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. OMG – I couldn't believe the way Leslie steamrolled over her partners. She actually reminded me of Cathy from a previous season, and that's not a pleasant memory. Yes, Sparkle Josh had some missteps, but between Leslie's behavior and the fact that she ignored the client's request not to add mirrors she's the one who should have been eliminated.

    Design and color choices are obviously subjective. Vern didn't like Dan's choice of color for the wall; I liked it. It's a matter of personal taste.

    Priscilla on August 8, 2012 at 4:16 am
  2. Leslie should have gone home. She was obnoxious and controlling. Her design style was a big fail. So sorry to see Sparkle Josh go home. He was very entertaining! Hilari needs to put her big girl panties on & exert her will and design style. I am surprised to now find myself cheering for Tom. Go Tom!

    samc on August 8, 2012 at 6:47 am
  3. All you Hilari fans–she drives me nuts with her constant talking and last night complaining and pouting. That sofa might be pretty but it looked so uncomfortable.

    I am still rooting for Dan. The judges have to find something wrong with each designer. If they give it to same person each week there would be no interest as to the winner. Tom is so controlling and Dan had all the great ideas. Hope HGTV gets it right this time–go Dan

    maria on August 8, 2012 at 7:25 am
    • If someone went behind you re-positioning everything you did as though you didn't know what you were doing, you too might not like it.

      Wayne on August 8, 2012 at 9:07 am
      • <DIV>WHY was mypost taken off of the blog and sent to me personally. The few people that like Hilari must have great power. She was close to last in t he voting. I liked Danielle and glad she won., </DIV> <DIV style="FONT-FAMILY: lucida console, sans-serif; FONT-SIZE: 14pt"> <DIV style="FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt">

        maria on August 9, 2012 at 7:56 am
  4. The video for the second episode is not working… I hope you can get it fixed soon!

    Wendy Brightbill on August 8, 2012 at 8:14 am
  5. I will watch the re-run but I thought Hilari did tell Leslie to leave it where she put it but Leslie kept going back and changing it anyway. Yes she could have gone back a 2nd time and put it back but maybe in the interest of time and trying to be sportsmanlike she assented. Sometimes the judges get upset if you dont 'work with' your partners and try to make it your way, and sometimes they complain that you didnt assert yourself more & let your design be 'in the room'. Hilari doesnt look to be a weakling easy type of person. I think she just didn't want to be argumentative. She tries to get along with others & get her designs in also.

    Wayne on August 8, 2012 at 9:04 am
  6. So glad you like it!! This week's episode is great too!

    loren on August 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm
  7. I always thought that people liked to root for "one" winner…but if you like more, that's great to know…I am a huge fan of many of our Design Stars! That's good info for me to know..

    loren on August 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm
  8. Yay!! So glad you are happy with our winner. I am too! And I'm a huge fan of Vern's too.

    loren on August 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm
  9. how do i find the metallic dog in sparkle josh room in episode 1

    pam on August 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm
  10. Does anyone know who makes the green couch Hilary used in episode 1?

    Cristina on August 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm

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