Kayla Kitts

Contributor to HGTVersus

Sep 14

Ask the Producer: Design Star Finale and Meg’s New Show!

Design Star Crew

Each week, Design Star producer Loren Ruch gives us the inside scoop on the show.  After this week’s finale, he discusses the panel’s final deliberation. Plus, what you can expect from Meg’s new show HGTV’s Great Rooms.

It must have been hard for the design panel to choose between these two talented designers! What made them ultimately choose Meg as the winner?
It was an extremely tough decision because our design panel liked both Meg and Karl so much.  In fact, the deliberation took nearly four hours!  They reviewed all of the camera challenges and design challenges, and ultimately selected Meg as the winner.  Meg and Karl had each won two challenges throughout the season, and then split the win in the tiny houses episode, so it was a very, very even competition all the way around.

What was it like for Meg to meet so many of the HGTV talent right after the win?
Meeting our HGTV talent was a huge moment for Meg. When she said “Oh my God, you’re all real,” it was a true ‘light bulb’ moment.  She told me it was in that moment she realized winning Design Star was a life-changing event!

The original concept for the Meg’s series was Design Crimes. How did that idea evolve into HGTV’s Great Rooms?
If I’m going to be completely honest, HGTV’s Great Rooms is the same show as Design Crimes.  Meg uses her criminology background to investigate the crimes in her fellow Chicagoans homes, and then redesign the spaces to be more beautiful.  This may sound crazy, but I believe that there’s power in words, so instead of focusing on something negative (like the word “crimes”) I’d rather we focus on the positive (like “great”), which is why we changed it to HGTV’s Great Rooms.  “Great” is a double entendre in the show, because not all of the rooms are true great rooms, but they are all GREAT!

When did Meg’s show begin filming?
Meg’s show started to shoot about three weeks after we completed production of Design Star.  She needed to get working on her designs immediately following our finale.  Honestly, she hasn’t slept much since we started shooting Design Star back in March!

Can you give us any clues about what we can expect from Meg’s new show? What did you think were the best on-set moments?
I can say this with 100 percent sincerity – I think that Meg’s makeovers in HGTV’s Great Rooms are some of the biggest and best makeovers that I’ve ever seen on our air.  I truly believe that our viewers will be blown away by the level of talent she displays in this show.  By the way, HGTV’s Great Rooms debuts Saturday at 6pm ET/PT – so set your DVR’s!!  Learn more about Meg’s new show >>

Note:  The picture is one of our entire crew – look at how many people it takes to get a show like this on the air!  I want to take this opportunity to thank the best crew in the business, and the best viewers in the world…we love our HGTV fans!

Posted at 12:04 pm

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  1. This is a farce, no producer wants to read what the devoted viewers who take time to comment think about the show. Meg was pushed through this whole process. Karl should have won, he is likeable and has more talent.

    The judges should not be HGTV personalities, they are manipulated by the producers.

    Give Karl a show..

    Nancy Lou on September 14, 2011 at 10:16 am
  2. HELLO LOREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Are you there????????
    it seems the only time you respond to any comments are when they are in favor of the "NEW" direction of the network. You need to LISTEN to your long-time viewers who are more then just dissapointed, once again. They are ANGRY because you put a blog like this out there to show you are listening but it isn't REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    but why waist our time, anything other then HGTV agenda get's tossed into file 13!!!!!!!!!

    todd on September 14, 2011 at 10:16 am
  3. Oh and I like wrote somewhere on these blogs, the gigantic Buddha should not be on a pedestal when there is a child in the home. You had an earthquake recently in NYC, I hope it didn't topple over. I don't think your dear Meg thought that process through, it should have been on a sturdy table or anchored to the wall. I hope for the homeowners sake they correct this mistake.

    Nancy Lou on September 14, 2011 at 10:18 am
  4. That kind of comment isn't necessary. I don't agree at all with the choice of Meg over Karl but see no need to be crude.

    Betty on September 14, 2011 at 10:24 am
    • Facts are facts. Deal with it.

      erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 10:40 am
      • You obviously have some issues with yourself if you feel the need to attack Meg on a level like that. Meg is a great designer and I can't wait to see her show! You are just jealous!

        Jack on September 14, 2011 at 11:21 am
        • I have no reason to be jealous of Meg. Read my OP again. I'd rather be dead, than be Meg.

          erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 11:29 am
          • You are just rude! It's unfortunate that you are such a miserable person. There is a way to post your opinions without attacking someone's appearance!

            Jack on September 14, 2011 at 11:48 am
          • Meg's appearance is by her own design. It is the way she made herself over the years. It is the way that she chose to appear on a national TV show.

