Problem-solving means thinking on your feet, not reaching for the most creative excuse. I think if the designers had known that they would be designing a children's room from the outset, they might have dug a little deeper, and the resulting rooms might have made our decision to send one designer home that much more difficult.
However, as it was, although the obstacles ultimately were John's undoing, his wasn't the only room that didn't make the cut. It was just the only room that wasn't finished. And not making a design deadline? A big no-no.