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12 Martha Stewart wannabes from the corners of the country try to outstyle each other. The prize - a contract from CBS, guaranteed television appearances and the chance at stardom.

Recaps by Julie Suchard, GSNN


Joan Lunden
Judges: Candace Bushnell, David Evangelista, Bobby Flay
Creator: Larry Bleidner, Eric Schotz, Bill Paolantonio, Irene Zutell
EP: Eric Schotz, Bill Paolantonio,
Packager: LMNO Productions
Airs: Saturdays at 8:00pm ET on CBS

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"The Perfectly Remodeled Bedroom" - February 12

Day 16 at The Estate:
Denise opens our episode by bitching to the camera about how Dawn and Kimberly didn't seem to do much during their last challenge.  She and Kimberly seem to agree that the diminished Team Artisan can beat the Crafty Beavers with their attention to detail [Whatever that means, although the judges seem to be harping on it].
Mitch is playing the piano and Amy is on the sofa when Darlene enters the room.  Mitch has apparently been writing a song, so he begins to sing a "honky tonk" song about Darlene - here's how it goes:
[With a thick Southern drawl]
Why do you do the things you do-oo?
[Absolutely fantastic, don't you think?  Call the Grammys now, please.]
He then turns the lyric writing over to Darlene, who continues with:
                [In a surprisingly good singing voice, although ‘American Idol' doesn't have to worry]
                Dear Mitch…
                Why are you so such a crazy bitch?
                You make the flowers bright,
                You keep us up all night,…
and then Mitch, Amy, and Darlene all break up laughing.  [Actually, the third line was "Why do you do the things you do-oo?"; however, both my husband and I were fully expecting the ‘bitch' line, because it would have rhymed.]
The teams convene in the kitchen with Joan Lunden, whose hair is pulled back in such a tight bun that it is almost giving her a faux face-lift, and who is sporting a dull brown turtleneck with an identically-colored jacket.  [As the "Inconsiderate Cell-Phone Man" of movie trailers says: "Unsavory!"]  Joan begins, "Since this competition has began, we have tested you in the Dining Room, in the Kitchen, and even in the Outdoors.  Now it's time to test your skills in the Bedroom."  Actually, Joan said it's time to test their skills in the Workshop, but they will be working on bedrooms nevertheless.
Basically, the design workshop both teams have been using is located in a 19th century carriage house on the estate, and they are going to have to do some remodeling in the apartment above the workshop.  Each team will remodel one Bedroom and half of the Great Room, which has been separated down the middle with gauzy curtains.  Team Artisan has to make its half into a Dining Room and Fitness area, while the Beavers have to create a Home Office and Media Center.  Each team must create at least one piece of original art, and each team must construct a bed, including a headboard, from scratch.  Both teams will get an equal amount of hardware and lumber, and they must use the workshop at the same time.  The budget is $15,000 per team, and they will have one hour to procure their items from SEARS [complete with major corporate plugging video shots and Joan's voice-over stating how Sears is the best company in the history of the universe].  The teams have 48 hours to complete the challenge.  Teams will be judged on creativity, ingenuity, and overall craftsmanship.  The individual projects are to gift-wrap identical packages, without using any wrapping paper.
Both teams scope out their rooms.  While Heather describes her vision of extending the built-in wall units in the Media Room, Darlene looks on with a vacant stare.  Mitch and Amy continue debating where the bed should go, when Darlene worries about how she is still the newbie on the team.  Denise reports that both Dawn and Kimberly build homes with their husbands and therefore understand blueprints, and that all three Team Artisan members seem to agree on everything.
On the way to Sears [Where America Shops!], Kimberly calls dibs on making the headboard.  Dawn openly ponders how difficult the Dining Room will be with all the high ceilings and trusses in the Great Room; she states, "It's gonna be a booger."  [There's our crazy Dawn again.  Always good for a laugh.]  Mitch praises Darlene, but says that she gets a little hyper at times, "kinda like a jumping bean.  It just wears me out."
