I’m incredulous. Prepare for a rant.

Teflon Tashica made it through another elimination, despite her inability to contribute anything of value to the team, but Amy goes home? I’m starting to get annoyed. I realize there is a lot to cover in a short amount of viewing time, but why are we not getting more of an explanation for why the judges made the decisions they did? I just don’t get it. I hope Amy’s more forthcoming during our interview this afternoon than NataLee was last week. If we talk about nothing else, I just have to know…why did they keep Tashica?

I’m so disappointed, I almost feel personally shafted. I’d pegged Amy as one of the two to make it to the finals (based on audition videos and online portfolios), so it’s a bit mind-blowing to see someone with so much design talent going home so soon. She was definitely lacking in the project management department, but I’ve never been a fan of someone going home just because they were the team leader whose ship went down. I’d rather see someone get the ax because they turned out something ugly (Jen), or because they didn’t do much (Tashica). To me, canning the team leader gives underlings too much incentive to coast. If I’d been in her shoes, I’d have put Tashica to work styling the room despite the unfinished functional elements. That one thing might have saved her bacon this week. I’m just a little pissed off that we saw no real reason to keep Tashica, and yet she lingers on. I feel played…like they’re just picking the least likely to go home purely for shock value. As David Bromstad said, If you have a whole team saying ‘Tashica’s the weakest link’, then Tashica needs to go home.”

*Deep, cleansing breath.*

Now for the rooms. Our designers split into two teams to transform two kitchens. Amy and Nathan were selected via paint cans to be team leaders and picked their teams “playground style.”

Team Nathan: Antonio, Jen, Jason, Torie



Kenny Powers would love this kitchen. It has that reverse mullet-like “party on top, business on the bottom” thing going on. The top half of the kitchen features a tacky, gold grille of a backsplash and a garishly-striped tray ceiling. I don’t know about you, but when I see a couple of dark, horizontal paint stripes moving around a room, I think, Jazzercise! On the business end: countrified grandma cabinetry, dark floors in a similar shade as the cabinets (one of my pet peeves), black granite countertops…and there’d better be Prozac in a nearby candy dish, because now I’m depressed! To top it all off, they have dark, Moroccan lanterns over the island, which feels theme-y and won’t be terribly functional at all, and a half-cab over the guillotine-slash-vent hood. You know that hood’s plummeting down again the first time someone breathes on it wrong. There’s some serious accessory overload going on and where oh where is Nathan’s or Antonio’s stamp on anything? I had high expectations when I saw the two of them end up on the same team—thought they’d be a lethal design combination, but Antonio was stuck with all of the construction (them’s the breaks when you know what the H you’re doing with the power tools), and Nathan? Nathan was at World Market. Note to Nathan: you’re not going to find anything at World Market that will separate you from the pack. Let the others do the shopping. You just put your pretty head down and come up with the stellar ideas!!

Final Result: The homeowner appeared thrilled, but I hope she buddied up to Clive Pearse during this exercise. She’s going to need him to bring the Designed to Sell team back for a kitchen redesign if she ever puts that house on the market.

Team Amy: Dan, Jany, Lonni, Tashica

Amy christens her team the cringe-inducing “Team Heart,” but she’s off to a good start with her selections. Although her cabinets are darker than Team Nathan’s, she offsets that darkness by choosing superlight counters and backsplash tile, and removing some upper cabinets over a peninsula. Then Amy starts crying…and I’m on board with the whole frayed emotions thing and the pressure and all that, but if your name is Amy and you look nearly identical to Amy Sedaris, I want those to be ironic tears. Moving on, granite guy delivers the granite but the seams don’t fit. Team Heart’s solution? Fill it with caulk, hee-hee! No one will ever know! Could we not have shimmed the back of the slabs and somehow added trim along the back edge to hide the cracks back there? That would’ve been my choice over an ugly-ass caulk-filled granite seam right next to my sink. When the deadline is up, there are maybe three accessories in the whole space. Not much to divert your eye from unfinished backsplash, the missing baseboards and outlet covers, the caulked cracks. And where is my bit of color in the room? We’re left with a basic and boring kitchen, when the homeowners asked for pizzazz.

Final result: The homeowners were elated at first, but once they got over the excitement of seeing new cabinets and counters, they couldn’t help but take mental note of their looming to-do list. Which, lucky for them, was handled by some mysterious bunch of HGTV fixers.

The money shot occurred when Tashica went back to the green room and not a single person stood up to welcome her back with a hug. Instead, you saw every designer trade bewildered glances and jaws on the floor. Cricket, cricket. That was telling.

I’m set to chat with Amy later on today, so check back for some scoop!