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Inviting us into a vibrant and wondrous world, Full Bloom finds ten talented and innovative up-and-coming florists bringing their spectacular creative visions to a grueling but gorgeous competition series. In each episode, the budding botanical artists are put to the test in both individual and team challenges that determine whose stems get cut – and who remains in the running for the career-changing $100,000 grand prize to kickstart their business. Floral masterminds Simon Lycett, Elizabeth Cronin, and Maurice Harris host and judge, bringing their invaluable experience, discerning eyes, and hot takes to the flower shop to determine who will be the first-ever Full Bloom champion.

Promo:

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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S1.E1: Ready, Set, Grow

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Elizabeth Cronin, Maurice Harris, and Simon Lycett challenge ten fabulous up-and-coming florists to create elegant, flowing botanical waterfalls before the top two contestants take the lead on an epic group challenge: “painting” gigantic canvasses with flowers as they attempt to recreate two iconic Van Gogh still-lifes. Teamwork is key – and those who can’t play the game risk losing their shot at the $100,000 grand prize.

Original air date: 11/12/20

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I watched The Big Flower Fight on Netflix and was underwhelmed (I liked it enough to finish watching it, but I'm not sure that I would have bothered if it hadn't aired in the middle of a pandemic), so I was looking forward to seeing if Full Bloom was better.

One episode in and I have mixed feelings. I like that this is an individual competition rather than people coming onto the show in pairs so that was a big improvement already. I also liked that the first challenge was relatively simple in design so that we could get a feel for each person's design aesthetic and their individual style. A waterfall allowed them to create a lovely flowing piece, which many of them did. I thought it was weird that we got still shots of four of the designs before the judges started doing the critiques. Why only four? Why not all ten? Or why the random four (not the top four or the bottom four)? It would have taken less than a minute to show still shots of all ten designs so I was confused about that.

Side note: I wish everyone would quit using the word insane to describe everything on this show. I was also rolling my eyes when the female judges said, "I am literally shook from head to toe." No, you are not so STFU.

I liked the very pink theme of Ace's design, but to me there was no waterfall effect. There were hydrangeas coming down the driftwood and then a bunch of flowers lying flat on the table. I did like that he used the tillandsia's curling leaves to simulate the undulating motion of moving water though.

My favorite thing about Schentell's design was that she took carnations and baby's breath, which are usually considered cheap filler flowers, and she created a really beautiful piece. She was smart to choose the variegated colors of those carnations. I also loved the way that she used that tiny watering can as the source of her waterfall.

My main issue with Justin's design was the physics of what was happening. There's no way that you would have a bowl that's almost entirely vertical with anything flowing out at the angle he had the flowers. I know that sounds nitpicky but they were supposed to be creating the illusion of waterfalls and motion and visually my eyes didn't believe it because of the position of that copper bowl at the top. I also didn't like that he masked the support for that bowl with a huge spray of whatever that wispy stuff was. It just looked really odd. The flowers themselves were beautiful. He made good color choices and the way he arranged them was pretty. But I agreed with the judge who said that Justin's hero flower wasn't really obvious. The editors really went out of their way to show us that Justin was going to come in last place in this challenge.

Mariela's phoenix wasn't as impressive to me as it seemed to be to the judges. It didn't look like a phoenix and it didn't look like a waterfall. I didn't get any sense of waterlike flow from her design at all. It almost looked like a cornucopia to me, both in the shape and the static nature of what she made.

I didn't get Spencer's design so I was hoping the judges would ask him about his inspiration and why the flowers were coming out of a French horn in a tree but nope, we didn't get to see him utter a single word to the judges. I didn't get the 80s color palette from it the way the female judge did either.

I liked the idea of Kristen's design (a florist tossing old water from a bucket) but what she created didn't really mimic that idea accurately. There's no way that tossing water from a bucket would result in what looked like a triangle of water. I did like her use of color though and I liked the baby's breath creating the mist around the edges. I didn't notice all the holes in her design until the judges pointed them out.

I was surprised that the judges said the light blue trash bag used in Adam's design looked expensive and light. I thought the trash bag made his design look like the florist wasn't done unpacking it and setting it up.

I didn't mind Beth's Vanda grass bubbles so I just kind of rolled my eyes at the judge who said it was dated. I thought she had a great use of color with all the purples contrasting with the green and orangey pinks. And her design had a nice (if shortened) flow that I thought fulfilled the waterfall requirement.

I disagreed with the judges about Christine's piece not looking as good from the back. I thought it looked very striking from both sides and I liked that she used the bold red roses which contrasted with the white ginger and the feathery cream colored stuff she had. I definitely didn't think that what she created was bad enough to come in ninth place.

Conner lost me when he started talking about how he likes to use ram skulls and rat skeletons in his work so I knew that OF COURSE the judges were going to eat that shit up with a spoon just to torture me with his carcass designs all season.

When it came down to Adam, Schentell, and Conner for the top three spots, I knew that Adam would be third because the editors barely showed us a peep of him during judging.

I usually don't like team challenges but recreating those Van Gogh paintings as huge floral designs was definitely way too much work for one person to do alone. I thought the red painting was a better choice because there are so many red flowers that you can use. Luckily Conner's team was smart about using those red flowers to create a lot of texture. Their pieces was really beautiful. I liked Schantell's idea of using pampas grass for the sunflower petals, but the color was so pale compared to the original.

