Monday, July 22, 2013

HGTV Star and Food Network Star! A Recap and Rant...Part Seven

HGTV Star! Just Deserts
It’s the last episode of HGTV Star!, the network show where they pit one designer against other designers in a product-placed-who-can-shop-better challenge and then randomly send folks home because they picked bad sheets or a lamp looked out of place, while letting others stay because, well, they’re good TV. Just sayin’. 

Then, the winner of last night’s show will get an HGTV show of their own that will air, probably, about three times total and they’ll never be seen or heard from again because, quick, name the last winner of HGTV Star! and name their show …


My point exactly. But, enough about the farce of this show, let’s dish about the challenge: to redecorate, er, design three suites at the Rancho Las Palmas resort in Palm Springs. Now, to be fair, it’s a big challenge, the main rooms are at least 1,000 square feet with an additional 500 square feet in the bedroom. 


Here’s what happened ….

He went all Versailles Meets Palm Springs because nothing says chic desert town like over the top fake gilded moldings and circus themed wallpaper.

Plus, just to make the room as schizophrenic as possible, he also chose some mid century modern pieces, like a yellow leather couch, to toss in, and some, gold bananas because, as Brooks said, “Who doesn’t like gold bananas?”

But he also brought in my grandmother’s dining table from her house on H Street in Oxnard, California. I’d always wondered what happened to it, but never thought it’d be part of a Versailles Mid Century hotel room in Palm Springs in 2013.

Brooks was all go big or go home, and it was gaudy and wild and fun, but not at all Palm Springs. Flocked wallpaper? Check! Trim painted gold over an odd blue wall? Check! A lamp in the middle of the room hung so low, I seriously thought Brooks was going to head butt it? Check!

The bedroom had circus tent stripes and velvets and mirrors and ornate painted pieces and looked like a junk shop after a big sale.

I like his over-the-top-ness, but I don’t see it as a show. I see it as a fun trip into psychedelic design, but I didn’t see one useful idea.

Vern, though, thought the bar was, and this is his word, ‘masterful.’

 I saw it and said, okay, two stools, a tray with some glasses on it, and a mirror.

Masterful? That explains why Vern Yip doesn’t have an HGTV show.

Brooks is out.

Jeribai wanted to make his suite—which, for some unexplained reason was actually bigger than the others—into a beach vacation because when people travel to the desert they want to see an ocean, or something.

He chose teal paint because, um, this is 1979? But then he saw the teal paint and had it horsewhipped and removed from the walls, replaced by a more dusty blue. Good save.

His room was chic, and kind of beachy, and kind of not, but there was a huge gaping hole in the middle of the space which all the judges noticed. I offered up my go-to tip on wasted space in a room: “Put a grand piano there.”

And, well, that might have worked, you know, with a couple of bar stools around it. 

But, you know, I’m not much of a shopper so I won’t be on the show. Another thing that might have helped was either more furniture, or bigger furniture. I loved his orange couch, but it was too close to the other pieces and, had it been pulled out, might have helped fill that void.

Jeribai did get props for accessorizing his shelves—he was the only designer given shelves—but I kept looking at it and thinking it wasn’t accessorized enough; too many flat platter-y things that you couldn’t see.

His bedroom was a hit, though the judges worried about his light colored carpet and dirt. I also liked his headboard and the wallpaper he chose; I’m not much of a purple gal, but it worked in the room.

The Goiter said, “There were really good, sophisticated moments that show luxury and a sense of escape.”

Bob said, “For the love of Mary McDonald, STFU!”

In the end, though, even though his Camera Challenge was good—though “judge” Bromstad said it started off a bit low key—Jeribai also does not get a show.

She decided that her Palm Springs suite needed a mid-century modern vibe to it, which meant a ceramic giraffe. Or something. 

It also meant creating a fireplace, albeit it electric one—which, I don’t care how fancy they get, they all look like that Yule Log Youtube video.

