by Heather Angel
It’s day 21 at the estate and only five contestants remain. That is until Joan Lunden joins them to break the news that all the previously kicked off players are back for this week’s challenge and have a chance to get back in the game. Then, just like ghosts from episodes past, the old contests appear. Team Artisan, consisting of Dawn and Mitch choose Tim, Kimberly, Michelle and Margo to be on their team. Darlene, Heather, and Amy of the Crafty Beavers pick Tom, Denise and Mychael to be in their group. Darlene is a bit skeptical about working with Tom again because their personalities clash.
Joan explains that the teams will each get part of a vacant lot which they will need to landscape into a community park. Part of the park must be a meditation area and part a picnic spot. For the individual project, the team members will each make a topiary by clipping a live
shrub into some sort of shape. This project is very important because if the judges like the topiary made by a returning contestant on the winning team best, he or she will get a second chance and be back in the game. The teams each get a $5000 budget which they can spend at Sears’ on-line store and 24 hours to complete this challenge.
Dawn, of Team Artisan, says she and her husband have landscaped many yards so this project feels like second nature to her. The Crafty Beavers don’t share Dawn’s confidence. They are slow to come up with a concept. Frustrated about wasting time, Amy emerges as a leader; even though she says she doesn’t like that role. All is going well with Team Artisan until Mitch accidentally cuts off the tip of his thumb while trimming his topiary. He has to go to the hospital to have it bandaged. Meanwhile, his teammates solider on without him.
The Crafty Beavers are having a tough time pulling their park project together. Darlene thinks the climbing wall the team has built is ugly. She and Heather start to argue about the meditation area and where they should plant trees. As the sun starts to rise, the other teammates realize that Heather’s meditation area is not working so they start to tear down everything they had built. Darlene freaks out and suggests putting up a latticed pagoda. Tom says Darlene does a good job at the last minute.
Judges Candace Bushnell, David Evangelista, and Bobby Flay visit Team Artisan’s community park and there they find a fireplace in the meditation area, a children’s play area, dog run, and a pond with a wooden bridge across it. The Crafty Beavers have a latticed meditation pagoda with a small reflection pool, a fire pit, and a picnic table (which Darlene single-handedly built). The judges are very impressed with Darlene’s work. Heather tries to take credit for all the work as her teammates roll their eyes. David tries to climb the fitness wall and a piece falls off.
Back at the estate the judges say Team Artisan’s park was well planned out and that they had a great meditation area. They say the Crafty Beavers’ put in their sod badly and that their fitness area was not sturdy. Team Artisan is this week’s winner. The judges chose Kimberly’s as her team’s best topiary so that means she’s back in the game (after having been kicked off by Mitch just last episode). Mitch says there is more talent in the piece of thumb he cut off than Kimberly has in her whole body. The judges choose Amy’s and Darlene’s topiaries and their team’s worst. The returning members and Heather get to vote and, despite her talent, this week Darlene gets the ax.
Heather can be reached for comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org