I'm still on the fence about the Schentell/Mariela conflict. Schentell seemed like she wasn't as strong a leader as Conner, but she seemed to be giving instructions and feedback to everyone on her team. Mariela was the only one who got defensive about it which made me wonder what was going on. Schentell told her that the centers of the flowers were too flat so they needed to be fuller. She asked if Mariela wanted to look at the original painting with her for reference. Mariela said no and got really huffy. But I did get put off by Schentell calling her sweetie. I hate when people use a term of endearment to say something that is not endearing. Don't try to cushion the blow by using a pet name like that. Be an adult and just tell them without being patronizing.

I was fine with Conner's team winning because their design looked beautiful and it was obviously similar to the original. I thought it was ridiculous that Christine got sent home though. How did the judges think that her work output was the same as Mariela's? Why were Justin and Adam not even considered for elimination? It didn't look like the guys did more work or better work than the girls did.

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Per this article:

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Production on “Full Bloom” started early in 2020, then was halted by the pandemic. Under strict protocols to protect the hosts, participants and crew, it resumed in August — winding up after five weeks of shooting

I like that the judges said they focused on practicality, not just making the biggest weirdest things possible:

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“This isn’t a show that’s all just about doing big crazy wacky installations,” said Dening. “Anyone watching the show is going to get amazing takeaways. We wanted to show not just the magic and the beauty, but also the hard work and the precision involved in creating floral art.”

Harris cites a challenge where contestants had to design a wedding bouquet pretty enough to be featured on a website, but sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of shipping.

“The key is, don’t put a flower on the outside that’s going to easily break,” he noted. “You want to make sure you have greens on the outside to protect the inside.” That’s the kind of detail that enters into the judges’ decisions, in each episode, on which contestant to eliminate. “It was quite difficult,” said Harris, “and boy, was it a roller coaster ride,” with some surprising turnouts as the show progresses.

 

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S1.E2: Shop Til Your Petals Drop

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After defying gravity with floral illusions effortlessly suspended in midair, the team leaders tackle a fashion-forward challenge that calls for innovation and style. With legendary streetwear designer Melody Ehsani presiding as guest judge, the florists attempt to pull together eye-catching window displays fit for Melody’s premiere storefront.

Original air date: 11/12/20

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On 12/2/2020 at 5:59 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Why were Justin and Adam not even considered for elimination? It didn't look like the guys did more work or better work than the girls did.

I don’t know how many episodes you’ve watched yet. After watching the first six, my explanation is

Spoiler

The judging is absurdly sexist with four women of color being eliminated first, and even after that the judges are reluctant to eliminate any of the men no matter how much worse their work is than the women’s.

After the car challenge, Elizabeth rolling her eyes and calling out Kristen’s obviously facetious falling on the ground as drama felt very mean girl to me.

The women were being judged against a much higher standard than the men, which was blatant during Schentelle’s elimination.

Overall, it is amazing to see some of the incredible things the contestants come up with, and I enjoy the clips with advice from the judges. I would never reflex a tulip though. I much prefer how they look closed. If you want an open flower, use a flower that is meant to open, but I guess that’s just me. 
 

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1.2

I liked the idea of the floating illusion challenge but it ended up being a suspended design challenge because obviously we could still see the strings in most of the designs.

Beth's four elements piece was great because it needed no explanation. She had four distinct colors and each section looked different.

Mariela's umbrella design was colorful but I didn't like the angle that the umbrella was tilted at. Having it angled like that made it look more like a bouquet.

Justin's bursting out of the box design was cool.

Spencer's design was so large that it didn't look like it was floating. It looked like a big orchid arrangement that was hovering about an inch above the table.

Conner's design was another that didn't look like it was floating. It looked like a regular orchid arrangement in a round shallow vase. At first glance, I thought it wasn't floating at all but then I saw that it was just barely above the table. I also didn't like that he covered the strings with that stringy looking plants.

Adam's Chiluly inspired design was an interesting concept but he needed a lot more orchids. They were told that the orchids had to be the star and they were more of an afterthought.

I loved Schentell's color palette. She made this beautiful floating ball of colors. It looked so effervescent. I was surprised that the judges hated it so much.

I appreciated that Ace had more than one hanging/floating element but it was a bit boring overall.

Kristen's heart being hugged by ribs was an interesting concept and she executed it well.

Now that we've had two team challenges, I feel like the team captains are the only ones who get any input and everyone else is treated like a worker bee, which doesn't seem like a great way to eliminate someone.

What I loved about Beth's window design was that she made sure to have a major color contrast with the model's yellow outfit. She really stood out even in the midst of all those flowers.

I liked the concept of Kristen's  and the execution ended up being a lot clearer than Beth's alien/rings of Saturn idea.

Once again, Mariela didn't seem to be able to take direction or criticism well in the team challenge and I wasn't crazy about her phoenix from the first episode or her umbrella from this episode, so I wasn't sorry to see her go.

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S1.E3:The Bellflower Tower

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If they’re to impress the judges with arrangements pulled together on 50 dollars’ worth of grocery store flowers, the florists better prove they can ball out on a budget. Next, the artists bring heaven and hell to life in a group challenge of unearthly proportions – but both team leaders risk getting cut if they fail to execute their visions.

Original air date: 11/18/20

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1.3

I wanted to like the grocery store flower challenge more because it's interesting to see what professionals can do with the stuff we mere mortals have access to.

I was surprised that we got still shots of all eight designs before judging. FINALLY!

