Top Design
Garage Band

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Mr. Sobell: C- | Grade It Now!
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Instant Car-ma's Gonna Get You

Off in the shed, Carisa is working by her lonesome. "There was a lot of project happening in the main garage space that I felt like I didn't need to be a part of," Carisa says. Not to get all spoilery on y'all, but if you poll Carisa's fellow designers, they would not share that assessment of her work. Of course, in Carisa's defense, she was tasked with the office space part of the project and that's what she's doing; if her talents could be put to use elsewhere, then maybe the head of the project should speak up about it. There -- let it never be said I didn't make any effort to say something vaguely neutral about Carisa. I am a model of even-handedness and dispassion, even for contestants I hope to see banished to the corn field before all is said and done. Matt is not having any of this, by the way: "Carisa's focus was off a little bit in this challenge. She got so consumed on the shed. I was worried that the main focus on this part of the challenge, the garage, was not going to get done." Then perhaps you should have voiced this concern to your team leader; that probably would have been more productive than taking your opinion and wading it up into a little ball that will only resurface long after it would do anyone any good. Not that I've skipped ahead or anything. Michael agrees that Carisa was lacking "in the physical labor department;" as if to illustrate his point, the editors cut to a shot of Carisa arranging a couple of fancy-schmantsy shoeboxes just so. Matt, on the other hand -- now there's a fellow who has impressed Michael with the cut of his jib: "He was putting stuff in containers. He was folding up gross swimming pools. He really got down and dirty." True, and kudos to Matt, but then again, it was his assigned task. That's like saying of a waiter, "Man, I really liked how that guy brought me food that I ordered." It's nice and all, but it kind of comes with the territory. Anyhow, Matt and Michael are now brothers united in the struggle against the tyranny of Carisa. The two of them are trying to fold an uncooperative inflatable wading pool into a storage container; "That's like trying to put Carisa in stretch pants," Michael whispers as Matt gasps with impish delight. Yeah, Carisa -- that's what you get for having a body type that doesn't strictly conform to society's current definition of conventional beauty! Take that!

This seems like as good a time as any for a visit from Todd Oldham, the voice of experience and soothing reason.. The first stop is Carisa -- how's it going, Todd wants to know. Carisa's feeling good about her shed, which is nice since someone should. Todd stops over by Ryan and asks him the same question; Ryan is also feeling positive about his contributions. "I'm really just trying to focus on what I can do and get everything done," Ryan says. "So I really don't have a clear idea of the big picture." These Todd-versations are not as enlightening as they normally are. Nevertheless, Todd informs his assembled flock that they've got 75 minutes to get with the finishing-up. Carisa barks an order to get the final painting done, while Matt put surrounds himself with stack after stack of storage bin -- it's like the giant warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark has been plopped down in the middle of an L.A. neighborhood. Twenty minutes to go, and we're treated to a whirlwind of activity -- Michael paints, Ryan and the carpenters attach some sort of kiddie-painted board to the ceiling, Carisa sweeps out her lonely shed, and Erik warns the painters that he's hanging up fabric around the stage so please to not splash it with your stray splatter. And some hustle and bustle later and we're done -- yep, that's all there is. Andrea sports a bug-eyed haunted look, possibly because she feels they didn't execute the design in the time allotted. Then again, in her defense, the show set aside, like, eight minutes to build the damn thing this week. "It's potentially a big disaster," Goil observes. "And for me, I'm here to be the Top Designer, not Top Follower." Though again, that would make a passable spin-off as well, if a bit of a culty one. Maybe Tom Cruise can be signed on to executive produce.

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