Contributor to HGTVersus

Aug 30

Challenge 7: The Longest Yard

The final four tackled another Design Star first: transforming a barren backyard into a modern oasis.


Spoiler Alert! If you don’t want to know what happened, please don’t click through.

The designers had only 36 hours and $25,000 to make over the 10,000-square-foot backyard, and Torie volunteered to be the team captain. However, as soon as they started planning, it was clear Antonio was making most of the design decisions.


The big drama this week – the budget debacle. Dan approved the purchase of a $10,000 pergola, which was almost half of their budget. He recalled the rest of team approving the price, but we all heard (since they replayed it four times) him say “$5,000 for the pergola” in the van.

Candice was spot on with her assessment that the pergola carried a high price for an item that didn’t look custom. It was pretty, but not worth it.


When Clive heard of their predicament, he gave them $5,000 more to finish the project.

The end result: a lush yard, cleverly arranged plants that hid the not-so-pretty fence, contemporary new patio furniture and a barbeque that included a gas grill, refrigerator and extra storage. The pool was updated with a new concrete surround and relaxed furnishings.

As always, someone has to leave. Since Torie volunteered to be the team leader, she was ultimately held responsible for the design flaws and budget mishap, so she was sent home tonight.


What do you think? Should the judges have sent home Dan instead?

Posted at 11:00 pm

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  1. I agree that Dan and Torie both should have been sent home. Torie as the leader and Dan because he signed for something that cost more than the money he had on hand. If he thought, Torie said $10,000 budget for the pergula, but wasn't sure he should have checked or atleast ensured the contract had a 24 hour buyer remorse clause or something. I was disappointed with Dan complaining and being a blamer. This season doesn't seem as good when Miles won and she got her own program Miles of Style. I'm waiting fo rthe designers to show up.

    designing2 on August 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm
  2. I don't see that Dan lied. Antonio convinced him it was $10K. And Torie did say $10K at first before she corrected it. The question was who was in charge of the budget. And the answer was Torrie.

    SusanS on August 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm
    • Dan repeated it in the car, $5,000 for the pergala.

      Tracy on August 30, 2009 at 11:49 pm
  3. OMG! I am so mad! Dan should have gone home.. He lied about the money, when he said I expected $10,000 he was smiling like he knew what he did and did it anyway. It amazes me that this grown man acts so much like a child. Who in their right mind would spend almost half the budget on that ugly thing. I hate Dan. I am so disappointed in HGTV and am so done watching design star.

    Sarah on August 30, 2009 at 7:56 pm
  4. Does no one have phones on this show? As a manager I would have called Dan/Antonio and reminded them of the budget, since it was obvious it wasn't clear in the car, and if was obvious that they were running tight. Antonio even said "not 10?" and Tori was supposedly in control. She left because she didn't "design" anything and her monotone in describing what they did was horrible. I thought it was odd that they didn't bring up budget when they went to look for the pergolas. They should have given him the budget then, so they were both at fault. They both needed to be aware of the budget. Don't like Antonio and his boorish behavior, but he did come up with design elements, but overran others on theirs (sabotage is perhaps the better word).

    Nan on August 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm
  5. Can not stand Antonio–he is a bully, thinks he is the only one who knows anything including what the home owner wants. In the van he is the one who said 10K for pergula–he is also the one who didn't buy the color paint agreed on in another episode. HGTV is on most of the day in my home but if Antonio gets a show my channel will be switched!

    Lisa on August 30, 2009 at 9:04 pm
  6. Please don't give away winners I really don't like to be spoiled.

    Jane on August 30, 2009 at 9:34 pm
  7. Totally right on with the judge's decision. Bottom two were definitely right of Dan and Torie. Watch the entire van conversation – Dan and Antonio were going back and forth with how much the peragola budget was, and Antonio said $10,000. Torie could have corrected him, but did not. Her lack of setting a clear budget was the cause of the problem. Dan thought he was acting within his budget, and am glad that he did not go home for acting on what he had been told by the team to do.

    Laura on August 30, 2009 at 9:39 pm
  8. Since Dan is such a great carpenter he should have bought the material and built it himself, but then again Nathan getting sent home for spending too much time on a project has everyone in the mindset of just buy and not build yourself. It was funny when the judges mentioned there was nothing designed but everything was bought. They are not giving clear signals.

    Daniel on August 30, 2009 at 9:50 pm
  9. i can't stand to see dan's face anymore. he so needs to go. he's next.

    antonio is obviously the winner. he's thee bomb!

    kakk on August 30, 2009 at 11:01 pm
  10. Dan should have gone home.

    FM_Guest on August 30, 2009 at 11:02 pm

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