I originally liked Schentell's first design in the very first episode because she chose to use carnations and baby's breath which people tend to think of as cheap/filler flowers. But then she used carnations and baby's breath again in the second episode so I wanted to see her use some other flowers. She still used carnations but this time she included alstroemeria which is another low cost flower. I liked the orange tulips which really added great color without being overly bright.

Adam's design was very dramatic but it was definitely not something that everyone would like. I liked that he used those bold linear red heliconias with the more delicate tulips and phalaenopsis because it created an interesting contrast. But the judges obviously HATED it.

Conner's design was much lighter and prettier than I expected to see from him after he professed his love for skulls in the first episode.

We only saw Ace's design in a long shot during the judging so I wasn't sure exactly what he made. I thought it looked perfectly serviceable but there wasn't any wow factor.

I totally cracked up when Kristen ran off and one of the judges said she was probably going to paint something and lo and behold, that's exactly what she was doing. Using that marbling effect was really interesting.

Justin's looked like a run of the mill arrangement to me. I agreed with the judges about the hole in his design and how some of the flowers looked like they were falling forward.

Spencer has been the sleeper so far. He's barely been seen and he hasn't been in the top or the bottom. After his interview about being an actor, I thought he would finally slide out of the middle of the pack, but no. I liked that he went both vertical and horizontal with his design. I didn't mind that the vase wasn't completely visible, unlike whichever judge said they wanted to see more of the vase (why?).

Beth's design had a really nice flow and shape. The way she used the flower colors gave her piece a sense of motion.

Team Schentell's heaven design could have been so much more but based on what we saw, it seemed like Schentell didn't communicate her vision very well. When she realized that things weren't looking the way she wanted, she only offered criticism without telling her team what she wanted them to do instead. I get that she didn't want their tower to look like a boho wedding from 2016, but tell them what you want them to remove and what you want them to replace it with.

Team Beth's hell design was striking but I think what put them over the top as the winning team was that Beth gave them a clear design concept including the color scheme and the team worked well together to achieve exactly what she said she wanted.

But that brings me to a major complaint I have about this show. How important is it to have great leadership skills in order to be a good florist? I know that ideally you don't want someone who's a terrible leader or a poor communicator, but for me the focus of the competition should be on what each person can create because it's a floral competition, not a leadership competition.

As interesting as it is to see the big designs of the second challenge in each episode, we don't get to see much of the contestants' design skill there. It's really the team leaders coming up with a design and everyone else being little worker bees, and somehow this gives the judges the opportunity to get rid of whoever they don't really like.

I always find the first challenge much more interesting because we get to see each florist create something individually and show their skills/style/personality.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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S1.E4: Incredible Edibles

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In the wake of a tough elimination, the florists are back and ready to prove their worth in a Baroque-inspired challenge incorporating a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Next, the team leaders assume the role of head chef as the designers attempt to bake ten-foot cakes with flowers instead of flour.

Original air date: 11/18/20

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1.4

I don't know what it was about the Baroque challenge, but I ended up liking what everyone made. In previous challenges, I've found myself thinking what the hell did that person make? This time, I thought they were all pretty good.

Another reason that I hate the team challenge is that just about every week, the judges say, "You all did great so we're basing our decision on the first challenge." Why even bother having these team challenges if they aren't helping to determine who should go home? Realistically, I know the answer is that producers love team challenges because they want the drama of forcing people to work together in high stress situations with extreme time limits. I just hate that this format makes the team challenges so useless. It's so much work and then it barely factors into who is eliminated.

I thought the teams would have to cover the entire cake with flowers so I was surprised that they were allowed to cover what amounted to less than half of the structure with flowers.

See ya, Spencer! We hardly knew ye. Adam, you're obviously up next since the judges always hate what you make in the first challenge (which I don't get - they have been consistently harsh on him).

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S1.E5: Petal to The Metal

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The six remaining florists shift gears, each designing a bicycle that embodies a fellow artist’s creative and personal essence before peeling off into teams to transform vintage cars into flower-powered masterpieces. Emotions run high as both groups fight to prove their worth.

Original air date: 11/24/20

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1.5

The bike challenge was so fun! But what really disappointed me was that the contestants know so much about each other that we don't know. Why aren't we getting more of this interesting info about them? When they were talking about each other, it was clear that most of them had gotten to know each other pretty well. Most of the things we heard were new to me. There were a few things I remember from their talking head interviews earlier in the season (Beth has a kid, Adam is a drag queen) but for the most part this challenge made me wish that we were seeing all of these sides of their personality on the show.

I really liked the rainbow effect that Conner made to represent Ace. I didn't like the moss he used on the bike frame though.

Justin's bike representing Beth was pretty. I liked the color palette with the pale roses contrasting with the deep red roses. I also liked all the tiny details he added for Beth's son like the legos and the snakes.

Adam's bike representation of Conner was great. He really managed to capture Conner's personality as well as his design aesthetic.

I know the judges didn't like Kristen's bike, but I thought it was a fun way to represent the duality of Adam and his alter ego.

Beth's bike of Justin was very pretty. I loved the delphinium. The decorated bike helmet was a fun addition. I liked that she made sure to include the pavé roses because he loves them.

Ace's bike was such a fun representation of Kristen's personality and her love of color. And I loved that Simon told him that there's no such thing as colors that don't go together. You can use any colors together!

Since the florists have a night to decide who will be on their teams for the second challenge, I wonder if there's any negotiating that goes on in private at the house.

