only if it's a random draw. Todd tells Kim that he has a lot of competition experience. He interviews that he don't know what will happen. Clive arrives and has them open paint cans to see where they're headed next. Yep, it's Hawaii. Kim and Todd are thrilled. They don't learn anything about the challenge yet, but they have $10,000 in cash to keep track of. Again? It's the final challenge; they should get more money so they can really strut their stuff. Before they go, Clive is going to give them "one last special treat." We see their loved ones waiting behind the garage door, because why bother letting us feel any suspense whatsoever? Clive opens the door and there's much squealing. Todd's friends pile on him. Kim greets her visitors like a grown-up. She has her husband, sister and best friend. Todd is surrounded by his brother, his best friend and his "hot wife." Kim spends a little time with her hubby, who is sweetly supportive. Todd's group gathers around the table with wine; Kim hangs around the pool. Todd's people tease him that he's not a winner unless he wins. Nice. Todd has his most human moment yet as he says he really needed to see them, after so long pretending to be the "cool guy" who didn't need anyone. He says goodbye at the door. Kim gives everyone big hugs before they leave. Both designers are recharged now.

Morning. Packing. Airport. First class. Hawaii. Hotel. They immediately -- after changing clothes -- climb into an outrigger and are delivered to the challenge site. Clive stands before Kim and Todd on a patio at the hotel and dangles the promise of information. They obligingly "woo!" a lot. The hotel is being renovated, and two suites have been set aside for the challenge. Kim calls hotels the "holy grail" of design because "millions of people" can experience it. Well, thousands, at most. They'll have 32 hours and the $10,000 they have schlepped across the ocean. But first, it's time to bring out the previous winner. And here's David! Kim is delighted; she voted for him. He does the "your life will change" speech and encourages them to go for it.

Clive starts the clock and the designers run into their suites. They're identically dated and drab. Both designers decide to get rid of everything. Todd's big idea -- because he always has a big idea -- is to swap the living room and the bedroom, so you can enjoy the views when you wake up in the morning. As opposed to enjoying the views when you get up in the morning. Perhaps he spends a lot of time lying around in bed when he's on vacation.

Shopping. Todd is going to use a "deep, ocean blue" to bring the outside in. He decides not to buy an armoire because then he'd wind up designing the room around it. Kim is going for a sectional; the chaise portion will help divide the space. She picks a color for each area of her three major areas. Todd relocates the bed. Clive calls time. They've used 6 of their 32 hours; they'll use up the remaining 26 hours over three days. Put your arms down, Todd. They head back to their own penthouse, which has already been updated, and talk over the day.

Morning. Paint cans. What can this mean? Clive brings out Robb and Will. Everybody screams. Well, except for Clive. The person with the star gets to pick which day they get each person's help. Todd gets the star; he decides to work with Will today so Kim will get stuck with Robb. "Was there some tension between you and Robb or something?" Clive wonders, oh-so innocently. Kim's like, yeah, it sucks, but what ya gonna do? The designers all get 11 hours in the day. Robb says he has "no animosity" toward Kim and he's just happy to help. The designers fill in their assistants on the plans. Kim checks with Robb if there's anything in particular he wants; he asks for Liquid Nails and a caulk gun. "Write it down," he nags, but Kim just says, "I have it." The bosses head out to grab stuff for the assistants. Robb tells the camera that he's doing prep for the next Design Star. But in a more candid shot, he says he might be saying the same thing tomorrow, when he's working for Todd. In addition to paint, Todd scores some decorative stuff at the sponsoring store. After dropping off paint, the designers go shopping again.

Todd finds a store that has exactly his style, so he gets pretty much all his furniture. Put your arms down, Todd. Will thinks Todd's theme thing will set him apart, but he's looking forward to working with Kim because she has good taste. Kim also shops her heart out. The designers return to find their assistants have done major painting. Work continues for another hour and then Clive calls time. He announces a treat: downstairs is a Hawaiian luau. Put your arms down, Todd. It's a little luau, as these things go, but they get some hula dancers. They all have a nice time.

Another morning. The assistants swap sides. Clive gives them 11 more hours to work. The designers go over things with their new helpers and get to work. The judges drop in on Todd. Robb also claims their attention. Todd goes over the big plan with the switcheroo. The judges suggest getting rid of the blue carpet, which doesn't work with the blue walls, but Todd has a big rug. Vern recommends revisiting the switcheroo; Cynthia thinks the vanity area looks ugly in the living space. Todd points out that they're still seeing a work in progress. He interviews that the judges' input has always been "dead on" throughout the competition, but he's charging ahead with his original idea.

