“Morning Angels,” Charlie, er, Vern says. Sorry. Wrong show, although an Angels rerun might have been more fun. But I digress. Vern tells the designtestants that Chef Aaron Sanchez [pronounced Ah-rone San-chess….remember that] will be serving up a delisioso brunch at his downtown eatery, Centrico. Michael helps Courtland button up his shirt after their morning, um, romp, and the designtestants do a little dance, make a little love, get down to brunch!
Brunch! They get to relax! They get to drink Mimosas! Courtland and Michael have a first date! And they all seem to forget Reality Show Trick # 861: Everything is a challenge. There is no free lunch, er, brunch.
But still, off they go to an empty restaurant where they are catered to, eating a Fresh Fruit Salad, Corn Tamales, Huevos Rancheros a la Aaron–who is quite the spicy dish himself–and Empanadas They sit back, bellies and heads full, until Vern comes out of the kitchen with Aaron Sanchez and the designers realize they’ve been duped. Chef Sanchez puts Vern in his booster seat and off they go.
The designtestants must choose one of the four dishes they’ve just eaten and use that as their inspiration to create a dining room. What’s with all the inspiration tricks? Seriously, why not just say, Here’s a dining room space. Design! But I guess that’s why I am no longer a producer at HGTV. I should have fired Genvieve Gorder when I had the chance.
Meanwhile, back at brunch, Casey goes Tamale, while Courtland goes Fruit Salad and picks the Empanadas. Emily likes the crazy Rancheros, which leaves Michael, oh the irony, with the actual Fruit Salad.
Then Vern, fidgeting in his chair, pulls a tiny toy toolbox out from his pocket and tosses a plastic monkey wrench on the table: the designers have to start with a lived-in space, and re-purpose and reuse the furniture and knickknacks in their finished work.
Michael and Emily walk into what must have been Fred and Ethel Mertz’s old place before they moved to Connecticut with the Ricardos. There are old chairs and angels everywhere. There is a wooden snowman. It looks like one of Ethel’s housecoats gave birth over and over and over again in that apartment.
i would have turned and run.
Michael opts to re-purpose a coffee table into a bench for the dining table and heads for the power tools. I notice EMTs standing by, though because there are no hot fireman, he doesn’t cut off any appendages. He says the coffee table cum bench will, ahem, “pop in your mouth” like a fruit salad. Named Courtland. He spray paints it yellow because real designers spray paint, and then attempts to upholster it. There is screaming and shouting and crying, and then he decided just to lay a piece of fabric across it like a runner.
Or, as we say in my house, Just cover it up, it’s ugly.
While rummaging through Fred Mertz’s underwear drawer, Michael finds a stash of ceramic angels,and as he is apt to do, he sets about smashing them into bits while crying, God doesn’t hate fags! He doesn’t! But then he takes the angels scraps and glues them to a Baroque mirror.
Sidenote: On an old episode of the Dick Van Dyke show, little Richie Petrie shows a dinner guest some pieces of his mother’s jewelry. The guest picks up a ring and says, “Oh, this is baroque.” Richie replies, “I didn’t ba-reak it.”
I love that joke.
Emily, who has been told that she takes no risks, chooses a bold green to paint the ceiling. I cringe, and, well, I’m still cringing, but somehow it works. It’s an “explosion” of color, and crazy like Huevos Rancheros, or so she tells us.
She then finds Ethel’s wedding bouquet–fake flowers naturally because Fred was notoriously cheap–and spray paints them white to create a chandelier for over the table. Again with the spray paint. Seriously, if using spray paint makes you a designer, then the kid tagging the walls at Smallville High has a career ahead of him on HGTV.
While taking old dishes and turning them into candy dishes and candle stands, and spray painting them yellow and green, Emily reminds us that she is a professional prop stylist. I remind her that her prop styling almost got her sent home last week.
