Episode Seven : The Guest Room

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Here we are again, standing in front of Jamie in the boiling Malaysian sun, trying to hide our sweat and exhaustion from the cameras. And this week comes with a twist I have been fearing since the beginning of the competition : teammate swap. The good news is that the swap will happen after six hours, which leaves Iva and I plenty of time to discuss what our guestroom will look like.

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We both actually felt quite happy with our new teammates : I get along with Chelsea very well, and really respect her work ethic. Iva and JP love each other and I knew she was going to have a lot of fun.

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But first we got to shop with Jamie. A pretty intense experience. Jamie had a lot of ideas and advice for us, but he wasn’t used to our very short shopping time : only an hour to buy all the furniture and accessories for the room ! As Jamie and Iva were stopping at every piece they liked to discuss it thoroughly, I was just trying to push them hard so that we would finish on time. In the end we managed and got a lot of good tips from Jamie.

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Back at East Residences we had six hours to get our ideas straight. I could see Iva starting to stress. Although it’s true that sometimes she’s a jealous girlfriend, in this case she was much more worried about my abilities to arrange pillows on a bed and frames on a wall than my spending time with another woman! In the end we were ready for the much-dreaded swap.

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Iva had a great time with JP. She told me they had a lot of fun, discussing design ideas as well as gossiping about the competitors. Too bad the show is only fifty minutes long, I would have loved to see more of it on TV!

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I was very stressed out, especially when the time came to accessorize the room. Picking out some of Iva’s jewelry to place it around the room, browsing through fashion magazines to cut out images to fill the frames, not my most confident hour, but I got through with it.

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We were able to make a very good use of the swap by focusing on Chelsea’s strengths and giving her only one task : the wallpaper collage that would cover the cabinets. It turned out to look amazing ! Laurence loved it, called it “borderline genius” and said he would try to sell the idea to one of his posh clients back in England ! Iva and Chelsea should team up more often to create such successful designs !

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After this week we were starting to feel that we finally had both judges on our side. Jamie has been an amazing supporter of our work since the start of the competition; we cannot stress out enough how his support is helpful to get us through every week of this surreal experience. And Laurence started really appreciating our efforts to go out of our comfort zone, experimenting more and more with colors and textures. But we still have a long way to go to win that apartment…

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Elimination came as a shock as The Strangerz got kicked out of the competition. We thought this decision was unfair as we felt from the start JP and Daniel were one of the strongest teams. On top of really liking their designs, we really liked them as friends. JP is one of the most talented and funniest people I’ve met, and Daniel is simply one of the loveliest human beings I know. Their presence made it easier for me to go through this ordeal. JP made me laugh and Daniel made me feel more at home. Iva couldn’t hold back a few tears as we learned we would not be competing against them anymore. Great TV.

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So… we made it through this week’s challenge ! As we’re getting closer to the end of the show, I’m starting to realize that we could actually win this. Iva has thought so from the start, but I have been more conservative in my approach to the whole thing… Let’s see what happens next…

Phil

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Click here to continue to Episode 8 : The Leisure Room

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