Monday, June 21, 2010

Episode 2 Dolphin vs Shark

I just wrote the longest post and then safari shut down.  Awesome.  Perhaps its because it could tell that i'm weak, that i'm a weakling.

OKAY!  episode 2.  Not my prettiest, emotionally.  So I'll walk you through it quickly to get to the good stuff.

The challenge is fashion to room, we all know this one.  But we have to combine all five of our looks into one space, not easy, pretty unrealistic actually.  I'm a fan of the fashion to room, not literally but the idea that your interiors should reflect your style.  But combining all of them is hard.  Every time we complained about this, they producers would say 'I guess that's why they call it a challenge'.  It got to be a pretty funny joke, actually.

I was feeling fragile from almost being eliminated 12 hours before (you guys get a week between challenges, we get hours).  I was excited to work with the girls, I liked Casey and Stacey instantly.

So day one was a lot of shopping and shouting, ick.  We went to Gracious Home (awesome) Calypso Home (awesome) Bo Concept and Zarin fabrics - well we split up Nina and I went to Calypso Home  and Stacey/Casey and Tera picked out the fabrics.

Day two was slightly more pleasant because Tera and Nina left to get accessories (which they did a pretty good job at) and I repainted the niche from gold to charcoal - the gold with the yellow with the peacock headboard fabric that almost went up looked like a terrible terrible bed and breakfast in Maine, circa '83. Stacey painted a pretty chair and Casey sewed the drapes, helped paint, etc.   Ultimately I think the living room was pretty - i stood behind Nina with the hot pink rug.  I liked the sofa/coffee table situation, the starburst, bedding and side tables in the bedroom.  When the judges came through, we all agreed that we liked the rooms, well mostly.  Here they are:
The bedroom is a bit tragic, the yellow is not good.  And those drapes were meant to be lush navy velvet, not elvis crushed velvet - they couldn't find what they wanted there so they got this instead.  time. pressure.  sucks.

But as soon as you are the losing team you start looking for blame - who are you going to throw under the bus? What are you going to claim as 'yours'?  it's never pretty.
Duh Duh DUH:

Now the juicy stuff.  The second I met Nina I knew that we were opposites in every way possible.  I knew it.  I could smell it.  This could go one of two ways and I'm pretty sure you know which way this went.  It sucked.  The power dynamic was set up after the first challenge, which she won and I lost (almost), so i was the natural weakest link in her mind and she dismissed me completely.  Fine, I get it, it's a competition she didn't think I could design. So it made our relationship a bit tricky.

And yes, i'm the dolphin, Nina is the shark - in case there was any confusion.  I'm not an idiot, i'm just not a killer - just sayin'.

So why did Tera go home?
She chose a bad yellow, sure, I could've easily picked it too, you get really only a few minutes to choose, and her concept was just a color concept, but those aren't reasons to go home.

Tera's mistake is being overly defensive with the judges.  There are ways to disagree with what they are saying, but still showing that you listened.  She almost came across arrogant, like she knew more than them.  And then throwing Stacey under the bus was unnecessary and passive aggressive.   It's a pressurized situation, remember, so maybe she wasn't really acting like herself.

 Ooh, let me reiterate I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BASKET ON THE FLOOR.  It was horrifying, and I shoulda just taken it away after Tera and Nina put it there, but at some point you have to let people make mistakes or else no one will know who should still be there and taste levels won't be displayed.   How did I get blamed for that just because I didn't stop it? Weird. (please spread the word to any and all people that you know that I didn't do that.  family members, friends, your waiter, bus driver, every stranger on the street!!!.....the world needs the truth, 'cause that sh*t is embarassing.)
Tera, I think would make a much much better host than most people on the show, though.  She is adorable and charming, so likeable, (except at elimination and when she is around Meana) and such a MILF.

So about Nina not going home.  I'm sick of everyone saying that Nina is only there because she is the villain.  Yes, of course she is the villain, and that creates good TV.  BUT, she also has a lot of design chops that the audience doesn't see.  She deserves to be there more than some other people.  Let me be clear, we have  completely different tastes, I'm not a big diy mural girl.  ( I'll do a 'murals that I like' post tomorrow, to show you what I like and why - as if you care, but still it gives me something to blog about, i've been scraping the bottom of the barrel lately.  )
But unfortunately for Nina, her aggressive personality gets all the attention and her good work gets kinda ignored.  Its taking every bone in my body to be objective here.   So difficult.  I'm amazing myself.

