On the new season of Design Star, HGTV gives 11 contestants the chance to win their own television series. Each week the contestants participate in a challenge to determine who is worthy of Doug Wilson-caliber celebrity. The person who is the least telegenic and the most likely to end up designing high school drama club sets will be… “brushed off,” “not worth reproducing?”– no, cancelled. I don’t think it’s fair to go cancelling the contestants shows, when the same has been done to most of the panel, plus the host. Doesn’t HGTV cycle through shows faster than John Mayer cycles through girlfriends? I’d be shocked if anyone at HGTV has discovered that a season is usually 22 episodes. They always order the cake for episode number 10.
But I digress… In what may be the longest running series in the history of HGTV, season four of Design Star will bring together a group of previously rejected candidates to face the judges. This year the judges will be:
Whoops, I mean. The Butterscotch Stallion, Owen Wilson.
As research for my season four recaps, I watched season three, which is available on HGTV.com. I was a bit disappointed to find less outrageousness than I anticipated. I guess I’m spoiled by Bravo. HGTV actually focuses 80% of the episode on the challenge and they don’t even stock the green room with booze! (Note to HGTV, the house and the green room need a bar. No need for great booze, just a couple jugs of Stoli and you’re golden, ask for the VH1 discount. Thanks.) However, the season three-ers still produced more tears than an Amy Tan book club. They cried at even the lightest criticism. I wouldn’t put these people in front of Jeff Lewis or Anthony Bourdain — there is no way they’d be able to stay in a room with Michael Kors, if Vern Yip can make them cry.
Five episodes of season three didn’t yield one, “I’m here to win!” or my personal favorite “Not here to make friends” (video via videogum), although a couple of good uses of “thrown under the bus” appeared. I’m much more hopeful for season four’s contestants. Let’s
judge meet them, shall we?
Amy, Los Angeles, CA:
“Experience I have had in fields as varied as stand-up comedy, fine art, jewelry design, wardrobe styling and public relations have prepared me to effectively communicate [my] ideas.” Amy believes this show is a quest to find a real life Grace Adler. She seems to have the same college improv group background and affinity for all things orange. I hope HGTV takes advantage and includes a singing portion in the competition. And Debbie Reynolds cameos.
Antonio, Los Angeles, CA:
Antonio appears to be interior design’s answer to Jonathan Antin, tough and coifed and inspired to do bangin’ design. God, I hope he’s a crier. Oh, he’s inked and he likes “fast cars and faster women.” Oh, he’s definitely a crier — with daddy issues.
Woody the Cowboy, Fire Island. Ooops, Dan from Vale, OR:
Dan has roots in his grandmother’s quilting shop, yet considers his style “hip and contemporary history.” Yet, Dan has deemed “historical preservation” the worst design trend. I hope he means replication not preservation, and he doesn’t intend to start a movement to burn down Versailles and replace it with an IKEA.
Jany, Dallas, TX:
Jany is from Texas, but studied in the cut-throat world of Ontario design. Her style is “classic contemporary and glamorous,” with ample helping of Rush posters, beer can towers and moose heads.
Jason, Sarasota, FL:
Jason is a southern boy who loves the phrase, “Hey, girl hey!” And the stereotype is almost too painful to repeat.
But not to show.
He has his own line of outdoor furniture inspired by deco design. I can see a lot of his pieces in a chic Miami hotel. A hotel I could totally see myself staying in. By staying in, of course I mean sprinting through, while desperately trying to appear to be a guest, so I can use the lobby bathroom.
Jen, San Diego, CA:
Jen sucks at her job. No woman who insists on pigtails, while her biological clock is chiming like church bells can be an overachiever. Since she looks like Jaime Pressly in My Name is Earl, I’m going to predict that this woman’s client base is strictly trailer parks and fried chicken restaurants. There’s nothing more effective for diverting attention away from the neighbor’s dirt garden than polka dot window treatments and an indoor/outdoor area rug.
Meredith Baxter-Birney of LMN.
NataLee, Salt Lake City, UT:
Nada has a Bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Brigham Young University and a haircut from the Paige Davis school of ugly. Soft focus please, camera 2.
Nathan, Palm Beach FL:
Nathan is a young, faux-hawked, “urban, modern, eclectic and rustic” designer. He is most appalled by “an interior clad with rattan and styled with the fashions of Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer.” I agree Nathan, please keep that shit in Jimmy Buffet chain restaurants and out of my beach house. Thanks. I’ll call you when we’re ready to move forward on the second floor addition in my ocean-side estate… Sorry, I wandered into my dream world for a bit, I’m back to my cubicle now.
Tashica, Bowie, MD:
Tashica is currently a design coordinator at Ethan Allen, but is anxious to showcase her “urban, colorful, vintage and whimsical” style on Design Star. Well, you better because you know Baxter-Birney is going to be all about floral wallpaper and wainscoting.
I can’t remember what I ever did before…
There are also three semi-finalist competing for the 11th slot. I am pulling for Torie Halbert of Humble, TX. Simply because I have an arsenal of Designing Women jokes that I think she will be perfect for.
Design Star premieres Sunday, July 19th.