Never mind the brain-numbing five minute reprise of last weeks hijinks, folks, because there's a new day dawning on the horizon that promises to be full of pratfalls. Who'll have egg on their face this week? Surely not Margo.
Denise has rolled out of bed on Day 16 full of piss and vinegar toward Kimberly and Dawn, who she feels are lazy and unmotivated. Their drive to succeed is running on empty. The Craft Beavers offer some stark contrast. Submitted for your approval:The Twilight Zone moment of the week presents Mitch and Darlene, with a song in their hearts. Mitch twinkles out a hokey tune at the piano, complete with hillbilly accent. Aren't people supposed to lose their accents when they sing? Apparently an Ozarks savoir faire hangs on with some tenacity. Darlene sings along, second verse same as the first!
Batty In The Belfry
Musical interlude concluded, the teams scurry off to the breakfast nook to discover what new challenge a chocolate-dipped Joan Lunden has dreamed up for them. Amid a table full of apples (what is it with this show and McIntoshes?) Miss Lunden explains that their construction know-how is about to be tested in the form of some remodeling of the apartment that is situated above the carriage house studio. Each team has to fix up a bedroom. In addition, the Artisans must redo a dining room and fitness center, while the Crafty Beaver crew is in charge of a media room and home office. In addition, there must be at the bare minimum one original art piece included among the decor. To complicate things even further, both teams have to share the workshop in order to build a custom-made headboard that will grace the boudoirs. Aside from some basic building materials, the teams will be able to use up to $15,000 at the local Sears (the mall must love CBS) where they have one hour to select electronics, fabrics and miscellaneous items. Joan reminds everyone that their skills and an eye for design are of great import in this challenge. As for their individual projects, each perfectionista must artistically wrap up a gift box as a present using anything but wrapping paper. This should be a cinch, and considering all the other time-consuming projects the teams face in the remodeling, it's a good thing.
Sears. Where Else?
Both teams race off to survey the large rooms that they will break up into separate sections in order to create the specific spaces that they were assigned. Darlene looks perplexed at Heather's plans for the entertainment center. Mitch is hyped up about it all because he feels that the challenge encompasses a multitude of skills and it's a showcase for the talents of each team member. But Darlene privately confesses to feeling like an outsider. She hopes her strong work ethic will insinuate her into the tight threesome that is Mitch, Amy, and Heather.
Denise is starting to feel the heat at the expense of Dawn and Kimberly, who both have previous experience in tangling with house remodeling. She plans on faking them out by pretending to know much more than she actually does know. It's a stretch, certainly, but I have confidence in her that she can pull it off.
And then it's off again to the Emporium Galorium mall to fulfill a sponsorship obligation with Sears. The Fabric Queens race off to spend their thousands, utilizing the store's color expert for some custom mixed paints. Dawn is clearly in charge, picking out a treadmill and workout bench within seconds. The Crafty Beavers take a bit more time selecting their televisions and media equipment. They've decided to soften their color palette for the bedroom, forgoing the bold colors they've been criticized for in previous challenges. Both teams check out under the budget constrictions.
Flowers In The Attic
Back at the Perfection Palazzo, there are still shades of last week because both teams have to do some cleaning up before the real work can begin. The Artisan ladies finish dusting and commence to taping off some sections of the room in order to prep the walls for some paint layers. Walls are also a concern with the CB group. Darlene comes up with a fairly ingenious technique for texuring the walls that involves some crumpled up tissue paper and glue. This will be allowed to set then sponged with color and glazed so that the resulting look is one of burnished leather. Oddball, but it works.
Denise continues to fret about the younger women's expertise and energy levels. Is that a guillotine blade twinkling above her head? Hmmm... Mitch has no such worries. He gets busy planning out furniture for the rooms, including a desk for the media center. He lets Amy help him out a little bit, consulting with her on the desk legs. Way to throw her a bone, Mitch!
