Desperately seeking America's next top floral designer? It's 'The Arrangement' on (surprise!) Logo
At 11 p.m. Monday, World of Wonder and Logo TV -- the production company and cable outlet that bring you RuPaul's "Drag Race" and "Drag U" -- launch a new reality competition that aims to do for florists what "Project Runway" has done for fashionistas.
"The Arrangement" offers a bouquet of garden-variety reality-show characters that audiences love to love/hate: a punk-rock chick, a muscle-bound Harley rider, a small-town kid with big skills, neurotics, control freaks, sassy ladies and catty queens. Seven of the 10 contestants are from L.A. and the O.C. The host is Gigi Levangie Grazer, author of "The Starter Wife." Head judge duties belong to Eric Buterbaugh, the Beverly Hills Four Seasons florist whose clients include Demi Moore, Paul McCartney and Madonna. (That's Buterbaugh at far left, with Levangie Grazer next to him.)
In the first of eight episodes, contestants Jenny Barker from Redondo Beach and Guillermo Del Pero of Pasadena (also pictured above) have the somewhat unappetizing task of using live models as a serving platter for flowers and sushi. Later, there is a three-minute flower-arranging elimination duel.
"There are naked bodies, chainsaws, rock 'n' roll and hazmat suits," World of Wonder co-owner Randy Barbato said. "It's not your mother's floral arranging show, unless she is a real mutha."
Co-executive producer Scott Shatsky, a veteran of "Top Chef," added that the show is more real than most. "This is a real working flower shop, and the contestants already have solid careers and expertise in floral design as opposed to people who are trying to make their mark."
Still, there will be scars -- and not just from designing arrangements for a funeral and being guest-judged by "The Apprentice" star Omarosa.
"Every episode will have an oh-no-he-didn't moment," Shatsky said. "Sabotage, crocodile tears and spitting venom, you will see it all."
Nevertheless, I am already rooting for Derek Woodruff, right, the 25-year-old nice guy from Traverse City, Mich.
If his signature arrangement -- a group of orange tulips in glass tubes wired at off-kilter angles to a boxy black frame -- is anything to go by, he is the one to beat. I've never seen anything quite like it, and I hope to see a lot more.
-- David A. Keeps
Photo credits: Gabe Ayala for Logo