First up is Team Tahiti. It's a raised platform with some lovely curtains draped across the side, some stylish furnishings, a very comfortable-looking mattress... and no roof. Margaret asks if Team Tahiti had something planned for up there; Andrea replies that it was a conscious decision not to do anything roof-wise. The judges do not appear to be as bothered by this as I am. "We always could have done more, in just finishing or detailing," says either Felicia or Andrea via voice-over. (I am not at the point yet, where I can identify the Top Designers by voice.) "But we liked it where it was." That's three of you, at least. On to Team Miami, which features a platform with some striped chairs and a covered area sporting some of the most non-Miami colors in all of Christendom. "Miami isn't really just deco," Elizabeth explains. No, but it's not really the design you folks came up with either. Erik explains the rationale behind the louvers -- the slanted boards that let in air but keep out sun and rain as well as prying eyes -- and it's a nice touch. I just can't get over the green stripe and eggplant-colored furnishings; it really detracts from the overall look-and-feel of Team Miami's cabana. But enough of my griping; we've got one more cabana to slag. It's Team St. Tropez, with Goil's cantilevered structure suspending an awning over the unfortunate furnishing and fabric decisions made by Ryan and Carisa. "Our cabana was meant to be very vertical, mildly modernist," Ryan says. "It's not your standard cookie-cutter backyard deck thing." Unless your backyard deck is ringed with dozens of candles, I guess.
You'll notice I haven't discussed the judges' reactions to these three cabanas yet, largely because the judges didn't say much of anything during the showcase showdown on the beach. Apparently, this was because the judges have been saving up all their vitriol for the White Room. "This was a team challenge, and we need to figure out who was responsible for what," Jonathan begins. "You all made some very bad design choices." Let the parade of finger-pointing led by the grand marshal of shame begin! First, Team Tahiti: Margaret praises them for the way they hung the curtains, but Kelly asks the question that should trouble every man, woman and child who sets eyes upon the Team Tahiti design -- shouldn't a cabana have a freaking roof? The only acceptable answer to this question, by the way, is yes. Guess which answer Team Tahiti gives. "We had designed a roof, and had material with us to do the roof," Andrea explains. "We stood back and looked at it from across the beach, and it was a conscious decision to stop and not put the roof on. And it was a decision, I think, to let it be a fantasy and let it not be practical." Well, that seems like a perfectly reasonable explanation. Let me just flip through my notes here and find the part of the instructions that say, "Build a completely impractical cabana -- you will be judged on how severe your clients' sunburns turn out to be." Nnnnnnnnnnnooope -- can't seem to find that anywhere. 'Fraid I'm going to have to call bullshit on that one, gang. Jonathan, however, is swayed: "I'm very happy to hear the word âFantasy' come up, because when I hear the word âcabana,' I think about a very dreamlike, fantastical space." That's funny, because I think of a place where I can avoid the sun's killing rays. We live in very different worlds, Jonathan Adler.