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'Top Design': triathlon

Guest blogger Karen Shih is back and excited that, finally, the designers are NOT working in teams on Top Design:

Finally, an individual challenge! But it's not designing a room … it's a design triathlon, and the winner of each part gets immunity. Don't they seem to just throw immunity around a lot here? They never really do that on the other Bravo elimination shows.

First up, chairs. The designers need to make one-of-a-kind chairs in two hours. India judges each section with a different judge, and Kelly, wearing some strange origamilike creation with gigantic sleeves, is first.

They don’t like Natalie's weirdly purple and patterned chair. It's a "remnant from a Vegas hotel," says Kelly.

They don’t like Theresa's green and blue patterned chair either, because they said all she did was put fabric on it, and she didn’t do that well.

They liked Nathan's blue, white and gold chair, and they loved Eddie's bright yellow chair and Ondine's Betsey Johnson-inspired pink chair with little ornamental balls all over it.

Nathan wins! Immunity for him, and they're on to Round 2.

Leg two: Design a dining table set. They get $500 and 30 minutes in the Top Design showroom to get the materials they need.

It wasn't the most fascinating challenge, but Wisit does start singing — a crazy high soprano — during his judging. I have no idea. I still love him though.

India and Jonathan don't like Ondine's drab green setting, which they said didn't reflect her, and Preston's Mother's Day setting was overly flowery and didn't look practical. They thought Eddie's table, with two rectangular pots filled with green flowers, was super chic, and they liked Nathan's deconstructed, simple design.

And … Nathan wins again! What does he say to that? "I'm sure I'm going to be poisoned."

Fabulous attitude.

Then, they get a night’s break, and it's back to work the next morning.

Leg three: Use inspiration from nature to create a room for a photo shoot.

They have a chance to have it photographed for Elle Decor magazine! But the catch is that the designers can only shop at a garden center, meaning little real furniture or decoration. They get $1,000 and 45 minutes, and when they get back, they get four hours to work.

Eddie just wants a pretty apartment, he says, as Preston works on some intricately striped walls. Theresa goes for Zen with dark red walls, and Wisit creates a Parisian apartment.  

All the judges are around for this round, and Kelly's hair is some gigantic poof on her head.

They think Natalie's sunroom is adorable, and they love the fantasy of Wisit's room. Nathan's design is much less exciting this time around, with a drab "beach hangout." Andrea's "edible garden" idea is boring, and Theresa's room shows no creativity.

But before they do eliminations, the winner of that leg: Natalie! And the overall triathlon winner: Nathan, obviously.

Andrea and Theresa are in the bottom two. Andrea for her pale, muted style, and Theresa for her badly-thought-out designs that don’t show her voice. She wants Zen but can't make it work, Jonathan says.

Theresa goes home. I barely knew her name until this week so … yeah. Didn't really notice any of her designs throughout the competition, and that's probably why she went home today.

Next week: another team challenge? We're halfway through, and the judges say they want to "shake things up."

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