Liz Gray

Featured Blogger for HGTVersus

All Posts by Liz Gray

Aug 5

Ask the Producer: Flipping the Block Episode 3

You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show!

Producer Loren Ruch With Josh, David and Scott on the Flipping the Block Set

Producer Loren Ruch With Josh, David and Scott on Set

What did the neighbors of The Block think about having an HGTV show filming on their street?
We tried to be very respectful of the neighbors, so we tried to stay off of their front lawns, and not have crew members be disrespectful in any way.  However, I’m sure we drove a few of them crazy because we created quite a traffic jam for about two solid months when we were shooting between our equipment, crew and cameras!

David Bromstad Builds a Bookshelf on Set

David Bromstad Builds a Bookshelf on Set

John and Whitney won David’s help during the kitchen challenge. How did the other teams react to the Black Team’s advantage? Everyone was really jealous because they know how talented David is. They also were a little bit envious for the sheer fact that they all like David so much. In addition to being the mentor in this episode, he was also our behind-the-scenes digital reporter so they really knew David very well and enjoyed the time they got to spend with him.

Scott McGillivray - Judge on HGTV's Flipping the Block

Scott McGillivray and His Infamous Notebook

On Scott’s second visit to the set, the contestants are starting to dread seeing his little black notebook. What does he write inside during the judging?
That notebook scared the heck out of all the contestants because Scott took a TON of notes about the quality of the work, the jobs that weren’t finished correctly, value assessments of various repairs and renovations, and more.  He basically was keeping track of the contestants throughout the season.

Flipping the Block - Behind the Scenes at HGTV

A Rare Night Off For the Flipping the Block Cast and Crew

Were there any days off throughout the filming of the series? If so, were the contestants allowed to leave the set individually or as a group?
We had Sundays off so that the contestants could catch up on sleep, get their hair done, go to the supermarket, etc. Other than that we were shooting 24/7. This is a fun picture of Josh Temple, myself, Scott McGillivary and our Executive Producer Megan Bidner out for a rare night out on the town!

Do you have a favorite funny or behind-the-scenes moment from episode 3?
This was the episode where teams started to really build momentum because they finally had quality kitchens to cook in! Anicka and Shauna were quite the chefs. They would make steak dinners at night and be the envy of all the others in terms of their culinary skills!

Have a question for Loren? Ask in the comments below — he may just answer you next week!

Aug 3

Flipping the Block: Pick Your Favorite Kitchen

This week, all four Flipping the Block teams had the chance to attempt the (nearly) impossible: Remodel a whole kitchen in just 6 days. Amazingly, each team finished with a (nearly) complete and stunningly-upgraded kitchen.

The Finished Flipping the Block Kitchens

The Finished Flipping the Block Kitchens

So, which was your favorite? Did you think David Bromstad’s help gave John and Whitney an edge? Did you love Shauna and Anicka’s orange-and-cream look, or prefer the twins’ minimalist modern look? Or, did you prefer Curtis and Amanda’s rustic space? Vote for your favorite space in the comments below, then come back tomorrow to see amazing before-and-after pictures, behind-the-scenes videos and more.

Jul 31

Ask the Producer: Flipping the Block Episode 2

You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show!

David Bromstad Interviews Producer Loren Ruch

David Bromstad Interviews Producer Loren Ruch

Several blog readers have asked: Will the contestants have time to go back and complete work they didn’t finish during each challenge?
Wouldn’t you like to know?  I’m not going to give away all our secrets…but stay tuned for a bit, and you won’t be disappointed.

Since this is a competition, how secretive were the designers about their respective designs?
They were surprisingly collaborative actually. I was impressed with how respectful they were of each other. They really weren’t very proprietary at all when it came to their designs. That said, they were all so busy on their own places that they barely had a chance to see what the other teams were doing.

What time at night were the contestants and crew typically done? What did the teams usually do in the evenings?
Some of the teams worked late into the evening. We had cameras there 24/7 just in case something happened in the wee hours of the night!

Do you have a favorite funny or behind-the-scenes moment from this episode?
This was our rainy episode. The weather was atrocious and it was a big, wet, muddy mess at the Block. The poor teams had no bathrooms, and it was damp and soggy. I felt absolutely horrible for them in episode two. Luckily, the sun reappeared after this one, and basically stayed the entire rest of the competition!

Have a question for Loren? Ask him in the comments below — he may just answer you next week.

Jul 27

Flipping the Block: Vote for Your Favorite Bathroom

Are you hooked on Flipping the Block yet? In less than a week, the contestants have arrived at their new (wrecked) homes and remodeled their master bedrooms. But they’ve still got a long renovation journey ahead! This week, they took one step closer to a finished, ready-for-sale condo by remodeling not one but both of the units’ bathrooms.

Each team took a different design approach, and they didn’t skimp on the details, either:

Bathroom Designs From Flipping the Block

Tell me: Which set of bathrooms did you like best? Vote for the Black Team, Silver Team, Blue Team or Red Team now, then see all the before-and-after shots right here tomorrow.

Jul 22

Ask the Producer: Flipping the Block Premiere

You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show!

Flipping the Block Producer Loren Ruch With Josh, David and Scott

Producer Loren Ruch With Josh, David and Scott

The contestants didn’t look any too happy about having to sleep in the run-down condos. Were there any funny moments from the first night we didn’t see on screen?
Oh, yes! They were not happy with us at all initially. My favorite moment was when Anicka asked one of our producers, “So, where are we really sleeping tonight?” When we said “This was it” she gave us a look that I could never replicate! When I think about it now I laugh out loud, but back then I was a bit scared one of them might walk!

