Ellen redefines herself with TV design challenge
In many viewers’ perception, Ellen DeGeneres is “defined” by her popular daily talk-magazine show, “Ellen,” which has been on TV for more than 10 years now.
In our view, however, Ellen’s TV persona is increasingly being “reconfigured” by her new spin-off TV show, “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”
It turns out that Ellen has always been an appreciator and collector of exceptional furniture pieces, so a few years ago, she thought up this design competition for gifted furniture makers in the States—with impressive results!
Ellen’s team has done a great job finding the best younger designers in the land, and encouraging them to join the competition.
Due to Ellen’s fame and clout, the new tilt has quickly become a prestigious showcase for the best young designers.
Finalists who make it to the competition proper are given three days to conceptualize and construct one innovative piece of furniture each week, with the help of an assistant.
Experienced designers with very high standards then vet the pieces and choose a winner each week—and one loser is serially sent home.
The field is narrowed down to the “final-final” bets, who then square off for the title’s top plum, a really cool $100,000.
Even more valuable is the prestige that comes with the title, which opens really big doors and opportunities for the best of the best.
“Ellen’s Design Challenge” has not been exempt from controversy, like a past season’s winner having belatedly been found to have plagiarized a design.
But, the tilt has learned a lot from that shocker of a downbeat denouement, the compromised “winner” was stripped of his title, and the competition today is above reproach.
We’ve been watching “Ellen’s Design Challenge” quite regularly of late, and consistently marvel at this season’s finalists’ exceptional talent, versatility and awesome technical skills.
They aren’t just standout designers and craftsmen, but also know how to work with a wide range of materials, from wood to metal to glass, plastic, fabric, twigs, hemp—etc.! And, if they can’t craft it themselves, they know specialists who can do it for them in a jiffy!
Some of their finished pieces are so beautiful and artistic that they look like pieces of sculpture! But, their objective is that artistic form should never upstage practical function, so the winning pieces singled out each week adroitly combine those twin virtues.
Last week’s challenge was particularly creative and difficult: Each of the remaining finalists was assigned a country, and he or she had to design and construct a piece of furniture that vivified the best of that country’s cultural and design ethos.
The winning piece was accurately and authentically Japanese, and deserved to win. But, the competition was so stiff that even the “losing” piece, representing France, was still a standout—and we were sad when its maker had to go.
That’s the way it is on “Ellen’s Design Challenge”—the tilt’s finalists are so good that even the “losers” are winners in many viewers’ estimation!