First things first, I do not like the Kardashians. I think they are nothing but a group of famewhores who would sell out themselves, their family, and anyone else--pay attention, Kanye--for a few minutes on a magazine cover. That said, this week's Design Star features famewhoring, momager, Kris Jenner, who tasks the designers with creating new office spaces for the Kardashian Empire. The ten designers will be broken up into teams of two, to complete five rooms: the Reception area, Kris Jenner's office, the Kitchen, the Showroom, er, Whoreroom, and the Konference room--not a misprint, that's how Kris Jenner spelled it.
Jenner tells the designers she's all about black and white and gray--sounds a wee bit Beverly Hills Cop, and by that I mean 80s--and, of course, some glitz and glamour and Old Hollywood elegance. I am fighting off a yawn, but let's forge ahead......
BEX & LUCA--The Showroom
Kris tells them she wants a showroom to feature all the Kardashian products, from shoes and clothes, to nail polish, sex tapes, and tiny vials for cocaine. Luca starts off by saying, "This is my realm, and I do high end stuff." Um, Luca, the words 'high end' and 'stuff' don't go together. Make a note.
Bex starts off by screaming inside her head, "Nooooooooooooooooooo!" But then she tells us that she has this one in the bag because she designs showrooms and, in fact she has her own showroom; well, it's a showroom when you open the garage door and move the car outside.
Seriously though, when you have two designers starting off by saying "I got this" you know how it's going to end.
Luca, of course, because he's as shallow as a Kardashian loves Kris, feeling that he's right where he needs to be, with the "elite." And because he knows all about luxe design, he’ll create a center island upon which showroom goods can be, um, shown.
Bex will create a gallery wall to display some of the Kardashian things that they say they design, but we all know they pay Malaysian women 25-cents to come up with and manufacture. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
Kardashian and elite in the same sentence. Oh god, I love comedy.
Furniture shopping for these two is a waste of time. Their room will have no furniture, save for a couple of bar stools at the island. But HGTV has bills to pay, so it’s To The Stores. And Luca, because he’s elite like the Kardashians, begins looking at all sorts of shiny accessories to put in a room where the focus should be on the Kardashian Label. He just doesn’t get it. He’s so busy trying to be Shopping Star that he’s missing the point.
The next day, Mommy Bex decides Little Luca should stay and help the carpenter and he pouts because, well, he loves to shop. So, he helps for a minute and then stops doing anything unless it benefits him. Oh, and he pouts.
And Bex stumbles upon some hexagonal shelving that she thinks will fit just perfectly in the room, although there has been no discussion of hex shelving. And, well, it turns out awful, and looks stupid and cheesy in a room full of stupid cheese.
And half-finished when Bex comes home from shopping, which sparks a bitch-fight. Luca tells Bex he doesn’t work for her and she counters with, “Well, if you did, I’d fire you!”
He comes back with, “I’d fire you, too.”
And that comeback says more about Luca and his ‘sense’ of design as anything he’s done on the show. And, now he’ll only do his part, like built an island fit only for small toys, and create a one-of-kind piece of art because, as he tells us, he’s a ‘phenomenal’ artist.
I hear ominous drumming.
And I heard a lot of salesman in their Camera Challenge. It was too, ‘Here’s what I have for you today!’
Seriously, the drumming is getting louder.
Entering the showroom, Kris Jenner says, “Oh my god” and called the room a little boutique. I called it clunky and cluttered and kinda last-minute looking.
The hexagonal shelving system was a Group Hate, as was Luca’s phenomenal piece of art and his tiny tiny island.
DANIELLE & HILARI--The Kitchen
Since they are the only all female pairing they'll be given the kitchen. I kid.
I don't. Really.
Kris wants some mirrors in the kitchen, and a table, and a makeup area, and something she calls a PR Closet where they will store things for Kash Kow to autograph and sell, like her soul. Suddenly, it’s three rooms jammed into one and Danielle and Hilari are worried.
But they soldier on, and Danielle decides to stripe the walls—we find out later, from Vern, in the critique, that this was done to make the narrow room look bigger. Might have been nice to hear, oh, I dunno, the designer tell us that? But, there’s shopping to do, and Hilari will be shopping for accessories and the ‘e’ that is missing from her name.
And because these are the two Bling Girls, Danielle finds a glass dining table that is just perfect because it’s shiny, while Hilari finds some glass vases that are just perfect because their shiny.
Is there an echo in here?
