Aimee Deeken

February 14, 2007: Life's a Beach

Though team challenges don't offer us much insight into each designer's unique tastes and talents, they sure supply lots of verbal sparring, stubborn individuality and bruised egos. In tonight's venture, teams of three set out to create a beach cabana that incorporated the mood and sensibility of a specific sunny destination. The various grievances seemed to result from each team member overseeing furnishings, fabric or hardware/construction. Elizabeth on the Miami team said the city had a specific color palette, but they were "in agreeance to" infuse different colors and create "a respite" from the typical Miami milieu. Matt didn't seem to agree with the purple and yellow/green colors but chose to keep his mouth shut. Erik wasn't too worried; he had immunity from winning last week's challenge.No team seemed to have to struggle to stay within budget, but all suffered under time constraints. After making designs and purchases, Todd Oldham revealed a new twist: teams had to completely... read more

February 14, 2007: Sweet Revenge

Well, all is right again in the world of BATG. I know many (including myself) were put off by Ceci's bullying and manipulating antics and feared that her winning would ruin the spirit of the show. Thanks to the much-publicized twist, Ceci's character (or lack thereof) was made even more apparent (who knew that was possible) in the last 24 hours, and the booted-off geeks and beauties awarded the more deserving, humble and appreciative team. I wouldn't necessarily say that Megan and Scooter were the two who most transcended their respective "beauty" and "geek" labels, but by the end they certainly proved deserving of their victory. The first half hour seemed to crawl by as finalists Scooter, Megan, Nate and Ceci each tried to introduce to their teammate something they thought their partner wouldn't know. It wasn't that I was bored — no, I was glad to learn that Ceci's past includes cheerleading (unsurprising) as well as a year as a professional dancer (surprising). And I loved h... read more

February 7, 2007: The Mayor of Excuses Village

There is a really good reason that John and Michael fought so much in the last episode: They are both equally strong-willed and stubborn. You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? Well OK, yes, within the first few minutes of tonight's episode, John announced to his fellow contestants that he's HIV-positive. After working 48 hours alongside teammate Michael, during which each became livid toward the other, John explained that, prior to joining the show, he had received a high dosage of testosterone as part of his treatment. He added that he wasn't making excuses, but clearly he was attributing his aggressive behavior in part to the medication. But his disclosure didn't have (and won't have) tremendous ramifications in terms of drama because A) this is 2007 and we've learned a lot since the days of Pedro on The Real World, B) this show is serious about design, C) tonight we saw both of them being confrontational, having the gall to argue with the judges and tell them... read more

February 7, 2007: Home on the Range

It was bound to happen: a BF versus GF matchup in the elimination room. But comparing it to a Greek tragedy, Nate? I wouldn't take it that seriously. However, at least he and Jennylee recognize the competition's deeper (if reality TV can be deep) elements of respecting others and broadening yourself. Ceci continues to be equal parts inconsiderate, aloof and conceited. Granted, it could be a case of being in front of the camera as well as some drama-inducing editing. But if so, how to explain the fact that several times in this episode, Ceci's housemates attempted to "discuss Cecille with Cecille" as Scooter put it. To that end, the oft-weepy Niels was this time shockingly blunt, confrontational and dry-eyed, saying to her, "The attitudes you're espousing are disgusting." But their comments were met with more insults and cussing from Ceci.Tonight's episode showcased all the intra-team bonding that's been going on by creating a single challenge that the teams would complete together. ... read more

New Designs for this Blog

Hi there, Designer groupies. Sabrina Rojas Weiss is taking over theLost blog, and I'm going to head up this one. As she confessed in the last Top Design blog entry, I too have an apartment decorated courtesy of IKEA — and myriad mismatched items nabbed from Manhattan sidewalks. But I'm a big fan of Bravo's Project Runway, so I'm hoping for some similarly creative and fun competition and looking forward to this Wednesday! read more

