Kayla Kitts

Contributor to HGTVersus

Aug 10

Ask the Producer: Dream Kitchen Challenge

Loren Ruch With Paula Deen

Each week, we ask Design Star producer Loren Ruch your most-asked behind-the-scenes questions. This week, Loren shares the funniest moments from the shoot with guest judge Paula Deen. Plus, what really happens during the judges’ deliberation process?

What was it like being on set with Paula Deen? What was the funniest moment of the shoot?
Being on the set with Paula made me wonder, “Is it really fair to call this ‘work’?  I’m having far too much fun to consider this part of my job!” She was a bundle of fun energy and kept the entire crew laughing from start to finish, especially during moments when she’d say things like “Cat Fight!” during a tense moment in evaluation. However, my favorite moment with Paula happened behind the scenes when I saw her looking very ‘seriously’ at her iPad. I thought that something important must have been happening to her at that moment, and I asked “Are you okay? You look concerned. Do you need anything?” She replied, “Darlin’, I’m not concerned about anything…I’m in the middle of a tense game of Angry Birds!” I started to crack up…and so did she. She’s a burst of fun, positive and insightful energy!

How long is the actual time the designers wait for the decisions and how much of their conversation while waiting is edited out? Have the judges ever been deadlocked about who to send home?
Excellent question! Deliberation can run anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours or more. During that time the Design Panel talks through the camera challenges, design challenges and any thoughts they have — and eventually come to a conclusion on their own. There have been disagreements on a particular decision from time to time, but they have never ultimately been deadlocked.

What happened to the kitchens after the challenge?

In a challenge like this (which took place in a studio rather than a real home) the items are either returned or donated. However, if we were doing a challenge at a real home, the homeowners get to keep all of the furnishings that were part of their makeovers.

With the next kitchen challenge, next time, could you do a challenge using a small kitchen done efficiently, incorporating lighting new counters ,eco-flooring and material choices and types so we can learn from the kitchen designs?
We’re in the very early stages of discussing challenges for next year, so I will definitely add this to our suggestion box. I think that it’s a wonderful, relatable and interesting idea!

Do you have a question for Loren about the inner-workings of Design Star? Ask in the comments below and he may just answer you next week.

Posted at 6:24 pm

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  1. Do any of the staff at HGTV honestly believe that Kathy Hobbs still should be in this contest? Is is proper for her to already have an HGTV show airing in Canada? Does even one of you actually believe Kathy has more talent than Tyler? Or for that matter, Brent, Blanche, Doug or J? Could you please explain to us exactly what her talent is? Do you think anyone out there other than her family would watch her show? Love you anyway, Paula Deen!

    michel on August 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm
    • PLEASE send Kathy Hobbs packing. I am almost ready to stop watching Design Star. She has made it the worst season yet.

      Tracy on August 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm
    • Is that true? Kathy Hobbs has an HGTV show airing in Canada right now? I wonder if anyone actually watches the self-centered, untalented 'designer'?

      Joy on August 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm
    • I thought for sure Cathy would go home this week… her "styling" if you can call it that was abhorrent… and the way she steam-rolls over her "partners" , and then blatantly LIES about it… is really disgusting.

      I hate it when this show gets side-railed by these kinds of issues. You guys probably mistakenly love it…. thinking that a little drama (or a lot in her case) is good for viewership…. that may be true on other reality shows, but we watch this show for DESIGN… pure, plain and simple…. that is why we are watching.

      And it is very disconcerting when someone obviously lacking in talent and being rude and lying to boot… is kept on week after week…. sort of like Antonio winning when he was clearly NOT the winner.

      Please, treat your viewers with respect and realize what the core reason we watch is… good design.

      cnico on August 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm
    • Sorry. Paula Dean is not entertaining…..she is annoying to me.

      Ruthann on August 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    • Kathy is all "talk", not much talent. she is very condescending/ obnoxius to fellow designers and I for one would never watch her show if by some miracle she should win.

      M. webb on August 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm
      • I totally agree. She has butt heads with everyone she has worked with. She needs to go just for the fact of not getting along with others.

        I still miss Clive and the paint cans. This format is too stiff and the judges seem so much more aloof than before. I rathered it before Clive left.

        nana on August 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm
  2. Does the panel get to see some of the footage taped during the challenges before they make their decisions? It seems that would tell them a lot about the contestants ability to "work together."

