Burning Flowers is a 1985 Norwegian drama film based on a story by Lars Saabye Christensen. It stars Torstein Holmebakk and Lise Fjeldstad as a teenager and middle-aged woman who fall in love. Brennende blomster, as it was originally called, would most likely fall into the genre of Scandinavian coming-of-age films. In many ways, last night’s episode of The Arrangement would fall into that same genre.
Oh, Tara. You’ve taken us on quite a ride this season. From the highs of your splashy designs to the lows of your Indian tee-pee reservation, you’ve always left us guessing. In your own words when you came out with the other three remaining designers last night, “We’re floral artists, we’re not just flower designers, everything we make is a piece of art.” True. And like many artists, a lot of the time it’s hit or miss. Last night, however, we were really provided the best arc of the Tara Story yet: an artist unwilling to compromise her integrity by hot gluing orange petals onto a tailpipe.
When GLG splashed onto the scene at the start of this week’s episode, she brought a little friend with her. Like so many of the guest stars on The Arrangement, GLG could never remember exactly where she first met him, but she knew he was good people all the same. Maybe it was something he said about one of her sparkle dresses or how her long hair always seems to fall perfectly onto her shoulders. Did it really matter? Either way, here he was like they always were. Standing in a corner, practically naked, covered in tattoos, and slowly spinning.
The designer’s Seedling Challenge this week was to design an arrangement inspired by this strange man’s tattoos. Before they started, the florists went around and shared their own tattoos, like an ice breaker that went on a bit too long. Tenley had a feather behind her ear, and Derek had a sassy tramp stamp. Guillermo didn’t have any tattoos because “he too hairy for himself” and Tara surprised everyone by showing a hibiscus tattoo on her back. Wouldn’t you trust a floral designer a lot more if they had a flower tattooed on them somewhere? I know I would.
Anyway, High Voltage Greg kept spinning around and the designers started throwing some flowers together as they’re wont to do. Their arrangements had to capture the “essence of Greg” and his tattoos. Derek found inspiration from a Phoenix tattoo on his back (the mythical creature not the online university) and Tenley and Tara used some depictions of Hell that he had on his arms. Guillermo’s finished arrangement ended up looking quite impressive using some leaves to look like a snake.
When Tara presented her Hell Branches to the Eric and Gigi, Eric was not a fan. In fact, I believe his exact words were “I want to smack you so hard you bleed right now.” Alright, Eric. Uh oh. Tara Breakdown Alert in 5,4,3,2,1….
“I’m exhausted. I’m producing shit.” Tara said she needed a minute, but the camera crew was all “girl you are on a reality show you don’t get a minute,” and just kept filming. Luckily, Eric was able to calm Tara’s increasingly fragile nerves by saying he admired her gumption. So true! You got spunk Tara and I love spunk. You’re gonna make it after all.
Derek won the Seedling Challenge because HE IS THE PHOENIX RISING or something and he was awarded an associate’s degree in accounting. Oh wait, I mean he got $1,000 to “Wooly Pockets, the company that designed the living walls feature on The Arrangement.” Lol. This show is now just giving away prizes to pay for their set. Isn’t that why we love it though?
For this week’s Weedout Challenge, GLG trotted out another friend and confident, a woman named Kim from True Religion jeans who was going to tell the designers about BRANDING. Branding is important in these rough economic times, you see. Just selling “flowers” is not enough. People who really want to make it in the cutthroat world of floral design need to be selling THEIR flowers. And/or THEMSELVES on a reality show.
Each of the four remaining contestants would be designing a floral piece that incorporated their brand and name or initials in a creative way. It would be a “living logo” of sorts that they’d then discuss with Kim. Wait a second… Living Logo…. Logo…
SEE HOW THEY DID THAT?!@?? And THAT is how you incorporate a brand my friends. Learn from the master. So the designers started hacking away at huge, foam blocks until they could chisel in their initials with leaves, and then pranced off for their meetings with Kim.
True Religion Kim told Tenley she was “funky punky” (which is pretty catchy) and Guillermo decided that his brand is “green.” No Guillermo. Your brand is clearly “fabulous.” Also, at one point Guillermo just turned to Kim and said “I didn’t know what you were saying at the beginning and now I know!!” Silly True Religion Kim probably thought he meant “understand” but I’m pretty sure he just had no idea what she was saying in terms of the actual words coming out of her mouth.
After their Kim Tutorials, America’s florists were told that for their main challenge this week they would each be covering half of a smart car with flowers. Ok! They would have to incorporate their “personal brands” as well as a lot of freaking flowers because they would be covering half of a car with one! At the Los Angeles Excitement Flower Market everyone ran around, and in a touching moment Tenley helped Guillermo find some ugly, black leaves.
Derek decided to cover his entire car in green. (Green? Smart car? See how he did that?) While Tara settled on an elaborate lotus flower that would grace the side of her intelligent automobile because she “feels like a lotus flower.” Oh you fancy, huh? Tenley was doing these stark, dark purple lightning bolts that looked pretty cool and Guillermo was saran wrapping his car in ugly black leaves circa the Excitement Market 2010.
Since Derek is an “edgy, urban floral artist” from what I’m assuming is the other side of the tracks of Traverse City, Michigan, he incorporated a brick decal into this design, “like graffiti.” When Eric came in, he was thankfully NOT HAVING IT so he covered up the bricks in leaves like a gay Edgar Allen Poe short story. Eric loved Tara’s dainty lotus flower, but she was starting to get pretty worried about time. This fear turned out to be quite warranted as she did NOT FINISH HER CAR by the time that GLG told the group to put their flowers down. !!!!!
Oh. no. Everyone knows that not finishing a challenge on a reality show is never good… Never. good. Tara…
The Judges were pretty much fans of most of the designers’ floral automobile wraps. Guillermo ended up covering up most of his leaves so his piece came together pretty well. Tara’s “thunderbolt” look flowed well, but I wish she had done all purple instead of alternating colors. However, when they got to Tara the artillery was really launched. She had failed her duty as a reality show contestant. She had not finished the challenge. There was just no escaping the horrifying sight of the back of half of that smart car with no flowers, just covered in disappointment and crushed dreams.
Tara and Tenley were in the bottom two, but I’m pretty sure everyone knew Tara was heading home. And she did. Perhaps she passed the discarded flowers and idling smart cars on her way out. Perhaps, like a Scandinavian teen finally coming to terms with her new emotions, she learned a lesson.