FBLA Exclusive: Andrea Keller Trashes Top Design–Not Really


Bravo’s Top Design found Felicia Bushman ousted for using a crocheted afghan in a room designed for a twenty-something design student. Andrea Keller, our pal, commented on the challenge, One Man’s Trash:

AK: Felicia going was a huge shocker, we thought she would be around for a long time. She’s very elegant, has lots of experience etc.. you never know what will go on in that judging room! I think part of the bottom line was that the client didn’t like the room and was vehement about it, that made a big impression. we had to do so much so quickly, it’s really a 2-day panic of running around with paint and materials, and hard to balance what you think you know about the client with what materials you have available, how much time is left, how your building projects are going, what the judges may or may not think.. and all the while there are cameras on you.. So we were doing the best we could, no way to know where it would fall.

(Joe Stewart, the guest judge, had worked on Shop Til You Drop, and he designed the “White Room” which is neither white nor a room.)

FBLA: Is the show what you thought it would be?

AK: The scary thing was that obviously we had never seen the show before, it hadn’t been done, so we didn’t know what we were in for, and diving in on-camera. Someone told me that I had to have guts to do the show (he used another word) – and I realized that when I was doing it I was just trying to do my best and was consumed by the tasks at hand, which leaves me now needing guts retroactively which is odd and kind of impossible.

FBLA: How was Felicia in the team situation? How do you work with people, knowing someone is leaving?

AK: Felicia is lovely–always so warm, and when it came to working with her she wasn’t just gunning for herself, she was amazing to work with in a team. With Felicia gone, that left Carisa and I alone in the house – 4 challenges down and 4 girls eliminated, makes you sleep not so well.
FBLA thinks being alone with Carisa is enough to give anyone nightmares. Project Yawnur seems to agree.

(Pink Navy sees an plot against women of a certain age.)

AK: It suddenly hit me that we would be dropping like flies (I should have known that, have seen every project runway ever, hello) but it was happening and I was in the middle of it. Funny thing in watching episode 4 was that you can see that we are starting to fray a little bit–lots of energy drinks and almost no sleep, trying harder than ever to figure out the game and keep up. It’s also the point where you realize that you can adore people and still want them sent home, it becomes a question of math.

FBLA: How could you have never gone to a garage sale?
(And a commentor over on Blogging Project Runway notices how suspiciously well-stocked those sales were. TWOP agrees.

AK: Yard sale thing is odd, but I was in Philly with no car for college, not really a garage sale kind of place, then lived in Europe for a while, not so Swiss either. I just bypassed it, I’m not a snob at all at all, quite the opposite, did lots of thrift stores and making things myself, just sort of missed the phenomenon. I’m all for weird stuff.

(Kora-in-Hell gets the Swiss part, but not really.)

(Top Design Blogger turns into a cat blog, but in a good way.)

FBLA: That room cried out for a Murphy bed–were you tempted?

AK: I think if I did another Murphy bed they would have closed me in it and sent me home! There was an unspoken fear of repeating anything for fear of being pegged as being a one-trick pony. We had so few chances to show what we could do, so how do you balance versatility with trying to show a consistent style, finish your room on time and still stay in the
game (pander to judges a tiny bit)? fine line to find.. ouch. Kept us on our toes, tried to remember to smile.

FBLA: So the winner gets to pick a carpenter? How much difference does that make?

AK: Carpenter thing was huge. There was a wide range of skills and personalities, some people average and some people miracle workers, it
could mean building a whole lot more if you had one of the best. So we knew quite clearly that if we had one of the best carpenters we would have a leg up. There was more than one good one, so Carisa getting first pick was a definite advantage for her but a bunch of the rest of us would do ok as well.

Next week, confusingly titled Garage Band, which could have been the title for this week.

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