    Also I don't like how many of the challenges this year have the designers paired together. I want to see how well each designer does on their own. I understand the importance of working with a team for a show…but on a show is it not the designer's ideas that a team is helping to fulfill? When we see a person like Kathy steamroll over everyone she works with – to me it is not fair to other designers who are trying to stand up for themselves but she won't have any of it. Why not give them an assistant and crew to see how well they work with a team after the field is whittled down based on their own design, decision making and time mangement skills?

    Christine on August 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm
    • I think offering an assistant/crew is an excellent option to the face off between designers. There is too much at stake for each of them and when paired, obviously, each one wants to have the final say so they can try to represent their styles and talents. Instead of creating a fusion of talents, the pairings create undue tension. I think that dynamic undoes the whole purpose of the show. If HGTV allows the tension for ratings and has decided to forgo the best designs that could come forward…then the style battles work. UNfortunately.

      Every season there's the ONE person who just wants all the control. That person probably has the same issues in all facets of their life….this time…Kathy takes the prize.

      Ruthann on August 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm
  3. Cathy is a bully and annoying!!!!!!! She keeps hosting about her own camera ability and how good she is but she sucks. Her kitchen challenge was a mess, there was stuff everywhere. Does she watch any HGTV at all? Too much stuff on the counter and was overwhelming. Everybody else is getting into trouble for not working together and the judges need to see that she is the common element. Everyone else gets along. Vote her off!

    DeAnn Best on August 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm
  4. If I can ask the producer of the Design Star these will be my questions :

    Do you ever read comments on the Blogs and Message Board ? I guess not coz if you do you already get the message that lots of your viewers are gone because of the injustices the panel did to TYLER ..our sympathies for him are endless ..will take a long time before we can recover to the trauma ..maybe your enjoying it though .. i wish all of us will boycott your show ..no viewers , no show right ? just read some few comments more than enough for you to know the reactions of the big crowds out there crying for JUSTICE FOR TYLER BRING HIM BACK ! do we need to carry placards and go out on every streets to send you our messages .. he may not be the best but he's one of the best and your so called talented judges sent him home ..no explanarions from you guys can appease us ..we lost our trust to all of you period

    rupesh on August 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm
    • i agree!

      J.B on August 11, 2011 at 7:23 am
  5. I wish some of the episodes were at least and hour and a half because so much of the details get cut and we don't get to see them. The HGTV Tuesday night lineup leaves a lot to be desired, and I'd love to have more time to get to know the designers.

    Lulu on August 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    P. THOMPSON on August 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm
  7. I was so surprized that Kathy is still on . She has such an attitude! everyone has a vision and talent or they wouldn't be in the competition. I personally just hate all the drama. I watch to get ideas and see the new trends. Kathy may have it together on camera but she dosen't have the ability to respect her fellow contestants. That kitchen looked like a fridge threwup on the counters I don't care for modern not my style but her styling was NOT modern. I don't get why Karl was dinged because he was unfortunate to have to work with her

    colleen on August 10, 2011 at 4:20 pm
  8. Please don't "keep" conflicting designers on just to keep tension going. We'd rather see elements of good design that we can apply at home than people crabbing at each other. We get enough of that in our own tense lives and tight budgets. I've watched DS since the beginning and the group challenges just seem to produce a mess, a fight ( or three)and an unfinished project (or three). Maybe give designers more time to achieve the impossible or narrow down the challenge to single designers. I miss Clive; love David. The guest judges have been an interesting twist although I'm not sold on the Novogratz whose design looks a little like the clutter your other shows tell people to dump.

    ArionTsamen on August 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm
  9. Why are these designers asked to paint, hang electrical, tile, build furniture etc., when real designers don't do that stuff?

    ArionTsamen on August 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm
  10. I'm not a Kathy fan at all but since she won the on camera part and was safe okay; still I would not watch her show if she gets one. She doesn,t work well with others. Do the judges see the how the contestant works with others before they judge?
    I like Kevin but he was better than Tyler in all the shows to date????? Huh. Tyler got a raw deal.

    V Joyce on August 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm
    • Not sure that we saw enough of Tylers' work. I think Kathy has been a distraction all the way around. I wouldn't watch her show either. She has an unappealing smile….and a superiority complex.

      Ruthann on August 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

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