            You want to give her a pass on her obesity and voice, as though she couldn't do anything about it? The way she looks and sounds is her fault and her responsibility to
            deal with, redesign, before she makes a public appearance. As I have said before: Meg has no design talent.

            The only thing unfortunate is your hypocritical ad hominem attack upon me for having the integrity to tell the truth

            erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm
          • Uh, no. You obviously know nothing if you think that her weight and voice is something she can just fix like it's a wardrobe.

            I don't like Meg. I don't think she would have won. Dislike her for her personality, dislike her for her designing, dislike her for how much you think she won't appeal to an audience. But making fatphobic remarks about her body, which may not even be possible to change is out of line. There's nothing wrong with her being chubby, which is, by the way, not the same thing as being obese. The problem is with people like you who think that all women in movies and TV need to be rail thin runway models.

            Passerby on September 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm
          • She is obese, not "chubby" seems as though you have the same problem and that is what your post is about. I've dealt with an obesity problem through proper diet and exercise. I'm in shape now. And took a public speaking course and read books about voice, to get rid of an awful regional accent and other speech problems, now all gone.

            Doesn't seem that Meg (nor you) ever even tried.

            erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm
          • It's too bad you couldn't give up the drugs…You're one strange creature!

            Mark G on September 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm
          • Another ad hominem attack! And from you again. Who would have thought that I'd get my own personal troll, here on the DS blogs?

            Get a life!

            erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm
          • It's an open blog, if you don't like someone replying to your lunacy, then maybe you shouldn't be on here spreading it…I'll bet money that you're not even close to being that perfect picture that you keep trying to paint of yourself to be…Then again it doesn't really matter, because you are ugly on the inside…I get it that you think Meg is fat and unattractive, but it's too bad that you judge people's worth based on their exterior shell, rather than taking the time to get to know what's inside…That's your loss, along with any other person that befriends, or lets someone into their life on that criteria alone.

            Mark G on September 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm
          • Where did I try to paint a perfect picture of myself on these blogs? You are imagining these things about me.

            You must be psychic.

            erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm
          • Erik, you might want a little therapy to go with that new body and voice of yours because it seems like your self-hatred from before your change was pretty intense and hasn't been dealt with. That is if you didn't just make that up.

            That's great for you that you were able to lose that weight, that doesn't meant that everyone else can or should. And before you give me the "losing weight is about being healthy" line think for a second here, do you really think those 98 pound folks we see on tv are healthier than someone who is a little overweight? Let me put it to you this way, most models and many tv/movie actresses are so thin that they stop menstruating, someone who is 20-30 pounds overweight doesn't.

            I don't think the right person won and Meg really does annoy me but I'm not willing to look the other way when someone comes on to just to be insulting.

            Jeni on September 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm
          • Erik, I wasn't insulting models and actresses, I was making a reality check. I have no problem at all with people of any weight, but the reality is that too skinny is just as bad as too overweight, neither are good for us and as a society we've come to accept an unhealthy level of skinny as the ideal and have been trained to give no value to people with extra weight.

            We've also become a society that feels that the only people worth watching or listening to are people we think are attractive and fit very specific ideals.

            Personally I find plenty of people to be unattractive for multiple reasons but I don't feel the need to dismiss them due to their looks, I judge them as people. There are an awful lot of "pretty" people out there who are ugly, and for that matter a lot of "ugly" people who are beautiful.

            Jeni on September 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm
          • Jeni – I totally agree and Erik you are just plain UGLY!!! And miserable!!!

            Jack on September 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm
          • And, unlike Mark G above, you are not psychic.

            erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm
          • Obviously you didn't read what I posted in answer to you in its entirety. You are the one fixated on weight. It is your problem not mine. Meg isn't close to skinny, and from the looks of her, if she lost a 100lbs., she still wouldn't be skinny.

            What is a fact is Meg has zero design talent, and without that she has nothing to offer viewers of HGTV, who want to see great design. She can't do it, not even close.

            erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm
  5. HGTV needs to remove this website if they are going to continue to post bloggs like this yet ignore the very people who respond. If you TRULY are concerned about your viewers then you would respond to them. Obviously you do not care (and probably don't even read these) so you should remove this website as it is a fraud now.

    todd on September 14, 2011 at 10:44 am
  6. Meg was just an awful choice. I can't listen to that voice, her work was pretty much always a mess. Having to buy a new rug because your first choice was bad might happen to an average homeowner, but it sure doesn't happen to a "design star." The only reason her last room looked good was because Kellie and Leslie picked out the furniture. So, HGTV can pick her, but they can't make me watch her.

