Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 20

Ask the Producer: Episode 8

Each week, I chat with Design Star producer Loren Ruch about behind-the-scenes moments you didn’t see on the show. This week, I ask: why yurts? Plus, he offers some inside intel on the upcoming season of Design Star All Stars.

Loren Ruch With Carpenters and Designers

The Carpenters, Designers and Host With Producer Loren Ruch

It’s always fun to watch the non-traditional home challenge. How did you decide to do yurts this year?
We wanted to take small spaces to the next generation, so we decided yurts were the way to go! They happen to be very trendy right now, and Vern has stayed in something like 20 of them on his travels, so we knew he would be very excited to judge this challenge. I was really impressed with how they turned out, too. And for you diehard fans, I have a secret for you…in our Design Star All Stars series (which premieres Tuesday, July 31 at 9/8c), we’ll have another even more unusual small space episode later in the season!

It looked like the designers had fun with their celebrity carpenters! What was the best moment during the building of the yurts?
Not only did they have fun with their celebrity carpenters, they also found a new level of respect for what these guys go through on their own shows. Each group had a totally unique dynamic. Hilari and Jeff basically hit it off right from the beginning and were fast friends. Britany and Joel were a little bit like a brother and sister. Their dynamic was funny and extremely fun to watch because they were joking and kind of making fun of each other. Danielle and Chip had a nice rapport too. Chip told Danielle, “Hopefully I’ll be your good luck charm. It worked for Meg last season!” You’ll have to wait until next week and see if he’s one for two or two for two.

Design Star Judges and Guest Judge Mark Steines

Left to Right: Vern Yip, David Bromstad, Producer Loren Ruch, Genevieve Gorder and Guest Judge Mark Steines

It seemed like the judges had a tough time making a decision this week! How long was the deliberation this time?
They had an extremely difficult time making a decision this week because there really wasn’t a weak space or a weak designer. And all of the judges LOVED Hilari – which made it even more difficult. The bottom line was that they needed to nit-pick for the smallest flaws that would make one room just a little stronger or weaker than the others, and unfortunately that meant sending Hilari home. But this isn’t the last time you’ll be seeing Ms. Hilari Younger…check out our cast for Design Star All Stars!

Where was the yurt episode filmed? Since it appeared to be in a public place, how did you keep the bystanders from revealing who is left on the show?
It was shot in Lake Balboa, which is located in Encino, Calif. It’s a beautiful public location that seemed perfect for this challenge. We did have a lot of bystanders, but we made them sign releases where they promised not to share any of the results that they may have seen! Thank goodness no one leaked anything.

Have a question or comment for Loren? Voice your opinion in the comments below and he may just answer you next week!

Posted at 11:32 am

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  1. Most posters seem to feel that the judges sent the wrong person home. The big question I have is if the judges make the final decision without any outside input? One of the reasons the judges gave for sending Hilari home is that she didn't give enough information on her camera challenge, isn't that easy to fix? They may not get a lot of retakes on Design Star but I would think that filming an actual show they would have someone telling them what needs to be said, and doing enough takes till it's right.

    Corvette Lady on July 20, 2012 at 8:29 am
  2. I don't feel like the judges sent the wrong person home. The final 2 were the best designers over the course of the competition and deserve to be in the finale. I think Hilari should have been sent home after the White Box Challenge.

    gotitright on July 20, 2012 at 10:14 am
    • A lot of people thought Meg should have gone home after the White Room Challenge and she ended up as the winner. I think the final 3 were all good designers but Hilari had the best on camera personality.

      Corvette Lady on July 20, 2012 at 11:20 am
      • Thank you… they got it right this season and last season they should have sent Meg packing

        gotitright on July 20, 2012 at 11:49 am
    • NO WAAAAYYY! many other boxes were MUCH worse than hers. she saved Danielle, (she probably wouldve gone home if it wasnt for Hilari) and now Danielle stays instead of her. Danielle was unsuccessful in many other challenges

      Maggie on July 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm
      • The judges loved Danellies room.. what are you talking about??

        designoholic on July 23, 2012 at 10:01 am
  3. Danielle should have been sent home after the Kardashian challenge, indoor/outdoor challenge, and condo challenge. Hilari actually saved Danielle in the Kardashian challenge. Danielle was just standing there, not knowing what to do about the wing walls. Hilari and Britany should be the final two.

    Maggie on July 20, 2012 at 11:28 am
    • you've got that right! Danielle is a good designer, but she messed up MANY other times! she cant manage her time properly

      Delaney on July 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

        Milania on July 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    • I could not disagree more. Danielle and Britany are the two best designers. I have DVRd the episodes and if you watch them multiple times, it becomes apparent that Hilari is great on camera and has no problems chatting but she doesn't give tips to the viewers or explain things like the other two designers do.

      Jfaye on July 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm
  4. Loren, exactly how big were the yurts? And what happens to the yurts, furniture, and accessories once the episode is over? Some of those furniture pieces are so awesome that I hope they found a good home!

