Perfection" - February 26
Day 20 at The Estate:
Immediately after last episodes Rock Garden ceremony.
Mitch and Dawn, the new Odd Couple, discuss being in
the Final Five in the kitchen, apparently over coffee
and cookies. In the background, someone is staring at
them through the kitchen window: it looks like Kimberly
[ironic foreshadowing?], but is probably a member of the
filming crew. Heather enters and appears as if she is
listening to Dawn
Shes wearing an Aunt
Jemima kerchief again! Ack!
Joan Lunden once again meets the teams to introduce the
next task. She is wearing an abominable lime-green
parka-style vest over a black turtleneck a true
fashion disaster. For the next challenge, the producers
have located a huge vacant lot and each team has to
landscape half of it into a community park. Joan
continues to explain that giving this vacant lot a
second chance is a really big job. Youre gonna need
some help, so here are some people that I think you
know, who are also looking for a second chance. [OK
everybody: Look surprised!] All of the previously booted
contestants file back in and line-up along the banister
with a Pick Me look on their faces. The teams get to
alternately pick ex-contestants to temporarily return to
their team. Team Artisan gets to choose first, because
they are down to two active members, versus three for
the Crafty Beavers.
Artisan: Tim [who appears not to have shaved or showered
since he left the game]. Mitch explains to the camera
that they chose Tim for his carpentry skills and to have
another guy on the team. Tim beams at Mitch and gives
him a sly wink; Mitch rubs Tims stubbly chin. [Get a
Then the Beavers debate whom to choose next. Heather
wants Tom, but Darlene still hates his guts. Flashback
to Darlene telling Tom off, and Tom flamboyantly
belittling her rage. However, Heather and Amy prevail in
getting a man back on their team for the grunt-work.
Darlene and Tom give each other a shy hug, while holding
imaginary daggers in their hands. Beavers: Tom
Artisan picks Kimberly. Mitch explains that this choice
was all Dawns, just to make her happy, because the
remaining choices didnt matter to him.
Beavers: Mychael [who starts making fashion poses to
show off her exposed midriff WTF?]
Artisan: Margo [She claps and smiles as if she wasnt
the last one picked]
Joan fills them in on the necessary details. The
projects must contain a meditation area and a fitness
spot. The individual projects are for everyone to make
their own topiary. The teams have 24 hours to complete
their projects [Hey producers! Thats not enough time],
and each team can shop online at Sears with a budget of
$5000. And the Falcon Twist: If any of the returning
contestants topiary is chosen as the best among the
winning team, they get to return to the game. [Cut to an
amazingly over-the-top patented Darlene reaction shot]
Cut to the Crafty Beavers huddled over a VAIO laptop,
choosing among Sears Craftsman products for their task.
[Can you say product placement? I knew you could]
Darlene: We need to get a post-hole digger.
Amy: I LOVE post-hole diggers.
Meanwhile, back with the Beavers
Michelle: I think we each need a chainsaw.
Dawn: I say we get the cream of the crop; the Craftsman;
you cant go wrong. [Good work, my little corporate
The teams load em up and move em out. We next see the
vacant lot, which has been divided into equal work areas
and staging areas, separated by dark curtains so the
teams cant see each others work. Each team gets a
bulldozer, the tools they ordered from Sears, and equal
amounts of sod, lumber, and assorted vegetation and
landscaping material (like crushed rock).
Dawn tells the camera that she and her husband do lots
of landscaping, so she thinks this task is second
nature to me. Amy then tells the camera that she thinks
she can beat all of the Artisans and that she is the
complete package. However, the Artisans seem to work
out a plan better than the Beavers.
Team Artisan starts working on their water feature a
pond. They have decided to use plastic sheeting for
retaining the water, since they dont have time for
concrete. The Beavers agree that they need to build
something upwards, and Tom thinks they might be able to
use the sod vertically [Huh?] rather than just
horizontally. [I dont think Tom is fully comprehending
what sod actually is.] Heather adds that the sod doesnt
have to last, because this task is all about image. Dawn
explains to their bulldozer driver that she wants the
pond dug from 18 inches to two feet deep within two
hours, and he looks at her like shes crazy. Tim appears
to be back in his element using the power tools to cut
lumber. Meanwhile, the Beavers are still talking,
talking, talking, instead of moving, digging, and
building. Amy becomes the de facto Beaver leader, but
she doesnt really want the responsibility. [Donald
Trump: Amy, youre fired!]
