Aimee Deeken

March 21, 2007: Brilliant… or Misconceived?

Good news and bad news. Good news: an individual challenge. And Michael is finally gone! While he has accomplished a lot by the tender age of 23, and learned to get his hands dirty, he needs someone else to pick out the colors and fabrics on his future projects. That was positively the ugliest rug I've ever seen (and I've been through many airports).Bad news: Matt's (lack of) favor with the judges. What is their problem with him? How could they have chosen Andrea as the challenge winner? Hers was elegant and loved the stone walls, but still.... OK, more on that later.Now down to five very unique designers, TD departed from home/garage design and opted for restaurants. The assignment was to create a private chef's room/table for a mystery chef client that would combine his or her affinity for nature, arts and crafts, mid-20th-century aesthetics, handmade and sleek cuisine, and upscale ingredients. Oh, and high-end luxury, courtesy of a $40,000 budget to pillage the Pacific Design Cen... read more

March 21, 2007: Death Becomes Her

Since much of tonight's episode featured Felicia and Whitney, I feared for their future. As is often the case with this and other reality shows, devoting so much screen time to a particular contestant merely foreshadows their ensuing demise. To wit: Felicia taught Jael a dance to get her mind off her dead friend (which was then short-lived — sorry, no pun intended — with the "dead-victim" photo shoot); and bonded with Whitney over "fierce" facial expressions (Fierce Count: 6). Sure enough, Tyra's mini-me was sent home. But not before her dance moves came in handy during the first challenge. The ladies' Mission (which proved Impossible for only Renee) was to slink, twist and writhe through a maze of lasers, stopping along the way to pose — or as Benny Ninja instructed — to "vogue." (People still use that word? It's so 1990.) Oh sorry, back to the challenge. So Benny arrived wearing a gold spandex onesie, also circa 1990, and judged them on their "vogueing," awardi... read more

March 14, 2007: Party Poopers

Unfortunately for this group, even the prospect of a party leads to turmoil. (Of course, they might've had more fun if they'd been able to celebrate afterward with their own party and some of that Bacardi.) But team challenges among these unique, strong-willed designers who are used to working independently and who are stubbornly loyal to their visions only yield a lot of angst. (And all this conflict comes even though Ryan has left the building!)Once the six remaining contenders were divided into two teams and attempted to work together designing an upscale "sensorial" bash for Bacardi Limon more product placement, we were subjected to a hefty dose of bickering, complaining, he-said/she-said, idea stealing, bossing, ignoring, eye rolling, even crying. (Thanks, I didn't get enough of that earlier tonight.) In fact, in the first half hour, nearly every comment was some kind of gripe and neither team seemed to agree on design, execution, time management, order of projects.... No one... read more

March 14, 2007: Candy-coated Pain

Should I be counting the number of times someone cries or screams on this show? Jeez, things have only just begun. Save the tears for something drastic. Jael is a good example. Valid reasons to cry: first, sitting eight hours for a complicated, painful weave, only to have it undone and replaced with Mia Farrow's Rosemary's Baby miniscule 'do. Second, a good friend dies of an overdose. Invalid reasons to cry (and cry and cry and cry, Brittany): your weave itches, the ice cream is cold, your head hurts. Your head is not the only one pounding — from all the screaming and temper tantrums, that is. And Miss J. and Tyra don't help the situation, staging their own mock makeovers and fake freak-outs. Such poor acting belonged back in last week's high-school gymnasium.Well, at least tonight brought us the ladies' much-needed makeovers and shed some light on more of the contestants. (Sarah seems to have curbed her ego, and Jaslene was pretty quiet.) We saw that Whitney and Cassandra are ... read more

March 7, 2007: A Little DIY

Hey Design groupies, I'm on vacation this week (sunny California), so I'm leaving the blogging to you. Since I often find myself agreeing (and laughing along) with your comments and assessments (e.g., Kelly Wearstler's crimped hair, etc), I'm looking forward to hearing/reading your thoughts. I'll be back for the March 14 episode.For further inspiration, click here to find the show's website, which has oodles of videos, blogs, polls and other Design-DIY goodies. read more

