So, Top Design was not on last week. Did anyone notice? No? Just checking. Maybe we all just needed a little break so that the show could come back fresh and fun.
Matt found the last challenge bittersweet because the judges criticized him up the wazoo, but then he ended up being in the top two. Carisa found the last challenge surprising because she did not expect to win, and I found the last challenge kind of boring, so now we know where everyone stands.
How many times are we going to hear the words ďGMC Acadia?Ē
Just seven designers left and Todd announces that todayís challenge is going to be a family affairÖ in more ways than one. Hmmm, intriguing! Carisa is nervous about what he means, but sheíll find out soon as their clients are pulling up in an SUV.
We meet the Bell Family, complete with two parents, three kids and one dog. The Bells have a new GMC Acadia, and the designers need to design a new garage that will fit their needs and their new vehicle.
The Bellsí house was built in 1927 and is just fantastic. The main house has been remodeled a few times, but the garage has never been touched. It has been filled with a ton of crap though. Lots and lots of crap. And when I say ďfilled,Ē I mean that it has been packed, floor to ceiling, front to back with stuff. Okay, maybe not that bad but itís pretty messy.
Matt immediately knows that his task will be easy if they allow him to resort to arson, but I donít think the Bells are going to go for that. The Bells are looking for a place to store the new car, a theater for the girls, an office for the parents, and a place to store bikes and other garage-ish stuff. Carisa makes the mistake of asking what colors they like, and of course all five of them want different colors.
Letís try to propose something the clients will actually like.
Instead of sketching today, the designers have two hours to make a three dimensional model to present to the Bells. Theyíll then have three minutes to present the model, and the Bells will select the winner. Todayís winner will get immunity, which means theyíll be around for at least another week.
The designers donít seem to be loving this portion of the challenge. Thereís a lot of complaining, and some of them really seem out of their element.
Presentation time, and itís evident that the designers really took the Bellsí needs to heart and tried to design something that would please every member of the family. The presentations go well, but I donít know how much the Bells like Ryanís statement that they need to be willing to get rid of a lot of stuff. Abrasive much, Ryan?
Todd gets input from the clients, and finds out that yes, Ryan is an idiot who does not know how to interact with clients without being somewhat offensive. They give pros and cons about all the designs, and ultimately pickÖ Andrea!! Andrea wins the GMC Acadia Challenge, which means she gets to be the team leader for the challenge, and she has immunity. Not too shabby.
Andrea is large and in charge! Or maybe just in charge.
Andreaís in charge, and she gets to manage the other six designers and a budget of $5100. First though, we have some business from the last episode to finish up. Todd brings in the carpenters, and Carisa gets first pick of who she would like to work with. Surprisingly, she doesnít ask the males to take their shirts off, so I donít really know how she makes her decision, but she chooses Carl. Andrea chooses Blair, Matt- Ed, Goil- Sarah, Ryan- Robert, Michael- Cary and Eric- Jared. Jared is last to be selected, which Iím sure is no reflection on his carpentry skills at all.
The designers have until 10pm to be completely finished with whatever they think should be built in advance. Andrea thinks her design is very practical, and she welcomes and seeks out inputs from her teammates. Well, not from Ryan. She knows if she doesnít keep him on a short leash he could run amuck and screw things up.
The gang gets to work on the shopping and building while Andrea visits the worksite and gets some more feedback from the Bells. Of course, once she meets with the clients, they tell her they want to use their shed as a home office, rather than putting it into the garage. This causes some scrambling because Carisa now has to completely rethink her office design and make sure itís cohesive with the rest of the garage.
I really, really hate cleaning the garage.
The next morning the designers pull up in front of the Bellsí house ready to get to work. Oh, but first they have to take everything out of the garage. How fun for them.
Eric and Michael work together on the stage area while Carisa and Matt complete the office and organizational spaces. With four hours to go, the cabinets are built but the painting hasnít been done. Ryan is painting the floor and is really not interested in doing what Andrea wants him to do. Mattís worried that Carisaís slacking and being too slow and focused on the shed while ignoring the garage. Meanwhile, itís falling on him and Michael to get down and dirty and find places for all the junk that was in the garage. At one point, they are dealing with a dirty inflatable swimming pool, and liken folding it up to get it to fit into a small place to trying to put Carisa in stretch pants. Meow!