But Hilari also finds some wallpaper that looks like ice or diamonds, or something. At any rate, it’s shiny, so it’s a must have. And it does look good, at least until Danielle, who has obviously never wallpapered before, tries to hang it, and it ends up wrinkled and puckered and, well, down it comes. And it leaves the walls ripped and torn and shredded so Hilari comes to the rescue; first with a can of paint, and when that doesn’t work, they hang a curtain in front of it. That’s an old rule of design: when all else fails, hang a curtain over it.
But they scored points from David in their Camera Challenge, although they didn’t show anything about the room. They talked bling and Kardashian, and that’s just boring.
I found their room kinda dull. I know it’s a kitchen and all, but it just seemed lackluster. The stripes were cool and the wallpaper blingy enough, but wallpaper and painted stripes do not a Design Star make.
Kris said “Oh wow” and loved the table and kissed the wallpaper. It’s like a Little Restaurant…next door to a Little Boutique, I guess. Vern called the accessorizing so last minute while The Goiter immediately pointed out the bad wallpaper job, hidden behind the curtain, and said “it doesn’t work.”
She’s.A.Brilliant.Designer. I mean, who else could look at a scabbed, badly painted wall, and declare it wrong? Get this woman her won show! Get her a network of her won! Maybe Oprah's, since she's not using it anymore?
Get me to a sanitarium.
MIKEL & BRITANY--The Conference Room
Kris wants a big table, with big chairs for Kim's big ass. And mirrors, because she likes shiny things. In fact, she tells each and every designer she wants a mirror in the room. And some shiny things to play with as well.
So, Britany decides to create a textured checkerboard mirror effect, because why reflect one Kardashian when you can reflect eighty or so? Amirite?
Mikel will pick a wallpaper and find an appropriate conference table.
Shopping. And Mikel finds a very cool white lacquer table, but it isn’t long enough for Kardashian Asses, so, well, he buys two. Problem solved!
During their Camera Challenge3, David Bromstad tells them they are too scripted and lack chemistry. I thought they seemed a little stiff, but, well, other designers on the network are much worse.
The Goiter, anyone?
In the Conference room, Kris switched it up, and said, “Oh wow” instead of “Oh my god” though she also threw in an “Oh my goodness.”
She is a member of Mensa, I hear.
I didn’t like the mirror, it looked too dated to me, but I loved Mikel’s huge table. Vern agreed with me about the table—he’s a smart little man—but also loved the mirror—the man is a moron. The Goiter said the room had “the basic building blocks.”
WTF does that even mean.
KRIS & MEIRA--Reception
And the reception is decidedly chilly. While Kris wants a WOW! Factor, she wants mirrors and glam and chic and sofas and family pictures. And, apparently because they spell their names alike, Designer Kris begins talking and talking and talking and not allowing Meira to speak.
Of course she’s not happy, and she whines and complains and moans and calls him “unprofessional” and, I think she said, “inmature” until Designer Kris offers a non-apology-apology just to make her shut up.
I am not liking Designer Kris. And I’m not fond of Whiny Meira either.
After the spat, where Designer Kris tells us that Meira is simply jealous of his fabulous communication with Client Kris, they decide that he’ll do wallpaper, and she’ll do the family photo wall.
For the Camera Challenge, Kris decides he’ll run it, and then, ‘toss’ it to Meira. And, gosh darnit, she wanted to run it. So, this segment isn’t about the room or the design, it’s about these two not being able to even communicate. Everything Designer Kris says—and that girl loves the sound of her voice—Meira takes the wrong way. Finally, Meira heads down a hallway to an empty room where she cries to some unseen HGTV person. And, during their Camera Challenge, their onscreen moments are like two separate shows, with the two of them barely even looking at each other.
Like I said, it’s a chilly reception.
Touring the room, Bob—that’s me—felt the room was too cluttered. The already small room doesn’t seem inviting because there’s too much there. And, while I liked Designer Kris’ wallpaper, Meira’s Family Photo wall seemed like something from the 80s; it was like the waiting room at Denver Carrington on Dynasty. I kept looking to see Krystal’s picture up there and….whoa, Krystal? Krystal Kardashian? Yikes.
Anyway, Kris Jenner said, “Oh my god” when she came in the room and she loved the wallpaper and the pictures. Yawn.
Vern was “blown away”: by the sleek professionalism while Genevieve Gorder said, “It’s a delight.”
WTF does that even mean?
