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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

HGTV Design Star Finale: We Have a Winner!

This week the designers shot a design show pilot. At this point in the game, it’s almost a formality based on past camera challenges and judges comments.

In typical Design Star finale fashion, the Final 2 received help from the eliminated designers. Fortunately, unlike in seasons past, this year only four of the best team players Leslie, Mark, Kevin (Welcome back Sassy!), and Kellie came back to help Meg and Karl instead of the whole crew.

Karl chooses Mark and Sassy for his team. Meg chooses Leslie and Kellie for her team. It is Boys against Girls!


Truthfully, both designers’ rooms were good and what the clients asked for. The real challenge was to see how well Meg and Karl did producing a full-length design show. 


What Worked

  • Meg got a taste of doing multiple shoots of the same “spontaneous” scene over and over and over again. I empathize. I’ve dealt with it on both sides of the camera. It blows. Especially when you wish you did one more take so you have more to choose from in the edit bay but didn’t because you did not want the talent’s head to explode from stress. Fortunately, Meg gave herself a mental kick in the seat and rallied. 
  • Karl being rattled but rallying about shooting scenes out of sequence. Yep, it is weird. It takes getting used to but that’s TV baby.
  • Meg making the Buddha a focal point. I like that both designers incorporated the homeowners’ belongings into the new room. That’s more like real life designing anyway. The Buddha and mask were design gifts.
  •  Karl’s armoire update.  Karl gets extra points for melding gritty street art with Tuscan design. What is this the season of insane client design and color combinations? Orange and Purple Victorian Rat Pack Wedding challenge anyone? Kudos to Karl for creating a pleasing Mar-Venus piece in his TV armoire even though as he admits TV armoires are a little dated. Sadly true but from a practical standpoint, where else are real people supposed to stash TV media components and video games? (This could just be my house, though.) The homeowners appreciated The Brooklyn Bridge on the armoire. Kudos to Karl for incorporating a happy memory from the couple’s past into his final design.
 
 Photo courtesy of HGTV

  • Emily Henderson channeling the winner’s joy. How cute was Emily telling her newest co-worker how great the new gig will be? Emily was relieving her win only a short year ago. I just want to hug her!

What Didn’t Work

  • Karl’s nervous laugh came back. Oh, Karl I feel you because I do that too. Especially on pod casts when I cannot be edited. (cringes)
  • Meg’s storage by the door. No one complains about having too much storage in a room. It’s a great idea to add a storage closet near the door.  However, Meg should have designed the closet to go all the way up the wall and to the ceiling. The vignette spot is nice but I am sure the homeowners will appreciate a taller closet for soon to come little kid shoes, backpacks, and clutter.

 Photo courtesy of HGTV


  • The personal photos in both rooms are too small. It does not look like either designer was able to reprint and resize their client’s photos. Too bad. The photos didn’t make a statement or personalize the room. They look like wall lint.

 Photo courtesy of HGTV

  • David Bromstad’s satin jacket. It pains me to say this because he is so easy on the eye, but WHAT IN THE WORLD made David wear a pink and gray Cliff Huxitable sweater with a cream satin jacket to the finale judging?!!! 

 Sorry sweetie. It has to be said.

The Design Star winner is…

MEG!

It’s no surprise really. Meg consistently nailed her camera challenges while it took Karl a while to come into his own on camera. Let’s face it, both are talented designers but it’s on camera personality that HGTV has to sell and what keeps people watching. HGTV is missing a “firecracker” in their current line up.

If you weren’t paying attention throughout the season, Candice gave it up in the previous episode when we said that Meg comes through the TV screen and says WATCH ME! The only way Meg wouldn’t have won tonight is if Meg had a total breakdown or jumped off a bridge. Thankfully, that did not happen. It would have been difficult to clean up. Please keep NYC tidy!

What is surprising is the venom on the HGTV Design Star blog comments and Facebook page about the finale. Wow. Most commenter's hate everything to do with Design Star, past winners, and current shows. Apparently, the only thing these folks like other than talent and shows from the 90’s is leaving hateful comments about the network moving with the times (for good or for ill.) Hey, I liked those shows too (in the 90’s) but times, design, show trends, and tastes change and do not stay popular forever. Let it go mean people.

Design Star lets the network find someone beyond the usual TV talent suspects who shop shows to networks. Not that the usual TV design suspects are bad. They may not be the new or different thing the network needs to flesh out a network schedule. Buying TV shows for a station is hard. You're trying to counter program your competitors, offer something you lack and what you think audience will love and watch, and hope to heaven that the show you just bought is as good or better than the one pilot episode the rep showed you and you based your decision upon. I think all program directors should have crystal balls for this purpose but sadly they don't.

I’ll let you in on a secret, when I worked in TV we hated it too when no one watched our personal favorite shows and we had to pull them from the schedule because of it.  As Heidi Klum says on Project Runway, one day you are in the next day you are out. It’s sad ( I still miss you Paul James !) but that's show biz.

What do you think? Are you happy with the outcome? Will you watch Meg’s new show HGTV Great Rooms?

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