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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  • 58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Bex !

    WillTryDSAgain on August 5, 2012 at 4:24 am
  2. Yes, agree! But Jennifer did win and couldn't do her show- but did the paint over thing- right?

    WillTryDSAgain on August 5, 2012 at 4:27 am
  3. Hi Gwen, you can watch the All-Stars episode online here.

    Liz_HGTV on August 5, 2012 at 5:07 am
  4. I loved Danielle's show. I thought it was strange to design a whole room from an item but her rooms were fabulous. The kitchen makeover was super. I will be watching on a regular basis.

    In so far as design star all stars, I'd like to see Alice from season 1, Matt Locke and Loni Paul, and Karl from last season. They are all great designers. Don't know how you could pick just one.

    This time, Dan has to win to make up for the terrible decision his time on Design Star.

    Betty on August 5, 2012 at 6:07 am
  5. I would like to see Tyler Wisler, Alex Sanchez, Karl Sponholtz, and Rachel Kate.

    hfm on August 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm
    • oh and brittany and maybe julie khuu

      ellie066 on August 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm
      • I love all of these suggestions!!! I will totally keep them in mind if we do another All Stars!

        loren on August 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm
  6. Sure HOPE Dan wins this one. He is GREAT!!!!!!

    Susan on August 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm
  7. I really want to know where I can get the dog that was featured in Sparkle Josh's room. To die for!!!

    Carolynn on August 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm
  8. I would like to see Dan Faires. He has more skill and charm than all of them!

    Sarah on August 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm
  9. I know hilary will have bold colors in her upcoming designs along with her bubbly personality.

    shalom on August 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm
  10. I thought Tom's room was extraordinarily warm and inviting and full of texture and layering–utterly gorgeous. Dan Vickery's room looked to me like a Disney cartoon set. Also, the cut-out version of an architectural style has been done on HGTV often (Moroccan cut out arches on bookshelves on Genevieve Gorder's show spring to mind–I found those rather cheap looking, as well).

    While I'm commenting to HGTV: my biggest pet peeve? The words "ecstatic" and "accessory" (-ies, -ize) being continually mispronounced by hosts. Ouch. It's ek-STAT-ik. And ak-SESS-or-ee. Not "estatic" and "assessory" (that latter always sounds especially unappealing, if you know what I mean, and I'm sure you do).

    @JessalynWise on August 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

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