Dudes take the title. From left: Alex Sanchez, Michael Moeller, Dan Faires, Courtland Bascon, Trent Hultgren, and Tom Vecchione.
WINNING TEAM: The Dudes. “You guys had a lot of really disparate styles and you managed to infuse* them in a really effortless fashion into your room,” claims VernBot. “It was beautiful, it was elegant. I was inspired.” Big talk about an apartment that screams “hodgepodge.” I personally feel the women’s apartment design is more cohesive.
OVERALL WINNER: Courtland. Did I miss the random drawing? Was there some scene where VernBot’s huddled in a back room with the Candice and Genevieve ‘bots, calculating numerical algorithms to determine a winner? Tom, you are robbed, but at least you are redeemed after last week’s Red Light District Debacle.
The Dames are all given camera crews and charged with doing on-camera presentations of their losing apartment. Which confuses the holy hell out of me. If HGTV is looking for the next David Bromstad, shouldn’t the top 6 make videos to determine who the overall winner is? Shouldn’t the winner(s) be groomed for their supposed future TV timeslot with more on-air time and hosting practice?
VernBot comes alive this week, hogging more than his fair share of judging panel zingers:
About Tera’s color selections: “It’s not about matching (your inspirational outfit)—this isn’t Garanimals. This is about understanding what the emotion is about that garment, then infuse* it and incorporate it into the space.”
When Tera explains that she went big with the yellow because “everything’s bigger in Texas,” VernBot says: “That yellow was big like Big-Bird-big, not urban-chic-cool big.”
About the basket of spilled-out fabric that somehow Emily is blamed for: “But Emily, c’mon. That insane piece of fabric crawling out of that that sad, sorry basket? A basket that people stuff extra toilet paper rolls in, in their guest bathroom?
Candice thinks Casey’s contributions could use more plaid. This is called reaching. If Casey had used plaid anywhere, she would be busted for being too literal.
Tera leans over and blows pint-sized Stacey under the bus, forcing Stacey to admit that she spent an entire day working on one chair. VernBot doesn’t know from Lilly Pulitzer and gives wee Stacey a pass. She doesn’t even rate bottom two!
BOTTOM TWO: Tera and Nina.
Roll the videos and you have an approachable, telegenic Tera versus Nina, whose pinched expressions and Judge Judy delivery don’t put the “home” or “garden” into HGTV.
And yet the judges choose Nina to stay in the competition.
Season 4 veteran NataLee Callahan points out on her blog, “the prize is a TV show of your own. You have to be likable to have a viewing audience…however, to win this show with its current set up, you have to be kind of mean and play dirty.”
The fact is, every designer I ever see on my teevee has some kind of fan base. Even though last season’s winner, Antonio Ballatore, is incredibly polarizing among HGTV viewers, he’s able to stay in the game because of his loud and loyal following. (And we anxiously await the return of The Antonio Project on August 8th!) Antonio inspires his fans because he’s always pushing the envelope. Nina’s just pushy. I can’t imagine how they can possibly work that into a show.
If I thought the women’s team really lost this challenge, I would keep Tera this week and send Stacey back to Chicago. The sunburst mirror over the bed pays homage to the zippers on Tera’s outfit, and I don’t think it’s so terrible to use the T-shirt color for the walls. It seems a bigger crime to take Lilly Pulitzer to the dark side and to not know what wicker is. Besides, Tera should get a bit more slack after designing one of the better rooms last week.
Here’s how everything would shake out from my vantage point:
Winning team? The Dames. Overall winner? Hmmm, good point. No real standouts individually, I just think their apartment is much more chic and sophisticated than the dudes’ apartment. Here is where on-camera hosting presentations should come into play—to determine the winner! Losing team? Dudes. Bottom two? How about bottom five? The one to send home? Trent’s shady flat-brim ball cap collection, which should not be allowed on the show in the first place.
Curious about the Redbook issue featuring the winning design? Looks like it’ll run in the August 2010 issue.
Coming soon: my interview with castoff Tera Hampton!