I was surprised that the Thunderbird was the last car picked. I thought that would have been the first choice, if not the second choice.

One of the reasons I liked the car challenge was that it was the first time where the sun was not a factor in how the finished designs looked. In the previous challenges, they had tall structures and the sun created shadows on some of them.

Beth and Justin's took a risk by using all blue flowers with a blue car but it worked really well. I loved the motion they created with the car doing a donut. I agreed with the judges that they had way too much on the hood though.

Adam and Ace's bootlegging/flower delivery truck was a fun idea.

I thought that Kristen and Conner's VW bus would be a slam dunk. I disagreed with the judges who said the pink color scheme coming out of the door didn't go with the pink and yellow flowers coming out of the back. I think the most egregious error was that having the pink explosion coming out of the door made it a solid wall of flowers. If they had made it look like a ribbon of flowers coming out of the door, it would have worked so much better.

I never know what to think when someone volunteers to be eliminated. On the one hand, I'm glad that some people are willing to take responsibility for being the team leader instead of throwing someone else under the bus (as is more common on reality shows). On the other hand, what are you doing?! Are you here to win $100K or not?

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S1.E6: Coming Up Roses

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The fates of our florists are up in the air as they mount stunning, rose-centric chandelier displays. Next, bold artistic visions are put to the test with a team challenge that sees ordinary tree trunks transformed into trees fit for a whimsical floral forest.

Original air date: 11/24/20

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One thing that has annoyed me about this show are the judges. Simon is the one I like the most because he has the most useful critiques and he's the calmest. But Maurice and Elizabeth are so annoying, mostly because they both seem like they're trying too hard. They seem like they would be exhausting to be around. Elizabeth made me want to stab something when she said, "That is LITERALLY the most insane [blah blah blah]" which was then followed by Elizabeth's usual exaggeration ("my jaw was on the ground" and "insanely gorgeous"). Seriously, STFU. I'm so tired of hearing this stuff. I was also super annoyed when the florists were hugging each other and congratulating each other after the winners of the first challenge were announced and Maurice yelled, "GET OUT!" I'm sure he thought it was funny but I thought it was fucking rude. Let them have their moment!

The rose chandeliers were all lovely.

Adam's had a really romantic peachy color scheme. I also liked that he really made the roses the star of his design.

I liked how much color Ace used in his chandelier, but I think that ended up detracting from the roses as the hero flower. They seemed more like accents rather than the star of the show. I also wished he had done something with the shape instead of just using the circle he was given. What he made looked like exactly what it was: flowers on a hoop frame.

Justin's looked like a rose arbor rather than a chandelier. It looked very natural and organic but it was kind of boring. Maybe it looked more interesting from beneath, but we didn't get that camera angle which is a failure from production.

Connor's white and yellow palette was a nice departure from the usual pink and red color schemes used with roses. It looked wild but still in control.

I agreed with the judge that said Beth's chandelier started out so light and airy but somehow got heavy during the process. The peach and white colors were very sweet. I also liked that the shape of her final design wasn't just flowers on a hoop (even though it ended up being slightly unbalanced).

I actually preferred Adam and Beth's blue fantasy tree to Justin, Ace, and Conner's safe space tree. I think you have to be really careful when you add strands of crystals to anything because if you add too many, it looks like a crazy mess but if you don't add enough it just looks kind of sad.

Hearing Adam's story about his transracial adoption and growing up in an entirely white town made me feel for him. It also made me suspect that he was going to be eliminated so I was sorry to be right. The judges hated his designs the first half of the season and he was finally making things that they liked, so it seemed a shame to see him get cut now.

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S1.E7: Float My Boat

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The final four are just a few stem snips away from the $100,000 grand prize as they tackle themed tablescapes and a team challenge that celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community with brilliant floral barges. While each designer has blown the judges away, only three can float into the finale.

Original air date: 12/3/20

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1.7

I liked Beth's medieval tablescape. It was dark without being too Halloween-y, and it still managed to look elegant.

Ace made a dramatic centerpiece but I didn't get anything Alice in Wonderland from his design, his color choices, or anything.

Justin's rosé brunch was pretty but I knew the judges were going to say it wasn't fantastic enough. It was just a bunch of lovely pink roses. I think it definitely looked like something you would see at a rosé themed brunch but the judges wanted something big and dramatic for the centerpiece. If he had just put his main piece on a platform and had more roses trailing down to the table, I think that would have been enough.

Conner's fit the roaring 20s theme without going totally Gatsby. The gold and white was appropriate and he made it look lush and expensive. The upside down calla lilies were a nice touch too - it gave a delicate look.

I loved that the judges actually sat at the chairs to make sure they could see each other across the table. I HATE when the floral arrangements block me from seeing other people!

I preferred a lot of things about Beth and Ace's float, but I knew they were going to lose because of that exposed PVC pipe. Beth was frantic and unfocused during the challenge, and she was very defensive during judging so I knew she would be the one eliminated.

I liked Conner and Justin's sun float but I didn't love it.

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SEASON FINALE!

S1.E8 Room with a Bloom

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The final three florists face the threat of elimination as they create celebratory signature bouquets to be featured by a prominent national seller. Next, the top designers must transform empty rooms into vibrant, flower-filled spaces that tell a story stunning enough to snag the life-changing $100,000 grand prize.

