HGTV Design Star Crowns A Winner

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HGTV Design Star ends tonight with one of the most ambitions make-over’s to date as Antonio and Dan each tackle a complete home makeover to decide the winner of this season’s HGTV Design Star. Admittedly, I am a huge Antonio fan as I think he has the chops to handle a show on HGTV week after week. He is so totally different than the talent currently on HGTV, which is why he is a natural to get his own show. It all comes down to who does the best at the task in the finale and if the judges deem Antonio’s totally different style a fit on HGTV.

Host Clive Pearse greeted the two finalists and told them what was in store for them. Clive announced that they each had $50,000 budget, a team of carpenters and 4 days to finish a complete home makeover.


Antonio met the Starr family and Dan met the Goldberg family and each designer set about to determine the style of each of the families. Both houses were similar in styling and any improvements would be a blessing at this point.

Antonio was all about tearing out walls and it looked as Dan was all about a color pallet, although Dan was doing some wall work himself. Both kitchens were small and looked to be the bane of the design project for each of them and Antonio and Dan set their crews into action as they shopped at Sears.

Dan looked as if he had a bit more personal touches with pictures and other little touches but Antonio was doing some additional work by redoing a bathroom that was not in the original task set forth by Clive. A big risk for sure by Antonio, but it will either bite him in the butt or get him his own show on HGTV by the end of the show.


Dan had a pretty decent cabinet built to hide the TV over the fireplace and Antonio was not happy with his paint choices as he saw it up on the wall by the end of Day 3.

Day 4 – Final Day

Dan’s rooms were not as finished as Antonio’s seemed to be and Dan was having some issues with fitting the Washer and Dryer to fit in the space. Antonio had a funky cabinet that would either be a favorite of the judges or it will be hated, it was one of those kinds of pieces. Â Both designers finished with no real problems as far as projects being left undone.

Judges Elimination

Dan was first to profile his design. His design was clean and contemporary and flowed nicely. His hosting skills have improved immensely and the judges were in total agreement. Candice loved the personal touches and Genevieve was not as crazy about all of the purple in the house. Vern said that he was not usually a fan of covering a window but that it worked in this case. The Goldbergs loved the design and Dan was a big hit.


Antonio’s design was problematic in many ways from the judge’s standpoint and yet, he had some bold statements in his design overall. On top of that, his hosting style is so easy going and likeable. Candice was a huge fan of the way Antonio blended colors and it seemed that Vern was the one who complained the most about his space planning and what he did overall. Vern finally loved the space planning he did in the bedroom and the way he closed off the bathroom. The Starr family was ecstatic with the design and even Antonio was crying when he saw their reactions and judge, Candice Olson called it the best reveal ever.

Judges Pow-Wow

Not only did the judges take into account the current design challenge but they had to consider all of the challenges for the season. It was clear that Antonio’s creativity was a main draw for the entire season and that Dan trends towards a more design-school ethic, which is not necessarily a bad thing.


In the end, Host Clive Pearse introduced the HGTV Chairman, Jim Samples, who announced that Antonio Ballatore was the next HGTV Design Star, confirming that I was right all along.


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Photo credits: HGTV

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HGTV Design Star: The Finale Is Set

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HGTV Design Star gets us down to the final two after tonights, “Your show has been cancelled†utterance by Clive Pearce and if we don’t see an Antonio/Lonni showdown, I will be surprised. I mean come on, is there a better overall finalist than Antonio ever in HGTV Design Star history? After Dan’s shaky performance last week, he will have to do something awesome to make it all better with the judges, so it will be a race to the finish to see who competes against Antonio in the finale, at least in my perfect little world.

Host, Clive Pearce gathered the three remaining designers to tell them that they were headed to three of Hollywood’s stars to do a makeover for each of them. Stars, Kathy Griffin, Tiffani Thiessen and Jason Priestley each had their own ideas for the three remaining designers, Dan, Antonio and Lonni as they each look to get one step closer to having their own show on HGTV.


The designers headed to meet their clients with a twenty thousand dollar budget and a mere thirty hours to perform miracles in each of the the star’s homes.

Kathy Griffin immediately started in on Antonio saying she was upset he was not gay but said she thought he wanted him and she knew that he wanted her. Lonni was a bit confused with what Tiffani and her husband wanted as they were thinking eco and yet not so modern and a nursery design was in store for Dan at the Priestly home.


Dan seemed fairly confident in his ability to convert the nursery and Lonni was still struggling with the overall concept of eco and yet, not modern. Antonio had a deign that was to reflect Kathy Griffin’s team concept as she was making an office space out of a room in her home, so he will not have to be as detailed in accessories as the others, but it will probably be something that sinks him if he is not careful. Progress seemed slow in the rooms, but none of the designers seemed to be concerned about the overall progress at the end of day one.

Day 2 – 12 Hours Left

Day two brought designer, John Gidding from HGTV‘s Design to Sell to visit Dan, Lonni and Antonio for design input for each of them. John seemed to be in tune with Antonio’s design, not so much with Dan’s design and had a question about Lonni’s color choices, but overall seemed to like the direction she was going.


Day 3 – 8 Hours Left

The designers scrambled to get everything done and Lonni was having wallpaper issues that looked like it might be an issue with the time she had left. Antonio’s room was looking to be the most creative of the bunch and Lonni had to make a decision about a headboard that would not go up at the end of the time allotted.

“Your Show Has Been Cancelled”

The final three lined up for who would be in the finals. First up was Dan who showcased the Priestley home and Jason didn’t seem quite as excited as his wife when he saw the room. The judges seemed fairly impressed with Dan’s ideas and the flow of the room as well as some of the creative ideas but his overall style of his hosting was in question. Lonni’s design was well received by Tifffany and her husband and the judges loved her hosting style. And the overall design. Antonio’s style was totally embraced by Kathy Griffin and she was blown away by her new office space. The judges said that Antonio was the real deal as far as hosting but Vern had trouble with some of the accessorizing for the office in general. Told you that would be a problem if he wasn’t careful.


The judges seemed to have some a real spirited discussion about each of the designers and, from the look of the initial discussions, Antonio looked like he might be the odd man out, which would be a shock.


The final three was about to become the final two as they filed into find who would be in the finals. Dan was first called out for his hosting; Lonni’s execution of the headboard was an issue and Antonio’s accessorizing was a bugaboo with the judges. In the end, Lonni’s headboard issue was enough to send her home giving us an Antonio/Dan finale next week on HGTV Design Star.

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Photo credits: HGTV

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