It's Always the Quiet One

Rambling about life, culture, Project Runway, and the occasional fruity drink.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Just in time for episode four… it’s my recap of episode three! You see, I planned it this way… to keep last week’s episode fresh in your minds. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Uh huh. Sure. Anyway, on with the recap!

Todd comes in wearing a super-cute argyle type sweater. He instructs the designers to open the beach bags that are in front of them (you KNOW someone already peeked before he came in). Inside the bag are various beachy items, which they all start playing with, and postcards of exotic places. Their challenge this week is to design and build a beach cabana. Everyone starts nodding and talking about how awesome they’re going to do because they were raised in a cabana, or something. (Except for Goil, who has to ask what a cabana is. Then, to let all the viewers who might not know either off the hook, they let Matt helpfully tell us what it is.) But yes, there’s a twist – isn’t there always? In each bag is a postcard, and that will determine which TEAM you’re on! *groan* Teams AGAIN?
Now, every time I type the word “cabana” I hear Barry Manilow in my head… so let’s let him tell us about the teams.

Her name’s Carisa, she’s a designer
She, Goil and Ryan say “hooray”, they all have cards from St. Tropez
Then Matt and Erik, they get Miami
Elizabeth says “that’s our scene
So let’s use burgundy and green”
And on Team Tahiti, the threesome hug with glee
Another team challenge ALREADY?
You’ve gotta be kidding me!
Now they’re copin’ with their cabanas
And driving each other bananas
They’re all copin’ with their cabanas
Painting and passion and Kelly’s odd fashions
Who’ll be latered?
We’ll wait and see…

Um, thanks Barry. Anyway, that’s our story so far. Todd tells them their budgets and name-drops Pier One, which is where they will be getting all their furnishings this episode. (Hmm, I haven’t seen a Pier One commercial… getting a name drop must be cheaper than doing a whole commercial.)

Erik, who has immunity from winning last week, can’t be eliminated. That sends Matt into spirals of profanity and negativity right off the bat, which does not bode well for Team Miami. Elizabeth has picked out some very un-Miami-ish colors – burgundy and a green that is… well, I can’t decide if it’s “unripe banana” or “safety patrol vest.” Meanwhile, Matt is shaking his head at Erik with a look like, “Man, these colors SUCK, I can’t believe we’re actually going to use them” but doesn’t say that out loud, which he should. And the Tahiti sisters (Andrea, Felicia and Ralphie) are off to a great start – you can tell already that this is not going to be the drama team because they hugged right away. Nothin’ but love from this group. They’re all sketching merrily and actually working together nicely. In the back corner Goil, reaching deep into his bag of architect tricks, uses pencils and the flip-flops that were in the beach bag to make a 3D model of his idea for the cabana.

So who IS the drama team? Well, it’s a toss-up at this point – they could focus on Elizabeth kind of taking over her team, Matt whining about everything but not offering any suggestions of his own, or else something is going to clash over at Team Tropez, where we’ve got artist Ryan, architect Goil and set designer Carisa, any one of whom could have an massive attack of self-importance at any moment.

Sketching time is over, and Todd makes each team split up the work – one person will go shopping at Pier One, one will go to the hardware store with the carpenters, and the other person will be in charge of fabric. Most teams take this in stride and quickly divide up the tasks… except Team Tropez. Ryan and Carisa each think they need to go to Pier One – Carisa, because she designs sets and knows more about furniture, and Ryan because he’s an artist, which means he’s an expert on everything. Plus, guys just don’t go to the fabric store, apparently. It’s just not guy-ish. (Or something stupid like that, I tuned him out.) Goil just kind of helplessly flops around the table, shooting worried looks from behind his lavendar glasses. So in the end, Carisa gets shunted off to the fabric store (“because I’m a girl”), and Ryan gloatingly heads off to Pier One. And here is where we see that this team now needs to be referred to as Team Drama. I think the defining moment is when Carisa says “I’m worried, no offense,” to which Ryan replies, “Whatever.”

Much shopping ensues. Ralphie is pumped – he has “good taste” and he’s gonna make sure everyone knows it - *snap*! Carisa, on the other hand, who is already tiring me out, is all, “They made me come here, they’re not helping, so I don’t care, I’m gonna buy the ugliest stuff I can find.” Meanwhile, over at Pier One, Felicia has put together a nice set of silver-toned pitchers and glasses, etc. while Ryan continues to espouse on his superiority as he buys what looks like a red blanket in a plastic bag. (Wait a sec. Would blankets fall under accessories or fabric? I’m really not sure, but I am sure that it’s going to piss Carisa off.) I won’t spend time on the hardware store people because watching people buy wood just isn’t too interesting, frankly.

