The Adventures of Ego Man
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Eddie, Senior Style Editor for Martha Stewart Living and TOP DESIGN smarty-pants, tripped over his massive self-worth this week in a spectacular decorating disaster. After winning immunity in a quick styling challenge, Eddie nearly broke his own arm patting himself on the back. “I don’t need someone to tell me when something looks good,” he said blinking repeatedly. “It’s my job to know.”

Fellow contestants were tired of hearing the designer’s pedigree, but they could only roll their eyes. “Martha, Martha, Martha,” chided Nathan with a Brady Bunch wink. Little did they know that it was about to get worse.

The main challenge, decorating a room around a fabulous Swarovski crystal chandelier, had designers hustling to show off their best. Preston, the quiet hottie who walked away as the winner last week, endured scoffs and smirks from Eddie’s corner as he put together his room—another boutique hotel room, of course. Although he has the judges’ interest, Preston has struggled with respect from fellow designers since day one. Even Nathan, when behind on time, wouldn’t let Preston help him finish a simple paint job, turning to Eddie for help instead. “I mean, I want it done right,” sneered Nathan.

Behind the scenes, another drama brewed. Andrea, wife of Silver Spoons heartthrob Ricky Schroeder, missed her family—a lot. Weepy on a good day, Andrea came completely unglued when her hubby sent flowers and a love poem. She walked through the challenge in a homesick daze.

Eddie, on the other hand, had home brought to him (kinda). As he rushed through the L.A. Mart in a desperate search for the perfect dining room table, he stumbled upon the mothership: Martha Stewart had a showroom on the third floor! Eddie leaped for joy and clapped like a little boy before raiding the store of its treasures. He smiled a victorious smile, knowing that he had the ultimate advantage over the others. After all, he reminded us, he is the Senior Style Editor…blah, blah, blah.

No one was more surprised than Eddie to hear what the judges thought of his Martha Stewart and crystal dining room. Referring to how well Eddie showed off the chandelier to its best, “It looked like a cheesy light fixture from the corner lighting store,” said show judge Margaret Russell. “I’m appalled you were able to do that to a Swarovski light fixture.” Gulp—not what Eddie was expecting—and his blank face showed it.

“If Martha Stewart did a mortuary,” added Jonathan Adler, “this would be the perfect reception room.” Ouch!

And whose room did the judges love the most? In a karmic TOP DESIGN twist, the good mannered, non-backstabby Preston won the top spot again. This time, there was no scoffing or pursing of unimpressed lips. This time, only jealous glances came his way.

Saved from the chopping block by his earlier earned immunity, Eddie slunk offstage to glue his ego back together, leaving Ondine and Andrea alone to face the hatchet. Then, in the most shocking goodbye of the season, an overwhelmed and homesick Andrea broke down and asked to be sent home!

When pressed for details, Andrea admitted that she was too worn down to compete any more. She hugged the other designers and hopped a plane back home to her massive ranch and her movie-star husband, leaving the rest of us to shrug and shake our heads.

The four remaining designers will face another grueling challenge soon; I can’t wait to see who will break next! My money is on Eddie.

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