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. Meg has 8% fan vote……way to go hgtv Karl is undoubtly the best designer since season Nashville. HIs backsplash is now in my kitchen, the window arch enhancements, his tiny house,,,omg he is so original and I hate hate hate I will not see him with his own show. Another network should hire him,,,Mark is weird and Cathy has no originality I am sick of HGTV

    jlp on September 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm
  2. To all those who think the producer will be answering your individual questions in this blog: FORGET IT. He already responded to 5 questions in the article above (that were likely posed by HGTV staff anyway). Those are the only questions and responses they will be acknowledging here.

    This was in NO WAY a very, very even competition between Karl and Meg. Not by a long shot! And if the judges thought so and had to spend 4 hours deliberating, they are obviously in the wrong position and need to be booted from next season's show.

    Kevin on September 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm
  3. the tiny house was a split between Karl and Amy say the producer…who watched the high school…her chairs were yard sale rejects..no storage no loft originality…her green paint was too harsh and she cannot even paint without getting on the walls…her foyers in the one house challenge I bet have been redone by the owners,,who wants a cheap bunch of lanterns hanging crooked in their beautiful home ew judges we need new judges

    jlp on September 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm
  4. This was the first season of Design Star that I watched so, speaking as a newbie, I really liked the show. I liked Mark, Kark, and Meg. It was a tough decision (Mark was always running into time problems) between the last two designers. I was kinda hoping they would "pull a first" and select both to work as a team.

    I hate that bloggers here are dissing Meg for her weight – how about posting a real picture of yourselves so we can pass judgement on your abs?

    HGTVfan on September 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm
    • I agree that weight comments are hurtful and beside the point, but we viewers aren't trying to be TV stars so what do our abs matter?

      Mom270 on September 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    • It was great to watch & I agree I would have enjoyed either Mark or Meg winning or even Kellie. Wis h bloggers would leave Meg's weight alone!

      Lisa on September 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm
    • It's useless HGTVfan…These people are probably the same people who consider themselves to be Christians…They sound to me like the Candidate in the GOP debate who basically said we should let those die that can't afford health insurance, and the idiot followers applauded.

      Mark G on September 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm
      • I'm an atheist. So I'm a realist. Meg IS fat. And totally devoid of any design talent.

        erikcreature on September 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm
    • Hey newbie! I'm a newbie too! Although I enjoyed the challenges, I don't think the contest was fair if it's based on design. I do think Karl got robbed personally IMHO. I don't know why anyone has to be mean that's just uncalled for. Anyway, I learned something new from Karl a few times this season but can't say the same for any of the other designers. Didn't realize this was a reality show. Probably won't be watching next year. I haven't really been watching HGTV that much but there doesn't to be much on of interest. Thought it was a place I can go and get some useful tips and inspiration for my home and office. Not really impressed. Really.

      Savanah on September 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm
  5. Just wanted to agree with someone for a change: Thus I agree with 90% of the above comments (lol).
    To all my fellow long time viewers of DS…remember "Sparkle Josh" ? Is his spirit alive and well in " Debbie "blings" Dallas??? Seems odd that Karl was given an "aside" to personally comment to the camera in every episode….was his comment that "everyone loves meg" prophetic..was the show a way to showcase your already matured professionalism. Was the final challenge of street graffitti meets tuscan fair to anyone??? The truth is "out there" & the best designers are not always on TV !

    W.W. Webduster on September 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm
  6. I would like to ask Loren if, in hindsight, they have ever regretted their choice of Design Star. Obviously, identities would have to be protected, but there is such a wide divide this season between who should have won (or at the very least, who should have stayed longer) according to the fans, and who the judges ended up choosing!

    Margaret on September 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    • Ask all you want but I'm afraid you won't be getting an answer from them.

      Jaye on September 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm
    • Not all fans post online… Hard to believe but most people only blog when they are upset not all the happy HGTV watchers who love HGTV & the choices they have made. No, they don't regret their choice. Meg will truly be a HGTV success!