    Mom270 on September 14, 2011 at 11:09 am
  7. I am so glad Meg won!!! I love her designs and style. She is very bright, happy and full of energy… Congrats Meg!

    Graham on September 14, 2011 at 11:23 am
    • I agree with you Graham! Meg is fun to watch:-)

      Lisa on September 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm
  8. I can't wait to watch Meg's show…. I dont know what you guys are all talking about!!! Meg had great designs and her last great room/dining room rocked! Karl was a good designer as well but I am happy with the judges pick!

    Luke on September 14, 2011 at 11:24 am
    • Really? Do you not remember her awful white box challenge with the pink walls and table that fell over from plastic supports? She should have been sent home right after that. Do you not remember the challenge where she styled a loft area of a house where it was so sparse and looked incomplete? Not to mention the irritating yellow and green colors of the mini house challenge.

      Steve on September 14, 2011 at 11:43 am
      • I do agree that she definitely missed that white box challenge, but there were many others that didn't do so hot either! I don't think the loft area was that bad I just think she ran out of time… and I do think she got a little bit shafted on that room. That loft area was a lot more difficult to design than a child's bedroom where you are told exactly what the kid wants! And I actually really liked her little mini house. I thought it was very open and bright which is what I would want if I were living in such a small space.

        Luke on September 14, 2011 at 11:51 am
    • I am excited to see her new show too! I don't get all the negative comments on this blog.

      Lisa on September 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm
  9. I am not sure why everyone attacks meg on her voice… this is not a singing competition! And frankly, she cant help or fix the way her voice sounds. Why don't we all focus on her designs instead of her weight and voice….. Her last great room was sleek, clean and inviting! I loved the colors and the way she used the space. I also loved her room she did with Tyler — that was one of my favorites! And then her loft space was by far the best out of all of them! Congrats Meg!

    Robert on September 14, 2011 at 11:27 am
    • The only reason her room turned out that way was because Leslie and Kellie did most of the furniture shopping and styled the room. You could tell that immediately from looking at it. All Meg did was to buy a rug that looked terrible in the room and had to go get another one at the last minute. She didn't even respect the homeowner's wishes of using a specific color blue on the walls. Had Meg been working only by herself, I think the final outcome might have been different.

      Steve on September 14, 2011 at 11:41 am
    • Why do people attack Meg on her voice? Because it grates like nails on a chalkboard. Even if her design sense and the points she is trying to make were great (which they're not), to me it's not something I choose to spend time listening to. She and Cathy were both unwatchable for me.

      Mom270 on September 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm
      • Your opinion… not everyone feels that way. Her voice is fine. Please…. everyone stop belittling Meg!

        Lisa on September 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm
        • Yes, of course it's my opinion. This is a forum for exchanging opinions.

          mom270 on September 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    • Because when you watch her, you also hear her, and 30 minutes of an unpleasant voice is distracting to many people. We want to relax and understand the styling rather than getting distracted by a rough voice. Maybe they will give her a voice coach.

      marierod on September 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm
  10. Well, I guess you can see that there are a lot of viewers who like Karl Sponholtz. I sincerely hope that you will work at finding a place for him at HGTV. He is a superb designer.

    I have a question…If Meg had already won Design Star, why was she asking for Fan Favorite votes on her webpage? That doesn't make sense.

    Mary on September 14, 2011 at 11:52 am
    • Because she is a greedy witch and didn't want to share the spotlight with anyone else? Why stop at just a TV show when she could also have an on-line show?

      Lynda on September 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm
    • doesn't the fan fav winner get their own show too?

      jlp on September 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm
      • I dont think they ever said what the fan favorite got. Lynda – why do you feel it necessary to call Meg a witch? She is far from that!

        Melissa on September 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm
    • I'm sure it's partly all the negative posts about her, honestly.
      She was hovering at the bottom around 6-7% just up until last week then to 9%.
      Who wants to be declared a winner when nobody wants to watch your show accept your family and friends? (No offense just trying to tell a story here)

      I won't be watching her show.

      Jenny on September 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm
    • The fan favorite gets an on-line show. The only reason I can think of for Meg to lobby for votes is that maybe it's embarrassing to win DS a few months ago and then learn, as the show is broadcast, that the DS fans don't like you enough to vote for you as fan favorite. And it didn't matter how many times Vern told us that Meg's B&B room was the best room he ever saw on DS, the fans that care enough to vote for fan favorite weren't buying it.

      sst-a on September 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

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