March 7, 2007: The Next Top Model Episode

Dear readers, I know the catfights, tears and screams have only just begun in the land of ANTM, but no official blog this week, as I'm on vacation. Will I miss the makeovers!? Well, whatever happens in the episode, I'll see it eventually and take copious notes. I'll be back next week, but one of Tyra's wannabes won't. So feel free to share your recap/comments here. Show me watcha got! But please don't use the "f-word" — that is, fierce!And to watch clips banished to the cutting room floor (er, the website), click here. read more

February 28, 2007: Model Maggots

Tyra Banks' eighth competition among model wannabes has begun, and we have the usual assemblage of applicants: spoiled divas, bimbos, innocent girls-next-door, punky types, the cocky know-it-alls, sweet country girls, urban hard-knock-life chicks, a mom, and a "plus-size" or two. But before we knew from whence came these 33 semifinalists, they were dumped at a military base for some model boot-camp training. The only things worth remembering about the boot camp were the stylings of Miss J. — in skin-tight military shorts — and those of the "maggots," who changed into two-inch-heel black boots and capri-cut fatigues for what amounted to less than 10 minutes of footage in tonight's two-hour premiere.Then in their first one-on-one interviews (and swimsuit modelings) with Tyra and the Js, some slight differences over previous seasons' contestants surfaced, what with the weave Cassandra lent, then retrieved and sewed to her head; the punk/rebel grrrl sporting 20 tattoos; and Na... read more

Cycle 8: More Travails of the Gangly and Gorgeous

My weekly appointment with the CW at 8 pm/ET (as well as my penchant for its reality fare) continues! The eighth (!) cycle of America's Next Top Model begins in Beauty and the Geek's time slot this Wednesday, Feb. 28, with a two-hour premiere. Join me here for commentary and recaps on the happenings sure to ensue: radical makeovers, Miss J.'s catwalk lessons, Tyra's heart-to-hearts, tears, fights (over use of the phone), at least one trip to the ER, and oh yeah, the model wannabes' photo challenges.To reminisce about past cycles, you'll find Sabrina Rojas Weiss' ANTM blog most helpful. read more

February 21, 2007: Diamonds in the Rough

Yay! This show is getting more interesting, as we learn more about the players and as the challenges heat up. Going into tonight's episode, I knew Ryan and Carisa would have to step up their game in order to avoid Jonathan Adler's "See you later, decorator!" line (which I think is so lame, by the way, but that's just my teensy opinion). I thought tonight's challenge tested the designers on many levels. It looked as though they were each assigned their client, as opposed to them randomly choosing for whom they'd create a live/work space. Once the contestants started brainstorming with their respective clients (themselves interior-design students), the reason for such purposeful assignments seemed clear: Since many of the clients had similar taste and style to their designated designer (or "mini-me's" as Felicia explained), I had to wonder whether this setup was an opportunity to get a better idea of each designer's unique style, and not limit them with client (or destination, as in l... read more

February 21, 2007: Geeks and Chics "Reunite"

Was anyone else hugely disappointed by tonight's "reunion special"? When I think of a reunion and an end-of-season wrap-up, I imagine an hour chock-full of seeing and learning new things, combined with the contestants reuniting — as in, being in the same room at the same time, talking among themselves about the experience. See Survivor or even the CW's very own America's Next Top Model for examples. Halfway through the show I actually checked my DVR's guide to see if this was a two-hour special, given that they hadn't gotten to the "reunion" part. Alas, it was not so. (Damn you, One Tree Hill!)Yes, we saw snippets of their audition tapes. But we hardly learned anything new. We already knew that the nerds on this show can recite pi, that Drew loves Star Trek, and that Mario has an extensive comic-book collection. We're also well aware that the beauties date a lot, shop a lot and flirt a lot. I don't think I'd seen Sanjay's computer-tech championship belt before, but I swear I'v... read more

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