With 45 minutes to shop, Darlene becomes orgasmic about a velvet comforter.  [Apparently they don't have velvet in Florida.]  Mitch just shakes his head in disbelief.  Amy talks about how her team is going to use soft muted colors.  Hopefully the judges will like them [Wait, where is the scary music.  This is definitely some ironic foreshadowing.]
Dawn and Kimberly look for "Mr. Sears Man."   They find him and he helps them get paint.  Kimberly says that Dawn has a lot of energy.  Kimberly thought that she would be the most "obnoxious Energizer Bunny" but Dawn has her beat.  [Dawn probably just took too much Ritalin today]  The girls head off to the exercise equipment department, which is not in the ‘softer side of Sears'.  They give themselves 30 seconds to decide on equipment, choosing it on looks rather than whether or not they can put it together.  They chose a treadmill and a weight center, like a Bowflex or something you might see on television at 2:00 a.m. when you can't sleep.
Mitch wonders if the girls bought a DVD player and tapes.  The "girls" are methodically buying a computer, DVD player, television and stereo system.
Crafty Beavers: Budget $15,000; actual amount spent $14,731.  Team Artisan: Budget $15,000; amount spent $14,116.  In another prominent product placement for Sears, the camera lingers lovingly on Denise, Kimberly and Dawn as they talk about what cute stuff Sears has.
Team Artisan starts by dusting baseboards and taping.  Denise talks about how the room needs to be taped off and painted so that they can put on decorative finishes the next day.  Dawn and Kimberly rhapsodize about taping techniques; Kimberly likes it long and somewhat crooked, while Dawn likes it short and straight.
Darlene crumbles up tissue paper and glues it to the wall to create a leathery finish [not unlike her face], then it will be glazed and painted over when it dries [much like her face].
Denise talks about how the medication finally kicked in for Dawn and Kimberly, and they actually have energy and are working for a change.  Mitch worries about his wood being cut. 
Kimberly and Dawn waste their time scraping old paint off some doors.  They talk as they scrape, mentioning how stripping doors is like getting a sunburn and peeling off large pieces of skin and other self-mutilatory behaviors.  [Gee, I guess that Ritalin dose might be a bit TOO high.]
The cameraman, who has some strange toe fetish, lingers on Heather's toes while Darlene talks to her.  Darlene is feeling insecure because she is the only person in the group who doesn't know how to make furniture.  She is going to make sure that she does a really snazzy personal project.
Dawn and Kimberly spend quality time grooming themselves, blow-drying their hair, and putting on make-up.  Denise is shown working, painting and cleaning, while Dawn and Kimberly eat a leisurely breakfast.
Mitch is shown taping the walls to make stripes in the room.
Denise tries to talk some sense into Dawn and Kimberly about the doors.  They want to spend more time scraping paint off of them, but she wants to get some tangible work done.   They finally agree and apply cream colored paint to the doors.
Amy says that she hopes that the judges appreciate their original art.  She set up flowers for a still-life painting and each of the Crafty Beavers is going to paint the flowers from their own perspective, using their own painting technique.
With 20 hours left, Kimberly starts working on her headboard.  She cuts out plywood, then staples on batting.  The batting will be covered by silk, and buttons will be applied through the holes that she pre-drilled into the wood.
Mitch starts working on some ottomans.  He asks Amy how tall the ottomans should be, to which Amy replies, "they should be ottoman height."   Mitch, coming up to Amy from the rear, [possibly the closest he has ever come to a woman's behind ] responds to her quip by measuring her bottom and saying that it's 36" wide.  Mitch applies leather to the ottomans and realizes that he has run out of staples.  Mitch asks Kimberly if she has any staples.  She says that she has a personal supply that she brought with her from home.  [I always travel with boxes of extra staples, don't you?]  Mitch offers to barter with her; he will give her a piece of wood molding if Kimberly will give him a box of staples.  Kimberly says that she would give him the staples regardless, but takes the molding anyway.    Kimberly talks about how she may be up against Mitch, Heather and Amy in the end, and it will work to her advantage if they just think that she is a "little sorority girl from the South."