    C&E on July 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm
  5. Loren, What happened to Tanika Ray?

    ellie066 on July 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm
    • I miss Tanika. She brought energy and excitement to the show. I appreciate her more now that she isn't there. David — and most others — can't play the role of host and mentor (and I assume judge in the last episode) all at the same time. Bring back Tanika!

      Design is cool on July 21, 2012 at 3:44 am
  6. Guys, do any of you remember season 6… Emily Henderson was the winner and she was in the bottom 2 for several challenges! Being in the bottom doesn't mean that you won't win… HGTV is looking for someone that can grow.

    KR Johnson on July 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm
    • I have been waiting forever for someone to make a comment worth reading, Bravo!

      HEY on July 21, 2012 at 8:22 am
      • Thanks!! :)

        KRJohnson on July 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm
    • Emily didn't grow. She is still the same "Let's clutter up a room" non designer that she was on DS. She should never have won.

      erikcreature on July 21, 2012 at 9:41 am
      • Erikcreature, if you go back and review all of the episodes for season 6… you will see that she "grew" during each taping of that season and was awesome in her "hosting" abilities. She was declared the winner and now is a "celebrity" with her own show. The "original" point I was trying to make was just because you are in the bottom 2 and in the bottom 2 several challenges, doesn't mean that you won't win. :)

        KRJohnson on July 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm
        • Your point was bogus. Emily is worthless as a designer. That is the fact. You are a dope, who knows nothing about design. Hosting isn't designing. If you can't design, then you shouldn't be a host.

          erikcreature on July 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm
          • erickcreature…. why would you personally "attack" me?? I never said that hosting was designing; however,the show (DS) judges on both designing & hosting. There are several winners of DS that can't design, but, they have their OWN show.

            There's no need for the personal attacks. We are all fans of DS and are entitled to our own opinions and this is a forum for us to "share" with each other. But, taking on a horrible attitude to attack is crazy? And for what? A reality show where SOMEONE else will win their own show, BECOME A STAR & make more money than we probably can imagine. :D

            KRJohnson on July 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm
          • I suggest that you don't reply to such a juvenile attack. He obviously craves attention…and has found a childish way to get it.

            Layne on July 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm
          • You are so right, Layne! Thanks! :)

            KRJohnson on July 22, 2012 at 9:38 am
          • I did not attack you. I merely pointed out the truth about you. You know nothing about designing. Having your own show, with no design talent is a crime against humanity. Some of us couldn't take the cut in income to be a design "star" on HGTV.

            erikcreature on July 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm
      • Totally agree!! Emilyis one of the worst designers ever put on HGTV! She hasn't improved since Design Star either!

        MBS on July 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm
      • I agree. She is awful.

        Design Diva on July 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm
    • Yes! I remember Emily Henderson winning which I think was a huge flub! I couldn't stand watching her and always turned the channel when Emily's show came on!

      Allen on July 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm
    • FYI that was season 5.

      hgtvrox on July 24, 2012 at 5:24 am
  7. Loren, how are the city locations chosen? No doubt it has to be a large city with lots of resources, like LA and NYC. But it might be fun – more challenging, too – to take the show to say, Billings, Montana, where the designers would have to be more resourceful, etc. Most people do not have the luxury of shopping for furniture, accessories, etc. in LA and NYC. It might be helpful (and inspiring) to viewers to see that great design elements can be found everywhere – in home towns all across America – and that every city has charming shops on which to draw. Thank you!

    Parkebernet on July 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm
  8. Personally I think the fix is already in for Danielle to win. Loved Hilari's yurt and Britany has been consistantly good on every challenge. Danielle should have gone home.

    Lori on July 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm
    • so true

      Maggie on July 21, 2012 at 11:14 am
  9. I find the statement about yurts being trendy really odd.
    Where exactly are these trendy yurts? LOL.

    I'm just curious because I have yet to see a yurt or yurt inspired living spaces and I live in NYC.
    Trendy for who? I'm not getting it.

    Much like I'm not gettin many of the choices made by HGTV :)

    Yurt what? on July 21, 2012 at 7:11 am
    • Do you know anything about where you live? New York City is a big city. You can't just walk up to central park and say you're gonna put a yurt there. The only possible way you could live in a yurt in the state of New York would be to live pretty far out, and even then a yurt might not even meet requirements. You also have to realize that HGTV probably wanted to do something different than normal living spaces, like the tiny homes. Not meant to be an insult, just trying to inform you!

      Yurt wrong on July 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm
  10. I agree with most of the posts that Hilari should not have been sent home. She has the best on camera record of the 3. Brittany hasn't had a good one yet! I would enjoy watching HIlari and Danielle on a show…Brittany just feels so stilted on her camera challenges. To me, that would be a reason to send someone home. I'm sad to see Hilari go. I saw the producers take on the decision, but if you're going to be nitpicky, do so on the camera challenges as a whole, not the designs. They were fine.

    Joanna Shumaker on July 21, 2012 at 8:14 am

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