Team Artisan attacks their side with a roto-tiller and
shovels. Kimberly goes after the lumber with a sabre-saw
and a vengeance, apparently trying to make up for her
previous three weeks of laziness. Even Mitch is
impressed at her energy level. Tim then demonstrates his
lack of understanding of several foreign terms when he
says, Were building a pergola. And its kinda like a
feng shui, like, Japanese overpass kind of thing. But
it looks OK, and Mitch declares it gorgeous.
The Beavers are depicted as less energetic, but at least
doing something other than talking. Darlene tells the
camera that she is building a picnic table. Shes never
done it before, and the other team members arent too
confident in her ability to do so either. But Darlene
explains that, Power tools are a lot like a sewing
machine, only bigger. And the wood is kinda like fabric,
so I think I can do it. Heather tries to direct the
bulldozer driver in moving dirt, rocks, and sand.
Darlene interrupts to ask whats going on, because she
thinks Heather is just making too much work to do.
Heather glares at her, as she walks back to work on the
picnic table. The table actually comes out looking very
good. Tom says, Boy, if I had a dollar for every time
my opinion of Darlene changed, I might be considered a
Lotto winner in some states. Heather still isnt
connecting with the bulldozer driver, and they seem to
just be making a big mess.
Tim constructs a childrens mini-playground, and uses
concrete to hold it in place. Dawn cements rocks around
the edge of the pond. Mitch then explains how each
contestant gets a single boxwood hedge plant to make
into a topiary sculpture. Mitch wasnt paying close
attention, and cut the tip of his thumb off with the
hedge clippers. We see a close-up, and there is a small
amount of flesh missing from the left thumb right up
next to the fingernail. Its not life-threatening, but
Mitch says I cant work with this though. He goes to a
nearby Emergency Department. The doctor doesnt seem too
impressed, and says, That might survive [apparently
meaning the rest of this shows scheduled run]. In the
meantime, Dawn takes charge and divvies up the workload
among the remaining members.
Denise and Heather are working on the exercise area, and
are constructing a Rock Wall out of lumber. They seem
impressed at how sturdy their construction is, although
the cameraman points out a part of the equipment that
looks doomed to structural failure. Darlene, ever
helpful, comes over to complain to Amy that the Rock
Wall will look, cheesy, and kind of like, willy-nilly
helter-skelter. The team discusses the merits of the
Rock Wall, and everyone but Darlene seems to like it.
Mitch returns to Team Artisan, explaining that they
super-glued the thumb-tip back on. He immediately goes
back to trimming his bush.
Darlene and Heather face off again on the Beaver side.
Its 5:00 am, and maybe that explains why Heathers
ideas for tree placement are making no sense. Heather
decrees that there will be no more changes to the plan,
and Darlene secretly calls her attitude immature.
Day 22 dawns with Tom and Heather flailing in trying to
erect their pagoda. But rather than leave well-enough
alone, Darlene needs to continue her criticism. Tom then
starts to demolish the pagoda ruins, saying Heather had
a very specific vision, and Im afraid she misjudged in
her planning the structural things that are necessary to
make sure that a pagoda doesnt fall down and become a
No-goda. Denise added, Heather never said Gosh
guys. I screwed up. She never took responsibility.
Darlene also quipped, One of the Crafty Beavers is
writing paychecks her talent cant cash.
With 4 hours left, Tim finishes a wooden bridge over a
reflecting pool. Tom tries to figure out what to do
about their required meditation area, since the pagoda
idea didnt work out. Darlene cant stand any of the
other sleep-deprived ideas tossed about, and
unilaterally decides to build a lattice-work structure.
She picks Amy to help her, as the least likely
team-member to piss her off. Tom tells the camera that
he is constantly impressed with Darlenes ability to
step up to any challenge. Within 30 minutes, they have
their meditation area construction completed. Darlene
tops it off by looking skyward and saying, Thank you
Lord that we have at least some place to meditate.
Heather scowls again.
Now for the individual projects:
Kimberly makes a Derby Hat with a bow around it, since
it is physically impossible for her to make any project
that doesnt include ribbon. Tim made a rose
or at least
he calls it a rose. Michelle makes a martini glass,
complete with green olives on a toothpick Its a
top-a-tini. Margo is making a teddy bear. Dawn makes a
three dimensional diamond, can you believe it? Amy
makes a shoe. Denise makes a butterfly. Heather makes a
sphere very simple. Darlene makes a butterfly. Tom
makes Vegas Baby, a topiary six-sided die complete
with pips and spray glitter. Mychael makes a heart.
[The problem with almost all of these projects is that
you wouldnt know what they are supposed to be, unless
you were told in advance.]
Time for the judging:
Team Artisans lot contains a pergola with an outdoor
fireplace ordered from Sears. There are two handcrafted
tables and a childs play area, a dog-run, and a lined
pond with an arched bridge. The Crafty Beavers made a
lattice pagoda with reflecting pool, a hand-made picnic
table for eight, a fitness corner with childs climbing
wall, and a flagstone-lined fire-pit.
