Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Aug 23

Ask the Producer: All Stars Finale

Each week, I chat with Design Star All Stars producer Loren Ruch about the best behind-the-scenes moments from the show.  Read on to go behind the scenes on the judges’ final decision. Plus, find out where you’ll see Leslie on HGTV!

Design Star Producer Loren Ruch With Contestants

How did you decide to use shipping containers for this week’s challenge?
Our executive producer mentioned to me that shipping containers were a hot new trend for second homes and even some primary residences around the country, so we thought “why not?!” We’ve already done glass houses, tiny houses and yurts, so it felt like a natural transition to try shipping containers!

From a guest on the blog: How did the judges’ come to the final decision for Design Star All Stars? Do they use a numerical rating system, a checklist, a compilation of before and after photos, what is the criteria they use to come up with the winning design(er)?
I wish it were that simple! It was a plain and simple long (and I mean looooong) and drawn out conversation comparing pros and cons, camera challenges and design challenges and the scope of work from the entire season. We also have a big notebook prepared for the panel featuring each designers photos of each challenge, and we show them the camera challenge from the current episode. This episode was not cut and dry at all, so it was a very heated conversation. Hilari had been such a dynamic and fun personality with great designs, Tom was such a class act with an upscale taste level, and Leslie was a bundle of energy with great designs to match — but ultimately I think that in the end, Leslie’s Murphy bed is what threw her over the top!

Can you give us any clues about which HGTV show or episode Leslie will appear on?

Sure! Leslie will be a judge on an upcoming episode of The White Room Challenge, and my hunch is that you’ll also see more of her on another HGTV show in the near future.

Design Star Producer Loren Ruch With Design Star Judges

Best on-set moment from the shipping containers episode? That location was ridiculous!
There were gophers EVERYWHERE and all of us kept falling into the gopher holes. I saw at least five crew members trip and fall – it was like an episode of Wipe Out behind the scenes. It had also rained the day before we shot so it was muddy, critter-filled and holey! Need I say more?!

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

Posted at 6:19 pm

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  1. I thought all the spaces were magnificent, but Hilari's crate definitely stood out the most. It was diverse, creative, and pleasant to be in. Her outdoor space was also by far the best, because it was the most interesting AND functional. Her personality is so bubbly and upbeat on camera. All 3 of the crates were AMAZING designs, but I can't believe the judges did not choose Hilari. :(

    HGTV lover on August 24, 2012 at 10:33 am
  2. Video glitch with full episode of the finale at the HGTV site? Please fix, so the entire episode can be watched!

    JCG on August 24, 2012 at 11:25 am
  3. Hilari rocked the final challenge! Her container met all the requirements of the challenge with creativity and style. Do the right thing: give her a show! Hilari reached new heights with every challenge. The finale was a farce. Please make it right. This is the first design star show that I did not select the winner. Lesli's final challenge was mundane and did not meet the three requirements. It takes more than a chalkboard, Murphy bed to be an All star. The decision did not seem consistant with previous hiding. Take one for the team and reward Hilari for a fantastic accomplishment. Thanks.

    Melanie on August 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm
  4. I checked out the photos of the finale with my coworker. I am not going to bother to watch the finale. Leslie's container was depressing. Better luck next time in your evaluations.

    caroline on August 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm
  5. Hilari should have won. Her container was incredible, well thought out, stylish and sophisticated. She rose to the challenge both in design and camera. If i had to live in one of those containers, hers is the one i could come home to after a long days work. Every inch of her space was relaxing with a sense of space. Take for instance the placing of the bed, you could lie in bed and not feel boxed in because you have a clear view of the outdoor and you would also feel like you are in another room with the dividing shelf.The extension to her outdoor was phenomenal, one could have a romantic interlude. Leslie's space on the other hand was lazy and messy, the worst of the three. The bed was her only moment . Tom is in the middle. Today is saturday and I can't stop thinking about Hilari's container. She deserves a show as SHE CLEARLY WAS THE WINNER!!

    MCB Miami on August 25, 2012 at 6:49 am
  6. Please HGTV give us more Hilari!. I too have been thinking about her all week. I'm looking at my home through her. How would Hilari arrange this room?, How can I get in touch with her? I felt like Hilari when looking in a second-hand store for accessories. I'm not rich, I cannot 'gut' everything and start over from scratch, but I would like to see designs using the things that are actually there in the space with a few inexpensive touches. Sometimes its just the arrangement or utilization of the space and items you have. If at all possible, let us know how we can contact her. She really deserved this win, talk about "solid" which is the word the panel used to describe Leslie's space. Hilari has been solid the etire time on both shows. So if solid is what they wanted, She should have received her due.

    NoLongerViewing on August 25, 2012 at 7:36 am
  7. I sincerely feel that Tom should have won Design Stars All Star. He is clearly THE most talented designer with stunningly gorgeous designs!! Viewers would truly benefit from learning how Tom achieves his signature collected, high-style look and innovative designs. PLEASE bring viewers a show of this caliber!!!

    Deb on August 26, 2012 at 9:00 am
  8. I think it must have been an extremely difficult choice in choosing between Tom, Hilary, and Leslie. BUT I do agree with the judges that Leslie was the best. Sometimes it does take just one little item/color etc., to make that person the best. I hope Leslie does get her own show. I'd watch. She can only get better (and she proved that she indeed did get better!)

    Sara on August 26, 2012 at 10:42 am
    • Sorry, I'm not watching Leslie. I agree with everyone else, Hillary should have won.

      Has anyone noticed Hillary's window and door treatments? I don't know why the judges ignored them. In the round house they were fitted over the door window; in the box car, her windows were fitted with wooded frames that reflected the pattern of the room divider. No one else has shown this level of creativity for our doors and windows.

      Also, the judges didn't point out how Hillary expanded her outdoor space at the box car. She had a tall planter built that sat on the ground outside the patio floor. It didn't take up floor space but created height and privacy. Brilliant. I want to see more of Hillary.

      Barbara on August 26, 2012 at 11:59 am
  9. David commented that Leslie's presentation was perfect. It is not perfect to use "me" as the subject of the sentence. What poor grammar to use especially on national television. Go back and look and listen to her presentation. "Me and my friend" cannot be used as the subject of a sentence. Besides, Hilari's box was so much more creative than the other two. Genevive didn't like the color, so Hilari didn't win. Poor job of judging. Get some new judges. I sure won't watch Leslie on any show.

    Betsyboo on August 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm
  10. You know what, I'm starting to believe it's a conspiracy to keep Hilari from having her own show on HGTV. She brings in the viewers on Design Star but she is threatening to the current hosts (Gen I'm speaking directly to you). I can see why. She is vibrant and her energy is infectious. Besides Candace, she is the only person on the network I'd truly want to ask advice of. This is not meant to take anything away from Tom or Leslie. The judges had a difficult decision and their rooms were quite nice (and I do find Tom quite endearing), but I think given the body of work displayed over the competition as well as past camera challenges (saying nothing of her fantastic shipping container!), Hilari should have won.

    Nina J on August 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm

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