MANLEY & RACHEL--Kris Jenner's Office
Tasked with Kris' office, Manley instantly turns surfer dude, valley boy, and worries that if like Kris Jenner doesn't like what they are like doing they could like be ousted.
I used to like Stanley. Now, well, great guns, but nothing upstairs.
Kris tells them she wants a distinctive desk, some mirrors and Old Hollywood glamour. Not a word about functionality because, well, these are Kardashians and all they care about is how things seem.
Manley opts to build what he calls a “waterfall” desk, and create a mirror--A mirror? What a novel idea—that looks like a diamond tennis bracelet because Mrs. Jenner will love it. Rachel tries to ride the mirrored coattail because, so far, she has no design in the room to show the judges. They don’t show it, but I think Manley was like, No, dude, you can’t like do that cuz like it’s my like thing.
Their first stop is at a furniture store—linger on the store’s name—where they find a red cherry lacquered console that screams glitz and glam and Hollywood and Kardashian. It’s a must have and will utterly make the room. Don’t forget.
The next day, while shopping, Rachel comes upon these puke, er, puce green sofas and decides they are what’s needed to bring the Hollywood glam. A mini-fight ensues, where Manley worries about the cherry red console and the puke green couches: ‘It’s like it’s like Christmas.’
He thinks they’re doomed, but the couches are In and the cherry console is Out!
During their Camera Challenge, Rachel points out the arches she had built over the windows and how she’ll frame them with lush draperies. I don’t see lush and Old Hollywood, I see an old Taco Bell; the arches scream Spanish, not Hollywood.
Manley is better this time, though he still seems as wooden as his desk. And the little studs he created out of cut pieces of wood and spray p-painted silver for the tennis bracelet, look like little cut pieces of wood spray-painted silver.
But Kris loved it; it’s shiny. And, while she’d never have picked puke green couches, she does love them, too. We didn’t hear from Vern or The Goiter—thank the goddess—but I thought the wallpaper was too busy for the space and the arched windows looked really dated. The whole office is sleek and modern and these windows just looked Bad Hacienda.
Vern begins by saying that in “Seven seasons of Design Star I’ve never seen a better set of rooms.”
Well, that explains everything.
The Fighting Receptionists, Designer Kris and Meira, are given the one safe slot and exit the building. He holds the door for and apologizes because she wanted to hold the door for him.
Vern loved Manley’s “performance” onscreen—which I found wooden and cheesy and kinda creepy….Mrs. Jenner—and Kris Jenner again praised the couches. Vern loved that mirror with the silver-painted wooden pieces and Gorder loved the desk.
For Danielle and Hilari the big hits were paper and paint, except the spot where paper came off and paint didn’t work, so a curtain was brought in. The Goiter hated the closet for some reason, I scarcely listen to her, and Vern called the accessories sad. Ow.
For Britany and Mikel, Genevieve Gorder called their onscreen patter too scripted. Seriously? These shows are all about scripted. I mean, if someone doesn’t have their hand shoved up The Goiter’s ass and making her move her mouth while they speak for her I will be shocked.
And then she says, “Let’s take a look at the befores and afters of your room.” A phrase she said about four completely unscripted times. Gosh, I loathe her. Who is she schtupping to be on TV?
But they all loved the table and the mirror and….well….yawn.
Bex and Luca get called out for hex shelving and a bad piece of art and a tiny island. Luca gets called out for being too much like a used car salesmen. But, hey, he’s an elite used car salesman.
In the end, Manley gets the win.
And Luca gets the boot and, on his way out, blames Bex for his failures. But he scores a mini victory because Bex also gets the boot, although she takes responsibility for their bad room.
It's still less design and more shopping, but when you have so much product placement in a show, you know where it’s headed. Each and every store was given a shot of their signage, or it was mentioned. And when Bromstad showed up for the Camera Challenge the one lingering shot was of the front end of the Volvo he rode in on.
Seriously, it's just an hour-long commercial interspersed with a few shopping trips, some fights, and a mishap or seven,
Manley wins, though I don’t know why. His tennis bracelet was sad, and the wallpaper bad and his camera time was, I can’t explain, but it creeped me out. I think Mikel and Britany had the best space and one of them should have taken top honors. I'd give it to Mikel because that mirror of Britany's annoyed me.
However, I’m am thrilled Luca was given the boot because he should have gone last week with his bulb chandelier and ego-driven graffiti. But I didn’t think Bex needed to go, because that spot belonged to Hilari or Danielle for that war-torn wallpaper half-wall.
So, there you have it.
What did you think?