Darlene is impressed with her faux finishing.  She says, "it's the type of thing that the judges will either love or hate.  They will say, ‘Wow, that's the coolest thing that I have ever seen' or ‘It looks as though somebody was sick.'"  (My eleven-year-old says that the walls look like poo.)
Dawn, Kimberly and Denise try to put together their treadmill and weight machine.  They can't manage to put together the weight machine, so despite the fact that it cost $1,000 they are opting not to use it.
Amy bitches about Mitch spending so much time on the ottomans.  Heather talks about how Mitch has built so much of the furniture and he is using it as an opportunity to shine for the judges, but she says, "It's not all about the Mitch show."  Amy and the other Beavers start moving furniture up into the room.
Denise works on some decoupage for the room.  Denise says that she doesn't think that anyone is going to bed that night and if they do she is going to "rip them out of it."
At 1:30 am Darlene is working on her personal project.  She is spending vast amounts of time to sew bits of fabric together to wrap her package.   Mitch uses a tuxedo shirt to wrap his box.  He uses a tie and a cummerbund to finish off the project.   Heather sews ribbon together to wrap her project.  The effect is truly hideous.  She says that it looks like basket-weaving, but I think that it looks like something that my cat, who likes to eat ribbon, would vomit up.  Amy wraps her box in orange leather and hand paints the inside of the box.  Darlene discards her project and wraps her box in cream linen that has a needlework pattern on it instead.  She asks Mitch what he thinks of her new idea.  Mitch says, "After all of that work, you are going to do this instead?"  Darlene says, "I do this all of the time."  Mitch asks, "Have you lost your mind?"  Darlene confirms what we all knew, with a nod of her head, "Yeah."  Darlene goes on to wrap the exterior of her box in purple fringe and green ribbon; she better hope that her team doesn't lose.
Kimberly says that she has wrapped a "bazillion" gifts without using gift wrap.  [I think that a bazillion is somewhere between one and a googol.]  She makes flowers using fabric and a hot glue gun.   She can't imagine that anyone would have anything better.  [She obviously lacks imagination.]  Her box is black and the ribbon is grey, black and cream.  And, as if it weren't obvious enough, she includes a tag that says "A gift for you."  Kimberly wraps her box in brown velveteen and makes an olive green bow.  The whole effect represents the colors you might find in a newborn's diaper – a meconium stool.  Denise wraps her package in a striped cream, burgundy, and pink with cream lace and hot pink ribbon.  She says that it will be totally tacky or it will totally stand out.
Dawn is working on her radiator covers for the bedroom.  She says that it's "just for looks and not for function" - a statement which probably totally defines her life.  She goes on to say that she doesn't see anything wrong with "just looking cute."  The people of Magnolia Texas should be so proud that they hired this woman to teach their first grade children.
Mitch is building a headboard, "more feminine" than usual.  He says that it's what the girls wanted, so it's what he built.  He says that the headboard looks like "pudding in a cloud."  He goes on to say it's the "frilly-est, girly-est, sissy-est thing I've ever done."  Dawn, who is painting her "cute thing," tells Denise that she thinks that the headboard is cute, but says it reminds her of a coffin lid.  Denish laughingly agrees. 
Mitch is also worried about the molding he traded to Kimberly.  He hopes that Artisan doesn't end up winning because of the headboard.  He says that if it happens, he is going to shoot himself in the foot.  [Mitch, Mitch, Mitch.  If it happens, then haven't you already shot yourself in the foot?  Beware of metaphors you don't properly understand.]
Day 18 - The teams are frantically running around putting finishing touches on their projects.  The teams have a lot of tool messes to clean up.  The teams have to make beds and make sure that everything is where it is supposed to be.
Crafty Beavers.  Candace asks about the influence of the home office.  Mitch explains that the office is a catch up office, where somebody might check e-mail.  He slyly indicates that he made the desk.  Bobby asks about the textured wall.  Candace doesn't like it.  She asks about the ottomans and Mitch mentions the fact that he made them too, but Amy painted the insides.  Amy uses the opportunity to say that Mitch is very overt about taking credit for the things that he has done.   In the bedroom, David asks about the pictures and then asks about the headboard.  Mitch once again takes credit, but mentions that the girls picked out the colors.  Candace asks if the team got the linens at Sears, then goes on to say that she likes them a lot.  [I wonder if Sears signs her check.]