January 31, 2007: Top Dog

Noooo!! My favorite team is out of the game! Sent packing based on semantics, no less, if you ask me. "Mimicking" versus "mirroring"? Seriously? And after Nate aped Mario's strategy, stole his ladies and only narrowly beat him. Talk about mirroring!Mario and Nadia competed well together, encouraged and supported each other, and had a mutual respect. They got along so well, evidenced in the end by their tearful and sweet farewell. Goodbye, Team Mario-Nadia. Alas, that leaves three teams, as well as the Jennylee-Nate coupling, whose pairing off maintains BATG's one-match-per-season tally. Not two minutes into tonight's episode, we were presented with black-and-white nightcam footage of things getting a little more serious. And near the end of the hour, when it was possible Jennylee could be headed home, the couple made it to first base. I tend to agree with bloggers' comments that Nate deserves better than Jennylee. OK, she gives Nate a self-esteem boost and is seemingly sweet to him,... read more

January 24, 2007: Drunken Divas and Pumped-up Poindexters

Lots of lessons learned among the beautiful and the brainy on tonight's show. Above all, the geeks discovered a way to get the girls serious and focused: Take them to the gym. Mario and Nate's jokes were so not funny to teammates Nadia and Ceci! Guys, the work out is sacrosanct! But then studying by the pool is so... borrring, whined Ceci, and Nate was required to be a little confrontational. Speaking of Ceci, as her real hair color grows in, her not-so-stupid and not-so-nice demeanor is also coming to the fore. But to be fair, we saw more of everyone's real personality, thanks to a road trip to San Diego and a yacht party. The combination of champagne, fresh ocean air, wind in their faces, and a romantic sunset turned everyone back into best buds again, and things got more touchy-feely, both figuratively and literally.There were not one but two Leo/Titanic reenactments, first from a few of the nerds ("We're the coolest geeks in the world!") gazing aloft, and then from Erin. I'm hop... read more

January 17, 2007: Pimp Your Geek

I hope you all didn't skip this Beauty and the Geek just because American Idol's back on. C'mon! Tonight's episode proffered not only this season's geek makeovers, but some first dates, some guys shopping in the women's department, more fighting and several unprecedented events never before seen in BATG history, if my memory of Seasons 1 and 2 serves me correctly. Plus, in my weekly quest to see each gender in this competition break stereotypes, tonight I was satisfied to see self-image issues and tears among the men (and Nate's emotion over chopping off his hair), plus cussing and smackdowns (albeit of a verbal, not physical, nature) among the women. The geeks had a precious 30 minutes to buy a new wardrobe (though it looked to me like they each bought only one outfit). Poor Mario left the store feeling "awful about [his] body type" due to his struggle to find clothes that fit. His particular shopping experience was (I'm guessing) not something this show's model-size beauties strug... read more

January 10, 2007: Blondes vs Brunettes

Even though tonight’s episode started with that much-flaunted “threesome,” I’ll get to that later. Perhaps the most important lesson revealed tonight wasn’t gleaned from a producer-induced challenge but merely from what happens when a gaggle of girls spend a few days frolicking around a mansion and revert back to the high-school hierarchy. That phase of life is all about cliques. It didn’t matter how comfortable Andrea and Sheree were “in their own skin” (as said Sheree) or how much they studied. Popularity (the blonde clique) seems to have trumped ability (the poised, articulate and hardworking brunettes) in this mansion. And as far as the show teaching “reality,” this latest development (I don’t think the first and second seasons were as clique-ish) certainly qualifies. I’m not defending the “gaggle of blondes” (nor was I remotely popular in high school), but sometimes networking in life is more advantageous tha... read more

January 3, 2007: Give Geeks a Chance

Well, the third cycle of Beauty and the Geek has arrived, with all the respective stereotypes in tow. On the nerd side, we have the dateless and/or virgins, a gross absence of social skills, some quantum-physics banter, and MIT, Harvard and Trekkies — er, Trekkers — represented. The beauties bubble with confidence — or with idiot commentary about modeling, cheerleading and beauty pageants — and hail from Hooters and Playboy. Five of the ladies are blonde (real or faux), and all eight men wear eyeglasses, so this season’s giving a lot of play to the assumed defining feature of each contingent.But the best part of this show is its ability to both laugh at and challenge the assumptions given the contestants as they at times embrace such stereotypes with confidence, or shed them and reveal their depth and commonalities. Prime example: the pairing-off situation, in which teammates were chosen with their backs turned, basing decisions only on what they said, not h... read more

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