Courtland decides to re-use the dining room table, and creates, and stains, a new top for it. He tells us that he’ll be doing the MANual labor, because he’s a manly man with a fiancee Dina waiting for him at home lest you think that he and Michael aren’t sharing more than just a room back at the penthouse. But Courtland also takes two lamps, rips out the guts, spray paints them red and then covers the red with white paint, which will crackle and show how the Empanadas spiciness comes through. Okay. Then he takes the guts of the lamps and creates two copper wall sconces he applies to the brick, and, for a moment, I stop thinking how gay he is, and think he’s doing something interesting.
However, one-note Courtland comes back onscreen and begins doing yet another of his paint techniques on the wall. Seriously, Courtland, didn’t Nina’s fall from grace teach you anything? But, as usual, he thinks faux finishes are representative of good design. And they aren’t. Really.
Casey opts to re-purpose a couple of wing chairs into the head chairs for the table. She wants them to reflect the sophistication of a tamale.
Then she has a lightbulb moment–though nothing to do with actual lightbulbs or lamps. She decides to take an end table, spray paint ::::yawn::::: it white and top it with a cushion cut from a Navajo looking area rug because it’s nubby and textured like a tamale. It’s a good idea, and does re-purpose a piece of furniture, but the Navajo rug just screams Yard Sale to me.
And I scream at a lot of yard sales.
The judges enter the Blue Team’s room and find photographs of their inspiration dishes. Genvieve stops, transfixes, and, ever the professional designer, says That looks good.
Once again, HGTV, this woman has a show because she slept with whom?
Candice, however, an actual designer, loves Michael’s Baroque mirror because it looks like it cost thousands………………………………of angels their lives. They all like the explosion of color overhead, and Candice lifts Vern up so he can admire Emily’s fake-flower chandelier.
In Courtland and Casey’s Red Team room, all of the designers scream about the orange wall and demand protective eyewear! But they like the sconces, so it’s fifty-fifty for Courtland. Vern likes Casey’s rug-covered-spray-painted tables, but really there isn’t much in the room that makes them happy.
Still, there will be no winner, as all four designtestants much do their Hosting Duties and appear in the Judgement Dungeon.
Vern wriggles in his chair and reminds the designers that they will be judged on design capability, i.e. their use of spray paint, as well as their hosting talents. Genvieve looks like she is at the Judgement at Nuremberg, and not on a reality TV show. Seriously, who did she schtup and why is she here?
Someone? Anyone? Bueller?
Casey goes first and she looks good, and sounds good. Vern likes her, and Candice says she’s a bombshell and will bring men into the HGTV viewing family. Um, Candy? There are men who watch HGTV and we’re called homosexuals and we don’t care about Casey’s bombshell-iness, we just care about her shoes and accessories.
Emily is a talkative little minx, and throws in a few Spanish words: I created this faux flower chandelier. RANCHEROS! Genvieve calls her quirky, and says she likee quirkee. Genvieve is an idiot. But Vern loves the light and again they admire the green ceiling.
Courtland. Oh Courtland. He thought he had this in the bag, though he did remind the other designers that he has been The Bottom more times than he cares to remember. And I think he’ll be a Bottom again. First huge mistake? The orange wall? No. The crackled vases that shout spicy empanada? No. It was the fact that he called Chef Ah-Rhone San-Chess, Aaron Santos. Seriously, Courtland, you were cruising him all through brunch and you couldn’t get his name right? Bad gay.
Michael is tres gay in his presentation. He looks like a high school girl showing off her new bedroom. Candice tells him he needs to reign in his flirtatiousness [read: gayness] and Vern likes the mirror, though not in Fresh Fruit Salad Black. And he is told that there isn’t enough of him in the room.
Casey and Emily are hauled before the judges and told about all their mistakes, and then told that they are safe and will be in the Top Three…TOP THREE! TOP THREE!…which leaves loverboys Michael and Courtland in the Bottom, and we all know two bottoms never last long, so one will be going home.
Courtland is told he has delivered many things on the show with his many man MANual labor, but that he has also delivered many bad things, like, oh, I don’t know, faux finish after faux finish.
Michael is reminded by Vern that he hasn’t won a single challenge and that he needs to show more of himself if he wants to win. I’m sensing that Vern wants a Design Star Nude Host Show, maybe.
Michael follows quickly and the cameras fade to black. Cue the porn music.