Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Aug 2

Ask the Producer: Design Star All Stars Ep 1

Each week, I chat with Design Star All Stars producer Loren Ruch about what you didn’t see on the show. This week: How were the cast members chosen? Plus, who changed the most since their season on the show? Read on to find out.

Design Star Producer Loren Ruch With Judges

How did you assemble the cast of DS all-stars? What qualities were you looking for?
We wanted to find the Design Star cast members who made the most lasting impressions over the years. A few of them were fan favorites like Dan Vickery and Kellie Clements, and others had incredible support online and through social media like Sparkle Josh, Leslie Ezelle, and Tom Vecchione so we knew our die-hard fans would love to see them again. In the case with Hilari Younger, as soon as she was eliminated from Design Star we just had a hunch that her humor and talent would resonate with our viewers so we took a chance and slotted her right into All Stars.

Filming the show, which designer did you think changed the most since their season? Or, alternately, was anyone exactly as you remembered?
That is a great question, and honestly quite a few of them changed dramatically. In episode one I was blown away by how much Leslie improved on her camera challenge. She was all over the place in her season, and somehow pulled it all together in All Stars. Tom was another one who surprised me. Many people associated him with that crazy blue bathroom that got him kicked off during his season, but he knocked it out of the park on our first episode of All Stars. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Dan Vickery always was, and still remains a fabulous designer, so his gorgeous room didn’t surprise me at all. And Sparkle Josh and Hilari also stayed true to their signature looks in the first episode. I was a little disappointed in Kellie’s room because I think she is a spectacular designer, but unfortunately it seemed like she was trying to recreate a ‘white room’ instead of using all of the incredible resources at the Pacific Design Center – so I don’t think we had a good chance to see just how talented she really is.

Could the public check out the white boxes as the DSAS cast created them? If so, what were the reactions like?
Yep! They were on display in the Pacific Design Center. We honestly kept the area free of onlookers while they were working so that no one would get injured. It’s a war zone when designers are mid-process! However, once the rooms were finished, we had many onlookers gasping at how beautiful the spaces were. We literally had more than a million dollars worth of furnishings featured in the spaces, so they were pretty darn spectacular!

What was your favorite on-set moment from the second-chance White Box Challenge?
It was an absolute race to the finish on the set for this challenge, so I just remember the designers literally running through the PDC to finish their rooms. They were so out of breath that you would have thought we made them run a marathon that day! I also loved working with Emily Procter who was FABULOUS to spend time with. She is one the most salt-of-the-Earth celebrities I have ever had the pleasure to meet or work with.

Have a question for Loren? Ask away in the comments below.

Posted at 6:56 pm

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  1. Will All Stars become a yearly show, or do you see it just as something every five or six years? There are still a lot of designers from previous seasons that I would like to see again.

    Rickapolis on August 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm
    • Good question… not sure yet. Waiting to see how the ratings are…since we have a limited pool of finalists, we may want to wait a few years before the next one…Who else would you like to see on All Stars? I'd love to know your thoughts!

      loren on August 3, 2012 at 6:43 am
      • I realize that to keep it a true 'All Star' show you can only do it so often, which is what will make it enjoyable. Some of our favorites would be Lonni Paul from season 4, Casey Nobel from season 5, Karl Sponholz from last season, and Britany Simon from this year. I'm afraid I didn't see the first three seasons so I can't suggest any names from those years. Of course, the designers you want may not all be available so then other problems would arise. The designers you picked for this show were very good choices, I am rooting for all of them. Hope the ratings bear out future seasons.

        Rickapolis on August 3, 2012 at 7:36 am
  2. I'd like to see Matt Locke, Jennifer Bertrand and Mark Diaz… I really liked all of them.

    Rhonda on August 3, 2012 at 11:04 am
  3. Why isn't the all stars episode one available to watch online? My tv went out due to a thunderstorm and I missed a lot!

    Gwen on August 4, 2012 at 11:14 am
  4. Love Danielle's new show, especially when she commented that "it's a little stressful that Becky's having a baby in 4 weeks, but I have a great team, so I think we can pull it out!" LOL :)

    Susan groves on August 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm
  5. Enjoyed Danielles new show! Hope you can keep her at this time slot so I can see her….or an hour later…but please..not at some obscure time. Like her interactions with her team, her clients, and like her designs..raising the roof for that couple with the tiny kitchen was great!

    Wayne on August 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm
    • hahaha…I meant…raising the ceiling! ..NOT the roof! (Got my friends leaky roof on my mind).

      Wayne on August 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm
  6. Loren, if you know that we like the ones you brought back…why don't you guys keep the top 3 designers and allow them to have a rotational show?

    Why does there have to be ONE winner? Forget the 25,000 and the spot on a tv show someplace. Just let them all have a week to design someones room, and then we can see them on a continual basis. Guaranteed great ratings!

    Wayne on August 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm
  7. I loved Danielle's show. I can't wait to watch next week. Also, I think that Vern does a great job on DS. I have watched HGTV for years, and will continue. Danielle was an excellent choice who listens to clients and brings lots of positive energy to the network. She has a wonderful attitude and is a terrific designer.

    Carly on August 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm
  8. I liked Danielle's new show. I think her rooms are beautiful..Her lving room in the very first episode should have won that week. I worrry that the judges seem to favor brightly colored rooms too much. One of the judges said that bright colors "photograph" better. That is totally bogus! glance through ARCHITECTUAL DIGEST and look at the photographs of the elegant rooms done in neutral colors like gray and taupe.
    On "All Stars", I loved Tom's room. It looked rich and elegant! I liked Dan's dining Room too, but the judges criticsim of Tom was lack of color.
    I am a real estate agent and painting the walls turquoise and using red tile in the kitchen (etc, etc,) really devalues the home.

    guest on August 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm
  9. I am wondering why I can't watch episodes of Design Star All Stars the next day online? I am still waiting for All Stars Episode 2 to post and it has been five days since the show aired. Could you make it easier to find? Or is it just a problem I am having?

    Cindy on August 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm
  10. I asked a question about why the All Star show wasn't available online sooner. I was looking for Episode 2. What is odd is that David's comments about Episode 2, as well as Meg's, were posted on the site. If those videos are posted, I don't know why the episode can't be. I don't want to watch David and Meg's critiques UNTIL I have seen the whole show. It kind of spoils it if you know who won and who lost. I will remain a fan, but I can never watch the show on television, I must rely on the internet, so please post full episodes quickly and make them easy to access, like David and Meg's videos. Thank you.

    Cindy on August 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm
    • Hi Cindy,
      The second episode of All Stars doesn't air until this Tuesday, August 7, at 9/8c. You'll be able to watch the show online then following day. You can watch episode one online here.

      Liz_HGTV on August 5, 2012 at 5:05 am
      • I thought it was on every Tuesday night, so that explains it. I guess I will just need to be more patient and read a TV Guide once in awhile :-) Thank you for your response. I can't wait for Wednesday!!

        Cindy on August 6, 2012 at 12:15 am
      • I can't get Episode 2 to work on my computer. I usually have no trouble, but with Episode 2 it totally skips and repeats at the opening line of Tom's 'I think that was annoying' and it won't let me fast forward or do anything. Help.

        kate on August 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm
        • I know! The same thing happened to me! HGTV please change it!

          Tracy on August 24, 2012 at 6:43 am

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