Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 5

Ask the Producer: Episode 6

I’m chatting with producer Loren Ruch about what happened behind the scenes of the often-dreaded kitchen challenge. This week: The best Kitchen Cousins moment on set. Plus, do the designers get to reunite after the season ends?

HGTV Design Star Judges With Kitchen Cousins and HGTV Magazine Editor Sara Peterson

HGTV's Kitchen Cousins, HGTV Magazine Editor-in-Chief Sara Peterson, Genevieve Gorder, Vern Yip, Producer Loren Ruch, David Bromstad

I love the Kitchen Cousins! It looked like they had fun on set. What was their best moment on the set?
We had many fun moments on the set with them, but the favorite for me was a behind-the-scenes moment that they probably don’t even know about! During evaluation, the producers (including myself) are in a control room watching the entire process. We have a director whose job is to call which camera he wants to use at any given moment to capture the drama and tension of what is going on. He originally had one camera allocated to John and another to Anthony so that they could each have their moment in the spotlight, but every single time our director would call for John’s camera, Anthony would end of finishing his sentence and we’d miss the shot. Then he’d call for Anthony’s camera, and John would end up doing the same thing and we’d miss that shot too! We were cracking up behind the scenes because they literally seem more like twins than even cousins. It was like a synchronized swimming routine! Finally, our director opted to just use one camera as a two-shot for both of the cousins so that we wouldn’t miss any more moments!

This week, the designers painted their own walls, but the cabinets and floors were installed overnight. How do you decide what the contestants get help with and what they have to do on their own?
Since this challenge had so many technical installs, we let the experts be the experts and the designers be designers. So, our cabinets and flooring were installed by Cabinets to Go and Lumber Liquidators, and the countertops were installed by professionals, too. However, since those are such large components in the space, we decided that instead of also giving them painters, they should do that on their own. Otherwise, it would have been primarily a shopping challenge rather than a design/build/decorate challenge, which was what we were looking for!

I imagine the designers get closer and closer the further they get into the competition. Do all the contestants get to reunite after the season ends?
I don’t want to share all of our secrets, but you may see a few of your favorites appear again in the finale! Once the show is over, it’s up to the designers to decide if they want to remain friends, and hang out, but HGTV doesn’t facilitate any reunions.

Where were this week’s kitchen boxes located? What happened to the materials after the show?
The kitchen boxes were located in a studio in the San Fernando Valley. Many of the materials were returned after we wrapped, because they were not used in a real homeowner’s home. If we were doing real kitchens, of course all of the materials would remain in the location we were making over.

When will we see Britany and Danielle’s kitchen in HGTV Magazine?
The winning kitchen will be featured in the October/November Issue, which is out on newsstands September 18.

Have a question for Loren? Ask him in the comments below — he may just answer you next week.

Posted at 12:21 pm

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  1. Love DesignStar and was totally inspired by the winning kitchen! Would you share the color the girls selected for the walls?

    Bethany on July 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm
  2. Why did you have *two* double eliminations this year? I prefer one or zero double eliminations. I especially didn't like it this year because now we are beginning to know the designers better and suddenly two of them are gone.

    And while I'm at it, how come Rachel won two challenges and got nothing for it (but booted this week) while Hilari got a reward for her challenge? The winner of a challenge should get something or don't declare a winning designer for the week. Thanks. I still look forward to the show.

    Design is cool on July 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm
    • Did you intend to say Danielle?

      Producer on July 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm
  3. I've been looking at the vote for fan favoriteand it seems like Yuki, the designer who was booted off first – who we really didn't get to know at all – has rallied the troops and is ahead of everyone. How on earth will you name someone who appeared on one episode before being eliminated as the fan favorite? What a sham.

    Dana Carey on July 7, 2012 at 4:14 am
  4. Thank you, Loren, for sharing your insight and answering our questions.

    As I watch each episode, I often wonder if a TV stylist helps the designers choose their on-air wardrobes. Are they simply given general guidelines on what to wear (or not to wear), or does someone actually help them throughout the challenges (beyond hair and makeup)?

    If the choices are left up to them, it's almost a "designer challenge" in and of itself – color, texture, coordination, etc.

    Love the show. Well done, Loren!



    Parkebernet on July 7, 2012 at 5:03 am
  5. I shocked that Rachel just fell off a cliff the last few weeks after starting so strong. I really think anyone of them could win except Mikel, mainly because of the camera challenges.

    Marty on July 7, 2012 at 10:21 am
  6. How can I find out where the Buffet in the winning kitchen is from? MUST OWN. Thanks!

    brooke on July 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm
    • Try dumpster diving. Then you too might be able to find a beat up piece of junk such as that buffet, raining paint chips in your kitchen. If something is shabby, then it is NEVER chic.

      erikcreature on July 8, 2012 at 8:53 am
      • LOL why do you even watch this show? this one actually made me laugh–but your comments are always so rude!

        Elizabeth on July 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm
        • HGTV is being rude by trying to pass off inferior decorators, as real designers.

          Let them be truthful and call the show "Decorator Star," and I'll go away.

          erikcreature on July 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm
  7. I always look forward to watching "Design Star", and am especially glad that there seems to be less drama among the designers this season. I also enjoy the dynamics between team members and love to see a team truly working together.

    lchilelli on July 10, 2012 at 3:34 am
    • Yes, I totally agree. Much better this year! The judges seem to be a little nicer, offering suggestions, not quite so pious. Smiling a lot more. LOVE Design Star!!

      lcm on July 10, 2012 at 8:43 am
    • Agreed. The team dynamics have been so good sometimes, it seems more people are commenting on the possibility of having 2 winners who would share a show. . .

      Maggie O on July 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm
  8. I'm glad that all the finalists are not only good designers but also pleasing to look at. Last year's winner is so awful I can't stand to listen to that irritating voice and the dumpy neck-less shape is just not something I want t spend an hour watching. Sorry I sound so mean, but contrary to to saying, looks DO matter in television.

    Ellen on July 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm
  9. I love getting to see Loren's comments! Thank you for sharing all of the "behind the scenes" with us "geeks"!

    Michelle on July 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm
  10. You are not a geek at all! You are a fan!!!! :)

    loren on July 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

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