Her room was fun, with some bright poops of color; the area in front of the fireplace—which, as I said, was stupid, and was also not a fireplace because, as she told the judges it was ‘set up’ so that you could put in an electric fireplace.

Huh? If I stay in that room I need to bring my own fireplace? All she made was a pretty box to hold some candles inside and a TV on top. I ain’t buying it.

And then, the center of her room there was two chairs … two chairs …. And a giant ottoman with a brass dish on top. So, two people can sit there and, what? Look at the ottoman? Seriously.

I will give Tiffany props for the art wall in her dining room although how hard is it to walk into a shop that sells art and find one style you like and then ask for every single piece in the collection? 

And then her dining table, which created  a lot of drama because the handymen couldn’t get it up the stairs—while I was yelling at the TV, Take the legs off!—until Tiffany decided to take the legs off. It looked like some cheap-o dining table in the backroom of an old office building. No flair.

In her bedroom she placed a jute rug on a carpet of carpet squares that was so small it didn’t even fill a third of the space. But hey, she picked as good pillow.

The judges loved Tiffany’s playful vibe—the aforementioned giraffe—and bright colors, which, sadly, did not make it anywhere in the bedroom.

The Goiter said, of the art wall, “[It] doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Bob said, “WTF are you talking about and why are you in a mullet prom dress?”

David Bromstad, bumped from mentor to judge for reasons unknown, except he also doesn’t have an HGTV show, said, of the fireplace, “How very ‘Palm Springs’ of her.”

Bob said, “Get a pair of pants that fits, and if you can’t button the top button of your shirt, don’t try to cover it with a tie.”

But, apparently this, basically boring with a pop of color and a giraffe room, gets you your own, to-be-aired-in-the-middle-of-the-night show.

Way to go, Tiffany.

Three designers. Two very much alike and one from a galaxy far far away who all will not have a show on HGTV.

Should Tiffany have won? I don’t think so. The fireplace was a joke; the seating area was lame; the carpet was too small.

Should Brooks have won? I don’t think so because he’s not so much a designer as a set decorator. The man can accessorize, but his aesthetic is too, too wacky.

Should Jeribai have won? I don’t think so because his style, while nice, wasn’t exciting enough for a show.

That said, and let’s take a dip in the shallow end: Jeribai’s ass in those jeans was a show-effing-stopper; and his pecs in the tight T-shirt was a sight to behold. Plus, rising from the shallow end, he can design and he can build, and I’d like to see a show like that.

If he wore tight T’s and booty hugging jeans.

So, we’re done with another season of HGTV Star!

I can’t wait to have insomnia one night so I can see Tiffany’s show at 4 AM.

FOOD NETWORK STAR! Lights! Camera! She’s Baaaack!
So, the good folks at Food Network, knowing a good idea when they steal one, had a little online competition for the axed cheftestants called Last Chance Kitchen Star Salvation and the winner was revealed last night: Lovely. And lovely. I mean that in the sense that it was just lovely, sarcasm font, to see her polished, pretentious face back on my TV.

Luckily, it didn’t last long.

Cook a pasta dish and describe it to Giada, Alton and Bobby so that they wanna eat it. Sounds easy enough, but then the Monkeywrench™ is thrown into the mix: the chef’s will be describing another dish, not their own. Ow.

Lovely v Damaris:
Lovely was to describe Damaris’ Linguini Bolognese, er Linguini with Meat Sauce—because Damaris cannot pronounce Bolognese—and since she wasn’t on the show last week she missed the lesson in words not to use; like beautiful, which, if she said it once, she said it ten times: it was a "beautiful journey through a nice, beautiful, delicious meat sauce mouthwatering journey and wonderful pasta delicious beautiful."

Damaris talked up Lovely’s Mascarpone Fettuccini with Hazelnuts and Lemon Shrimp and told a story of having her heart broken and how her brother came to visit and that was just like pasta. Seriously. Sometimes the jokes write themselves.

Stacey v Rodney:
Stacey talked about Rodney’s Late Night In Little Italy, AKA Shrimp, Clam and Oyster Pasta by basically reciting what Rodney said was in it.