Original air date: 12/3/20

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On 12/3/2020 at 2:28 AM, oldCJ said:

I don’t know how many episodes you’ve watched yet. After watching the first six, my explanation is

  Hide contents

The judging is absurdly sexist with four women of color being eliminated first, and even after that the judges are reluctant to eliminate any of the men no matter how much worse their work is than the women’s.

After the car challenge, Elizabeth rolling her eyes and calling out Kristen’s obviously facetious falling on the ground as drama felt very mean girl to me.

The women were being judged against a much higher standard than the men, which was blatant during Schentelle’s elimination.

 

I just finished the whole season and I have to agree with this. I call complete bullshit on Kristen being eliminated so early. She should've been in the finale. Justin making it to the finale was shenanigans—he skated through by the good fortune of being on winning teams and/or people being slightly worse than him. Floral design is a female-dominated industry, right? I know very little about it, but every shop I've ever seen has been run by a woman.

The judges were ridiculous—especially Elizabeth.

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You can order Conner's arrangement here (it's worth noting that the sophisticated color palette that the judges praised has been totally changed). It's $64 (and another $10 if you want a vase):

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The winning bouquet from the Solo Challenge of the Full Bloom season finale (HBO Max) is bloomin! This artful arrangement’s incredibly unique and thoughtful composition centers around celebrations of all kinds — even the celebration of life. To illustrate this, many elements can be dried to last well beyond their vase life. Protea, mini calla lilies and pincushion are surrounded by blue thistle, varieties of eucalyptus, and billy balls for a striking composition you have to see in person.

620491302_fullbloom.thumb.jpg.ad4fddbbfae6733a81d95bf41db2e077.jpg

Maurice also has a collection of three arrangements with Bouqs.co and 100% of the net profits are being donated to Campaign Zero

Hilariously, the judges criticized Ace's bouquet for including delphinium because they need a lot of water (which is an issue when they're shipped in a box without water), but Maurice's Brenda Bloom bouquet includes delphinium.

 

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I really liked how compact Justin's bouquet was. I know it depends on the recipient and where they're going to put their flowers, but I know that when I send flowers to people I try to choose arrangements that don't have too much stuff hanging down or take up too much space. If you have flowers delivered to the hospital or someone's workplace, they often don't have the space for a gigantic arrangement. I also liked the colors that Justin chose. But I liked that the judges' main criticism of his arrangement was the practicality of his flower choices. Having carnations and roses on the outside edges of the arrangement where they were most likely to get bruised was a really valid concern.

On the flip side, I really liked that Conner chose flowers that would travel well and then dry out (rather than withering and looking yukky).

A lot of times on shows like this, I don't really see the connection between the inspiration and the finished product but in this case I was easily able to see how both Conner's and Ace's displays represented their journeys of healing.

Ace's pink tropical ice bouquet was really beautiful. Part of me likes that the judges give feedback during the building process (the other part of me prefers when the judges just let the contestants do their thing and don't say anything until they're finished).

99% of the time when reality show contestants describe something as "the hardest thing I've ever done," they're usually talking about something really stupid like having to find the one white ball in a giant ball pit for the task they're doing to win a bunch of money. But when Conner said his mother's death was the hardest thing he's had to deal with, I was like FINALLY someone is using this phrase correctly. I can't imagine the guilt he must have felt at surviving cancer when she died.

He did a great job with his life and death immersion room. If I hadn't seen him creating that room, I would have assumed that the blue side had been made with a bunch of white/light colored flowers and blue lights. I wonder if they were told what the challenge was ahead of time so they could request all the different types of flowers and colors they needed. I can't imagine that they would have randomly had so many blue flowers on hand.

I agreed with the judges about Ace's room having noticeable arrangements instead of seeming like one huge installment. It looked like there were clumps of flowers and then bare spots. Conner's room, on the other hand, looked like a continuous neverending display of flowers.

On a shallow note, props to Conner for being able to French braid his own hair. I can barely do it on someone else (and honestly, it's still messy) but I could never do it on my own hair.

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On 12/2/2020 at 11:28 PM, oldCJ said:

I don’t know how many episodes you’ve watched yet. After watching the first six, my explanation is

  Reveal spoiler

The judging is absurdly sexist with four women of color being eliminated first, and even after that the judges are reluctant to eliminate any of the men no matter how much worse their work is than the women’s.

After the car challenge, Elizabeth rolling her eyes and calling out Kristen’s obviously facetious falling on the ground as drama felt very mean girl to me.

The women were being judged against a much higher standard than the men, which was blatant during Schentelle’s elimination.

 

 

18 hours ago, bilgistic said:

I just finished the whole season and I have to agree with this. I call complete bullshit on Kristen being eliminated so early. She should've been in the finale. Justin making it to the finale was shenanigans—he skated through by the good fortune of being on winning teams and/or people being slightly worse than him. Floral design is a female-dominated industry, right? I know very little about it, but every shop I've ever seen has been run by a woman.

The judges were ridiculous—especially Elizabeth.

After watching the entire season, I agree with both of you. It's ridiculous that we started the season with a good mix of contestants and somehow ended up with two white guys in the finale, especially when there were plenty of very creative florists who were eliminated.

I think a major issue with the elimination process is that in many cases, it amounted to the second challenge carrying little to no weight so they just cut whoever came in last during the first challenge. And while I understand that being a successful business owner means being at least halfway decent at delegating and having competent leadership skills, the second challenge rarely rewarded or punished the team leaders. Usually one of the other designers who had been relegated to grunt work ended up being eliminated because they'd been in the bottom during the first challenge. Most of the time, the non-leaders had little to no input on the design/concept/construction so they were just following orders. They were told what to do by the team leader. If there is a second season and they keep these stupid team challenges, they need a better way to do them.

