Monday, August 02, 2010

Design Star: Someone's In The Kitchen With Sears

Once again we open with the, um, safe designers sitting around the penthouse waiting for the returning designers and wondering who it is, and talking about how it's a real competition now--like it wasn't before. And the door opens and in walks Courtland, wearing sunglasses, because he's a star, and talking about how great it was that Tom and....and....darn....what was that girl's name.....went home and how he is so good. Of course, he fails to mention that he's been a bottom more than once--in every sense of the word--and that he barely escaped Design Star: The Wrath Of Vern.
The designers find Genvieve Gorder--I figure I'll use her real name just once--and John Gidding on the set of a Sears photo shoot. Gee-You-Really-Bored-Me then announces that the challenge is to design a kitchen for a Sears catalog cover photo shoot, featuring, naturally, Kenmore appliances. Each team will be judged on their overall design as well as on how well their design photographs. With Courtland all by himself on the Red Team, Emily--a photo stylist by profession--is offered to him as a partner. The Blue Team will be Big Queen Michael, Casey, and Alex.
The teams are then told to pick a themed basket, much like last weeks pick a themed souvenir basket, to inspire their design, and Courtland and Emily go Italian, while Michael, Casey and Alex go French.

Emily chooses garlic for her inspiration because she likes the color and the striations in it, while Courtland goes all Parmesan because he wants to paint the walls Parmesan. Did anyone bother to mention to Courtland that he has been warned time and again not to take his inspiration too literally and use it to find a paint color? Anyone? Buller?
Like Nina, he is a one-trick pony, although Michael of the Red Team has taken over the Bitch Title since Nina left--more on his bitchiness later.
Emily and Courtland don't want to go too literal on the Italian theme, which I think means they don't want a large woman at the stove stirring pasta sauce, so they opt for something called modern-traditional. This, of course, means light colored cabinets and Parmesan walls and beige granite.
Yes, you are sensing a theme and it's called boring.
And this has Emily worried, so she decides they need all sorts of colorful accessories to brighten up, liven up, color up, the space. She orders tomatoes and lemons and wine and olive oil, and a large Italian woman to stand at the stove and make sauce.
Okay, so maybe she didn't order that last one, but she should have.
Then we get a lesson in styling from Emily, when she covers a stool with bubble wrap and then staples fabric to it. Emily tells us that she grew up Mormon so she learned all about crafting and sewing and canning and cooking, and then she took those skills and left the church.
Courtland, meanwhile, is up on the counters doing his Parmesan Venetian Plaster treatment on the walls. And he gets all sentimental because applying Venetian plaster makes him think of his fiance Dina and he misses his fiance Dina because his fiance Dina is his backbone. Uh huh.
Courtland seemed to be trying to hard to prove to us he's the manly man. See, I think fiance Dina, is Court-speak for "my burly hunk of man-love Dean."
You're queer, dear. And Dina, if she exists, is learning this from watching you prance about on TV, hugging Michael and talking manly.
As Courtland wipes away his manly tears, the photo team arrives and they start taking shots at the room. You know, like Dear God, what a hideous mess. And then they start taking pictures.
Emily runs in and out with lettuce and wine and olive oil and tomatoes, filling up every inch with stuff. But the one thing I notice is that, except for the stuff, the room is all one color.

