Tonight Eddie got the boot on Top Design. Sort of a long time coming, if you ask me. I think he’s gotten special treatment because of his resume (currently working for Martha Stewart) and not necessarily due to on-show performance. Tonight’s room was disastrous but I think what really put it over the top for me were the two sections of granny lattice he put on the walls. I just don’t think diagonal lattice has looked good since 1978.
Tonight’s guest judge–Jeff Lewis, from Bravo’s Flipping Out fame–said it best: “I think you’re speaking to an older demographic…and when I say ‘older,’ I mean walkers, bed pans, and oxygen tanks.” I don’t know which was more gut-wrenching–hearing that painful (albeit accurate) assessment or watching Eddie smile and take it.
Lewis doesn’t really have a flair for diplomacy but he makes one hell of a great judge, in my opinion. You could argue that he’s pretentious because of his demand for luxury in the spaces he creates, but at least he’s not caught up in the pretention of avant garde design. His spaces are simply elegant, chic and full of class. So when Margaret Russell calls him out for not liking Eddie’s room just because Eddie’s style is not Lewis’ style, I think that’s such a load of crap. I think you can appreciate the style of a room and still not want to live in it. When Margaret Russell looks at Eddie’s room and implies that it is full of merit, it feels like the Emperor’s New Clothes to me. As if only those who are “in the know” can see the potential genius and the rest of us plebes just aren’t educated enough to get it.
For instance, I don’t personally like the Shabby Chic style, yet the first time I walked into Rachel Ashwell’s store at The Domain, I thought it was positively stunning. That doesn’t mean I want to live in that type of environment, but I can at least say it was so well put together. I think that’s all Lewis is looking for.
I would love to see them replace airhead Kelly Wearstler with Jeff Lewis on the judging panel. Wearstler’s wardrobe antics are often so beyond ridiculous that they seem like a desperate attempt to hog attention. To be quite honest, I find it borderline depressing that someone that gorgeous thinks she has to put on some crazy getup to warrant attention. Contrast that with the quiet confidence of the rest of the panel and how can you not reach the same conclusion? It’s one thing to be funky and show some personality and it’s quite another thing to dress like a doofus. Jeb pointed out last week that she often looks like Charlize Theron’s mentally-challenged character on Arrested Development. He is so right.