Justin and Spencer definitely skated by for most of the season by sheer luck or by being on the winning team.

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Directors Guild of America nomination!

Reality Programs
David Charles - Eco Challenge, “3,2,1…Go!” (Amazon)
Jon Favreau - The Chef Show, “Tartine” (Netflix)
Ken Fuchs - Shark Tank, “1211” (ABC)
Joseph Guidry - Full Bloom, “Petal to the Metal” (HBO Max)
Rich Kim - Lego Masters, “Mega City Block” (FOX)

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Majorly pissed that Justin, Spencer, Adam, and Ace kept getting pushed through while better designers like Kristen, Schentell and Beth were eliminated. Up until Schentell, they were eliminating a less talented grunt worker from the losing team, but then Schentell, Kristen and Beth were eliminated for not being good team leaders. Hard to tell from the tiny snippets we saw whether they were or not, but it's still bullshit as the judges sometimes held the team leader accountable, but other times sent another team member home. When Conner lost as team leader, he insisted he was responsible and should go. The judges said no way. Next challenge, Beth unceremoniously got the heave-ho over Ace, even though she worked hard and nailed the individual challenge.  I feel like they were just keeping around whomever's back story they preferred.

I was betting on Conner and Beth for final two and really wanted to see Beth's full room display. Ace's lacked creativity and refinement. Conner's was spectacular, but they didn't film it very well and I would have liked to get a fuller view of it.

PS. Hate it when they spray-paint flowers! 

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There's a new show on Discovery+ called Clipped! (the exclamation point is part of the name, not just me being enthusiastic). It's a topiary competition and Martha Stewart is one of the judges. I haven't watched it yet so I'm not sure if this will lean more towards GBBO vs Top Chef in terms of how gentle or competitive it. I created an episode thread for it here if you want to watch.

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S2.E1: Blind Bouquet

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After diving into a blind bouquet challenge, ten gifted florists split into squads to adorn life-sized chess sets with brilliant botanicals before members of the losing team create magic out of mystery for a chance to stay in the game. 

Original air date: 6/10/21

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Yay! More beautiful plants and flowers! And everyone seems to be having quite a bit of fun. Uh oh, the one new age lady wants to "talk" to the flowers to see which ones to use in the display. (And I think she means literally.) I mean, these are not even living flowers. So I guess she not only talks to plants, she also talks to the dead! : D

Didn't agree with the winner of the intro challenge, but the off was the correct choice. It would have been even worse if the judge hadn't basically told him to start over. 

Personally, I am not a fan of having dead birds and butterflies in the displays. It just makes me sad. 

Edited by TVbitch
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Ugh, I'd forgotten that this show does so many team challenges. I really hated that the very first challenge was a team challenge. Let me see what they can do individually first! And how were the team captains supposed to choose people since they knew nothing about their work? We didn't even get to see all of the arrangements that they made to determine who the team captains were.

I was just laughing during the introductions. I'm sorry, Jimmi, but I will not be referring to you as Bel Fabio. And Jenny Magic is a flower shaman? Okay then.

Kiara was clearly a much better leader and communicator. Lufti's team was frustrated and standing around asking him for direction so that they could work. I liked the designs that Kiara's team did but I agreed with the judges that their scale was off. There wasn't enough size distinction between the pawns and the bigger pieces in the back row. Even though Lufti wasn't excited about getting the pastel colors, he ended up doing a good job with them. I think what got him the win was that his king, queen, and bishops were much larger than the pawns so it looked more like a cohesive chess set than Kiara's did.

Show, you have access to all of these beautiful flowers so why are you using cheap red and blue dyed carnations for the judges to vote for which team they like better?

I liked that the losing team had an individual challenge afterward. That seems like a much fairer way to choose who to eliminate than last season. I mean, unless someone failed egregiously at basic technique, everyone on the team was just doing what they were told so it seemed unfair when they got eliminated in the previous season.

Based on the fact that Rachel and Melissa got absolutely no screen time in the first half of the episode, I was sure that one of them would be eliminated. I actually liked both of their designs so I was glad they were safe. Between Jimmi and Kiara, I would have eliminated Kiara because I don't even know how to describe what she made. Jimmi's incorporated several elements from the box he was given and I liked the colors and height which gave it some drama.

Awww, I loved how excited the chess club kids were about the flowers!

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S2.E2: Painting With Petals

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The florists go from super-sized to super-small as they reimagine iconic Picasso portraits on an epic scale in hopes of dodging a miniature arrangement elimination round. 

 

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I am not a fan of this painting recreation challenge. I didn't like it last season and I didn't like it this season. They always say that they're supposed to interpret the painting but as seen in this episode, they don't want you to interpret so much that you change anything which ends up meaning they want a reproduction.

The miniature challenge was really interesting but Sarah and Melissa were the only ones who really heard the "dissection" part of the challenge. I went back and rewatched the description of the challenge to see how much they stressed it and it's no wonder that Rachel and Jenny were focused on the "make it small" part because the judges referenced size five times.