Kimberly discovers that the doors are beautiful hardwoods, coated in dull white enamel paint. She gets Dawn enthused about spending what will amount to countless hours chipping the paint off a few doors. Never mind that they have one less warm body than the Crafty Beavers and a limited time frame, I can see what has got poor Denise in a strop. The fear doesn't end at the Artisan abode, though. Heather scares Darlene a bit by mentioning how she's a self-taught talent in the domestic arts. The HSN hostess with the mostess feels woefully unprepared.
There's no sleep for the wicked, which explains why Mitch and his team pull an all-nighter in order to get ahead. He was productive, cleverly painting stripes of contrasting but complimentary hues on the walls of one room, which turns out fabulously. Denise puts a stop to the paint peeling project on the doors. She tells the girls to just coat them in some egg-shell colored paint so they wind up looking just like they did before all the paint stripping. Amy gets the Beavers eager in the artistic department by assigning them to an individual watercolor still-life that will be framed and displayed in a selected room.
Artisan Kimberly gets to work on the headboard, reinforcing plywood and cushioning the wood with some cotton batting that she studs with decorative aurora borealis buttons. Crafty Mitch barges into Kimberly's peaceful workshop to build his ottomans. He runs out of staples with which he has been tacking down leather to cover his furniture. He barters with Kimberly, offering up some molding she could use for the headboard frame in exchange for the staples out of her gun. She strategically offers to just give the staples to him, but goes ahead with a trade. Mitch hopes it doesn't bite him in the ass later on.
As Darlene finishes up her walls by rubbing on some color, Team Artisan struggles to make sense of the assembly instructions for the weight bench. They decide to scrap the expensive piece of equipment entirely and use only a treadmill. For a gym. Throwing money away willy-nilly because they can't follow directions isn't going to bode well for the gals. No one's going to mistake this room for the local Gold's Gym.
The Beaverettes complain about Mitch building all of the furnishings, yet don't offer to do anything other than stand in his way or set his completed pieces in one of the rooms. Artisan Denise decides to use the classic decoupage technique on the bedroom ceiling to give the room another focal point and resigns to an all-nighter for her team.
Wrap It Up, I'll Take It
With less than a dozen hours left in the challenge, both teams bunker down to complete their gift wrapped boxes. CB'er Darlene puts her sewing machine to good use and edges a loud green and silver section of fabric for her box. Mitch decides to sacrifice a tuxedo shirt, cummerbund and bow tie in order to decorate his box. The effect is so charming Mitch wistfully reminisces about his prom date. He fingers the bow tie and calls the package Steve. Meanwhile, Heather's gift looks dismal. It's all par for the course with her, though. She not only looks like a Pretty in Pink era Molly Ringwald, she shares that character's thrift shop fashion sense, wrapping up her box with a mess of mismatched ribbons. Amy uses some tangerine colored leather material and goes the extra mile by painting on some matching sunflowers on the box interior. It results in a bright and cheery package that just leaps out from the others. Darlene has some last minute regrets and decides to scrap her green and silver fabric in favor of a simpler linen that is embroidered with flowers.
The Artisans aren't as a colorful a bunch as the Beavers, with the exception of Denise. She opts for some pink plaid material in an effort to stand out from her teammate's gift-wrapping efforts. And it's a wise move. Kimberly whips up some flowers out of grey and black ribbons which results in a very bleak and drab gift. Does she think Morticia Addams might be a guest judge? Dawn's project turns out a bit better, but only a bit. She went for an olive and brown velvet look to represent autumn.
While Dawn works on some non-functional furniture that will solely be used to cover some radiators, CB Man Mitch eats her lunch by constructing a frilly, femmy headboard that the Artisan girls giggle over. I've got some news for you, Dawn and Co. Your headboard looks like a coffin lining too.
