Reality TV

Design Star Dish {with Becky Harris}

June 9, 2008

Welcome to the Design Star Dish with Becky Harris, the mouth from the south as I like to call her, a sometimes cheeky and always energetic blog friend of mine based down in Atlanta. Her witty words regularly entertain me over at Hatch where she blogs for Design Public. I’ve invited Becky to drop in weekly on Mondays to dish about HGTV’s Design Star season 3 with us, so without further ado… Here’s Becky!

Design Star Dish {with Becky Harris}Alright Everyone! Design Star Season 3 premiered on HGTV last night and it’s time to dish! It had a dash of the American Idol early episode painful tryout theme this year, don’t you think? They seem to be targeting people with proven design backgrounds, and keeping the hosting potential in mind from the start – an improvement in my eyes, but the design requirement would have disqualified hairdresser Kim, last year’s winner. What do you think of these changes in terms of the variety and quality of contestants? Does it make the show too exclusive?

There will be no spoiler alerts in these intros, but there will be in the comments section, so if you haven’t seen it yet and you don’t want to know what happened, don’t click into the comments section until you have caught up on your viewing. I will say, my favorite comment of the night was something like “I’m a cop. I can come to your house, arrest you, and then decorate it.” We’ll be coming up with nicknames for all of the contestants, and if that guy makes it, I hereby deem him to be “Ponch” from now on. Feel free to discuss potential nicknames – they are much easier to remember than their real names, and only the winner’s name really matters in the end. Remembering the rest of the names is kind of a waste of brain space, you know, in the Einstein not knowing his own phone number kind of way.

Now dish away…can’t wait to hear from you! – Becky


  • Reply Anonymous June 9, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Michael Stribling is the worst. I hope he leaves the show ASAP!!! Personality wise so far Jennifer Bertrand seems one step ahead and I’m very curious to see the cop’s designs.

  • Reply becky from hatch June 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    So I’ll get started. I like that they leveled the playing field by requiring a design background. In the past, people who came on the show because “all my friends say I have great taste” really didn’t have good taste. Also, I think it’s important that they are putting the reward, the hosting gig, right up there on the front burner and rejecting people who would make terrible hosts.

    Is it just me, or has Vern gotten buff? It looked like he’d joined the gun club. Anyway, I thought it was funny that Vern “Deserving Design” Yip was the one who was the most cynical about the pull-at-the-heartstrings-let-me-parade
    -out-my-not-here-yet-adopted nephew from Haiti

    I am bummed the guy who wanted to put a boat in every room got the boot, because I had already nicknamed him “The Skipper.”

    No one who says “Chee Chee” should be on the show. I think that chick made it. In her defense, her named is spelled “Tracee.” I think I’m going to call her Moncheechee from now on.

    Obviously, Vern took a shine to the inarticulate lost soul Michael “I am amazing” Stribling. I hearby name him “Nervous Breakdown.” If he wins, I’d rather stick a hatpin in my eardrum than listen to his annoying voice.

    Alright, I’ll let someone else have a chance. Paola, where are you? :)


  • Reply becky from hatch June 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    HEy Anon, I hated Michael too. My nickname for Jennifer is “Green Card.” :) I think it would have been interesting to have hubby on there too, just for the drama factor.

    What do you think of the build your own house challenge? I think it’s ridiculous!


  • Reply erin June 9, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    i agree, im not really a michael fan (the one who said “its official…i’m awesome” a million times!) i just can’t believe someone as confident in himself and his work (because he was boasting about the $$$ projects he gets) couldn’t explain his perspective on design. he had to know they were going to ask those kind of questions in the interview process… so i was frusturated he was given a spot… maybe they’re keeping him for comedic value/ratings?

    i’m excited to see what jennifer bertrand (the one who auditioned with her hubby), the cop, and matt do (the one who had that crazy interactive moodboard with the pullout pieces)

    i’m not sure how i feel about them only allowing those with a heavy background in design enter the show, but i s’pose its because of the type of show they want to give the winner.

    was i the only one really underwhelmed with the show last night?

  • Reply David Dust June 9, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Michael Stribling’s “catch phrase” SHOULD have been: “It’s official … I am ANNOYING”.

    CLICK HERE for DavidDust’s Random Thoughts on Design Star – Episode One.


  • Reply decor8 June 9, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I so love Cynthia Rowley — she thinks like an artist and I love that. She’s sensitive and fiery, passionate, and I love how she ‘gets’ it when it comes to the emotional impact stuff like this can have on a contestant.

    Beck you are so right. Vern went out and picked up some big guns. Sheesh. Love that man, guns or no guns.

    Erin today, I am with you. Jennifer, the cop, and Matt are ones that I’m watching.

    Michael may be a doll in real life, but so far the producers are really trying to sway us all into finding him completely annoying and I wonder why. Will he continue to annoy or in the end, is he really the best designer and Vern is right about him? Underdog turns top dog?

  • Reply decor8 June 9, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Erin I meant to say totally not today. Like I’m not with you any other day. :)

  • Reply becky from hatch June 9, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Holly,I have had a total girl crush on CR for YEARS! Even when to her book signing for Home Swell Home – talk about guns – her arms were amazing!

    Erin, after 35 minutes my cousin and I looked at each other and said “when is it going to be OVER? It seems like it’s been on for two hours!” I’m sure it will get much better with the challenges.

    What’s up with the Nashville? Is the show being sponsored by Tennessee? CMT?

