It is day seven at the estate and Dawn is franticly organizing the kitchen, perhaps in an attempt to show her fellow Team Artisan teammates that she’s useful enough to keep around a few more episodes. (Dawn was nearly ousted in episode #2). In the middle of Dawn’s frenzy, host Joan Lunden arrives in the kitchen to announce this week’s challenge. The teams are to set up campsites, domestic diva style. They will also prepare a meal for the judges in the great outdoors. For the individual project, each contestant must make a gift for the judges using a fold-out paper map. Each team has a $5000 budget which they will have one hour to spend at Sears. Each team will also get an additional $500 to spend on groceries, and whatever is left, they must divvy up to buy supplies for their individual projects.
Joan also announces that Crafty Beavers teammate, Denise, will be moved to Team Artisan to even out the number of people on each team. Mitch, who argued constantly with Denise as Crafty Beavers teammates, must be thrilled to see the opinionated contestant go.
The Crafty Beavers, sans Denise, head off to do their shopping. Unlike in the past, the team is running like a well oiled machine. Mychael says there is a different energy, like everyone has put their egos aside. Amy agrees saying the Crafty Beavers are running smoothly.
It’s a different story for Team Artisan. Kimberly suggests preparing Cornish game hen but Margo insists on ‘keeping it simple’ with turkey burgers. At Sears the teammates keep changing their minds about which supplies to buy. Margo is clearly irritated with the team’s lack of ability to make decisions.
The teams head out into the wilderness where they have 24 hours to set up camp. Team Artisan gets to work on their site which they name “Camp Rustic Elegance”. One of their first priorities is to build a bathroom with plywood and decorate it with colorful cloth drapery. The ladies also set up a comfortable sleeping area using air mattresses topped with an eclectic mix of pillows. Darlene digs up some indigenous plants from another area of the forest and landscapes the campsite. We see Margo’s softer side with a misty-eyed divulgence that she needs to win this competition because she’s the sole provider for her three children.
Over at “Camp Beaver” the teammates have constructed a Moroccan-themed campsite. Heather builds a wooden dance floor which will be used for the entertainment portion of their challenge. Mychael starts preparing Cornish game hen, while Mitch makes deep-fried trout and tarter sauce.
The judges arrive first at Camp Beaver where they are served champagne in coffee mugs. David says this is camping fashionista style. Heather is annoyed when Mitch takes over the hosting duties, showing the judges around the camp. They seem to be impressed until they walk inside the tent, and the judges find sleeping bags unmade. Mychael’s Cornish game hens are a hit with the judges. Bobby says he’s impressed with the wide variety of food that’s been prepared. During the meal the judges say Mitch seems to be the most versatile member of the Crafty Beavers, and that they haven’t been impressed by Amy. The team finishes the outdoor challenge by doing a silly version of River Dance on the wooded dance floor.
Now the judges are off to Camp Rustic Elegance where they are greeted by the teammates wearing matching red flannel shirts. Each judge is given one of the shirts to wear. David uses the make-shift bathroom and seems impressed. When they sit down to eat, David is concerned that the turkey burgers aren’t cooked well enough. The team members sing a campfire song for the judges and give them personalized blankets to take home.
Everyone meets back at the estate where David praises the Crafty Beavers for their ‘amazing’ table dressing. However, Candace lambastes the team for their messy sleeping quarters, adding Amy was the only one with a neat cot. Bobby says making fried fish was a poor choice for the outdoors when it could have been grilled. David complains that he saw tacky electrical tape on their tent’s canopy.
As for Team Artisan, the judges agree that their campsite had great style and made for a comfortable environment. Candace mentions that Margo’s turkey burgers were a bad choice. Kimberly smirks because Cornish game hen was her idea but she got over-ruled by Margo. Kimberly makes it clear to the judges the bad meal was all Margo’s fault.
0-2 Team Artisan got lucky for the first time this week with Camp Rustic Elegance. The judges chose them as the winners. That means a member of the Crafty Beavers will be voted off the show. The judges choose Mychael’s survival kit and Heather’s photo album as the weakest individual projects. Out at the rock garden, Heather pleads with her teammates to keep her around. Confidant Mychael tells the team she loved working with them. In a surprise upset (at least a surprise to me) culinary wizard Mychael is unanimously voted off by her teammates. Tim tells Mychael his vote was not personal, but a strategic move to help him win.