The jade flower is one of 330 species of plants that belong to the Craaulaceae family. The flower, which is native to South America, produces plump, dark-green leaves that usually grow to be about 1-2 inches and are often edged with red. It blooms once a year with fragrant, tiny flowers of different colors, and is known for it’s ability to survive with little care. Like the three remaining Arrangement contestants, the jade flower is a survivor.
When the final three designers stumbled into the studio at the beginning of this week’s episode, it was like an episode of one of those psychedelic public television children shows. Guillermo kept counting “1,2,3” and Derek and Tenley wouldn’t shut up about friendship. I kept expecting Katy Perry to show up in a see-through top. Soon enough, Gigi pranced into the room in a cute little pink number, and reminded the florists what they were competing for: $25 and a bouquet or something.
Actually, it’s $25,000, a smart car, and a month with Eric Buterbaugh! I’d like to propose combining these three prizes and film a reality series where Eric and the winner drive around the country picking flowers. We could call it “Eric’s Big Floral Adventure,” and he could use it as a platform to launch his 2012 presidential run, campaigning on a strong anti-leaf abuse platform. ARE YOU LISTENING OVER THERE LOGO PROGRAMMING???
Anyway, after a black-and-white montage of all the fabulous florists we’ve lost along the way (God I miss Bonnie) GLG told the three amaryllis amigos that they would be throwing together some rose arrangements that were supposed to be completely original. Everything’s coming up roses, you guys! Curtain up! Their arrangements had to be “something Eric had never seen before” so I’m assuming they needed to either include some very rare roses or else take the form of a “pun he didn’t like.”
Guillermo put together a gorgeous rose arrangement with “reflexed” roses which is the term for when some of the petals on the flower are pulled down. This episode of The Arrangement has been very educational so far in general. Eric liked the finished piece, but thought it looked like something that was “done 12 years ago.”
“But I wasn’t in flowers 12 years ago”
No of course you weren’t Guillermo. I’m sure you were samba dancing with a steamy latin lover on a hot Buenos Aires night somewhere. God I miss the ‘90s. Tenley’s red rose bouquet was pretty and classic, but it didn’t seem that different to me. Derek created this fanned out creation that looked like a prop cast off from a regional production of Pacific Overtures. In the end, Derek was declared the winner and accepted the honor like a proud Northern Michigan geisha. He was also given the special “flower power” that so often later translates in getting to chose something in a particular order.
For this week’s Weedout Challenge, the gang would be designing floral arrangements for the most important event in a woman’s life™ their big, extravagant wedding! One of the guest judges was Mindy White, a big, extravagant wedding planner who told them that flowers were the most important element in any wedding after the dress. Excuse me? What about the booze and hot jazz??
Each designer would be designing a bride’s bouquet, flowers for the groom, a tabletop centerpiece, and show-stopping stand alone arrangement. Hit the lights! With a budget of $700, the plucky floral artists were off to their usual stomping grounds: the Los Angeles Flower Market. Guillermo kept shouting about “longer stem” and Derek couldn’t find any of the flowers he was looking for. The Los Angeles Flower Market looks like a labyrinth of death. I think I saw David Bowie hiding behind one of the rhododendron bushes.
Back at the studio, each of the three remaining flower pixies opened up about why they really wanted to win. Guillermo wanted to make his father proud, Derek wanted to rise above his small town roots, and Tenley just didn’t know how she could go back to all the drama in her life. Tales as old as time. At this point, I felt like they should just call of the competition and start a babysitter’s club. Sometimes you need a place where everybody knows your name, you know?
Tenley jumped right into designing her show-stopper, and frantically began jamming 10,000 roses into a some, gothic holder. Meanwhile, Guillermo was making a floral Marge Simpson…
Per usual, when Eric showed up he had to reason with Derek to slowly step away from the gimmicky ledge. “Very few people want quirky stuff at their weddings,” he argued. True, but I do have a cousin with a deep-seated love of Star Wars who would beg to differ. At that point, I’m pretty sure the best line of the evening was offered, which could really operate successfully as anyone’s life motto: “I think the smart thing right now, would be to step back, and go couture.” Amen Sister Soldier.
Just when the three designers were getting into the groove of their designs with Guillermo softly giggling and Derek staring at the wooden wheelbarrow in the corner of the room with a complacent smile on his pixie face, GLG showed up and girl brought some drama with her.
Guillermo, Tenley, and Derek would also have to design a floral bride’s dress in their short time left. OH MY GOD HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY FINISH. With reinforcements of course in the shape of eliminated contestants: Tara, Eddie, and Anil. The boys are back in town! Derek assigned the partners with his flower power of course and they were off to work on their flower dresses. Remember you guys, “step back, and go couture.”
Eddie and Derek, Anil and Guillermo, and Tara and Tenley started tossing blossoms at chiffon in no time. Hilariously, Tara and Tenley were both sporting some slick black leather jackets so they made a pretty cute team. It was very Black Swan. Anil had refreshingly resigned himself to being the CHDIC: “Co-Head Designer In Charge.” #peoplechange. Derek’s bodice was strips of zebra leaves and orchid petals, and Tenley filled her skirt with dark rose petals. Though Guillermo was “hairrying” as fast as he could, West-Side Gigi was back in no time, count down from 5 over what seemed like a 10 hour period, and it was off to the Judge’s Table. DRAMA ALERT.
Eric, Gigi, and Mindy the Wedding Planner were joined at the judges table by former MTV VJ Lala for the final eliminations. Apparently, Mindy had helped plan Lala’s recent wedding, so I’m assuming this gig got her a couple tulips for free or something. Guillermo was the first to show off his designs. His cylinder show-stopper was a little wonky, but his green and white wedding dress was stunning. Eric told him he had to go to leaf rehab. RELAPSE.
Tenley’s designs were all dark roses, and they all looked very gothic in a Beauty and the Beast sort of way. I loved her groom arrangement, but wasn’t a big fan of her asymmetrical centerpiece. Her wedding gown, on the other hand, was amazing. I’m sure Black Swan Tara helped her put this together because it was stunning, especially the bottom half. Derek’s arrangements also looked gorgeous with a white, cascading theme. His bowl centerpiece was definitely more cocktail party than wedding though.
After a quick sojourn in the Greens Room, our friends were back and the moment of judgment had come. Guillermo was adorably SO nervous. He kept smiling, and his knees were shaking. I’m sure he was trying to think about giant leaves to stay calm. Maybe a palm tree or something. Derek was sent home first, back to the Traverse City in the sky, and Guillermo and Tenley retreated to the flower stations for the final petal to the metal. Ack!
With double the time (6 whole minutes) to complete their arrangements. Their finished products were quite attractive. I think I preferred Guillermo’s pink accents slightly more though, if you know what I mean. Through a river of tears the judges silently reviewed the final arrangements and announced that they had chosen a winner. Tenley was the winner of The Arrangement. She is the flower queen. Well not “queen like Guillermo” as Eddie would say, but monarch none the less.
So do you think she deserved to win? Personally, I liked Guillermo’s arrangements over the season more consistently, but every so often TenTen really blew me away. In any case, as Tenley drives off into the sunset in her cash-packed smart car with Eric in the passenger’s seat this season of The Arrangement has come to a close. Floating away into history, like petal in the wind.