The Mitch Show
There's much running about as the teams stencil walls, roll out carpet, and take care of other final details as the judges converge on the carriage house. Candace, David and Bobby pay a visit to the Crafty Beavers and their set of rooms first. They get a glimpse of a very spare and utilitarian home office. It does have the essentials, such as a laptop, printer, and coffee machine, as well as some whimsy in the form of a dart board and a bank of clocks set to various time zones. Mitch explains to Candace that the goal was to create a room that wasn't too comfortable so as to encourage unproductive activity. The space does shriek "Get it done and go!" As David partakes of some darts, Bobby questions Darlene on the tissue textured wall treatment. Candace sniffs that she doesn't like it. Well, I liked it, and we all know what I think of this harridan's taste. Mitch proudly takes the credit for the ottomans, desk and other major decor. In the bedroom, The judges note the individual watercolors and once again Mitch has to toot his own horn and own up to the headboard. In his defense, he did create all these pieces with little to no help and deserves the accolades.
Done evaluating the CB suite, the judges head over to the Artisan area. They don't make too much fuss over the dining room, but do take note of the radiator cover. In the "gym", Candace asks the obvious and wants to know what besides the treadmill is supposed to be utilized to exercise with? Dawn inexplicably points out the plasma television screen mounted on the wall. How will watching the boob tube burn off a 6 martini lunch, Miss Bushnell wonders. Candy is not amused. In the bedroom, Denise scores big with her decoupaged ceiling, but it's Kimberly who saves the room with her bejeweled headboard. Bobby wins a chunk of my heart when he sarcastically notes that Darlene has a fetish for disguising unsightly radiators.
Color Me Bad
Everyone descends en masse into the library for a little tea, crumpets, and criticism. The judges hit up on Team Artisan for starters. Candace lavishes some praise on Kimberly's headboard, much to Mitch's chagrin. David notes that the colors used in the bedroom were too neutral and cried out for a splash of color for some vivacity. He felt that the headboard deserved a better setting that what the surroundings provided. Bobby homes in on the equipped gym, implying that they had $15,000 at their disposal and couldn't at the very least supply some yoga mats and dumb-bells, besides Dawn.
As for the Crafty Beaver's suite of rooms, Candace felt that Mitch did a great job with the custom-made furniture and wall treatment for the bedroom. Bobby thought that there could be more color used in all three of the rooms, and he hated the prissy, missy headboard. Candace finishes up by wondering why they didn't provide any shades for the windows. Spindoctor Darlene creatively lies about some sleep masks but eventually has to fess up to the fact that they did drop the ball on that minor detail.
In private deliberations, the judges agree that the bedroom the Artisans created was prettier, which much credit going to Kimberly. The Crafty Beavers weren't too far behind with their rooms, thanks to Mitch's furniture. Once everyone is reconvened, the judges explain that while both teams did a fine job with the remodeling project, The CB bunch did things just a little bit better. An inspection of the gift boxes reveals that the trio didn't like Kimberly's somber package or the riot of fuchsia plaid that was Denise's project. It will be up to Dawn to decide which lady will be sent home in a few hours.
Dawn Of The Dead
Denise thinks it would be wise of Dawn to keep her around a bit longer, while Kimberly is confident her buddy will not send her packing. Mitch feels uneasy and decides to take Dawn aside to plead Denise's case. Dawn gets downright snotty and confrontational, whining to Mitch that his team all looks down on her and have never respected her for her talent and capabilities. True enough, but completely besides the point.
Down to the garden the Artisans go, meeting up with the panel of judges and a hostess clad in a crimson chinese jacket. Denise's final thoughts center on reinforcing her tireless drive to succeed and work hard as a team, while a weepy Kimberly plays the emotional trump card and lays on a guilt trip involving friendship. With absolutely no suspense Dawn cuts Denise loose. The disbelieving looks on the judge's faces speak volumes. Will the girls be saved by a possible team mix-up next week?
Donations for the "Furnish the Artisan Gym" project can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org