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"Honey, we shrunk the vase! In this tiny arrangement battle, you will need to showcase the beauty of a full flower display in a pint-sized presentation. We will be judging you on your dissection, reconstruction, and reimagining of flowers as well as your precision. And you must use one of the miniature vessels we have provided in the flower shop. Florists, you will have 90 minutes to miniaturize the magic."

Sarah's little hummingbird was a cool reconstruction, but overall I just like the colors and the composition.

Jenny's was a perfectly scaled down arrangement but I had the same issue with so much of it already curling up and dying. The visible glue was an issue too, but I don't know how else she was supposed to attach everything.

Melissa did the most deconstruction. The nail polish bottle really showed the scale. I loved that Simon showed her a technique but part of me was like hey, show everyone how to do that too!

I thought Rachel's was very pretty, but what really hurt her was that she didn't deconstruct her flowers to create new things.

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The "reproduce this famous painting in flowers" challenge was a bust for both teams. I think last year they did better, but they did not have cubist portraits to deal with!

I wish they would have shown us some examples of the miniature arrangements they were looking for, cuz I didn't fully understand that challenge either. I thought the two in the bottom looked the most like "real" arrangements. And I did not think that hummingbird looked anything like a hummingbird/ But it was clear Jenny was gonna go. I'm surprised the flowers didn't warn her! : D

 

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S2 E3: Petal Your Wares

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Saddled with a new team challenge, the contestants design horse jumping hurdles with floral elements before riding into a flower shop pop-up challenge that finds them creating stand-out signature bouquets.

Original air date: 6/17/21

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Ron is really lucky that this gift of gab aka his ability to babble descriptively saved his team because if you listen to what he actually said, it made no fucking sense at all. Jumping on the bandwagon was the idiom but he went straight to the literal wagon with musical notes painted on it, resulting in ugly cowboy boots and a guitar, neither of which have anything to do with the idiom itself. Same for the peacock - it was very lovely and Sarah did a great job with it, but WTF does a peacock have to do with jumping off the page? I was rolling my eyes when the judges praised them for putting buckets of flowers in the back of the wagon.

Melissa's team did a lovely job with the boat. I'm not a huge fan of spray painting plants, but turning those huge monstera leaves blue for the waves was a great idea from Lufti. But the jumping through hoops was just a bunch of flowers. As Simon pointed out, they could have at least looped one long strand through all the hoops to minimally tie the idiom with the structure.

Of the four carts, I thought Canaan's had the most impact and really showed us who he was for the first time. I agreed with the judges that Lufti's was very him. Of the bottom two, Melissa's did a better job showing her aesthetic/brand. Kiara's was pretty but it didn't really seem distinctive. Her concept was so odd too. I can tell you that of all the times I've stumbled out of a club in the wee hours of the morning, I've never thought gee, I wish there was a flower cart with a disco ball so I could buy a humongous bouquet of flowers.

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S2.E4: Floralwork Show

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A multi-layered group challenge brings stunning vistas to life on massive frames before the losing team designs fabulous floral firework displays.

Original air date: 6/17/21

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I hate team challenges under normal circumstances but I hate them even more when the teams aren't divided equally. As soon as I saw that Rachel's team had only three people but Canaan's team had four people, it was clear that it was unfair to have to do so much work on three separate frames.

Even without seeing the final designs, it was clear that Rachel was a great leader who made decisions and delegated but still gave her team the freedom to work independently and make their own decisions and come up with their own ideas. While I get the judges' complaint about the octopus not standing out, I rolled my eyes when Maurice said they had too much of an explanation about how they have spots to camouflage themselves. Really, Maurice? After you let Ron give a freaking monologue about the boots and the guitar and the bandwagon in the previous episode?

Rachel was also a good leader for stepping back several times to make sure that the three frames looked good together and that everything was lining up properly. Near the end, she stood a good distance away so that she could tell Sarah and Ron where there were spots that needed to be filled in. Overall, I think this was the best leadership we've seen from a team captain all season.

Canaan wasn't making a lot of decisions. I'm fine with recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and allowing your team members to fill in where your skill set isn't as good but it felt like he didn't have a lot of ideas so he let Melissa make a lot of suggestions.

The other major issue was that even with an extra person on the team, not a single person took a step back to see what the three frames looked like together. No one even thought to slide all three together to see what they looked like, which is why, as Maurice pointed out, they ended up covering some of the work they did.

I agreed with whichever judge said that covering most of the back frame with blue moss made it look a bit flat. And on top that, they didn't even fill it in all the way because there were big spots of chicken wire visible. I wish they had used some yellow or orange flowers to make some rays coming out of the sun because having a big yellow circle by itself wasn't very dynamic. I also agreed about the scale of that giant centipede. If they had made it smaller and put it on the front of the first frame, it would have made more sense.

Oh, Simon. I'm judging you for picking Canaan's team as the winner this week. Seriously? Rachel's team did a beautiful job. I thought their frames were far and away the better of the two.

Poor Melissa. How has she managed to be on the losing team every week so far? I really hate that there's a team challenge every week. I would much rather see individual challenges so that people would be in the bottom/up for elimination based on their own work.

Of all the floral fireworks, Antonio's purple one was by far my favorite. I know the other judges laughed when Simon started micromanaging where a few sprigs were but he was totally right. I didn't understand why there was a cluster of two purple and two orange all together at the bottom like that. Not everything has to be totally symmetric but those should have been spread out or something.

I also liked Melissa's baby's breath design. It was very simple but effective. I understood the effect she was going for with the amaranthus dripping down in her bigger one, but I just didn't like it as much.

