Ellen's Design Challenge Season 2 Episode 5: Ellen's Choice

Ellen's Design Challenge Season 2 Episode 5: Ellen's Choice

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Tara Bellucci
Feb 15, 2016
(Image credit: HGTV)

Four designers down, and four left! For making it this far, the remaining cast members get a signed copy of Ellen's latest book. But the inscription also holds their challenge for the week. Let's see how they did:

(Image credit: HGTV)

Inside their copies of Home, Ellen wrote each of the remaining designers a personal note, including their specific task for the week. After complimenting what he does with his wood, Ellen challenges Kyle to make a comfy chair. Miles has to build a fun desk, Vivian gets a coffee table, and Sef, a dresser. They've got the requisite three days, and for winning the last challenge, Miles gets an extra hour on Day 2.

And they jump into the design process—Miles considers a trampoline desk, Kyle decides to go with orange upholstery (because Ellen called him a tiger, and also the Detroit Tigers). Vivian decides to go with an interlocking metal base topped with acrylic.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Meanwhile, Sef is getting all A Beautiful Mind with a million Post-It notes and Chip is trying to stay alert. There's eight hours left in Day 1, then four, then three... and Christiane comes over, and there's no design idea for her to critique. She's rightfully concerned and Chip clearly has panic in his eyes.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Kyle's exposed slat chair is inspired by the shape of the Guggenheim and Matt even have a mockup chair made from plywood and foam for Cliff to test. He warns that when Ellen says comfy, she means comfy. Kyle make some tweaks to the design to make it more inviting.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Because nothing is more fun than dinner, Miles' desk is inspired by a Chinese takeout container and is covered in a whiteboard surface for to do lists and impromptu art projects.

Day 1 is over and Sef doesn't have an idea yet. It's possible Chip will just not show up tomorrow. But they're both back bright and early, and Sef recorded himself getting dressed, and is turning the audio waves into a relief pattern for the front of the dresser. A whole day down and he comes in with an mp3 of him putting his pants on. But an idea is an idea, so they're off to the races.

Vivian is plasma cutting and bending her metal base, so time to take a swig of your dedicated welding B-roll beverage.

Kyle is getting his legs turnt. All this talk about how fragile walnut is is making me really nervous but ooo those are some nice legs. Three down and one to go and OH GOD THERE GOES A CHUNK OF ONE. Of course, there's no more walnut so Kyle's gotta keep turn, turn, turning and see how it goes. There's a bit of a visible divot, but nothing too horrendous, so it's a keeper (not that he has much of a choice).

(Image credit: HGTV)

Miles is using purpleheart wood from Brazil that's actually purple! Isn't nature amazing?? Though he and Karl cannot get their angles right, and have to redo them like four times. Vivian is taking her time sanding down the steel so that her table doesn't cut your grandma.

Since they are down a whole day, Sef & Chip decide to use the drawers from the workbench instead of building them from scratch. Kyle is throwing some serious side eye, since building drawers is kind of part of building a dresser.

It's the end of Day 2 for everyone except Miles & Karl, who bask in the beautiful quiet of an empty workroom. In their extra hour, they work on the flap hinges, as well as bending, painting, and inserting a wood panel into the legs.

It's Day 3 and Vivian is painting her table base with white automotive paint and it's gleaming like a '55 Corvette. Kyle & Matt unpack their upholstery. Sef is painting his sound wave drawers turquoise whilst Chip is routing a picture rail into the top of the dresser.

(Image credit: HGTV)

At the end of the day, everyone else is casually putting on the finishing touches and shopping the Wayfair wall, except for Sef & Chip who have 3o minutes to finish and hang all the doors and drawer fronts. 30 seconds left, and the door is hanging crooked and there's no time to fix it. Bet you didn't see that in your mind map, Sef.

(Image credit: HGTV)

This week's guest judge is Adam Blackman, and he's looking for new and fresh pieces that "stop the eye."

Up first is Miles, and off the bat Sef chimes in saying it looks less fun and more dangerous. Adam calls it a sexy desk, Christiane compliments the proportion, and Cliff calls it aesthetic and efficient, but some of the edges are rough.

It's Sef's turn, and Chip calls him an "academic of design" and very thorough. The green room looks embarrassed for them as Sef is explaining how they didn't have enough time before they even reveal the piece. Overall the judges like it, save the wonky door. Cliff reiterates how important craftsmanship is on this challenge. Do they know he didn't build the drawers? Do they care? It is actually quite stunning—and I'm a sucker for turquoise.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Time for Kyle's comfy chair— which everyone sits in—and Adam calls it "completely fresh," and says that it "looks great from every angle." Christiane is wowed by his "excellence in craftsmanship," while Cliff calls the upholstery "slightly sad," but gets the mid century reference.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Vivian's coffee table spins around and it's almost tough to spot since it blends in to the white stage. Christiane calls it a "lyrical piece of sculpture" and Cliff can imagine it as the inspiration for a full line of pieces. Sef calls it modern but not too artsy, while Kyle says it looks like an alien pretzel. Do alien pretzels come with mustard, nacho cheese, or cinnamon sugar?

Kyle and Vivian are tops, and it's suuuuper close, but Vivian takes her first win. That leaves Sef and Miles in the bottom, and they both had some finishing issues. It's a nail biter as Christiane gives us a dramatic pause... only to say that they both get to stay! Relieved hugs all around for this unexpected happy ending.

Next week, my love of dance and furniture collide as Twitch, Ellen's resident DJ and So You Think You Can Dance coach/alum, tasks the designers with creating a couch for her green room. Exciting!

That's it for this week! Do you agree with the verdicts? Tell us in the comments!

We'll be live-tweeting the show along with the cast & judges every Monday at 9|8c. Follow us @apttherapy & join in using #EllenDesignOnHGTV. And check back after each show for our episode recap! Also, you can vote for your favorite designer at HGTV.
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