'Design Star"s 'white room' challenge

DesignstartraceeWe’re a few weeks into the third season of HGTV’s Design Star, and two contestants are already out on the street, insisting they were sent home too soon. Let’s assess. (Next week, we’ll check in on my other current obsession, The Next Food Network Star.)

The contestants got tricked into thinking they were traveling abroad for their challenge. (Right, like HGTV has a budget to fly seven people, not to mention a crew, overseas.) So while they didn’t get to jet-set, they did get to pull a country out of a paint can — Mexico, Thailand, or Italy — and use that as inspiration for Design Star‘s "white room" challenge. Jennifer and Tracee (pictured, inset, with her room) both chose Italy, while Mikey V. and Matt chose Thailand. The queen of the roost, Michael, got to choose his own country. (He chose my second home, Spain.)

The designers had 12 hours and $500 to spend at Michael’s. After the screaming died down (theirs, not mine), I wondered if a trip to Michael’s warranted this type of response. (I say no.) I was sad that there were no customers in the store when they had their mad-dash shopping spree. Watching Ms. Everyday Shopper go flying into the row of fake flowers would’ve been hilarious.

And just how did our aspiring HGTV hosts do? Find out after the jump…

Jennifer’s room was a play on ceramics from Vietri, Italy. Tracee, her arch nemesis, was visibly pissed when the judges liked her room. On the flip side, Tracee decided to reinterpret Sleeping Beauty’s castle Venice, complete with a horrible faux mirror and a gondola bed that was a big hot mess. Michael did a generic boutique hotel lobby. It was cleanly designed, just extremely blah, with a shiny Plexiglass floor. Mikey’s Thai-inspired room looked like an Asian-themed bar, while Cynthia Rowley said that Matt’s Buddhist temple looked like a pillow fort you’d make with your friends when young. That got me all excited, because I loved building forts! But yes, she also meant that his room was atrocious.

Overall, most of the rooms were plain, dry, safe, boring, and showed little imagination. And guess what? The judges thought so too. In the end, Michael was sent home, and was nonstop waterworks during the whole process. Some of his last words after his show was canceled? "I want my mom right now." Oh really, Michael? Did someone make fun of your designs and hurt your feelings? Didn’t you do that to Tracee the whole episode? Guess you really do reap what you sow.

But PopWatchers, what do you think? Should Michael have been the one to go?

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
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  • samtheman

    There is no reality in Design Star. The producers picked the winner before the show started. A woman will win this season.

  • samtheman

    There is no reality in Design Star. The producers picked the winner before the show started. A woman will win this season.

  • Melanie

    I laughed when I read your comment about reaping what you sow because that’s exactly what I said when he got the boot. In reality, Tracee should have been the one to go. Her design was only good if she was designing for the stage adaptation of Alice in Wonderland – really atrocious!!

  • Amy

    I thought Tracee’s room was the worst, but at least she tried to stick to the Italian theme. Michael’s could been anywhere. They also have to think about hosting ability, etc. Michael is too insecure. He’d never be able to host his own show.
    That all said, Tracee will be gone soon.

  • wh

    Despite the judges trying to convince themselves and the suits at HGTV that this group is their most talented yet, I haven’t seen it. The white room challenge has consistently been the way to see who has an eye, who knows color, etc. NOTHING-nothing this year. And they actually got to shop at a place that has vases, lighting, plants, tchotchkas, rather than the PetCo the others had. In addition to their lack of talent, there’s no one who’s really fun or charming. What were they thinking when they cast this show? Very disappointing. Makes you think they really lucked out finding David that first year.

  • MsDaisy

    Poor Michael, what a pathetic cry-baby. Get some dignity, girlfriend.

  • sari

    Um, I kind of like the room pictured. Except for the gondola bed. But the huge mirror and chandelier and bright pink are kinda cool.

  • Ceballos

    I don’t care if it makes me a cold-hearted snake, but I was laughing my you-know-what off watching Michael cry for his mommy after being eliminated (and, more importantly, after numerous sneaky/b itchy comments).
    Overall, the results of this episode were a big letdown. Like the judges, I don’t really like any of them at this point.
    Also, Marc it’s cool that you’ll be writing about “Next Food Network Star” next week. That show is actually kicking this show’s butt this season, and, since Design Star comes on at 9 and Food Network Star comes on at 10, they’re making for a solid little Sunday night block over the summer.

  • Kai-

    This was the first episode I watched of his current crop of “designers”. I’ve loved the white room challenge in the past, but this time all the designs were lame. I couldn’t stop laughing when Michael was crying for his mother. Serves him right for back stabbing Tracee during the challenge.

  • Mark

    Tracee’s tranny mess meets Venice was hideous. She has been on the verge of being kicked off three times,(two times too many.) The first week she needed to leave. This season’s judging is a joke, they are only keeping “Mommy Dearest” Tracee, for rating’s drama.
    Michael had the best room of the bottom three, and he was about the only designer with humor and a personality, the rest are bland, even while shirtless.

  • Clivey rules

    The only reason to watch this season is Clive Pearse! I hope Michael’s mommy had a snotrag handy for him. *meow*

  • aaa

    This show is going to be a lot less entertaining without Michael. He had me cracking up more than Andrew from Top Chef. Obviously Tracee should have gotten the boot and after landing in the bottom for the 3rd week in a row. This eliminaton was Capital ‘T’-ragic!

  • kana

    Michael was behaving atrociously. He seemed to forget that squeaky-clean HGTV was never going to grant a hosting gig to someone so awful, no matter how ‘ferosh’ their designs. Plus, his design did not fulfill the assignment so he was sent home. It’s simple math.
    In his defense, Stephanie’s ‘nighttime cabana’ looked no more Mexican than his nightclub lounge looked Spanish, and she got rave reviews.
    i cheered when he was eliminated, and i hope Tracee is next. There are plenty of REAL adults who deserve this opportunity.

  • Elyse

    What was HGTV thinking when they picked these finalists? There is not a personality in the group I would enjoy watching for a half hour. They are on national TV and don’t seem to dress the part and sell the fact that they are future “stars” in the making. And the one who should have gone home three weeks in a row is Tracee. Her whining gets on my nerves and laughing at the other finalists mistakes is petty. Her Alice in Horrorland bedroom should have sent her packing. If this is the best HGTV can come up with, I may need to find a new station to watch. Hey HGTV, if you want a new designer, come to my house.

  • Ernesto

    That girl Michael deserved to go, he kept on saying throughout the whole episode that he was the best, and everybody else is not…it was sweet seeing him go, and it was sad hearing him say he wanted his mom…a 23 year old girl/man say he needs his mother for losing a competition is a bit too much…the show as a whole is entertaining, no cute girls but to kill an hour is alright!!

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