Contributor to HGTVersus

Sep 5

Candice’s Recap: Episode 9

Judges With Host Tanika Ray

After a few weeks away filming Candice Tells All, I’m back. I was so glad to return to the panel for such a fun challenge this week. I loved the look of surprise (and nausea!) when Tanika told the remaining three designers this week’s task was to design an entire home. OK, so the homes were less than 100 square feet in size, but the smaller the home the bigger the challenge and the more creative the designers have to be. We’re talking minimal square feet in which to design and create a stylish bathroom, kitchen, sleeping and living space. Putting things into perspective, my size 11 feet take up about 10 square feet alone, so just fitting Vern, Gwen and myself inside each tiny house” for evaluation was tight and tricky to say the least (“Great cologne, Vern.”).

Throw in not one but two camera challenges and yowza — this is a doozy of a challenge. Here’s how it went down.

As usual, Meg came roaring out of the starting gate with her infectious energy. Her “vintage Palm Beach” style was in all its glory with her bold green and yellow palette. Creating a foyer with the bathroom and closet in the entry was a brilliant use of space, and the floating bench worked wonders as a functional sitting (with storage under) area that kept the space feeling open and airy. I wasn’t, however, as much of a fan of her palette as my panel peers. “Meg’s green” was everywhere — in such an eclectic and personality-driven room, it bordered on monotony and predictability.

Judges Walk Through Meg's House

The Judges Tour Meg's Tiny House

However, the camera challenges were spot on. I’m glad to see that from week one all the way to week nine our little firecracker Meg kept true to herself and continued to let her personality shine in each and every challenge. She is funny, dynamic and, most of all, very real, and truly deserves to be in the finals.

Meg in her Tiny House

Meg Poses in Her Tiny House

Karl is in it to win it. Other than the high contrasting colors that made a small space seem even smaller, I couldn’t find a whole lot wrong with his tiny house. His brilliant architectural eye has been his secret weapon in challenge after challenge, and out of all the designers, it’s obvious that he gives complete thought to what the assignment is as a whole.

Judges in Karl's Space

The Judges Review Karl's Space

From broad concept right down to the final details, Karl is a smart, talented designer who truly deserves to be in the finals. His passion for what he does is infectious and comes across in front of the camera, where he now appears to be completely at ease. He’s a triple threat in this competition — knowledgeable, passionate, likeable, and the perfect opponent for Meg.

Karl in His Finished Space

Karl in His Finished Space

Oh, Mark. That gorgeous Chiclets smile couldn’t get you through to the finals, and I have one word that did you in: belts. You’ve made a huge name for yourself in this competition with your amazing art installations, but this time, well, let’s just say you were caught with your pants down and we all know why. I would love to give you points for being inventive (or just being you) but this time I really can’t. The argyle pattern on the walls literally made me dizzy when I walked through the space. The home really felt disjointed — other than a cohesive color palette, and your usual smart styling, I was just left wanting more. I’m sad to see you go, but kudos to you for creating some of the most interesting and dynamic elements in this competition. You have a future ahead of you that’s as bright as your smile.


Goodbye, Mark

I also have to say that on my show every day is Hug Your Carpenter Day. Hotty-hot-hot carpenters Chip, Marc (with his GQ haircut) and spicy tamale Carmen also added a lot of fun to this episode. Cheers to you all for a job well done.

I can’t believe we’re down to the finale! My, how time flies when you’re having fun.

What did you think of the tiny house challenge? What questions do you have about episode nine?  Tell us what you’re wondering about in the comments below — the Design Star producer will answer your  most-asked questions on Wednesday.

Posted at 10:00 pm

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  1. I liked Karl's the best…Color and all!

    Mark G on September 5, 2011 at 6:04 pm
  2. Well bummer for Mark, that was my last show to watch. Have no desire to watch Karl or Meg, what a bad choice cant believe. I design everyday and watch hgtv daily. I will not be watching last design star or the winner. What a big mistake the judges made, there will be a flop, bad decision.

    marina on September 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm
  3. Hated to see Mark go. Loved the unexpected twist that he brought to each challenge. Great design eye. Good Luck. I'm sure we will see you on HGTV one day.

    Janet Mosley on September 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm
  4. Mark, great tiny house! Sorry to see you go home and with that said, Design Star is over for me!!! :(

    Stone on September 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm
    • Don't worry with his looks, he'll probably be back…He has movie star looks, just as Casey from last season does, and look she's now doing Design on a Dime.

      Mark G on September 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm
  5. So they let the creative one go and kept two so-so designers instead. Problem is that neither of the two finalists are as watchable as Mark. He can learn to be camera ready, but it is hard to teach and instill creativity. Poor judging this time – really not interested in watching either of the two left in their own show.

    Ted on September 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm
  6. Does anyone else think that Mark sort of copied Karl's layout after seeing his space?

    Mark G on September 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm
    • That is exactly right and I don't think Meg had intended putting in a loft bed either. I hated it when she wanted to go checking out the other spaces. This is a competition. In the end Karl's execution was best. I would have loved to see some mirrors to break up all the red though, but time was a little crazy for them as well.

      SharonAgape on September 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm
  7. From what I have seen in the last few weeks I cannot believe Meg is still around. Her house had no storage the, did not look comfortable and the color green totally turned me off. Being a plant lover who would want a real plant hung upside down.

    Fan of Design star on September 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm
  8. Wow! Can anyone say claustrophobic? I’ve seen elevators bigger than that! After one week in there it’s the funny farm for me!!!! No surprise here though, I nailed it last week!

    Karl, I think your self-worth has grown by leaps and bounds since this contest!!!!! You are a diamond in the rough that still needs some polishing. We still really like you! Pleeeease win!!!!

    Meg, HGTV’S “Design Crime” detective. The “Fashion Infraction” police should arrest you for “Caboose” overexposure!!!!!! (no offense girl, but lose those tight clothes)!

    Mark, Sorry guy,I’m soooo sad. I’m going to miss your perfectly groomed beard and pearly whites! Well Mark, have to go now; I’m in the process of refurbishing a desk lamp with “tin foil” Hmmmmmm!

    p.s. Tanika, what’s with the hot pink boots!!!!!!!!!

    marilyn on September 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm
  9. I just finished watching the episode. The judges made a huge blunder by eliminating Mark. He had a lot of possibility for a show, especially with his specialized woodworking design. I was just about to subscribe to the new magazine – luckily I didn't do it yet, because HGTV, you have lost a loyal viewer.

    Nancy on September 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm
  10. I have watched this show all year and last year too. I am totally disgusted with the judges. Mark is the best of the three and you threw him out. I know he can show up the other two anytime. You just lost a loyal fan. The three judges are on my taboo list. I will not watch anything you are on.

    Kay Williams on September 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

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