  • Reply Anonymous June 9, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    The boat guy was too funny. I could not believe that was the bulk of his design sense, but it would have been great to see them do something like “re-do this room in ultra contemporary clean lines” and see a sailboat peaking out somewhere. LOL!

    Michael Stribling – yuck.

  • Reply Sharon June 9, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    My top of the show favs are the Cop and Matt. Did the guy who painted his soon to be adopted Nephew’s room get picked?

  • Reply Kiba June 9, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I’m pulling for Jerome Scottie Miller because he’s from NC and I love it when people wear bowties. Tracee seems the hostiest to me, but I love Jennifer’s style and personality.

  • Reply Steph June 10, 2008 at 3:05 am

    I’m loving this discussion… I recently discovered your great design blog and have been popping by often without commenting– today, though, I couldn’t resist sharing my thoughts on DesignStar!

    Like the others, the cop/designer and Matt also stood out to me last night. Matt’s portfolio & presentation was so creative and over-the-top without being cheesy. Stephanie is fun, and I love that she’s an crazy fan of HGTV, but time will tell how talented she is… It seems to me the producers and judges wanted her in for her personality, but she probably didn’t pass the carpenters’ test, so that’s why they made her one of the “viewer’s choice” contestants.

    I definitely feel misled by HGTV, though- I was hoping for a challenge last night! I didn’t realize it was just going to be an introduction show. I wish they would have made it two hours.

  • Reply Andee June 10, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Holly, I was watching and hoping that you were going to surprise us and be on the show. Have you ever thought about trying out? You would rock!

  • Reply decor8 June 10, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Andee thank you for the LOVELY thought but I would be voted off of THAT show immediately. I’m not competitive if it means hurting someone else or knocking down another to get to the next level. I’m way too sensitive!!

  • Reply dangerdorge June 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Heh. Green Card. It’s kind of mean but brilliant. I can’t WAIT to see what happens with building the house!

  • Reply ann June 10, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    I am pulling for Jennifer “Green Card”. I think she is fun and I like her style, but mostly because I am from OLATHE, KANSAS woohoo!
    Michael “I am amazing” is truly annoying. I can’t wait to see what he contributes to the building of the house!

  • Reply becky from hatch June 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    I’m so excited to see more comments today; I was scared we were done at seven!

    Sharon, I don’t think the nephew heartstrings story worked for the guy, but I’m not sure! I didn’t notice him in the final pool, but I had two glasses of wine by that point, so I may have to re-watch it!

    Steph, I felt like it WAS two hours long! Boring! Let’s get on to the drama, because, let’s face it, this show is usually not about design so much as it is about cat fights and mental breakdowns.

    Dander Dorge, “Kind of mean but brilliant,” I’ll take it; I usually only get called the “Kind of Mean” part.

    Kiba, I like him too, even though chocolate and blue is so five years ago. I’m going to call him “Bow Tie.” I like a man who rocks a bow tie. The last one I knew was Richard Guy Wilson. I think Miles Redd does too.

    A word about Matt. I like his personality, but as for that display, I’ve seen students do much more wowing things than that during 24 hour charette competitions, so that kind of smoke and mirrors stuff doesn’t bowl me over like it did the judges.

    I like Vern, but I really hate the way he says “stoked.” Vern, you are not in Jeff Spicoli’s van in The Valley and it’s not 1983. It is 2008 and you are a TV host in…Nashville.

    Thanks so much for everyone’s two cents! I think I’ll wait to see Holly win Top Design. What would we all do if she didn’t have time to blog while competing? I’d be in decor8 withdrawl!


  • Reply Maryellen June 10, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Too funny! Becky and Holly, I hope you both plan on weighing in on the next season of “Project Runway”.

  • Reply decor8 June 10, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Sorry to say, you will never find me battling for the crown on a reality show Beckster!

    Maryellen I would love to but PR kicks off when I’m in Germany this year and so far, I haven’t a clue how to watch it over there. I’m over there until Christmas, so I’m miss the entire thing pretty much. Rats. I should find some PR lover to talk about the show here, you think?

  • Reply decor8 June 11, 2008 at 1:13 am

    All I can say are two words.


    Remember him?

    He is going to do weekly video recaps on HGTV. I think I’m going to like this more than the show. You guys have to watch this.

  • Reply becky from hatch June 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    OMG. Sparkle Josh. He’s a hoot. His hair is starting to look like David Lee Roth’s. He better watch out or he’ll need a wig collection of his own soon.

    I think he would be a MUCH better spokesperson for the Bedazzler than Tan “from national television.”


  • Reply Michael Stribling June 22, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Hey this is michael. Yall dont know me. How can you talk so bad about me. You know how bad the word hate is? You only see 60min of what happend in 3days! I am a nice guy. I also worked my butt off in the room. Tracee was playing with me. If you want to know anything, ask befor you blog!

  • Reply decor8 June 22, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Hey Michael! It’s Holly, the author of this blog decor8. I am so happy to see you came by. As far as some of the comments go, I am certain most people leaving their opinions here totally get that this is reality tv and nothing we see is really how it is. They are not talking about THE Michael Stribling as much as your character on the show. What I’m saying is that we get that they cut and paste most of it and that it is done to sway our opinions.

    If you’d like for Becky to interview you at some point once the show wraps up then please email me privately and I’ll arrange for that. I think it would be fun and give you a chance to show us the “Real” MS and not the one TV is trying to show us!

    Thanks again for stopping by.


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