W.T.H.?!? Wait!! I DISAGREE! I am going to write a letter! (First I would like to say "Hi" to Teri MacDonald who wrote on the blog! She is the wife of Cary, one of fabulous carpenters on the first season! Everyone please say "Hi" to Teri. And thank you for visiting! Does Cary Like the show?) OK, on with my dramatic beginning!
Dear Andy Cohen! WHY WHY WHY! The judges just kicked out the most fabulous person on the show and put two other Incredibles in the bottom two. Also there may be a FOUL! One person might have had extra qualifications in designing prison cells for their uber-famous diva boss! Can you do something about that? We desperately need your help! Sound the alarms! Jennifer is extraordinary!
Based on the last two challenges few can say that they could work better in a team "sitch" with Robert. I distinctly recall Jen asking him if they could try to pull it together and the response (OK maybe edited) was less than enthusiastic. What happened tonight mirrored the vast differences in this country, in this world. Based on a few crazy assumptions, few people understand each other and many aren't willing to work together towards larger goals. Could Jennifer have assumed that Robert had more experience to the point where she didn't assert herself? And did Robert dismiss Jen as unqualified from the get-go? I think one of these team members had a rigorous "system" whereas the other wanted to, needed to, experiment more. This is only the second challenge -- how well could they have known each other, and upon what were these assumptions based?
And now we won't get an opportunity to see either one of them shine. Have I ever wanted a magical "do-over" button more than I do after this episode? (Andy, can I borrow yours?) I would like to congratulate most of the contestants on turning a potentially profound design problem into little more than flip, vapid hotel rooms. The retro cartoon at the beginning was sublime and an excellent introduction, presenting global annihilation through animation. I mean, if ever there was a chance to make a statement with design on a reality show, this would have been it. It is political and timely, and easily solved at Pier One!
There were some truly bright spots, including Big Daddy's rotisserie comment about the zillion candles -- he had us in stitches -- and well, Wisit and Nathan's attempt to "make the best of it" was a saving moment. I LOVE Wisit! I could not have been more shocked at the bottom four this week. Ondine and Preston had an amazing ceiling detail that expanded the space and created depth, as well as solid concepts regarding how they would need to spend their time in the bunker. Maybe their concepts could have been followed more rigorously, but the ceiling looked incredible and the space seemed considered carefully with the spirit of the project. If interior design were literature, it would not be judged merely on how beautifully written the language, but also the content and merit of the subject. Ondine and Preston, out of all the groups, had intelligent thoughts of how to approach a "bunker" project, theirs was the only on that connected the work back the specificity of the theme. All of the shows that have team challenges give us insight into forced collaborations. They are so hard!
One of my most difficult challenges in Season 1 was the one where I felt my voice was not heard. My heart went out to Jen when I could see a similar storm brewing. It is frustrating beyond belief, to be in that situation and now to watch it happen again. I watch, and think, "Why can't they pull themselves together, stop arguing, or worse, stop not arguing?" The teams that seemed to make the best decorated rooms were the groups who were most similar in background and vision, regardless of what that vision might have been, it was cohesive. I am all for mixing it up with the teams as long as you can get on the same page. It presents a very real and immediate issue with design -- how to communicate and get the momentum rolling, and finish given everyone has a different point of view. And how to deal with difficult people ... I am really glad the show is taking the challenges in different directions, showing that designers often consider some less than ideal scenarios in their work. The show was entertaining, the contestants personalities are very watchable , but ...
Dear Andy, can we get a do-over? Love Goil (and Tom)