Friday, August 6, 2010

The other team: Alex, Casey and Michael

My gosh, they are ugly.  i mean.  geez.
It was hard enough to be around them, but now, ick.  stick a fresh direct paper bag over those fools, cause they be hurting my eyes. 
kidding, stupidly handsome they are.
Here is their kitchen:
Maybe im totally biased from being their friends and knowing the constraints, but i kinda like it.  Having the contrast between the white cupboards and the flooring helped so much, whereas ours failed.

What I wish we had seen more of is Michael's table.  The picture would have been more successful without the table full of stuff in the foreground, but as an design element i think that he made the prettiest thing in the room, for sure.  I wish we had seen more of him making it because it looks really aged and old  - without looking intentionally aged (an enormous pet peeve of mine).  It was just pine planks on a table base, but it did look rustic french country and really pretty. 

I think if they had got rid of the table situation and went in tighter, but opened up the island then they would have probably blown us away.  Their kitchen was prettier than ours, but their photo was much worse, just an opinion.

Casey chose the 'bread', Alex chose the 'corkscrew' and Michael chose the 'escargot'.  
Watching it, I thought that Michael sold his story best - the whole rough encasing with jewel inside thing cracked me up - he must have been dying inside.  But I did see the communal aspect of Casey's with all the propping.  Michael could have won this week in my opinion.
Or maybe i'm just jealous because Casey got to call her husband.
  At this point it has been, ahem, a long time without phones.  You'd think we would obsess about it, but there isn't any time to, and besides if I did get to call It would be weird because you can't really give any information out.  Hearing that she got to talk to her husband made me want to soooooooo bad.  I missed Brian.... uck, i kinda can't think about it without tearing up,  but man it was really really hard to go through something so foreign, exciting and  challenging for so long and not to have a phone call or a hug from your best friend/family.....  ok.  and the tears...

So there was a bit of tension between Alex and Michael.  As Alex put it, they have worked together 5 out of the 6 challenges, and if i read right from their dynamic Michael doesn't trust Alex design-wise and Alex is too quiet to really give a lot of assertive input, which creates a bad cycle.  Watching Alex now on the show I wanted him to stay longer, but at the time, I remember thinking that it was his time - i sound like he is 85 and been on his death bed for 10 years.   He's got great potential, just quiet and probably does best on his own, or leading the team and not  having to fight for leadership - something i totally understand.  

 Ah. Hello, elimination.  i haven't seen you in a while.  Here is how elimination goes down.  The judges make some big statements about the overall designs and then they critique each one of us individually.  What you don't see is that after the judges are done with us, then we have to critique each other.  At first, this was super super super hard, but then we all just made the pact to just be honest.  And you can't get mad at people for just being honest.  Nobody was cruel or rude, but it wasn't pleasant either and you always ended up feeling bad.  

Alex and Michael had had it with each other and they got into it a bit.  I totally understand both sides.  I've worked with Alex and while he works super hard, he is too quiet to assert his design ideas and gets relegated to being an assistant.  I've worked with Michael on the Trump/FDNY challenges, and yes, he can a bit bossy and dismissive, but he's also really talented and smart and you see that in every challenge.

And while Michael looks and sounds like he takes himself way too seriously, he doesn't.  He laughs at himself a lot and he kinda knows how bitchy he is and it cracks us all up.  I hope we see more of that in the next episode,  because when he's just being himself he's amazing and totally hilarious.  

Back to elimination:
 I talked about how i'm not the biggest faux finish fan, but Court and I worked as a team and we used each others strengths.   Court said that I was hard to shop with because i was slow, which frustrated me because  I am a very fast shopper and relatively decisive considering it takes time to make good decisions.   But,  I will say this: I can get scattered when rushed and its not pretty, and that is what frustrated him.  Shopping with a whole crew of cameras and producers following you is really weird.  I like to look at things closely and make smart decisions and you just can't when so many people are starring at you with cameras and you have 1/2 hour in a huge store.  

At elimination, the whole thing was super respectful and we both went on and on about how much we loved working with each other - which we did, which I think ultimately does matter to the judges.  Think about it, if you are hard to work with then why would the judges or HGTV want to bring you on as a host that they have to be around?
Down to Alex and myself.  Not surprised, but at this point very little surprised me - we all are a bit immune.  It's like. yep. totally. i'm in the bottom.  that sucks.
Alex's hosting video was great.  Warm, inviting, smiley.  He was so quiet and serious around us - he didn't really engage with with other designers much, but he came alive in his hosting videos and interviews.  He's pretty awesome, overall and he's clearly gonna go far.  

Down to four.  duh duh DUH.


  1. It's so interesting that you all have to critique each other & they edit that to fabricate some drama. How long does the whole elimination take? It's edited down to such a short time, but I assume it's much longer (and more painful!) than it appears. Do you feel like they've viewed your hosting videos prior to seeing them with you, or are they watching them for the first time?


  2. i love reading your behind the scenes perspective. every week i admire each of you...the show seems so incredibly stressful, and it would be so hard not to be able to communicate with family/friends while being expected to pour your heart into each challenge.

  3. Great read, as always. Your behind-the-scenes perspective always brings the show alive.

  4. I didn't know you had a blog! I just did a post on you a little while ago. I love Design Star and you've been my favorite since day 1. I loved your teams kitchen the best too, btw!

  5. Your blog is fun to read and I like all the directions you take with it so far. Thanks Emily. Another thing I love is seeing your key necklace on the show. Is there a story behind it? Does it actually open anything? I really like the idea of it. :)

  6. Just found you off of another blog! Rooting for you girl!

    On another note do you know where I could find Casey's kitchen pendant? Thx in advance!



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