At the Beaver lot, David is unimpressed with the
sod-laying. Candace assumed the picnic table was
purchased, and was astounded to learn that Darlene made
it. While Darlene is being praised, Heather glowers some
more. David goes to try the rock climbing wall [No,
David! You might die]. A piece falls off, and Denise
looks on in horror; but at least it didnt collapse. The
judges also liked the lattice meditation area, and were
again impressed to find that Darlene made that as well.
When Candace asked Heather what she did for this area,
she responded by saying, What didnt I do? [Oh, get
real!] Heather described her great idea for a pagoda,
but blamed its failure on warped wood, as Mychael rolled
her eyes at this obvious lie.
At Team Artisan, Mitch actually held his tongue and let
someone else talk. Denise described how they kept the
kids play area next to the picnic area. David eagerly
stomps on the bridge to test its structural integrity.
It is made clear that Tim and Kimberly did most of the
wooden constructions projects.
Back at The Estate:
David asks Heather who was in charge of laying the sod.
Heather stupidly said that she took charge of that,
which is unfortunate because David thought it looked
incomplete. Bobby thought the fitness equipment was not
very sturdy, and was not acceptable for a family
community park. Candace really liked the overall look of
Artisans lot. David thought the outdoor fireplace
needed a log in it, while Michelle tried to dodge this
issue by saying users would bring their own wood.
The judges really dont deliberate much, because they
all think that Team Artisan should win. Next we find out
which topiary the judges liked best out of Tim, Margo,
Michelle, or Kimberly. According to the subtitles, they
next allegedly show Michelles martini glass, but due to
poor editing show Mitchs unidentifiable creation. The
judges were at least able to tell that Kimberlys derby
hat was supposed to be a hat, because she labeled it as
such. They didnt like Tims rose, but thought Dawns
diamond was great. Candace liked Michelles topatini,
but no one could identify Margos teddy bear. The judges
ultimately picked Kimberlys derby hat as not only the
best on her team, but the best in the whole competition.
So Kimberly is back in the game. Mitch, who was sitting
next to her on the couch as she giggled and bounced,
says, There is more talent in the piece of thumb that I
cut off today than she has in her entire body.
Mychael, Denise, and Tom will be leaving, but still get
to hang around and determine which Crafty Beaver goes
home tonight. Now the judges will pick which two
topiaries from Darlene, Amy, and Heather they think were
the worst. Bobby mistakes Amys shoe for the Disney
character Pluto. Darlenes mushroom reminds David of a
mohawk hairstyle. Heathers sphere is deemed the
simplest idea. The judges were most impressed with the
sphere, protecting Heather from being booted tonight [as
she most obviously deserved for her failures in the team
Darlene cries to the camera while she explains why she
wont be talking with her teammates before the Rock
Garden ceremony. She thinks [with good reason] that her
actions should speak loudly enough for her case. The
voting team members congregate in the kitchen to
deliberate. Tom points out that neither Amy nor Darlene
have been up for eviction yet. Heather and Denise say
that they would watch a TV show with Amy, but probably
not one with Darlene. Mychael points out that Darlenes
skills, even with projects she has no experience with,
is the key. Ultimately, Denise and Tom are both torn in
At the Rock Garden, Joan is wearing a coat that looks
like it is made from the fur and pelt of a black
standard poodle. Darlene cries again as she expresses
her privilege in working with all these talented people.
Amy wants the panel to consider her passion and desire
for creativity [because, God knows, there isnt much
actual results to go on].
Heather feels she works better with Amy, and votes to
boot Darlene. Mychael is looking at dedication, speed,
skill, talent, and creativity, and votes to boot Amy.
Denise voted by whom she aspires to emulate, and votes
to send Darlene home [cue surprised Darlene reaction
shot]. Tom says that his decision was incredibly
difficult, but thinks that the person he is sending home
will have her own show and maybe even her own network
one day he votes to boot Darlene [but at least she saw
that one coming].
Joan says, Next week this game will change
dramatically. [I predict a tribal merge]
On the walk-of-shame, Darlene says, This hurts deep. I
wonder what would have happened if I wasnt on that
team. I honestly felt that I was the most well-rounded,
camera-ready, turnkey host for the prize of this show.
[I agree with you Darlene] And it breaks my heart that I
didnt play the political games and stand up for myself
more and snatch that prize.
Here's a link to Darlenes topiary advice, if you
Joan says, You will no longer be playing as teams.
[Told ya so!]; they go to New York City for a screen