Top Design
Chef's Choice

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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Tom's Diner

The judges seem to be as ga-ga over Andrea's work as they are put off by Michael's effort. "Very empty room, it was flat," Kelly says. "And I just didn't feel that it felt luxurious." Margaret agrees: "Design is more than shopping, and he's just shopping." Colicchio thinks the rug looks like something from a casino. Now that's a Top Design challenge I would like to see -- build a blackjack pit area for a low-rent casino. "Your client appreciates felt tables and plastic ashtrays," Todd Oldham would say. "But they also want a secluded area where they can drag off card sharks to dispense cheaters' justice." Hmmm? Where were we again? Oh, right -- Michael's room. It pretty much blows. Carisa doesn't fare much better in the judges' eyes. Jonathan thinks her room lacked the lightness and optimism he's come to expect from her design. Colicchio dislikes the chairs, which Kelly disses as "granny" -- that's sort of become the all-purpose insult on this show, which is really going to stop that AARP sponsorship from ever coming through. Margaret's normally a fan of banquettes, but she calls Carisa's effort "endless;" on the bright side, if you ever need to feed a multitude, you know the banquette to take them to. Carisa's failure to keep her carpenter in line is also noted, though several weeks after the problem first became apparent.

Time to dispense a $2,500 gift certificate. "Only one of you can have the Top Design," Jonathan says, "and Tom has selected his favorite." Perhaps that's why the decision makes sense for once -- it's Andrea. "Winning the restaurant challenge is huge for me on so many levels," Andrea enthuses. "I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do, and it happened." And also, you need not fear the derisive mockery of your restaurant design students for failing to win this particular challenge -- so, kudos there, too. Matt is also told that he can stay, leaving Carisa, Goil, and Michael to take a few steps forward so that Jonathan doesn't have to raise his voice when he crushes their dreams. Jonathan notes that Goil always thinks outside the box, "but just once we wish you would stop thinking so much and make a room that everybody wants to be in." The judges found Carisa's room to be an uncharacteristic bummer, but found her "constant drama and excuses" to be all too characteristic. And Michael gets slammed for making some really bad choices and... oh, why string this along? He's the one given the ol' heave-ho. Can't say you really didn't see it coming, unless you were blinded by your disdain for Carisa's antics.

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Top Design

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