Speaking of run-down…were they really using those kitchens and bathrooms until they were remodeled?
You better believe it! What you see is what you get! Luckily, the bathrooms were made over in the second week, so they only had ports-potties for a short while.

What was your favorite behind-the-scenes or funny moment from the set of this episode?
By far, my favorite moment was when they saw the units for the first time, and found out they were going to be living in them for the next eight weeks. All I can say is, I don’t know what the heck was going on in those bathrooms before our teams moved in, but it was worse than a horror movie!! Seriously, John and Whitney’s toilet looked like it came from another planet!!!

Have a question for Loren? Ask him in the comments below — he may just answer you next week!

Jul 20

Video: Hang Out With Flipping the Block Stars

Just in time for tonight’s Flipping the Block premiere, we chatted with judge Scott McGillivray, host Josh Temple and behind-the-scenes reporter David Bromstad. They shared all the from-the-set scoop, answered your questions and offered hints to what you’ll see on this all-new series.

Flipping the Block Stars Scott McGillivray, Josh Temple and David Bromstad

Flipping the Block Stars Scott McGillivray, Josh Temple and David Bromstad

Missed the chat? No worries! You can watch it all on YouTube. Watch the Hangout Now >>

Jul 20

Flipping the Block: Which Bedroom Did You Like Best?

Did you tune in to the premiere episode of Flipping the Block? Tonight, we met all 8 loveable competitors, and we got a look at the (truly awful) condos they’ll be living in as they remodel. They have everything: Bugs, brown water, holes in the walls..oh yeah, and lots of potential. After crafting a temporary sleep space with air mattresses, each team got to work on the first challenge: The master bedroom. Here’s a peek at the designs from each team:

Bedroom Designs: Flipping the Block on HGTV

Which bedroom renovation did you prefer: Black Team Whitney and John, Red Team Anicka and Shauna, Silver Team Curtis and Amanda or Blue Team Brian and Craig? Cast your vote in the comments below, then check back tomorrow for before-and-after photos and behind-the-scenes videos with David Bromstad.

Jul 18

Flipping the Block: Series Premiere Sneak Peek

Would you sign up to spend 8 weeks of your life on an HGTV renovation show — without knowing the premise or the prize? That’s exactly what the four brave Flipping the Block teams did: Until they set foot on the Flipping the Block property, they had no idea that they would be renovating run-down condos…and living in the construction dust.

Flipping the Block Contestants Arrive at The Block

How did they deal with the news? Well…some people handled it better than others. Click through to watch their reactions to the dirty, run-down properties, and see what else is coming up on Sunday’s premiere.

See a Sneak Peek of Sunday’s Episode

Jul 18

Ask the Flipping the Block Producer: Get to Know the Show

You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments and what you didn’t see on TV. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show! Just in time for Sunday’s premiere, here’s his take on the exciting new show.

Flipping the Block 2014 - Go Behind the Scenes on Set

Behind-the-Scenes Host David Bromstad Interviews Loren on Set

What’s the story behind this new HGTV show? What’s this show’s relationship to the Australian hit, “The Block”?
The premise of the show Flipping the Block is that four teams of talented competitors get the opportunity to flip four identical condos…all while living in them! These places were absolute DUMPS, so that made the challenge even more difficult. Basically, they turned a rundown complex into a modern day Melrose Place. This is the US-version of the highly popular Australian show called The Block.

How did you narrow down the pool of applicants to the final group of 8? What qualities were you looking for in pairings?
We had almost 1000 people (500 teams) apply to be on the show. We wanted a variety of applicants from different regions, backgrounds, skill sets, and relationships. We have a team with twin brothers, a team with sisters, a newly dating couple, and newlyweds — so there’s a little bit of everything. As for skill sets, we made sure that all of the teams had some level of tool skills, real estate knowledge, or design capabilities so that there would not be an obvious winner, and it could be anyone’s game.

How much did the contestants know before going into this experience? When did they learn about the true premise of the show?
They didn’t know ANYTHING about living in the properties. All they knew was that they were going to appear on an all-new HGTV renovation show! That made the first moment when they saw the Block that much more shocking and exciting!

How did HGTV find the properties being renovated for this project? What were you looking for in the property itself?
We had a real estate expert scour the LA market looking for the perfect property. When she found this four-plex in Glendale we knew it was our perfect pick because all four units were identical, and the places were run down enough that there was room for real transformation.

How did you choose Scott McGillivray and Nicole Curtis as the show’s judges?
This was a no-brainer to me. Scott is the absolute king of everything ‘real estate’ and Nicole is one of our biggest stars with an incredible knowledge of historical preservation -and– house flipping. Combined, they were the perfect choices to real advise and ultimately judge each week’s challenge.

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

Jul 17

Flipping the Block Premieres This Sunday!

The wait is finally over: HGTV’s all-new series Flipping the Block premieres this Sunday, July 20 at 9/8c. Tune in to meet the 4 teams you’ll come to know and love (trust me!) and hang out with HGTV faves like judge Scott McGillivray, host Josh Temple and digital reporter David Bromstad.

Flipping the Block Premiere

Scott McGillivray, Josh Temple and David Bromstad on Set

This all-new competition series will follow 4 duos as they renovate and decorate 4 identical condos — all while living in the construction dust! Sound exciting? Oh, just wait until you see this:

Once the (crazy bad!) condos have been totally transformed, they’ll be sold at a live auction to the highest bidders. The team with the highest sale price will take home the ultimate prize: $50,000 dollars, plus, of course, serious bragging rights.

So, will you be watching? Tune in this Sunday, July 20, at 9/8c.

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