Design Star | Finale

Monday, August 23, 2010


Ms. Emily Henderson!!! I can't begin to tell you how proud I am that Em won the title and her own show on HGTV "Secrets from a Stylist" (premiering Sunday, Aug 29 10/9c). Em and I first met at the casting call back in LA when we auditioned in January. She and I were the last two girls left out of roughly 100 people that showed up that day (out of thousands that sent in tapes), waiting from queue to queue for the next round of advancement and casually (albeit a bit awkwardly since we were in competition) struck up a conversation.




Em: Are you an interior designer? 
Me: Yes, specifically hospitality. What about you? 
Em: I'm just a prop stylist (with minimal conviction)...Well, Antonio was a prop stylist too.
Me: And he won!...I'm sure you'll be fine.


The cast congratulating our new DESIGN STAR, Emily!
What I wore: Blouse: Tracy Reese. Skirt: Design History. Bracelet: Forever 21


Little did we know our tête-à-tête would become the precursor for the outcome of Design Star, aka the strangest most life changing next few months of our lives. Coming into the show Em seemed self-doubting to say the least, ending up in the bottom two with me in the White Box Challenge. The judges saved her, sent me home, and the only thing I kept repeating to her over and over was "Since you beat me, you better win the whole thing Em!!" To which she simply shrugged and seemed grateful to be kept another day. Watching Emily throughout the season, I knew she'd show up. The judges LOVED her unique hosting and stylist perspective from the start so keeping her around was invaluable to the outcome they sought out for the competition.


We all came back to help the final two in the implementation of their final rooms. I was on Michael's team and believed in his vision as a hospitality designer through and through. Interior designing has everything to do with conceptual development, space planning, and final installation. Getting from point A to point Y is imperative to the process, finishing point Z is the icing on the cake.

Michael's Design Revolution: Apartment designed for Nina

The judges felt that as a designer, Michael is adept at A-Y, while Em is masterful at Z. Hope y'all are following because at this point, you can pretty much figure out that what HGTV desires is that perfect finish. That's what viewers respond to, and with Emily, that's what they're going to get 100% of the time.

Emily's Style to Lifestyle: Apartment designed for Tom

Congratulations Emily and HGTV, hope you've got a David Bromstad-sized viewership in the works!

The newest addition to the HGTV family
images via: HGTV.com

On a side note: I've loved keeping up with the show and following with my Monday morning commentary. I have to admit that I was far from impressed with many of the earlier episodes, but seeing the designs develop exponentially throughout the season kept me invested in the cause. You could say I was pot-committed since I was a part of the cast, but having been eliminated first allowed me to sit back, watch, and react as a viewer...with a little insider's scoop of course.

How can I possibly remember all of the little tidbits you ask? Aside from my eerily photographic memory, I will never ever forget the details to one of the best experiences of my life to date. I recall everything from what I wore (naturally) to most of the one on one conversations I had with the cast, the crew, even the crafts service peeps...I mean how often do you get to say you were a contestant on a reality TV show?

I get to say at least once. Maybe twice, who knows. We'll just have to wait and see ;D

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