Michael chooses the escargot shells because he likes the rusticity of the outer layer and the yummy goodness on the inside; me thinks he wasn't talking escargot. Casey picks the bread because it means family, and breaking bread, and baking bread, and she needs to win because she needs the bread. Alex, sweet Alex, who has such a mush-mouth that one can hardly understand him, picks the....corkscrew. Yes, a corkscrew says French and rustic ands luxury.
Michael, taking over the Bitch Role from Nina, says: “I think Alex’s corkscrew is a screwy choice, and I think it’s going to screw him in the end.”
I think Michael was talking about what he'd like to do to Alex, since manly Courtland is on the other team. Not, you know, the other team.
And to hide his mancrush on Alex, Michael does what any teenaged girl, or gay man, does. He enlists the aid of Casey to gang up on Alex--who, later on, gives us the "My voice wasn't heard" edit. First, Michael and Casey disagree with him about which way to lay the floor. Alex, whom Michael seems to forget, saved his ass during the firehouse challenge when Michael, such a brilliant designer, nailed his thumb to a table, finds Michael's constant criticism a bit jarring. But then Casey joins in because, you know, she's been a front-runner all along. And she, too, forgets that Alex won the challenge last week.
Mush mouth or not, I'm feeling a bit Team Alex this week.
Casey takes some sandpaper to the furniture they bought to give it that aged bread look, and she and Michael then reminds us how they like each other better than Alex because they're so good and on the same page and Alex is so young and inexperienced.
Again. Saved your ass. Won a challenge.
And then Alex also mans up and tiles the entire backsplash--something he's never done--while Michael noshes on grapes and talks paint or stain with Casey. I know Michael's a big old queen, but he is proof that gay people can be assholes, too. It's not a sexual orientation thing; it's a douchebag thing.
And Michael, bitchy, queeny, Michael, is a douchebag.
The photo crew shows up and because Alex has been busy tiling and Michael has been busy eating and Casey has been busy....well, she talked a lot....they aren't ready. The photo crew sits back and waits while Alex grouts and Casey sweeps, and Michael makes a sandwich and complains about how Alex is gonna get screwed.
He wishes.

The judges show up to give announce that they like both rooms, and that these designers don't suck.....this week. They love the Red Team's photo because it shows off the appliances--and, of course, Sears, being a sponsor of Design Star, wants their appliances front and center.
The Blue Team gets credit for the way their kitchen represents the way a family would use the room.
But, no team wins because they are all so good--at least that's their story and they're sticking to it. Casey, however, most impresses Mini-Me, Gee, and John Gidding with her load of bread inspiration, and she gets the win, and some booze and grapes--apparently Michael didn't eat them all--and the phone call home to announce that she's Top Four! Top Four!
Emily gets torn to shreds because she's a stylist and there was just to much stuff. Courtland gets torn to shreds because, yet again, he was too literal with the color. He was warned last week that he was running out of chances but apparently Vern pulled a second, third, or fifth chance, out of his ass and gave it to Courtland.
Manly men stick together.
Alex does the Voice not heard dance and Michael tells the judges he doesn't trust Alex as a designer. Alex's corkscrew will actually screw him. Bitch. I may start calling him Nina.
But Michael then gets nailed--and again not in the way he'd prefer--for having too much of too much in the kitchen.
Alex and Emily.
Alex’s host presentation is nice, and he gives us all the info, but he doesn't mention the corkscrew, or the fact that he tiled the backsplash by himself, for the first time in his life while Michael ate and Casey, I dunno, did her hair.
Emily's presentation was Parmesan cheesy though the judges found it cute.
And, cute wins over someone who works and works hard and saved the ass of one bitter queen who doesn't know one end of a nail gun from the other.
I'll miss your smile, Alex.
I will keep talking about this show, but, every week it hits me: except for David Bromstad, where are all the other Design Star winners?
Kim Myles? One season and she was gone.
That blond girl who won after her? Her show aired at 3AM in Taiwan.
Antonio from last year? I know, Antonio who?
It seems to me that Design Star doesn't even know how to pick a Design Star.


froggy said...

Spot on!!! Michael got on our last nerve. Alex will be missed. The two blond ladies are almost interchangeable and Courtland... unfortunately I think they are grooming him for the win. Yes, we too are wondering why the heck they keep pushing the thought of being in the HGTV stable and they are nowhere to be seen.
I loves your recaps.

madtexter (corey james) said...

Phew! One less show I have to commit to. Glad I can just read the recap here.


Biki said...

what i dont understand is why if they are supposed to have a show...why all of them aren't judged to some degree on their personality in front of the camera? Only the bottom two are ever made to do a short for them to look at. And if it was really about how well they design, you would think that they would be able to be a designer of an entire room, and not just one element.

And i agree with you, i'm thinking that for the most part this show is a hoax to the contestants, just like Project Runway.

Yeah, Michael so needs to stop being such a douchebag! I just wanted to slap him silly! Alex totally saved his ass last a the firehouse!

Joy said...

Good job! I especially agree with your sidenote. What's it all about, Alfie?