Last night I watched the Season 6 premiere of HGTV’s “Design Star” with some pretty low expectations for it, but I have to say it looks like they listened to our complaints about the show last year and made a lot of necessary changes. My thoughts (with spoilers ahead):
1. Getting a regular host (Tanika Ray, looking fabulous) instead of having Vern Yip do double-duty as judge and host was a good call.
2. Former “Design Star” winner David Bromstad as mentor to the contestants is another good addition.
3. Same judges, but this time they weren’t scowling all the time and trying to be snarky for the camera. Looks like they might actually smile and offer encouraging words from time to time.
4. The contestants were given a real design challenge for their first one–not a wacky, “shop at an Asian market with fifty cents and see what you can create in 2 hours with whatever you buy there” kind of thing like they pulled last year.
5. They were allowed to shop at real stores and were given both a handyman and a professional painter to help with the work. They were also given 3 whole days to get it done, which is practically unheard of on reality competitions.
1. After Kevin proposed that they paint the bedroom teal, he changed his mind. “Forget the teal–that’s too wild.” So he painted it a bright tangerine instead. Vern said, “That’s one of those colors you can actually see through your eyelids.” (In case the people sleeping in this room weren’t sure what to do with themselves, they helpfully hung the word “RELAX” over the orange fireplace.)
2. When Kellie, the perky mom from Oklahoma, introduced herself, she said, “I always tell people, ‘You throw the party. I’ll be the confetti!’” I’m not sure what that means, exactly. Do you really want to brand yourself as the annoying little pieces of paper that get stuck in peoples’ hair and in the carpet? Doesn’t sound like she’s a lot of help to the hostess.
3. This outfit that Candice Olson was wearing. Who convinced her to go on TV in this?
5. Mentor David Bromstad told the contestants that “TV tones personalities down.” You mean when we see David B on TV, that’s a toned down version of his personality?
As for the design they turned out, I can’t say any of it knocked me off my feet. The judges raved so much about the cool coffee table Leslie picked out for the Great Room that you’d think she designed it herself (did anyone else wonder if it made the room smell like rubber tires?).
The winning room was the Bonus Room, designed by Karl and Kellie:
The room looked better on TV. The judges loved how Karl painted the wall in here so much that they awarded him the win. Kellie spilled paint all over herself while doing this room, which made me wonder where those promised professional painters went to. We never saw any, did we?
The losing room was Mark and Blanche’s:
So there you have it. The 6th season of “Design Star” is off and running. I guess Karl is the frontrunner at this point since he won the first challenge, but do you have a favorite? What are your thoughts on the show so far?
Learn more about the show and the contestants at HGTV Design Star.