So they bring all their goodies back to the PDC and we get to see what crap Ryan has brought back from Pier One. First, we have really ugly pillows, which Carisa insists they have to recover immediately. They have a discussion about what St. Tropez really MEANS – Carisa says “classy”, Ryan says “topless women in motorboats”. I’ll tell you what, topless women in motorboats would laugh hysterically at Ryan’s pillow choices. (Unless they’re topless senior citizen women.) We don’t get to see what else he bought because then they get into this whole boring discussion of conservativism, and Ryan disses all of Carisa’s rooms so far. I’m waiting for the fists to start flying. Actually, that would make this whole scene more interesting.

Let’s move on to more civilized people. Todd comes around to look at everyone’s designs, and he stops at Team Miami first. I notice that Todd’s sweater is almost the exact same color palette as they’re planning to use. He likes their overall design for the structure, but despite the fact that he’s wearing them, he expresses concern about the colors. After all, the colors are on his sweater… sweaters are not Miami. They’re Minneapolis. He then stops over by Team Tahiti, where Ralphie is showing off his seamstress skills by making a mattress. Already? Wow. Way to save money, Ralphie! Todd strolls over to Team Drama, and after discovering that they really don’t seem to know anything about St. Tropez, educates them a little. Basically, without saying it, he seems to be trying to tell them that they’re designing a thrift store version of St. Tropez.

Todd then drops this episode’s bomb – they only have four hours to construct an entire cabana from scratch and then take it back apart so that it can be put on trucks. FOUR HOURS. Yeah, I guess they’re not building an entire HOUSE, but really! All the pieces have to be on their way to the beach at 12:01. (Isn’t that a little late to be dropping lumber on the beach? Or is the beach six or seven hours away?) Also… the beach isn’t wired so they will only have non-electric tools to put their cabanas together.

Everyone rushes off to the construction area, which is already full of carpenters and power tools. Team Miami is painting enough lumber to make an entire house. Matt is concerned that they’re not going to get done, and he finally gets the courage to squeak out, “I’m scared.” Erik kind of blows it off. While all this construction is going on, Felicia and Ralphie are stuffing the mattress, which is either a description of what they’re doing or a new euphamism for… well, you can figure it out. Felicia praises his new-found energy and gung-ho-ness. She is also wearing her homemade superhero costume. (What is she, Doily Woman?)

I can’t ignore Team Drama (no matter how hard I try). Carisa tells Goil that she and Ryan are “having a little tension” and Goil plays stupid (“Oh really? I hadn’t noticed that”), and behind their back says both of them are being whiny babies. Then Carisa and Ryan spend two hours arguing over cutting an angle at the edge of their rafters that NOBODY is going to notice. Goil agrees with both, depending on which one is closest to him at the time (that way the other one can’t hit him). He’d make a good politician.

Time winds down and all the lumber goes bye-bye. The designers trudge back to their lofts to try and sleep, but too soon it is morning and time to head out. As they get started I am surprised at what some of the designers consider “beach wear”. Especially Carissa, who is wearing what looks to be black bicycle shorts under a denim miniskirt. They hurridly put their cabanas together, along with a small army of seamstresses and sweaty, shirtless carpenters that get a LOT of screentime. Carisa appears to be spending the entire time spraying down the shirtless carpenters.

But sooner than you think, time’s up, and the judges appear from whatever shady place they’ve been hiding. All that building and running around in the sun and sand must have made the designers a bit pungent, because the judges are standing FAR away from them. Like fifty feet away. In addition to Jonathan, Kelly, and Margaret, we are joined by Kathryn Ireland, who is an interior designer I’ve never heard of and NOT Kathy Ireland the model-turned-entrepreneur. They all walk around and inspect each cabana, making notes and faces. After what seems like several hours, everyone heads back to the PDC.