As far as the guys?  I really liked their living room.  But looking at them objectively, I liked our room better, sorry guys I love you, but if I had to live in one of them I would take ours.

That's all the gossip for today, i've probably already said too much.


  1. You are doing a fine job. Being nice is under rated. Don't stop. I'm looking forward to seeing more individualized challenges.

  2. I'm so happy to find your blog and get an insider's view on the show. Last night's episode was painful to watch for so many reasons but mainly because of Nina. I really do hope she backs off. I wish you the best of luck!

  3. At the end of the day, when the competition is over, all but one of you is going back to work in the industry. I was pretty surprised that a professional would admit (celebrate?) being a bully.

    I'm so glad we'll get to see you again next week. Regardless of how this works out, those of us who read your blog know that give realistic parameters (time, budget, concept, etc), you hit home runs.

    That last sentence may be influenced by the baseball game my boyfriend is watching, but you get what I mean.

  4. Hi Emily. So happy to find your blog and will look forward to your episode recaps here. I really admire you for being a part of the show. It takes a lot of nerve to put yourself out there like that. I'm rooting for you. Good luck!

  5. I'm not put off by bitchy, nasty designers just because they're bitchy, nasty. I'm more put off by common, predictable design and Tera may be sweet as syrup, but I reckon her designs would be uninspired. I liked where I thought you were going with your room and recognize what you were up against. You seem grounded, creative, and plenty tough. Hope to see more of you and Nina. (And I've coveted the Harry Allen piggy bank for years. Gotta get that!)

  6. I totally watched you say that you didn't agree with the whole basket/fabric thing and then you got called out for it. Ah, the frustrations of reality TV. Your fan base is building, we're pullin' for you, and people like Nina usually hang themselves when given enough rope. Thanks for the recap. xo

  7. I thought the girls' room was better than what the boys produced so I sat with my head cocked like a confused puppy during the last part of the show. I thought for sure the lack of wedding dress inspired lightness and romance in the guys' bedroom would be their undoing. Utterly painful to lose another girl. Em, love your choices this week - love the suit and how it translated into the space. Also, I seriously loved the string art. Maybe there needed to be more or whatever, but I thought it was the only very fresh and inspired thing that happened the week prior. Magazines not yet on their way, but they are off the floor as the bunny tore through half of the spines - so, so sorry. oxox.

  8. Ok, this recap rocked, BUT: a Kelly Bensimon comparison?? That chick is addicted to drugs and C-R-A-Z-Y. Drop those comparisons like a hot potato.

    Also, do you guys even have a chance to think about how stupid these challenges are, or is it just go go go?

    I mean:
    *shitty fashions
    *interpret them into a design
    *make it work with everyone else's
    *in a ONE BEDROOM APT???

    Just seems all sorts of ridic.

    Keep it real, dolphin!

  9. Emily - I've been a lurker to your blog for a while now, and I watched the show last night - you are not weak - you are considered. And smart. It IS a reality show, and Nina is obviously enjoying letting it all hang out. I like your more measured approach to getting your point across.

    AND - I believe in karma - I really do. They say nice guys(gals) finish last? Not in my book.

    You go girl!

  10. thanks for the ride, babe, that was fun. this is gettin' good...

  11. Thanks, everyone. Hang in there with me. i grow a pair of balls next week - ish.

  12. have loved your blog for a while now and just started watching the show. I think the biggest bully of all may be Vern...ouch!

  13. I just got done watching the show (on DVR, of course). We had to rewatch the part where Tera threw Stacy under the bus for the chair.... soooo creepy! Anyway, I can't even imagine how hard that challenge was (guess that's why they call it a challenge - ha!). I'm no designer, but I really liked your living room (except for the mural - yuck). Hope the shark goes home next week!

  14. First time reader...I don't think u come off as weak on the show at all. I think it seems more like you aren't "playing the game" the way they expect you to. That's a good thing; looks like crazy town over there. Who wants to roll like that. Anyway you always look cute & have the best hair on the show, so you win.

  15. you summed that up very well and very objectively, considering. Well Done Ems. I mean - I was really amped up about that Nina girl. She is beyond awful and brings out the worst in everything. You were amazingly poised and you stood up to her. Just shows what a class act you are.

