by Heather Angel
Day 19 is a rainy one at the estate. Inside the Connecticut residence Kimberly says she felt awful being on the ‘chopping block’ last episode and is glad she was spared.
Host Joan Lunden meets the contestants in the kitchen to tell them about their next task. First she says they need to even up the number of people on each team. The person who will be moved from the Crafty Beavers to Team Artisan is the player who the judges think made the best individual project from last week’s challenge. The judges decided Mitch is the ‘winner’ with his tuxedo shirt wrapped box. Reluctantly Mitch leaves his group to join Team Artisan. He says working with Dawn and Kimberly is hardly a prize. He says the two are copiers, not creators.
Joan says for this challenge the teams are to create an estate sale with objects purchased from local antique stores. They must buy and refurbish four items. Two of them have to be pieces of furniture. One piece of furniture must be from the 19th century and the other can be from any period of their choice. The third item must be made of wood which they will have to decoupage, and the fourth item can be any type of antique that they’d like to refinish. The four required items must be listed so the judges know which ones the teams chose to refurbish. The teams will also need to create an environment in which to present their wares. They will each be given $1000 and 30 hours to complete the job. The teams will be judged on creativity, ability to spot a bargain, and their skill in increasing the value of their items. For the individual project each contestant must create an item from scratch that best shows off their skills.
Before the teams get to work, Mitch confesses to the Crafty Beavers that he is still on their side and will spy on Team Artisan. This rattles Darlene and she starts to wonder who Mitch really is.
The Crafty Beavers set out to buy some antiques and spot a dresser from the 1800’s. The sale price is $385, but Darlene, Amy, and Heather turn on the charm with some smiles and hugs, and manage to talk the sales man down to $290. Outside Darlene spots a moldy bamboo chaise that was left in the rain. She says for $20 it’s a steal, but Amy thinks it a bad idea and a risky purchase. Team Artisan is also busy antique shopping. They find a child’s wicker rocking chair, as well as a 19th century chair that looks like it was part of a dinning room set. Kimberly and Mitch already begin to lock horns about what type of design they should use in their decoupage project. Kimberly wants to uses a floral picture, but Mitch says that look is overdone. He says he doesn’t think Kimberly is on the same skill level as the other ontestants. The teams don’t know this, but before all their purchases are delivered to the estate, the objects are appraised by a couple of antiques experts. They will also appraise the items after the teams fix them up to see which group got the best deals and made the most profit from their refinishing work. This will help the judges decide who will win.
While the teams are hard at work, Amy reveals that she wants the Crafty Beavers to win to prove that the team can win without Mitch’s help. Darlene sews a new lining for a wool coat she bought at one of the antique stores. She also brings the bamboo chaise back to life with a coat of orange paint and a new cushion she makes from scratch. Team Artisan bought more stuff than they need and now can’t remember if it was the wrought iron table stand or the black table they listed as one of the four required objects. They think it was the table and decide not to use the wrought iron table stand at all. Mitch works quickly covering the 19th century chair cushion with expensive silk and says Dawn and Amy work too slowly.
Minutes before the judges arrive, Team Artisan is told that they broke one of the rules. They had listed the wrought iron table stand, not the black table Kimberly worked so hard to decoupage, as one of the furniture pieces they would use. Mitch rushes to get the weathered stand and set it up in the antique pavilion. There is nothing they can do this late in the game to refurbish it. Mitch tells Dawn and Kimberly to keep quiet and he will handle the judges.
Candace Bushnell, David Evangelista, and Bobby Flay visit the Crafty Beavers first to judge their antique sale. Darlene, Heather, and Amy decided to dress in 50’s themed clothes. Candace says she likes that they have a theme going and Bobby comments that he’s turned on by this era. David is disappointed that they chose to just paint the dresser white. He says he would have liked to see the piece of furniture have a more ‘distressed’ look. Candace says she’s not happy about the Crafty Beavers’ lack of knowledge about the history of their items.
The judges visit Team Artisan and David points out the excellent quality of the craftsmanship of their pieces. Candace says their choices were excellent and Bobby adds that they made some smart choices like buying the wicker child’s rocking chair and refinishing it by simply adding a new cushion. Then the judges get to the wrought iron table stand and realize that it is no different than the way they purchased it from the antique shop. Mitch proves that he’s best skilled at the art of B.S. and feeds the judges a story about how they just left it alone as not to harm the table stand’s weather-beaten charm. Back inside the estate the appraisers reveal which team made the most profit from the antiques. They determine that the Crafty Beavers increased the value of their items by 200%. They say their biggest increase in profit came from the $20 chaise that Darlene refinished (remember, that’s the one Amy said was a bad idea to buy). Team Artisan didn’t do as well. They increased their items in value by 150%.
The judges deliberate and Bobby and Candace are at odds. Bobby is not happy with Team Artisan because he thinks they skimped on the project by not refinishing the wrought iron table stand. Bobby saw though Mitch’s lie and says he’s just a good talker. Candace, on the other hand, bought Mitch’s story about not refinishing the table stand as not to ruin its rustic look hook, line, and sinker. After some heated discussion, the judges decide the Crafty Beavers won this challenge. They chose Kimberly’s and Dawn’s individual projects as the weakest ones from Team Artisan. This means Mitch will decide their fate. Out at the Rock Garden Mitch says he wants to ‘raise the bar’ in the competition and wastes no time getting rid of Kimberly.
Heather can be reached for comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.