Carisa tells Todd she feels great about the shed, Ryan is focused on what he can do, but doesnít have a clear picture on the whole design, and now the designers have an hour and a half to finish up.
Time flies when youíre redesigning a filthy garage.
Itís a mad rush to finish, and theyíre still working with only five minutes left. Once time is up theyíve got to put down their tools and vacate the space immediately so that the Bells can take a look.
Judges Jonathan, Kelly and Margaret and joined by special Guest Judge Mark Rios. Jonathan tells them theyíll be judged on overall execution, teamwork, how well they met the individual needs of each family member, and their individual contributions to the team.
Andrea tells the Judges that she tried to design a space that could be used by all the family members, including the dog, and hold the new GMC Acadia, and the Judges get busy looking for things they can nitpick and criticize.
How did we start talking about urine?
Back at Pac Design, the Judges excuse everyone except Andrea so they can get her opinion on how the execution of her design went, and also who didnít pull their own weight in the challenge.
Itís revealed that the Bells loved the garage, and the girls especially loved the swing. The storage is great, the kids love the stage, and Patty really thinks the shed met her needs for a workspace.
Now itís time for Andrea to rat out her fellow designers- Ryan was scattered, Goil made the impractical dog bed, Eric worked well, Carisa was the slacker, Eric was fine, and Andrea admits she was responsible for the somber purple color.
Back in the green room, the other designers gang up on Carisa and tell her that she really didnít do anything. Michael states that he didnít see her do anything all day, and that she should have been right beside Matt packing up stuffed animals soaked with squirrel urine. What? I must have missed that gross part. They think Carisa missed the mark because the challenge was to redesign the garage, not the shed. Michael then gets up and dramatically announces that he has to pee, and thatís a little TMI, especially after the whole squirrel urine thing.
I donít think an insincere apology is going to help you today.
All the designers are brought in front of the Judges for the final beat down. Matt tells them he didnít think Andreaís was the best design, but that it met the clientsí needs. Goil acted as a mini-Andrea and designed the dog bed.
Next is Ryanís turn, and he wants to say something before he pleads that they donít send him packing. He announces that heís been complaining a lot over the last few weeks, (really? I hadnít noticed), but thinks he was being unfair to the Judges and wants to apologize. Oookay. I donít think thatís going to help you too much here, Ryan. The other designers donít even bother to hide their eye-rolls. He tells them his contribution was very minimal because this was not the type of project he would take on. It didnít jive with his socio-political interests, which he tried to tell the Bells when he made his presentation and suggested they get rid of a lot of their stuff.
Kelly thinks the garage would have benefited by some of Mattís graphics on the walls, and Jonathan agrees, saying it would have made the garage more fun. Ryan tells them he improved on Andreaís car track idea by making the tracks thicker and centering them. Well, way to contribute, Ryan.
Anyone else want to apologize to the Judges?
Kelly asks Eric if he questioned the purple fabric, and Eric tells them he thought the fabric was a good idea because they paired it with the canvas to make it less formal. Michael wasnít crazy about the fabric, but thought it was okay. Since this was Andreaís vision, Eric and Michael didnít want to question her decisions.
Carisa tried to stay out of the way, but Andrea would have preferred that she put more effort into the garage. Andrea felt that more effort was put into the shed than into the garage, and she didnít want that to happen.
The Judges dismiss the designers and get to business deciding who we never have to see again. They decide Matt had a really hard job, Goil was passionate, but should have spent less time on the dog bed. Ryan was contrite, but pretentious and ridiculous. Eric had powerful intuition, Michael was the author of the curtains, even if he wouldnít admit it, and Carisa had a lot of issues during this challenge. Itís bad that she went off and did her own thing, but good that she broke free and didnít just do what she was told. So what she did was both bad and good, I guess, and the Judges are confusing.
Andrea, Matt, Goil and Eric; you can all stay. Ryan, Carisa and MichaelÖ one of you cannot stay. Carisa- you did not act like part of a team. Michael- you worked hard, but the fabric sucked and you were obsessed with the curtains. Ryan- you were in charge of graphics and didnít do anything with them, and you were offensive.
Carisa, you can stay. Michael, so can you, which meansÖ Ryan is gone! Ryan tells the Judges that itís all right, and then tells us that theyíre conservative and a little uptight. And probably donít fit into his socio-political ideals.
Tune in next week for party time on Top Design!