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.
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.