    I don't watch a lot of reality - except almost all the bravo stuff, but I do get suckered in and this one is dramatic. That being said, what's with the horrible cheesy graphics? And you are right - that challenge was sofa king weetaded. Impossible. Sometimes they do super hard ones on project runway or top chef, but they make more sense than that one. I'm looking forward to seeing you able to do it alone and without all the stress of that mess. Also, I really hate it when they do boys vs girls. ick.

    Oh, and did anyone else note that the judges liked the girls rooms better (or so it seemed) on the viewing and it totally looked like it was going to go their way, but then completely did a 180 when they got to judging? What's with that? top chef does that all the time and it sucks.

    also, yip is a b-hole.

  16. these recaps are brilliant, it's fun getting the inside scoop.
    you look so great on camera!

  17. would you care (pleeeeeeeaaaaseeee) to share how it was in a real life? I mean how many days were between challenges? Did you guys have a break at all?
    thank you!

  18. Let me get this straight - people who "allow" themselves to be bullied are the ones to blame? So all those kids who get picked on in Jr. High are asking for it? Really? Wow. She is a piece of work.

    I agree with the comment above about how people like her hang themselves when given enough rope. I hope its the case here... In my vast and completely useless knowledge of reality TV, I've found that one of the best strategic moves in any competition-based show is to let the crazies dig their own grave…

    So you keep doing what you do, my little dolphin!

  19. Am I a bad person if I like your recap of the episode more than the episode itself? I totally had the same train of thought that they would never get rid of Nina because every show needs their Simon Cowel (and Vern doesn't count). I'm impressed that you can be so objective about Nina's design -- and objectively speaking she is a "bitch". I wonder what Nina will do next week without her sidekick?

    And I feel like your blog was a bit of a tease for not going into all the gory details about the day after inner house throw-down. I know you probably don't want to rehash all the nastiness and i'm sure it wouldn't accomplish anything, but it surrrrrrre would be entertaining.

  20. Hi Emily- I am a Room Fu friend and came to read your blog. I'm not exactly happy that Vern told you that you have to stick up for yourself more and push to be heard. I don't see you as weak, I see you as classy and you pick your battles. Just because someone is bullying you doesn't mean you have to lower yourself to that level. Keep being wonderful and strong!

  21. Emily,

    i have read/followed your blog for a while... I really like how you carry yourself on the show. Authentically. I can't wait to see you come into your own and hold court with the villians. i know you've got it in you!

    And, your recaps are great. Keep 'em coming.


  22. First of all, let me start with the fact that I read blogs a lot and never, ever comment. That being said, I happily discovered your blog right before the show aired. I liked you already! Nina may have a beautiful portfolio but I would never watch her show! She is mean and hateful. Who would watch that! Keep up the good work. I will be rooting for you!

  23. Hi Emily! I just want to say that you are my fave so far. I'm just waiting to be wowed. :-)

    I think Nina needs a lesson in Marine Biology. Sharks are afraid of dolphins. Dolphins save people and other marine life by nose-ramming the sharks. Dolphins are the strong ones. The sharks just hide behind their big teeth. Those are true facts. So you keep on ruling the ocean, little dolphin!!

  24. Emily, I love reading your blog!! And now, it's really getting interesting!!! I couldn't wait until Monday to read your update!! I was proud of you when you spoke up!! I'm really pulling for you on this show!!

  25. Loved reading your blog about the show. I'd love more "behind the scenes" scoopage!
    I don't recall the judges mentioning on the show if you had a budget? any other restrictions?

  26. Love hearing your side of the story and its nice to hear you stick up for Nina's design skill even though you don't get along with her. Points to you for being honest.

    I don't evny you or anyone on that show. The challenges are so unrealistic and condensed that the final product is just okay at best. How can they really expect you to wow anyone in such a short period time? I know they do this b/c they think it makes good tv but I swear I would much prefer this show (and all like it) if they gave you a little more leeway.

    Anywho. Nice hearing your side of things.

    PS: Im not sure who picked out that twiggy brass side table but Ive been crushing on it for at least 2 years. Maybe I should just break down and buy it.

  27. So very happy to read the real scoop and am reading a couple other blogs as well...always interesting to read how it really is and not just what we are shown. I wish you all the best of luck in the strong!