On to the judging. Of course, I can’t go further into this without discussing what Kelly’s wearing. It’ll be impossible to concentrate on the designs if I don’t. The top of Kelly’s dress appears to be made out of discarded 1980’s shoulder inserts - or maybe they’re a couple of absorbant pads that are used under a nursing bra. I’m not sure which. And she takes the “socks and sandals” thing waaaay too far by aqua wearing knee-highs with strappy high heels. There. Now that’s out of the way; let’s discuss the designs.
Team Tahiti builds a raised platform for their cabana, much like the huts on stilts that are found on the beach in Tahiti. Their curtains are beautiful – large and billowy. Their room is entirely open on top – they have a basic frame but decided at the last minute not to add any roof. But as artistic and sculptural as their “roof” looks, where would the shade come from? To be honest, I’ve never been in a beach cabana, but it seems to me that part of the usage of a cabana is to get out of the sun a bit without leaving the beach and perhaps get some refreshment, but look more sophisticated than sitting under a big striped umbrella drinking out of a can. The judges like what they did but take them to task for the roof.

Team Miami has too many heavy curtains. And in the wind, the heavy fabric is blowing right onto the couch, which would be incredibly annoying for someone sitting on it. They appear to have put half of their rafters on upside down, also. They’re very scary, like they were spiky fortifications on a Civil War battlefield built to keep the enemy from storming over the earthworks. The inside, while shady where the other two teams’ cabanas are not, is actually too dark because of all the heavy canvas. The judges hate the colors – I understand that they were trying to do sophisticated Miami and not sherbet, but why not just darken the sherbet colors? They also jump all over Matt for not adding anything to the design and basically letting Elizabeth and to an extent, Erik, steamroll him.

Team Drama’s cabana looks like a sweater drying rack. The giant towels draped across the top would only offer useful shade at high noon. Carisa mentioned, at the beginning of the challenge, that St. Tropez was elegant and rich and sleek and sophisticated and they would have to play off of that… but what kind of furniture did Ryan pick? Thick, chunky wicker and rataan-looking stuff. They might have saved it had Carisa picked out light, flowy fabrics, (much like Team Tahiti) but instead they’re using bath mats and throw rugs and afghans in dark colors and heavy upholstery-weight fabrics. Just looking at them makes me feel very sweaty. Their cabana would be better suited to a beach on Lake Erie in October than St. Tropez. The judges rip into all the things I just mentioned. They approved of Goil’s design for the structure, althought Margaret thought it looked like a hamburger stand, but thought Ryan and Carisa basically sucked at their jobs.

After the usual long, drawn out camera work where we have to ponder everyone’s facial expressions and listen to tense music, the winner is… Team Tahiti! Even though they had no roof, their fabric and styling choices were inspired and very Tahitian. They are all very appreciative. They win a weekend getaway at some hotel where Kelly designed the cabanas. I picture them all getting facials and mani-pedis and lounging poolside sipping fruity drinks, and then hanging out in their PJs all night having pillow fights, ordering room service and watching chick flicks. I’m jealous! Hope they have fun!

For our final three, it comes down to Ryan, Elizabeth and Matt. Jonathan chastises Matt again, but lets him stay. Ryan slips past once again, and Elizabeth is “latered” for her crappy color choice. I think that was kinda weak, personally, but I guess someone had to be sacrificed, and Ryan promises to bring too much drama to get kicked off yet.

Elizabeth has to go pack up her stuff, and Todd comes in. I love how they show Todd talking to each designer before they leave. He is always so positive and sympathetic and tries to make them feel better about a crappy thing. Kudos, Todd! And good luck, Elizabeth – you may have helped pick the wrong colors but you’ve still got more design talent in your little finger than I have in my whole body.

Goil glasses color count for this episode: four. Although I couldn’t tell at one point if his glasses were gray or black so it might be five. That's still a heck of a lot of glasses - I wonder if they're prescription or for vanity purposes?


Anonymous gimli417 said...

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the next Allen Sherman/Weird Al!!! Haven't seen this episode, but hey, now I don't have to! Besides, I can't get Barry out of my head, now, either. Aaaaahhhhhh......

12:28 AM  
Anonymous roorooB said...

"Um, thanks Barry."

*even though there's an extra line inserted in the pre-chorus section, HELPLESS with laughter*

"Goil glasses color count for this episode: four. Although I couldn’t tell at one point if his glasses were gray or black so it might be five. That's still a heck of a lot of glasses - I wonder if they're prescription or for vanity purposes?"

He's got degrees from Carnegie-Mellon and Yale and he works for A.M. Stern. I'd say they're prescription -- spiky hair plus designer frames for astigmatic eyes in a custom Brioni suit equals "intellectual fashion forward architect who can be trusted with ergonomic interiors for Fortune 100 clients" -- and he can afford it.

The recap? As they say in Mortal Kombat:
"Flawless victory."

3:23 AM  

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