Rodney took on Stacey’s Chicken Saltimbocca Pasta and said it was ‘real nice.’ Again. Jokes.Write.Themselves.

Nikki v Russell:
Nikki is good, but she says words like briny when talking about the pork in Russell’s Pork and Veal Sugo. Pork? Briny?

Russell finds no sin whatsoever in Nikki’s Fire Island Bursted Tomato Pasta with Every Herb Imaginable. He tells us what’s in it, not how it tastes.

THE WINNER: Nikki, who gets to pick her team for the …

The Field Piece. The cheftestants teams will go to a restaurant and they must report on the place, the food and the people. They will be judged by the panel as well as some folks from the Hollywood Reporter; wait for an upcoming Food Network/Hollywood Reporter event, I’m guessing.

TEAM Damaris-Nikki-Stacey:
They head to The Donut Man to talk about Strawberry Glazed Doughnuts made with potato flour—which, apparently, is unusual in Doughnut Land.

Damaris does the intro, and looks a little too giggly, but pulls it off. Stacey talks to the actual Doughnut Man and talks over him because she’s Stacey and it’s all about her and we learn nothing about potato flour. Nikki does the wrap-up and meets a doughnut fan outside. She comes across the most at-ease on-camera.

TEAM Russell-Rodney-Lovely:
It’s Vito’s Pizza, where they make the dough from 500-year-old yeast, passed down from generation to generation.

Russell does the intro and talks about Vito bringing East Coast pizza to the West Coast, but also mentioned something about sin. Rodney gets to work with Vito making the pie and lets it slide away the story about the old, old, old yeast. Lovely wraps things up by eating a slice and talking to two of the most boring customers ever.

TEAM Nikki-Damaris-Stacey 
They score the win. Damaris gets points for being calm and less, well, slutty, and Nikki gets told she was the best. Stacey, though, once again is told that she comes across phony and hammy and cheesy—maybe she should have done pizza?

TEAM Russell-Rodney-Lovely
Bobby Flay—I loathe him—chastises Russell for inserting his POV, i.e. the sins, into his intro, but fails to mention that Rodney called himself the Pie Man in his segment and Lovely muttered her tired catch-phrase, Party On A Plate, in her wrap-up.

Rodney is told that he’s memorable, but is also schtick-y and lacks food knowledge. Lovely is too polished, too mechanical, and basically ignored her customers, and their lack of enthusiasm.

Lovely. It was lovely, but now you’re gone. Again.

I’m liking Russell; he different looking and has a different POV.

Nikki and Damaris and Stacey are a little too much alike and, well, bland.

Rodney’s a hot mess; he’s the Brooks of Food Network Star!

That said, I’ll say it again, at least these folks on this show have actual talent, and don’t have to rely on product placement and gimmicks to show what’s what.

Plus, most of the previous Food Network Star! winners have had their own shows, and most have been successful.

Take that HGTV.


the dogs' mother said...

Every time one of the judges says something cringe worthy we think of you gritting your teeth and rolling your eyes. And the mullet prom dress - lololol

Brooks should not be allowed to any space in the future without a chaperone to hit him upside the head.

Book shelves - how about books? If I was paying uber bucks for a suite - how about a selection of the current best sellers. Some plants. A stack of magazines. Anything other than fish platters.

Brooks had the crazy, Jeribai had the looks, Tiffany had the personality.

(Some woman won last season... brown hair?)

500 year old yeast and nothing?!?!?!
Lovely - thank goodness gone again.
Thought the challenges were creative.

Jannean Albarran said...

Last season's winner was Danielle Colding and her show was called "Shop This Room". I think they made four episodes. Tiffany's gig will be a show featuring the most embarrassing rooms in America that I'm fairly certain will suffer the same fate. Anyway, thanks for the entertaining recaps, looking forward to the rest of Food Network Star and your take on this season of PR. said...

Phew. I'm glad that's over. Like you, the only redeeming quality of this season of HGTV Star was Jeribai's butt.