Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 9

Ask the Producer: Episode 5

Each week, I chat with HGTV Star producer Loren Ruch about his favorite on-set moments and what you didn’t see on TV. This week: Why an on-campus challenge? And what happened to the infamous white linen couch?

HGTV Star Judges With Producer Loren Ruch

HGTV Star Judges and Host With Producer Loren Ruch

This looked like such a fun episode! What made you decide to do an on-campus challenge?
I have been wanting to do a fraternity vs sorority College challenge for years, and this year we FINALLY found the perfect place to do it — Occidental College. The homes were very comparable in nature (which keeps the competition fair) and they were right down the street from each other. Best of all, there were fun and dynamic students in each house willing to participate in the camera challenges and reveal. It was an absolute blast to shoot this episode, and having a cheering squad and mascot were the icing on the cake!

The sorority house space was the clear winner with the judges. Was the difference that clear in person?
I think that it was extremely clear cut in person. Honestly, one space looked beautiful (the sorority house) and then other looked pieced together (the fraternity house). There were elements of the frat house that were great (Jeribai’s refinished table, the amazing pool table, etc.) but those dark curtains and linen sofa really did them in, especially compared to Tiffany’s fireplace and Anne’s silk screened artwork!

How long did the white linen couch stay clean? Did it end up staying in the space?
I haven’t checked back in with the guys recently, but I would be willing to guess that it didn’t stay clean through the night of the reveal! It was the absolute worst sofa choice I could have ever imagined for that space, so it would shock me to find out if there WASN’T already a slipcover on it by now!

What was the funniest or most surprising moment on the set of this episode?

By far, the most fun moment was shooting the challenge assignment with David Bromstad and the cheerleaders and mascot. We must have rehearsed that at least 10 times before the designers arrived, so the poor tiger literally did about 25 cartwheels, and David almost pulled out a hip from all of his cheering! Talk about a great workout, though.

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

Posted at 4:57 pm

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