Each week, I chat with Design Star‘s producer Loren Ruch about your most-asked questions from this week’s episode. This week: How do they decide when to send two designers home? Plus, the most memorable moments from the set of episode three.
How do you decide when to send two designers home? Is it a spur-of-the-moment decision episode by episode or is it planned ahead of time?
Over the years, it has happened both ways. Sometimes we go into a challenge with the intention of making it a double elimination because it’s a large-scale project that needs to have more stakes – this was the case for this week’s Kardashian episode. Other times the Design Panel is so unimpressed by the overall execution of more than one designer that they decide to do a double elimination on the fly – this happened two years ago with our Trump episode when they sent home both Stacy and Tom.
Since Kris and her daughters have their own reality shows, were there multiple camera crews on the set?
Fun question! Even though the Kardashians have their own reality shows, they never brought a single camera to any of our Design Star shoots. The Kardashians did feature the office makeover in an episode of their show, but that was after we had finished shooting Design Star.
What was the most memorable moment from the set of this episode?
It would have to be Danielle’s wallpaper fiasco! The kitchen was coming along so nicely, and Danielle and Hilari had just completed a really strong camera challenge. They were getting along great and feeling like life was good. Then in one fell swoop all of their walls started to crumble (literally!!) in an instant. Danielle was in tears and starting to lose it. Hilari, on the other hand, was very calm and never lost her cool, but we could feel the tension on set. Luckily, they came up with a quick solution to hang curtains, which basically hid the problem spot and left the room with a very pretty first impression when Kris walked in. Kris really liked the kitchen quite a bit!
If it’s a situation like “the island is too small in the showroom,” how do you decide what to fix and what to leave it as-is?
When our homeowners or celebrities decide to take part in Design Star, they know that there will be certain facets of a room that might not be exactly what they were looking for. However, that’s part of the excitement and reality of participating in the show. So, to answer your question, if something was done incorrectly (like last year’s white washed floors at the bed & breakfast), or sub-par (the peeled wallpaper walls), we’ll have a crew go back and clean it up, but we won’t change or adjust the design components that were put in place by our designers. Basically, if you step foot in Jenner Communications today, it will basically look just like it did in our gorgeous ‘after’ shots!
This comes from Joanne K. on Facebook: I’d like to know if David and the judges get to watch what the cameras record during these challenges so they can see firsthand what transpired between the designers so they can better judge who should stay and who should go?
Hi Joanne! David is in the room during the camera challenges, and is very aware of what transpires. However, Vern and Gen are not part of that process. They judge our designers purely on what they see in the rooms, and what they see on tape in the camera challenges. I’ve seen some of the nicest and coolest people I’ve met turn a little high-maintenance when they are exhausted or in the middle of the design process but it’s often caused by exhaustion and the sheer desire to win. It doesn’t necessarily translate into their lives once they win the show, so we don’t like to focus the judging on gossip or quarrels between the designers unless it impacts the design itself. That said, David can choose to share personal stories or reflections with Vern, Gen and the guest judges during the walk-through if he wants to, but he’s not obligated to do so in any way.
For challenges like this where designers make over different rooms in one big space for a client, do the designers on different teams work together to try to make the overall space cohesive?
They do! For example, in this episode, the designers agreed to let one team pick out the flooring for the entire space so that there would be a cohesive look. When you saw Luca and Bex selecting the hardwood floors, they were doing so with the entire office in mind. They also had several discussions about paint colors to make sure that the hallways and offices had a nice overall look that gave the space a unified feel.
Have a question for Loren? Ask away in the comments and he may just answer you next week.