Cut to the walkthrough, which begins with that transition shot that shows what the room used to look like, morphing into what the Top Designers turned it into. Well, in this instance, it looks like they went from a garage that was cluttered to one that wasn't -- which is nice and all, and I'm sure the Bells appreciate it, but it's not the most visually compelling challenge in the world. Andrea is invited to talk about her design -- it involved moving the car away from the wall to give the Top Designers more room to accommodate the storage and play area and God knows what other needs the Bells had. And I don't mean to belittle their achievement, since the place looks really well ordered and they squeezed everything in there that the Bells wanted, even if those requests were nonsensical... but at the end of the day, it's still a garage. I'm having a hard time believing that an hour of cable television has been devoted to something I put off doing on a monthly basis. Anyhow, the judges head over to the stage area -- "it was very important to incorporate the stage area," Andrea says -- while Michael defends his color choices of deep purple and charcoal for the reversible curtains. His defense: the kids made me do it. We'll see if that works for him later on. As the judges eye the paint work, Ryan makes it ever more difficult to sympathize with him: "If my aesthetic doesn't please the judges, so be it. I can walk home to the slum that is the art world tomorrow and be perfectly happy." Petulant I'm-better-than-this-gig rants come across as much more powerful when they don't sound like the copy for a Calvin Klein perfume ad. ("If having a daring point of view is a crime, then declare me guilty!") Off to the office-that-was-once-a-shed; "It's as great as it could possibly look," Carisa declares. "It couldn't look any better." Let it never be said that she lacked confidence in her work. The judges have completed their walk-through, and it's time to return to the White Room for the parallel universe that is Top Design judging.
"This week's challenge was about functional design," Jonathan begins. "And we saw a bit of that. But we saw some dysfunction, too." See what he did there? He took that nice thing he said and turned around and made it mean by using the opposite word. That is why Jonathan Adler gets to sit on a stool doling out these witticisms and the rest of us have to sit here and take it. The first thing the judges want to do is talk to Andrea privately about each Top Designer's individual contributions to the project -- there's this wonderful shot of Carisa giving a "Huh? Uh oh!" reaction edited in there -- and by "privately," they mean in front of the cameras while the other designers wait, squirming, outside the White Room. Jonathan wants to know how Andrea feels about the design and execution of the room: pretty all right, she says, "but it could have been pushed maybe another 20 percent."