Since interior decoration and athletic prowess are subsets that rarely intersect, the words "Design Triathlon" on the judges' call sheets seemed a bit curious. And though we quickly learned that this week's trio of challenges didn't involve any skills honed on a track or in a pool, stamina and spirit were most definitely required. India managed to introduce the first leg to the contestants with the line "I hope you're well-rested " with a straight face. Her delivery met glazed, nearly catatonic glares (Top Design and sleep being subsets that also apparently don't intersect.) But merry mayhem ruled as soon as the raw chair frames and materials were unveiled. The results were illuminating, as only eight out of the original 13 designers remain, and this was the first opportunity other than the two Pop Designs to showcase individual talent and style. Kelly and India judged on the basis of creative vision, styling ability, and versatility as a decorator.
Teresa chose a kicky fabric but failed to finesse the details. Andrea's perfectionism and unwarranted self-doubt relegated her to a quietly unassuming and somewhat rumpled result. Natalie's combination of purple upholstery and gilded frame looked more Sopranos than stately. Wizit's painted fabric treatment was magical but his little throw pillow (was it held together by pins?) was a morose misstep.