      Lisa on September 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm
      • haha You got a little snippet of information and wanna broadcast it like that's all there is.
        Truth is Margaret, it doesn't matter that people got on here because they are disgruntled.
        They still represent a demographic and yes, HGTV will see a dramatic decline unless people get amnesia by next season or by a miracle there is some new hotness everyone wants to see on DS. :)

        HGTV has been steadily losing fans for awhile because apparently no one over their knows how to keep their viewers happy. As you can see written from many on this blog.

        Nelson on September 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    • Margaret, Your question is very endearing. Why? Because it exudes 'Naïveté'. A Mega Conglomerate such as HGTV will NEVER admit to an error! They just move on to something or someone else. Now, if the underlying question is; would you also hire one of the other losing contestants? The answer is very simple. Yes, only if there is something in it for THEM! Case in Point; Sparkle Josh is now on HGTV in “Debbie ‘Blings’ Dallas. Did HGTV hire Josh because they are admitting he should have been the ‘Design Star Winner’? Absolutely NOT!!!!! Did they see a potential there for MONEY? The answer is Definitely YES!!!!! It's the way they operate in the Cut-Throat Corporate World. And that, my dear Margaret is true "Reality"!!!!!!

      marilyn on September 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm
    • There was last year too…I don't think too many people were happy with Emily being in the finals…Many thought she should have been the first to go with her jail like atmosphere and poorly done string art…I think a lot of people wanted Casey, and I believe that's why she was given the Design on a Dime show this year.

      Mark G on September 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm
  7. OK, I've looked at the rooms again, and Meg had nice furniture in the space, but as Vern chastised someone last season, ANYONE CAN BUY NICE FURNITURE…Once you look past the furniture, the room was basically the same room, and it was not as Architecturally interesting as Karl turned his into…In fact Karl took a very plain room, which was a mess, and lacked style to begin with, and improved it immensely with his choice of color and use of molding…Unlike Meg who just painted it a different color, and then reused a lot of the accessories that were already present in the room…I personally wasn't thrilled with some of the accessories that were in Karl's room and I hated (yes hated) that painted Armoire…It made the room look cheap, like a Trading Spaces space…So my questions are: Did Meg pick the furniture, or the did the other two Women?…Did Karl paint the Armoire or did Mark, because it sure didn't measure up to Karl's past painting projects…Also if the other designers picked out something that the two finalist didn't like, were the finalist given time to swap them for something else?

    Mark G on September 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm
  8. 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.

    Better than Kenneth Brown?…Better than Candace Olson?…Better than Sarah Richardson?…Somehow I don't think so, but I for one will give her show a chance, unlike numerous others who vow never to watch her.

    Mark G on September 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    • hahaha. You're funny. Not what you said but how you said it.

      I think all the contestants worked damn hard on DS and for the judges to unfairly 'give'
      a show to someone who is clearly not the best designer is a big slap in their face.

      I can't imagine what it would be like to have someone treat me and my dreams that way.
      It's just a TV show to us but not for those who become contestants.

      So I'm not watching Meg's show or any show on HGTV.
      HGTV is like a big bully who refuses to listen to anyone.
      Unless you hold your ground like you mean it, they will keep behaving the same way.

      I'm not an ignorant human being who will be herded around like sheep. bye HGTV!

      I'm just one person and they won't miss me and that's fine.
      But if maybe all the disgruntled viewers actually stopped watching HGTV/
      or DS, they might actually listen. Who knows? Anything could happen :)

      btw – it was leslie and kellie who picked out meg's furniture.

      Jessie on September 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm
  9. why not let the viewers vote for the winner next year? a lot of people are disappointed with judges decision.Most of your viewers are women.I for one would rather watch a great designer who is very cute like david than watch a girl next door do less than adequate work. Bring on Karl or Mark.

    bjm on September 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm
  10. I love Candice Olson's work. And I think she is a fair judge. Gen is a bit "smarmy" and Vern gets downright nasty. I agree that a new panel might be in order. As to the winner, I really was not overly impressed with either one of the finalists. Perhaps Meg will just fade away like several other past winners have. The only one who has done really well, is David. Now we have to put up with shows like Donna does Dallas and the other ridiculous show with a New Jersey Housewife planning outlandish parties. Not exactly what I want to see on this network. Who the heck REALLY does that stuff??

    Karen on September 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm

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