  28. I LOVE this recap, so much better than that talentless wanna be designer dooce aka heather armstrong.

    Have her rip you apart is like having a witch doctor dissect a legit doctor.

  29. Emily,
    Thank you so very much for posting a comment on my design blog today! It was such a pleasant surprise and as someone fairly new to the blog world and a huge fan of the show, it was a real treat. You're blog is divine and I am LOVING your recaps and all the details. Only 12 hours between challenges!!! OMG. Who knew?!

    Can't wait for the next episode and I look forward to checking your blog a matter of fact, I'll be adding it to my Blog List on my blog, and would love if your fans would join in on my discussions of the show as well!

    Have a great night and power to the nice girls!

  30. I know nothing about design. From my uneducated perspective, this season has seemed rather lame for many reasons - designing a room for someone you just met and are competing against and then being penalized because you don't get it right seems to set all of you up for failure.

    Nina however, was the only one who threw her partner under the bus - others tried to be gracious about it even if it wasn't their style.

    Yes, Emily I thought your first project was a little boring - but on so many levels it was fine. I really appreciate your authenticity in saying this didn't work. Says a lot for your character - no excuses - just owning your own stuff. kewl!

    After watching episode 2 - I really wondered if this train had run off the tracks. I did not think any of the "fashions" were fashionable nor inspirational. Yuck!

    At this point, I don't think any of you have been able to show what you can do. I do not have a sense of who is good, better, and best.

    While every season they have done something a little wacky - this one is just lame.

    As far as Nina goes, I'll take your word that she is a good designer.

    BUT for me, at the end of the day, if I were the HGTV design crew - I would cringe at the thought I might have to "work with her" on a show - all the time. No one will put up with that kind of treatment long term.

    So, I wish you well Emily - you seem like a good soul. I hope you get the opportunity to really show your style and design skills.

    And even with all of this, I thought the women's "fashion design" was better than the men's.

    Thx Elaine

  31. Hi Emily,
    Thanks for the recap. You are doing a fantastic job of biting your tongue and staying "nice". I look forward to seeing you express your own individual design style without the interference and rude behavior of other people! Definitely agree that the girls room should have won the challenge (despite the drapes). Wishing you the best of luck and the chance "to do your thing" and show your future clients your talent!

  32. Hi there! Okay so I have been following your blog for a while and when I started watching DS I thought you looked familiar but couldn't place it. Duh! And then today I arrive here and make the connection!! I'm so psyched that you are still on the show. I loved reading your perspective on the whole thing and I totally 100% agree with you that being nice and kind is not a weakness! I struggle with this concept a lot and felt so defensive of you when Nina was attacking you. Nina may get all the attention but she won't get any fans! I for one can't wait to see you shine on the show! Oh and dolphins are awesome!

    p.s I'm a Portlander too!

  33. You are awesome. Your ability to remain positive and objective and express nice things about everyone shows your true character. Keep it up! You are truly a big winner in my book.

  34. I watch Design Star myself, and found this on the comment section, someone actually posted it. Unfortunately I don't have cable so I need to wait until HGTV puts it on their website. :(

    I'm glad to see what the inside designers are thinking about there opponents, it makes it more interesting.

    Okay! Emily I think you're awesome, while you're designs are somewhat okay. I do sense that you're a person who can see there mistakes, learn, and improve themselves. I think you will grow into a great designer on Design Star. And don't let that Nina push you around!

    As for Nina, I'm going to be honest here. Her room in the first challenge, Those umbrellas they were called toke over half the room and distracted you from having interest in the rest of the space. I didn't care for that mural either. It didn't say anything about the dress she had. She was lucky, and was able to pick it out. What a shame! She could of done so much more.

    Oh and btw about the basket with the towels, don't worry, I remember the scene, and I know that you didn't do it. I wonder if the Judges actually watch the taping of segment? When they went straight to you about it. I was thinking to myself, what the hell!?

  35. Just watched the episode! Emily, your outfits are the cutest and you have the best taste out of the group. I really liked the girls room so much better than the guys!

  36. i know this is waayyy late but im just reading this post today-obviously. you probably wont even see it but i just have to say you are waayyy too nice when it comes to nina. anyway, her disregarding you just sucks! anyways lady, you showed her even if you didnt care too.



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