The judges join Team Artisan.  Team Artisan's dining room area is unimpressive.  Candace wants to know why there is only one piece of exercise equipment in the exercise room.  Dawn attempts to dodge the question by pointing out that the team bought a plasma television for the area, and somebody could watch DVDs while getting a workout.  David seems unimpressed.  The judges seemed impressed by Denise's decoupage and are amazed by Kimberly's headboard.  David seems bored by their whole room.
Joan, looking surprisingly normal, states the obvious - that the judges have inspected the rooms and the individual projects.  Candace says that Team Artisan did a lot of good things, more specifically she likes the headboard that Kimberly did and wants one of her own.  [Cue shot of Mitch cringing.]  David said that the color was too subdued and he would have liked to have seen more color.  [I think that he is forgetting that the teams had to buy their linens at Sears, which isn't likely to carry the fancy Frette linens that he is probably used to flopping his shaved head on.]   Bobby complains about the fitness room saying that it really didn't have a lot of equipment.  Kimberly kisses his ass and agrees with him.
Candace says that the Crafty Beavers did a lot of interesting things.  She likes the striped walls in the bedroom and the ottomans, particularly the fact that they could be used for storage.   Bobby goes on to say that he didn't think that there was enough color in their space.   Bobby says that he Beaver headboard was too gender-specific.  Candace asks why there were no shades in the room.  In an obvious desperate gesture, Darlene says that the team put little eye-shades in the nightstand to keep out the light.  Bobby asks if they are really there and Darlene says "no" while everyone laughs. 
The Verdict - David says that remodeling is a difficult job, both teams did a great job, but the judges liked the Crafty Beavers project better.  Team Artisan's individual projects are looked at by the judges.  Candace says that Kimberly's project looks like something you would give out at a funeral.  David likes Dawn's project because it's simple.  Candace says that Denise's project isn't creative and David says that it's juvenile.  It's no surprise that Kimberly and Denise go to the rock garden.  Dawn will have to chose who leaves.  Hmmm, who will Dawn pick: her friend Kimberly or Denise?
Mitch tells Denise that he and the other Crafty Beavers want her to keep Denise.  Mitch says that Dawn should play with her head and not her heart.  Dawn says that she is not a strategizer and she is in a really tough position.
At the Rock Garden, Denise says that she knows Kimberly and Dawn have a really tight bond, but says that she and Dawn are alike because they are tireless and don't always pick the "glamorous projects."  Kimberly says through tears that she doesn't need to tell Dawn how important she is to her.  She says that she wants nothing more than to go head-to-head with Dawn in the Final Two.
Dawn says that the person she is picking to get booted is truly amazing and unbelievably talented, but she hasn't known this person as long.  So, she is picking [Gasp! Feigned surprise] Denise to go home, as a smug Kimberly looks on.  Joan reminds Kimberly and Dawn that there are only six more people left and the judges are going to be even more critical.
Denise says that she is disappointed by her loss.  She wanted to do something with her skills [Yeah skill] and she had her art director life and now she stays home with her kids.  She says that it's important to stay home with your kids and cook and clean and floral arrange and candle make and use a glue gun.  [If this sounds like a rationalization, it's probably because it IS a rationalization.]  Denise says that the show was a great way to show off her talents and she has had a great time.
Cut to a scene of Kimberly and Dawn walking inside the estate.  Kimberly says  "And you know what's going to happen now.  The Crafty Beavers are going to be all over us like white on rice."  Dawn replies, "Screw 'em."  [I am sure that the parents of the first graders she teaches are so happy right now.]  "But we have got to fricken win."
Here's a link to the Gift Packaging that ended up with Denise getting the boot.
Next week: Team switches force people to change strategies.  Teams face off in an estate sale challenge.  Tensions build between Kimberly and Mitch.

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