This week, the one-hour challenge was to build a birdhouse using the contents of a junk drawer. I thought this was pretty fun, and was happy that their junk drawers contained a lot of the same crap that mine always do, so I felt like it was legit.
I did have two problems with this challenge, though. The first is that they say "make a birdhouse using this stuff... and it always seems like the contestants build something and then decorate it with the stuff in the drawer. That's a valid use, I suppose, but really I'd expect the construction to include the junk drawer contents, not just the decoration. Now that would be a challenge. That would be more like the "turn a shirt into something new" challenge that I won oh-so-long ago when I made the puppet.
On the other hand, making the challenge more the way I'd prefer would also affect my second issue with this challenge, which is that either we as viewers aren't hearing the complete instructions the contestants are given, or the contestants aren't being given clear instructions, which isn't really fair.
Correct me in the comments if I'm wrong, but all ll I heard was something like "build a birdhouse using this junk drawer stuff." All of a sudden during judging, the ability to use the birdhouse outside became an issue. As far as I heard, they never said, "it has to be viable to be used outside." There are birdhouses, after all, that are 100% decorative and can be hung in green rooms or around areas of the house that are heavy with indoor flora, just to be cute. To not make this clear and then criticize the use of unprotected playing cards on the outside of this absolutely adorable house is kind of obnoxious.
Because honestly, the birdhouse that kept the male contestant in, while cute but not at all my style, was 100% unusable outside after the first rain. It was made from foam board and paper, which I honestly think was a copout way to work quickly and easily while the women were hammering away at their wooden houses.
He redeemed himself, though, during the five-hour challenge. Seriously. The challenge was to make patio furniture out of beach toys. And dude, his was genius. And really beautiful.
Unlike the judges, though, who seemed to be looking for things to criticize in the furniture set made by the female contestant, I didn't find anything wrong.
Like the judges, I love her wave table, bar stools, and pillows. Unlike the judges, I also love her couch and bar. I agree that the towels shouldn't have been thrown over the netting, but disagree that the rope doesn't go. Of course rope goes with beach themes. Or at least marina themes. Ropes are HUGE on boats, and used liberally in sea themes. So I got it, even if they didn't want to.
Really, this one for me came down to a matter of taste and it was a close call. In the end, I think the right person won, but it was by a nose.