Original Air Date: Jul 13, 2013
Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer
Brooks, Anne, Tiffany and Jerbai are the final four designers on HGTV Star. And this week, the stakes went higher than ever.
First off, they had three days and a carpenter to redesign the stripped interior of a school bus. David warned them, “Do not play it safe.” They also appeared on The Talk where they had to show the hosts an unconventional design tip. I was a little suspicious that they all had good tips and I bet they had some coaching. After all, it is national TV.
Let’s go designer by designer.
She decided to go completely different than anything she’d done on the show and do Alice in Wonderland. I hated that she painted the entire interior a dark turquoise green (including the windows, so there was little light) then lined the edges with green plants. It looked so dark that I felt claustrophobic. I would have at least painted streaks of color or clouds on the windows or something fanciful. David advised her not to go too dark in tone as well (she had planned to have blood dripping from the flowers) and she took his advice. I did like the long table with mismatched chairs. There I think she really achieved her goal.
The judges loved the space except for the back of the bus, which she didn’t finish due to time constraints. They called it the bus to crazy town and said they never wanted to get off.
She did really well on her camera challenge, showing the hosts how to take a used frame, fill it with fabric, then place the glass back in to make a white board. She looked relaxed and judges were impressed at how comfortable she appeared on camera.
She mentioned that she’d designed motorhomes before, so you’d think she had this down pat, yet she spent a lot of time being overwhelmed. She went for an elegant sitting room and bedroom (on a raised platform). I didn’t like how bland her white and tan palette came off. But the space felt large, probably because of the two living areas, and she definitely achieved the elegance she wanted. She did not get a chance to iron the sheets and that slightly brought the elegance down.
The judges thought her room was beautiful, but didn’t like that the furniture didn’t leave enough room for to move around. They thought it was pretty, but nothing special.
On her camera challenge, she taught the hosts to make a pet bed by turning over a small table and placing a cushion in between the legs. I didn’t think much of the legs just standing up in the air. Anne has always shone in these challenges, but she sort of froze up. It wasn’t until the end that her personality began to peek out.
He decided that his bus reminded him of a space ship, so he designed a modern looking sitting room. I thought he was absolutely crazy for making a wood sculpture in the back of the bus that felt like a fan of wood strips meeting in the middle and curved towards the front of the bus at the ends. He painted the walls white and had many white furnishings, but then he had various objects in bold colors and the color brought the eye to how interesting his choices were. I wasn’t sure of the layout, but it surprisingly came together for a polished look.
The judges absolutely loved, loved the wood sculpture. They felt come of his curiosities were not futuristic. They also questioned his ability to listen to a client and deliver what they liked, not his vision.
Brooks did a little better on his camera challenge, but very little. He came off as unfocused and didn’t explain his suitcase medicine cabinet (a clever idea) well. The judges criticized his over use of the word “curiosities” and felt that they were giving him the same notes over and over.
He decides to create a boxer’s lounge with a boxing practice area in the back half. His color scheme of red, yellow and white read dynamic and his lounge looked sleek. The curtain that divided the two was terrible and David warned him it wouldn’t work. Why he didn’t jut just build a quick room divider, I don’t know. He was on the only one to cut off the wheel covers, which gave him far more room. Smart choice.
The judges liked the lay out and the overall design, especially how much seating he had. They warned him to watch his finishing touches (like a candle holder without a candle) and really hated the curtain.
The surprise of the evening had to be his camera challenge. He acted so much more natural teaching the hosts how to turn a dresser into a kitchen island — great idea! The judges called him “so present” and thought he was great.
The judges thought Jeribai’s camera challenge was the best and Tiffany won the design challenge. They sent Anne packing, which was a bit of a surprise. I thought Brooks’ disaster of a camera challenge would do him in.
Then the judges announced a surprise — because they felt the remaining three designers were all so good, they’re all going to the finale. OK, wait a minute! The schedule was set a long time ago. They knew that next week’s episode would be the finale months ago — it had NOTHING to do with the amount of talent. Feel a touch manipulated? Me too.
Who do you think will win? Were you surprised to see Anne go? Does Brooks have any chance to take the title? Give us your TwoCents…