I totally agreed with whichever judge said that Canaan's first design looked like a funeral spray. I was glad that he listened and made some changes.

Lufti's was fine but I agreed that he made a good decision to paint the stems of those longer pieces black. It wasn't 100% necessary but it did add to the firework illusion against the black background.

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On 12/8/2020 at 7:08 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

After watching the entire season, I agree with both of you. It's ridiculous that we started the season with a good mix of contestants and somehow ended up with two white guys in the finale, especially when there were plenty of very creative florists who were eliminated.

To me this way of thinking is so dangerous.  One of the judges is black.  The two male judges are gay (not sure about Elizabeth) and thus part of a minority group and all three are obviously very progressive and inclusive of all races/sexual preferences, etc.  I don't think the final two being white men had anything to do with them being picked because they were favored as white men.  

How are we ever supposed to have fair competitions if people are always claiming its 'rigged' because there is not a woman, a person of a certain race, etc. in the finale.  It should be based solely on the strength of their designs (which I feel it was with these judges).  Should there be some type of quota that says a woman or a person of a certain race should be in the finale just because of what they are rather than the quality of their designs???

As for the show itself--had no idea it existed but I found it randomly in the HBO Max app and ended up binging the entire first season on my day off yesterday.  I love flowers and gardening.  At first I thought the judges were WAY too extra and that they would be supremely annoying, but they actually grew on me (especially Maurice).   I liked most of the contestants, too, although Justin's over the top melodrama was starting to grate.  If anything, I thought they kept him on way longer than he should have been there because they felt sorry for him.  You would think he is the first gay black man on the planet based on some of the things he was saying.  I thought he was easily one of the weakest, most inexperienced florists (I think I heard him claim gladioli were tropical at one point).  He does seem like a very sweet, gentle man though so I was glad to see him gain some confidence in himself.  I get the feeling he was very repressed his whole life.

I wish they had more time and were allowed some more instances to just create beautiful arrangements without the crazy themes because a lot of those team challenges ended up looking like ass.  But all in all I liked it more than I thought I would.

 

Edited by Joan van Snark
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You really don't see a lot of centipedes roaming around in the desert. I mean, we have them, but a scorpion, snake or lizard would have been way more apropos. 

I am tiring of the team challenges. They never look that good and after seeing Antonio's firework display, all I could think was, dammit, we are TOTALLY missing out seeing the amazing displays this guy could be doing, cuz is stuck in stupid "team challenge" mode. We've only ever seen one other individual piece from him this whole time! I hope they keep working on re-tooling this show. They made great progress having the elimination be an individual event, but there is more work to be done. At the very least, just have a team challenge when the number of contestants is even and can make it fair, then have an individual challenge on other weeks. 

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S2.E5: Blurred Blooms

Quote

The competitors take their artistry to new heights as they hoist massive floral sculptures into the air before the bottom three recreate one of the judges’ arrangements, using only an ultra-blurred photo for reference.

Original air date: 6/24/21

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Apparently, I don't understand floral displays.

On Season 2 ep. 4, I didn't understand why the aquatic team won. It looked like a jumbled blue mess to me, and I wouldn't have gotten the aquatic theme if I hadn't been told. The other team's however, screamed "Desert". I knew right away, where it was supposed to be. For me, that was the obvious choice. Yes, the background look a bit sparse in parts, but still, I preferred it to the heavy presentation of first group. As for the animal, both teams lost me there.

Then the floral fireworks. I thought Canaan's was the most obvious winner.  It looked most like a firework. I thought Melissa's did too. And I usually dislike Melissa's stuff, but she was the only one to show the firework that falls after the burst, which I thought was creative.

I don't get the judging on this show. But then again,  I don't garden.  I tend to kill plants. And I don't know the names of any but the most common flowers. I do much better at guessing winners on every other kind of reality competition show.

Edited by 7-Zark-7
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Episode 5: The team challenge with the aerial shapes did not seem fair to me. One team got a square, and the other team got... well who the hell knows what that was! Could they not manage a triangle or circle? 

I didn't really understand the judging criteria of the elimination challenge. Duplicate the judges arrangements but put your own spin on it, but then they got dinged for not picking the exact same flowers. 

Episode 6: Finally, an individual first challenge, with a decent twist. For me, Lufti is on another level from the others. Most of his arrangements just make my eyes smile, before I even start my critical thinking. It's like my eyes just tell me it's good. Antonio's often do that too. Lots of others' I like, but I have to think about it first and decide I like it. 

The elimination challenge was good, too. But I think the contestant that got cut did not really have a fair shake in the competition, cuz that was literally his first day of showing his individual work and having the judges give him any critique. Again, this is the problem with having so many team challenges. And next week they're doing a team challenge for the semi-final, which I think is not right. 

I do love this show and wish they would have started with more contestants. It's over too fast with 8 episodes. I would easily watch 12 or at least 10. 

Edited by TVbitch
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After what I felt was a BS ending to Clipped, I thought the Full Bloom finale was right and the artist was just a cut above the others. 

Hope there is another season! 

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I love this show.  I really felt that the right person was chosen as the winner.  Going into the finale I felt like it could be either of them but the final challenge for me clearly showed one stronger than the other.  I really enjoy this series.  Both seasons I've enjoyed immensely, I like the changes they instituted this season and felt it played out more fairly than season 1.  And I really felt so, so happy for the winner.  

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