Valerie is using napkins and paper cups and something about the way she is describing her design, in a manner both whimsical and serious, just made her my favorite. Plus, I'm still totally obsessed with Cleveland and that's part of it. Gretchen thinks that Valerie will definitely be in the top... with her. Oh Gretchen. I know it's good to be confident. It's also good to be quiet. She continues. She thinks that Valerie is competition, but she herself is a "force to be reckoned with." Ew. Stop it, girl.
Sarah was worried that her design would be all tablecloth (she must have not been listening to Tim either), so she takes these paper palm trees and paints the fronds different colors. Casanova, still clueless, is cutting a tablecloth when Valerie reminds him that he's not supposed to use that. He interviews that he's not like Andy, April and A.J. with their desires to make circus stuff. He's clearly frustrated right now. If he could just relax a little, he might be able to do this.
Andy is still braiding and Ivy tells him that it's beautiful. A.J. interviews that he thinks that Andy is over-thinking the challenge. Also, Gretchen is still giving advice. Peach says that she's tuning out Gretchen's entire side of the workroom. We see her talking to Sarah and it looks like Sarah actually is soliciting the comments. April says that she thinks it's sad that someone would adjust to meet Gretchen's approval. She's maybe not wrong.
Tim returns and starts with A.J. He tells him that he thinks that this is his challenge. A.J. says that he disagrees. Hmm. He thinks that, with everyone using the same sorts of materials that he usually employs, his stuff won't stand out the same way. Then, there's Other Michael bitching about how everyone thinks this is A.J.'s challenge because of how much he talks about himself. Jesus, this guy is a freaking ball buster. The mannequins are like, "Watch your back, buddy. One day, you're going to do something a little annoying or lacking in self-awareness and we are going to POUNCE." Tim assures him that he should be fine, but he doesn't seem fine. Other Michael has more to say. He says that everyone knows that A.J. loves a hot glue gun, so they're expecting something great. That guy has really got issues. Very mean.
Sarah interviews that Valerie's design is very accessible. Valerie shows her stuff to Tim and he pooh pooh's the use of teal in the otherwise black and white design. She listens to his advice. Gretchen says that she had deigned Andy to be competition, but feels that his work looks like student work. I understand the clinical meaning of that criticism, but I hate it so much. People have feelings before and during the time that they are students that aren't fostered or created by some institution. So, fuck off, Bangs. And, shouldn't we all be students? That's very Eat, Pray, Love without me even trying. But, shouldn't we always be in a place of growth and discovery and experimentation? Even as a designer. I mean, of course I want to know what I'm going to get sometimes, but I also want to see the most creative thing that someone can come up with. RAGE. Andy is still braiding his ribbons and hasn't started on his design proper. Tim warns him to make some commitments.