Did you watch the first season of Bravo TV’s reality show “Top Design” last year? Todd Oldham was the host, with designers Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler acting as judges alongside Elle Decor’s Editor-in-Chief Margaret Russell.
Bravo has just announced that it is “demoting” Todd Oldham to the role of “mentor” for the next season (I assume this means he’ll be the Tim Gunn of “Top Design”?), and they’ve named a new host.
The new host for season 2 of “Top Design” will be model and socialite India Hicks (shown above).
Time magazine says: “Top Design has learned from Runway and Chef that you can’t go wrong with a model as host (Top Chef was recast in its second season too, with Padma Lakshmi taking over from Katie Lee Joel). Oldham, a nice guy who always seemed awkward in the reality-host role, will probably be better suited to working as the nurturing mentor.”
Let’s hope. Frankly, he was painful to watch (shown below, via TV Guide):
According to the press release:
Bravo’s hit series “Top Design” is back with a new season, a new look in high-definition, new producers and a new host.
“Top Design” host India Hicks, is the daughter of famed interior decorator David Hicks and Lady Pamela Hicks. Born in London, England, she was named in honour of her grandfather, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the last Viceroy to India. Her godfather, HRH Prince Charles, chose Hicks to be a bridesmaid in his wedding to the late Lady Diana Spencer in 1990.
Over the past ten years, Hicks has enjoyed a successful career as a fashion model, being photographed by some of the world’s most renowned photographers for the industry’s top fashion campaigns including Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, and Bill Blass.
I’m a fan of Bravo’s similar shows “Project Runway” and “Top Chef,” so I had high hopes for “Top Design.” I hope these changes make it more fun to watch this year. It was a big disappointment for me–and juding by its ratings and reviews, I don’t think I was the only one who thought the biggest makeover was needed for the show itself.
Here are Season 1 judges Margaret Russel, Kelly Wearstler, and Jonathan Adler. I don’t know about you, but I kept tuning in each week just to see what Kelly Wearstler would wear! Some weeks, her outrageous outfits were the most entertaining part of the episodes (photo via TV Guide):
And please, I’m begging you, Bravo TV, change the awful exit line that head judge Jonathan Adler had to utter every time he eliminated a contestant:
“See you later, Decorator!”
Ugh. Surely they can come up with something better than that?
The first season must’ve been fairly unmemorable in general, because I can’t even remember the winner’s name, can you?
As a side note, new host India Hicks wrote a fascinating article about growing up as David Hicks’ daughter in the April 2008 issue of Domino magazine (the one with Drew Barrymore on the cover) called “Growing Up Hicks.” Here’s the first paragraph, which sucked me right in:
My father, David Hicks, designed everything around him, including my mother’s hairstyle, the nose of a client’s daughter and even his own funeral. I grew up never doubting that 1880 French tricycles were appropriate toys for modern children, that swimming pools were painted black and that school days started in a chauffer-driven, custom chocolate-brown Rolls-Royce.
You can see a photo gallery of India’s home here: Domino magazine online. She clearly inherited the designing gene from her famous father.
You can read a review of the first season of “Top Design” at Time Magazine Online, which called host Todd Oldham “the biggest weakness of the show.” Read today’s press release about Season 2 for yourself here.
UPDATE: The new season began Wednesday, September 3, and I’m recapping the episodes. Click here to see the recap of the premiere episode.