Tonight's episode of Design*Star was weird like all the rest have been....the final four were randomly put into two pairs, and assigned projects in Wayne Newton's guest house. I'll skip the vulgarity of Wayne's actual house (and the utter silliness of having him as a guest client on the show) and get right to the challenge.
Kim, who I like more by the minute, and Robb the jackass were paired to tackle the kitchen; Malibu-Kendoll Todd and Will got the livingroom.
Everyone agreed that the kitchen project was more of a challenge (judges, Wayne, and the contestants). What I don't get is, given this, why didn't the kitchen team get some counterbalance, like an extra 2 hours or something? so they had a bit of a pass, or maybe the other team was critiqued more harshly.
anyway, the main drama was the interaction between the Jackass and Kim. He was profoundly condescending, loud-mouthed, abrasive and nasty. Disagreements are one thing; a dominant personality is another. But Robb was just a prick, to Kim and in the "confessional" interviews, saying that "if she had even half a brain...." she would just ride his coattails. It was ugly. And because Robb has been so buddy-buddy with Todd, I wonder if there isn't a broad streak of sexism in him. The fact that I don't like his design style doesn't hurt, either.
Todd and Will created a gimmick in a well-appointed room. Todd built a rotating platform to contain the livingroom furniture. It was semi-cool, but mostly....a gimmick. The judges seem totally swept off their feet by Todd; I think he's like a perpetual 15-year-old who happens to be good at carpentry. The revolving platform is definitely neat, but it's heavy to move, and - well, I don't know. The DESIGN of the space is very nice, and that seemed to be Will's handiwork. Todd imagined and built the centerpiece, but the real design and decor of the room seemed to be Will's. I find Todd's surferboy schtick to be tired, unappealing and immature. WHY the judges like him is beyond me; it's like the teachers in highschool fawning over the kid who gets away with murder because he has a glib tongue.
I like Will, a lot. He knows his stuff, design-wise, and even though he doesn't come up with superflashy tricks, he has consistently presented solid, lovely spaces. His personality is quiet, but not "flat," though he obviously needs to work on his presentation skills. Then again, season one's winner (the adorable David Bromstad) had awful camera skills and still won.
Still, the platform seems more awkward than anything; 360 degree views are all very nice, but somehow it seems to be a bit clunky. I imagine myself barking my shins and ankles on that platform daily. I love the chair on the platform, though.
For starters, with that kitchen: I hope that rock looks better in person, because i just don't love it. I'm puzzled by the wine cooler on the righthand side of the stone piece; is that extra piece of wood on the right a cabinet? it looks off-balance and awkward, though the storage shelves are very lovely. The wooden framing is just too heavy for my taste.
Kim did a lovely job selecting accessories; I like the buffet very much, and I LOVE the two tile-esque pieces hanging it above it. The little dining set is only meh - the chairs seem a little insubstantial in the space; the room is just a desert between the entrance and the chairs. I loved the glass-tiled backsplash, but that may be because I love glass tiles. I'm not sure it was the best choice for the space.
Curiously, the judges didn't talk much about the actual DESIGN. No one mentioned the refrigerator that didn't make it in on time. Wayne Newton and his wife Kat seemed to like both spaces very much. The judges ended up focusing more on personality because!
tonight was the night when the contestants presented their spaces on camera. I found Robb and Todd both far too butch. "sweet" is not the adjective I'm EVER going for in ANY interior design, unless it's a room for a baby or an old lady who loves roses. I really do wonder what KIND of show HGTV wants for the winner of this contest; David's wasted on Color Space, and his "sidekick" is a drip (even though I adore David, I rarely watch that show). I keep picturing those Manly Shows like "over your head" and such, where some dudely type fixes all your troubles without making you look whipped by your wife who wants all pink floral decorations.
Will explained the space, which was more than Todd did - all Todd said, essentially, was "Cool dude! check this sweet platform! it spins, dude!" Will discussed texture and design.
Robb just sucks.
Kim was FABULOUS. her presentation was cute, pleasant, intelligent and witty - and she is obviously a natural on camera. I really do love her; she's so damn normal and talented!
Robb's elimination showed even MORE of what an asshole he really is. I can't believe the judges left him in this long; Scott and SparkleJosh were far better designers, in my book, and a thoroughly repugnant personality is enough to get kicked off a hosting challenge. Robb's final word, of the judges' decision, was "Fools." He's like the Arrogant Hung of Top Chef fame: he never, ever saw that he was wrong, or that maybe there was some justice in the judges' decision.
what a freaking tool. I am SO glad that jackass is gone.
But I feel weird about the final three. They are a really disparate bunch; it's apples and oranges, really. Last year, with Alice and David, i felt like it really did come down to their final design. Both had lovely personalities and presentations. This group of misfits, though - I dunno. Kim is the only one I'd want to watch, but Will definitely has skills, and a kind of quiet presence that *I* appreciate, from inside my own introversion. I'd also love to see a Black guy hosting a design show. Or a Black woman.
In the end, neither of these designs from tonight's show was especially mindblowing. Robb's attitude was mindblowingly appalling, and thankgod, for once, the judges agreed with me, and he was cancelled.
I am firmly on Team Kim from now to the bitter end, and I will be voting!!!!