Dr. Frankendecorator

Jonathan Adler on creating the perfect designer.

I want to be Dr. Frankendecorator. I want to mash up the strengths of the contestants and create an ideal designer.

I would combine Carisa's colorful optimism, Andrea's sophistication, Goil's idiosyncracy, Matt's calming symmetry, Eric's old school zsoosh, Michael's oddly compelling cockiness, and even a soupcon of Ryan's ridonculous ideas. I'd plunk Sanjaya's Ponyhawk on top, and then, having created the most insane decorator on Earth, I would rest. But, until technology catches up with my vision, I'll have to settle for the contestants we have, and that ain't too bad.

Actually, they're pretty great and I thought they really proved themselves in this week's episode.


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Matt had a distinct advantage: We judges were still intoxicated by his hotel room from last week and we went into this challenge thinking he could do no wrong.

But Carisa really gave him a run for his money. Her room rocked. It was bright, it was happy, all in all, a feel-good space. Again, Carisa (aka Polly Pillow) showed that she understands the power of COLOR. Just think about it -- gray equals sad and gloomy, while yellow equals happy and sunny. Why surround yourself with gloom when you can surround yourself with sun?


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Matt opted for gloom in his room, but he did gloom with such aplomb that it was beautiful. His floor plan was very inventive -- loved the asymmetrical symmetry -- and his furniture choices showed his connoisseurial eye. In Matt's knowing paws, that cheap-ass daybed looked like a priceless 18th century antique. Matt made $7,500 look like $75,000. He is CHIC.

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Anyway, decorating aside, it has been very fun for me to watch the show and see what the kids were really up to behind the scenes. In that White Room, they're all on their best behavior so we don't get to see their naughty sides. But I got some real insight into their backstage personalities on this week's episode.

Matt is a wee bit cockier than he seemed and I think he's a little dismissive of the other contestants. And Carisa really is the Mayor of Excuses Village. Loved the Karl blame game she played (I thought his brick wall was one of the best things in her room).

Those two aren't exactly angels -- so I'll be curious to see what kind of shenanigans they get up to in the finale.


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Andrea, both behind the scenes and in the White Room, is absolutely lovely. She is such a delight that I wish we could have judged based purely on character and she would have sailed to the top. But, alas, her design was un-hot this week.

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Andrea missed the forest for the trees. Loved the embroidered baseboard -- nifty idea -- but that was it. Nada mas.

With limited time, a limited budget, limited everything, you gots to go for the big bold gestures first and then include some surprising details. She got it ass backwards, all details and no boldness. Andrea's an architect and a damn good one. But, she needs to learn to zsoosh.

So, next week, the finale. I'm thrilled with the final two and, I think you will be blown away by what they create for their grand VOILA! Matt and Carisa are pretty close to achieving my Frankendecorator ideal.

I must get back to my dungeon lab!

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