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. I agree contestant's good design choices should be recognized by the judges.
    However, a good designer takes into account beauty as well as function.

    Personally, there's nothing that bothers me more than a chair/stool that is at the wrong height for what I am using it for. (ie – desk for working – wrong height is distracting and uncomfortable for concentration. dining table – wrong height chairs either make you work harder to get to your food or too close to it that you become a slob trying to aim food in your mouth)

    Yes, inspiration is a key factor here. However, inspiration should not be void of intelligent design. I think truly inspirational design fulfills both distinctive beauty/style as well as function. I respect what you are saying though. :) This is just my take on it.

    fanfair123 on August 11, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    • "We don't view this show as a weekly contest as much as we watch it for inspiration. Don't lose sight of that aspect, please. " totally agree Ruthann. I would loooooove more actual design concepts instead of minutia. Maybe they can make the show longer and add in some deeper design critique.

      Kate on August 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm
      • I agree. Inspiration is what we watch it for. But what might be inspiration for one might not be for another. There is some variation to what people are moved by and I respect that. For me, creative design includes beauty and function. That's what inspires me :)

        fanfair123 on August 15, 2011 at 8:32 am
  2. Well not to burst your bubble, but I have seen a few places in the media that have officially called DS a reality show. So no surprise there. (at least for me) But still this is HGTV doggonit! I expect better from them..oh so disppointed. Woe is me. LOL.

    fanfair123 on August 11, 2011 at 9:07 pm
  3. Amen! Especially the House Hunters International! How many of us have the money, luck, opportunity to buy a home or second home in a foreign country. I agree with those of you who are asking for more quality design shows. Show us how to make our homes beautiful in a tough economy! And how about some makeovers in middle America!

    Donna on August 12, 2011 at 5:12 am
    • i have a question for all of you who are also dissapointed: I have made coments here a few times and every time I have to 'SUBSCRIBE' and have YET to receive ANY comment replies even though there are obviously many printed here. It seems to be just one more way of the production not following through with their true viewers.

      todd on August 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm
      • Oh yea me too. I don't think that's the network. It's a techie issue. Since the registrations for the sites below are external sites not run by HGTV. Something's not working right in the script so you can't actually sign up to get notified. This past week anyway. I tried to use their link they sent me in an email to activate but it goes to an error page and not a confirm page.

        fanfair123 on August 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm
  4. Last years producer was Mark Burnett of Survivor fame, this year the producer is Loren Rusch so they did make an attempt to change it up. Cathy Hobbs being so heavily promoted prior to the final chalenge,and the additions of Donna Decorates Dallas and Dina's Party all point at some sort of major directional changes. As you stated the fish stinks from the head,but maybe the new direction goes higher up than the individual producers.

    CharlesD on August 12, 2011 at 5:38 am
    • Agreed! It just stinks period. LOL! Lysol anyone? How about some Glade? Or actually a garbage disposal might be better to just get rid of it.

      fanfair123 on August 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm
  5. I agree with you about Donna Does Dallas and also I learned from the Unsellables and watched all of the shows.

    nannyb15 on August 12, 2011 at 6:28 am
  6. I am new to this blog, and I notice that there are no replies from Loren. Why not? Good questions are asked and deserve a reply, like Lonni's.

    nannyb15 on August 12, 2011 at 6:36 am
  7. I can't believe that Cathy is still going strong and I must admit I am very disappointed in HGTV for allowing it. She may be great on Camera for one minute but as a person, team player, designer she is over bearing, lazy, rude, and untalented. The only memorable impression she leaves is not because of her design but an ill feeling with viewers and other contestants. She is as fake as the smile she wears not the type of person I would want to know let alone watch in her own show. I am tired of watching her slip by and continue by rolling over people and blaming others. Are the judges afraid of her, being paid to keep her or what? Please tell me why she is still on the show.

    Suki2999 on August 12, 2011 at 6:48 am
  8. I agree with you 100%. I am so disappointed with the way the show is going. I really do not like the person who calls her self "Cathy". Why would anyone watch another EGO maniac? I have watched HGTV since it first aired (without commericals)and I will not continue if the shows continue with the same programing(House Hunters 24/7). What happen to variety of programs? That lady is NOT a Likeable person. You cannot make her something she's Not. Bring back Tyler and let the viewing public know YOU WERE WRONG!
    Please don't make me stop watching HGTV.

    susanfla on August 12, 2011 at 7:42 am
  9. I agree with you Michel – one attribute Kathy surely lacks is the ability to work well with others. If she cannot get away from her overwhelming need to be in charge, she will certainly not be able to design according to her clients' wishes instead of her own. Surely the HGTV staff can see that! Kathy Hobbs is such a detriment to this season, I'm almost ready to stop watching.

    Renmarsel on August 12, 2011 at 7:49 am
  10. I am so disappointed in the choices the judges have made. Please get Cathy off the show.
    I can't stand watching the program with an agruementative and negative person. The purpose of the show is to Watch people who have a great personality and can design. Case in point "David B". It just seems you are keeping people in the show for the wrong reasons. One subjective paint choice shouldn't make the judges think people like Tyler aren't great designers. I can see that he was a person who had a heart and soul. Please take into account what viewers are saying. Also please put back shows that are based on DESIGN and not all about realestate. That' why it's called HGTV. Right? Pleae keep in mind why we started watching the network to begin with. Great personalites,designs that are translatable to our own homes,and inspiration. Don't let this network fall apart by so many bad choices. Maybe you can have some of your viewers decide with your panel of judges who they like? Since we are the ones watching and love the previous shows you have aired in the past. Think and respond to what your viewers are saying Please!

    susanfla on August 12, 2011 at 7:59 am

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