Top Design
Garage Band

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Instant Car-ma's Gonna Get You

The Bells depart, and it's time for Todd to lay some more twists on our Top Designers: Instead of sketching things out, as they've done in the past, they'll have to build a 3-D model in two hours to show the Bells what they plan to do to the garage. Carisa's doesn't care for that requirement, apparently; "Shoot me in the head," she complains via voice-over. After we've had a chance to clean up the splatter from Carisa's shooting, the Bells will return and the surviving designers will have three minutes to pitch their proposed designs to the family. The Bells will pick a winner -- or, more accurately, given this crowd, a non-loser -- and the person who came up with the selected design gets to be the team leader for the project. Todd adds that they'll also "win something much more valuable," which, considering that the first prize is the right to boss around colleagues who'd just as soon watch you fall flat on your face, could be just about anything. In this case, it's something that actually is valuable -- immunity from elimination in this episode. "I really want immunity," Michael says. "Because it's anyone's game right now. I think we're all really talented." I include this comment not because it's correct -- a brief review of some of the designs foisted upon us thus far indicates that it is not -- but because it may be the first time in recorded history that Michael is caught on tape saying something nice about someone else's work. Goil, on the other hand, is not sure if he'd like to have immunity thrust upon him if it means telling his fellow inmates how to remodel the asylum: "It's going to be a madhouse tomorrow. I mean, who wants to be a team leader?" Anyone who's been watching how the judging's gone so far. At this point, Jonathan Adler could eat a particularly unsatisfying scone that morning and decide that one of the designers picked at random is somehow are to blame and must be eliminated for his sins. So best to rack up as much immunity as you can, I say.

Break out those T-squares and drafting triangles, kids -- it's time for a model-building montage. Watch Michael struggle to build a miniature chair. See Andrea apply some Elmer's Glue. It's every bit as compelling visually as I just described, which is rather unfortunate. We also get a hint about some of the designers are working on: Andrea has proposed a wall of open storage along with a home office area and a stage; Carisa takes a page from the Goil playbook (Giant Peppers ad Wheels: The Two Hallmarks of Great Design, coming soon to a bookseller near you) and plans to put all the furniture on casters; and Matt's design apparently centers around self-doubt. "I haven't made a model for years," he says. "I'm not into making models... I don't think I can do it because it's not my thing." Goil plans a stage that can roll out -- See? Casters! -- "so that kids can be outside and play outside in the sun." And give up the chance to inhale all the exhaust fumes from the SUV? Boy, that's a pretty big trade-off you're asking the Bells to make there, Goil.

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Top Design

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