by Heather Angel
For this two hour season finale, the five remaining contestants (Mitch, Kimberly, Heather, Dawn, and Amy) head to New York City. They will each do a five minute craft making segment with help from CBS’s “The Early Show” Host, Hannah Storm. What’s unique is that this is an individual challenge – no more Crafty Beavers or Team Artisan. The contestants get makeovers in the Big Apple and prepare for their
Judges Bobby Flay, David Evangelista, and Candace Bushnell watch as Dawn goes first making a table display. Candace says the project looks great but her voice is annoying. David says he wished she would have pulled her hair back. Bobby thinks Dawn’s smile lights up the screen but she needs to work on the ending of her segment.
Mitch is up next. He says he’s prepared 20 years for this moment. Mitch demonstrates how to make a candle display using an apple and cranberries impaled by a wire. David says Mitch had no inflection in his voice. Candace and Bobby agree that personality is important and that Mitch should be more enthusiastic.
Amy makes a “tie snake”, that’s a men’s neck tie stuffed with beans or cotton to make it look like a snake. Why anyone would need one of those is beyond me. Amy spills beans everywhere as she tries to show Hannah Storm how to make this bizarre creature. David says Amy has good energy. Candace says the segment was fun, but juvenile. Bobby says that the craft needs to work. It’s not good to spill the beans on “The Early Show”.
Kimberly demonstrates how to make ribbon flowers. Candace says the flowers look great and she felt like she could do the project. David and Bobby think Kimberly’s project looks amazing. When Kimberly returns to the CBS greenroom Mitch is green with envy when she brags that the judges had no negative comments for her.
Heather goes last, showing Hannah how to turn an old skirt into a purse. Hannah says the project is very cute, but the judges are less impressed. Bobby wonders why Heather didn’t bring a sewing machine, seeing as how that’s the most important tool in the project. Candace said the craft dominated Heather’s personality. David thought Heather looked terrible, saying her sweater looked like it was out of the movie Flash Dance. He was also appalled that she was wearing a “wife beater” under the sweater and her bra strap was hanging out. After all the screen tests are finished, the judges choose Kimberly and Mitch to go on to the finals. Heather, Amy, and Dawn are out.
It’s hour two of the season finale. Joan Lunden tells Mitch and Kimberly that they will go head to head each throwing a lavish society party in a New York City loft. The will also create a magazine cover featuring themselves. The food will be catered. At the party, Kimberly and Mitch will unveil and introduce their own magazine covers. The party is all about their images and they’ll be judged on every aspect of the presentation, as well as how they oversee the execution. They have two days and $20,000.
Mitch and Kimberly both want to win, mostly for the prizes but partially because they can’t stand each other. The next day, Mitch and Kimberly meet with their party planners. Mitch is going for bright colors like red and pink. Kimberly wants something more tame and elegant. Mitch’s magazine is called Directions for Living. His initials, MAP, will appear in the corner. Kimberly has chosen the name Lifestyle for her magazine.
Kimberly won a coin toss and got to choose which side of the loft she wanted. She chose the side that looks out onto the water. Mitch says he doesn’t mind because it will be dark so it doesn’t matter. His side of the loft looks out on the Empire State Building. For the drinks, Kimberly wants a martini with almond syrup and cinnamon sticks, while Mitch decides to go with a clear tomato martini he himself invented. It’s time. Mitch and his waiters are wearing bright red shirts. Kimberly’s servers are in black, and so is she.
The judges arrive, and a little while later, Joan welcomes everyone and introduces Mitch and Kimberly. The judges start with Kimberly’s side. Bobby compliments the drinks, but Candace hates the food. The judges move over to Mitch’s side. He explains the idea of MAP, his initials, and points out the arrows on the floor and trays. He explains how he made the clear tomato martinis. Bobby wonders if it isn’t a drink for summertime. The judges love Mitch’s food. Joan announces that it’s time for the unveiling.
Mitch goes first. He says that he’s wanted to do this since he was twelve and thanks his parents for being so supportive. His magazine cover is unveiled. Candace likes the title. Mitch is pleased and thinks the cover turned out well. It’s Kimberly’s turn. She talks about empowerment through the domestic arts. Mitch isn’t impressed with her magazine cover. Candace thinks that it looks inviting. Bobby hasn’t decided which he prefers.
It’s time for the big decision. All contestants from past shows gather at the Rock Garden to find out who the judges will choose. Candace asks both perfectionists about their parties. Mitch says that he’s passionate and the party showed his personality. Kimberly says that she wanted her guests to feel welcome and comfortable. Her colors were warm and part of her style. Bobby says that the background of Kimberly’s magazine looked “stately.” Kimberly says that it appealed to her and was elegant. David wonders if Mitch’s cover was too busy.
Candace asks Kimberly if she tasted her food. Kimberly admits that she didn’t, because she was too busy getting ready. Bobby asks Mitch if his drink wouldn’t have been better at a different time of year. Mitch says that he wanted to try something different. Bobby asks Kimberly about her drinks. She says that it was her taste and was seasonal. Bobby brings up Kimberly’s bad food. Candace says that her party was good anyway. Bobby thinks that Mitch’s party looked like “a Valentine’s party on steroids.”
It’s the moment of truth. Joan repeats that the winner will receive a book deal, a TV deal, and will appear on The Early Show six times. There’s also a surprise – the winner will get a 2005 GMC SUV. Candace says that she voted for the person who knows what the audience wants and how to give it to them. She’s picked Kimberly. David says that this was a hard decision, so he looked at past challenges. He’s picked Mitch.
Bobby has a list of words that describe the winner: “potential, smart, marketable, and comfortable.” He tops off the list with the name of the winner: Kimberly.
Mitch says that second place isn’t losing, and we haven’t seen the last of him. Kimberly says that she’s not a homemaker anymore. She’s not scared; she thinks she can handle it.
Heather can be reached for comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.