Well. That was justâ¦stupid. Twists introduced to the challenge that do nothing other than muddle up things for us viewers. Nonsensical and seemingly contradictory judging decisions. Kelly Wearstler dressing like the extra in a Heart video from their "Bad Animals" album. In short, pretty much a typical episode of Top Design. Typically stupid.
Anyhow, the Top Designers get to meet their clients ahead of time this week -- a clutch of interior design students who need live/work spaces tailored to their particular personalities. Ah, but the Top Designers can only furnish the room using materials purchased at local garage sales. And they can only spend $500 on the assorted junk, on top of the $700 they get to spend on fabric and other supplies. And they'll be judged on their overall design and execution, as well as how the met the needs of their clients and re-purposed all that garage sale detritus. Only they're apparently not judged on a lot of that -- not at all.
Because Carisa wins the challenge, seemingly because the judges liked the stuff she picked out at the garage sales. It's certainly not on the say-so of her client, who seemed rather troubled that Carisa didn't include much in the way of storage space in spite of the client's explicit wishes to do so. For coming up with the Top Design, Carisa will get first pick of the carpenters next week; it's a pretty safe bet that pick will not be Sarah the Carpenter, who finds herself on the receiving end of a savage dressing-down from Carisa when her lumber choices fail to pass muster.
The bottom two designs belong to Ryan and Felicia, and for a while, it looks like Ryan's ticket home is about to be punched. Understandable, since in addition to coming up with a cluttered design, he also tells the judges that he's only interested in interior design if it means he can do whatever the hell he wants to do instead of capering for The Man. And yet, the judges eliminate Felicia, who commits the cardinal sin of including an afghan in the room of a design student. More to the point, Felicia is criticized for not fulfilling her client's wishesâ¦which the creator of the winning design also failed to do. If you can explain that one to me, there's a future creating contrived competitive reality programs for Bravo waiting for you.
Previously on Queer Eye for the Top Design Guy: Felicia, Andrea, and Michael learned a roofless cabana is no impediment to winning the week's challenge and a fabulous weekend getaway. Elizabeth learned that you choose off-beat paint colors at your peril. And we learned that eight designers remain in the mix for a fantastic assortment of prizes -- magazine profiles! Charity functions! Cold hard cash! The power to decide who lives and who dies! I feel a half-assed theme song coming on...
Top Designers, roll call! Dead! Goil! Carisa! Ryan! Ryan's Skateboard! Felicia! Matt! Andrea! Dead! Dead! Michael! Erik! Deeeeeeeeead! Top Designers are a blast! Top Designers, go kick ass!
This week's episode begins with a little heart-to-heart from Erik, voice-overing his deepest concerns while the Top Designers march toward the Pacific Design Center: "I feel like I haven't had a chance to prove myself. I think given the right circumstances, you know, I would really be able to blow some minds." Or, alternative take: maybe the fact that you've spent the preceding two challenges teetering on the brink of elimination has proven quite a lot about you, thank you very much, and that the only way, you'll be able to blow someone's mind is with an industrial-strength fan. But hey -- whatever helps you get through the night. You know who else is feeling a little bit edgy after escaping the Grim Reaper's scythe? Matt, who posits that he was nearly eliminated because he "did not take an active role in critiquing the overall design process." Of course, considering the person who got booted did take an active role, maybe passivity is the correct course of action.
Anyhow, the designers break up the monotony of meeting inside the Pacific Design Center by assembling on the lawn outside the Pacific Design Center, where Todd Oldham awaits to stiltedly tell the Top Designers what new terrors await them this week. For starters, the Top Designers will get to meet their clients this time around -- the eight remaining contestants like this turn of events very much. "They might just be, though, some of the toughest, most opinionated ones you've ever had," Todd adds -- this, the Top Designers are less keen on. The clients are all studying interior design at schools across Los Angeles, and they're doubtlessly bitter that they're not competing on this show instead of the Less Than Elite Eight that remain. Suddenly, a group of young people appear behind Todd: watch your back, Todd -- it's a gang of young toughs! Or, it could just be the interior design students arriving to meet with the Top Designers. Thank God -- for a minute there, I thought we were going to be stuck in the middle of a design rumble.