Kim's turn with the judges. She explains the "tropical punch" idea. All the judges hate the carpet. Kim starts fretting. Will suggests just sealing the concrete underneath. Vern and Cynthia pull up the carpet, and Will assures Kim that he knows what to do. Kim thinks it's important to listen to the judges. Will teases the judges for adding to his workload. Kim has to go get tools for the carpet job and she's fretting some more.

Todd makes a giant jellyfish. Kim comes back, still worried but committed. Robb spots the work and reports to Todd; he thinks it's a risky move. Work continues. Time ticks away. Work. Tick. Clive calls time. The assistants are done. The designers have four hours to finish on the last day. They both anticipate a lot of rushing around.

The last morning. Put your arms down, Todd. Kim is too nervous to eat much breakfast. Clive starts the clock again. Todd gets busy. Kim gets busy. With 2 hours left, Kim discovers that she bought queen-sized bedding. She has to run to the store to get more. Her cashier is on the phone. Eventually she gets back and gets to work. Rush, rush, rush. Time's up! Todd starts screaming and screaming and screaming, even as he hugs Kim. Clive declares the challenge officially ended. Put your arms down, Todd. The judges are on hand to watch the presentations.

Todd goes first. He climbs on the coffee table. Then he shows off his really blue bedroom/living room. The judges think his presentation skills have improved. He painted bubbles on the wall that look like they're floating up from the bedside lamp. Better hope the lamp doesn't get moved. In the interior room, he shows off a sleek table and some 3D-effect artwork. Todd is happy with his presentation.

The judges inspect his suite. Vern finds the kitchen in the bedroom "weird." The judges like the sofa. Cynthia points out that he is taking advantage of the view. Vern thinks it's "totally Todd." Please don't let that be the name of his new show. Todd is confident he "totally crushed it." That's just what I want a designer to say about his work. Martha is happy the folding doors in the pass-through are gone. The judges like the view into the interior room. Martha approves of the high table. Cynthia thinks the furniture and accessories work together well. That would be an advantage to getting everything at the same store. Todd is worried because he didn't do some things they recommended, because they went against his big idea. Vern says that he's confident in who he is, and "it has to be his space." Which it is.

I'm a blue fan, but the living room walls are too intense for my taste. I do like the way the lighten as they rise, though, and I love the lighter blue in his interior room. I don't think the layout makes sense given the fixed elements of the kitchenette, vanity and bathroom -- none of which he seemed to address. The sea creature art is too theme-y and the bubbles on the wall are too cutesy. His walls are really more suitable for an aquarium than a suite. As for the furniture arrangement, I think it would be better with the original room configuration. At it is, the living area is too small and the dining area is too big. Then there's the problem of having all your clothes in the dining room. Yes, it's nice to wake up to the view -- but that's one moment out of all the time you spend in the suite. Designing everything about that one moment just isn't worth the effort.

Kim's turn to do the hosting thing. She shows off the colors, the room divider, the furniture placement and the headboard. The judges think she's informative and confident. The judges inspect. They're wowed. They love the floor. Cynthia loves the colors. Vern compliments her "sophisticated eye." Martha likes about her use of color. Vern likes the organization of the space, especially the divider. Kim is hoping the judges like it. Cynthia finds the bedroom relaxing. Martha thinks the suite looks upscale.

I think the juxtaposition of the warm walls in the living space with the light turquoise in the bedroom is jarring; the bedroom needs more separation. Otherwise, it's a very strong room. The bedroom is very pretty and the headboard has the right tropical feel. The warm colors in the living space feel cozy and welcoming. I think the couch is too soft a brown compared to the deeper shades in the room; perhaps a sandy color would be better. The separation of the kitchen area is very nice. Her finishing touches are definitely more upscale than Todd's.

The judges compliment both designers on a job well done. Clive does the voting thing once again. Wrapping up, we see some of Todd's big moments. Many of them shirtless. Ah, tipping over the head table in the Vegas reception room -- that just doesn't get old. Now a recap of Kim's "journey." Lots of smiling. There's a moment we didn't see before with cute little Paige Deane. Clive compliments them one last time and turns things over to the voters.

Well, Todd's still Todd. He has a lot of creativity, but I just don't think he's suited to residential interior design. He'd be great for theme parks, though. Kim stepped it up this time. Her design skills are weaker than her hosting skills, but she put together a strong room. I would have liked to see what she could do with more money; for a final challenge, the budget was pretty skimpy. I would still take Alice over Kim, but I'll definitely take Kim over Todd. Let's hope they can find more inspiring choices next time.


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