HGTV’s Design Star Season 6: The Finale

HGTV’s Design Star Season 6: The Finale

In some inexplicable twist of fate, Meg Caswell came onto the scene this season of Design Star and produced:

A horrible room for the White Box Challenge:

Meg Caswell's white room challenge design.

Meg Caswell's white room challenge design.

One of the most unattractive headboards in Design Star history (second only to J Allen’s earlier in the season):

Meg Caswell's fugly headboard in the fourth episode.

Meg Caswell's fugly headboard in the fourth episode.

Another lame design:

Meg Caswell's upstairs landing design during the HGTV'd challenge, which looked more like a "before" than an "after."

Meg Caswell's upstairs landing design during the HGTV'd challenge, which looked more like a "before" than an "after."

And there seemingly was no limit to how many fugly rooms she could churn out.  They just kept coming:

Meg Caswell's decorating disaster in episode 8.

Meg Caswell's decorating disaster in episode 8.

…and coming:

Meg Caswell's garish and dysfunctional tiny house.

Meg Caswell's garish and dysfunctional tiny house.

Not to mention all of the times she did her constipated chicken dance during the camera challenges.

Who wants to do the hokey pokey?

Who wants to do the hokey pokey?

And the many “design crimes” in her offscreen portfolio:

Frumpy living room designed by Meg Caswell.

Frumpy living room designed by Meg Caswell.

Another frumpy living room designed by Meg Caswell.

Another mostly frumpy living room designed by Meg Caswell.

But now we’re supposed to believe she’s the next Design Star?  Give me a break.  There was so much evidence to the contrary that this just seems utterly laughable.  During Season 4, there was a lot of off-camera grumbling from finalists, who had story after story about how Antonio Balatore received preferential treatment throughout the entire production.  It felt like common knowledge to all of them that Antonio had been cherry-picked to win from the get-go, and that the entire season of episodes was shot and edited to support HGTV’s pre-season choice.  Since I liked Antonio’s out-of-the-box designs and his ability to entertain, I had no beef with that.  But it seemed like this was another season where the head honchos had already chosen Meg before the cameras even started rolling, and I do take issue with picking someone who clearly does not demonstrate the level of design talent that many of her co-finalists possess.

I’m either an idiot or an idealist, but I’m a viewer who wants this title to mean something.  I want to see the best designer win.  And that did not happen this season.

Karl Sponholtz, you were ROBBED.

Unlike Meg, Karl only had one bad episode.  Karl’s sole contribution toward design badness all season long was this gawd awful flower arrangement:

Karl Sponholtz' fugly flower arrangement.

Karl Sponholtz' fugly flower arrangement.

The rest of the season, Karl consistently turned out smart designs:

AFTER: Kellie Clements' and Karl Sponholtz' bonus room design.

First episode: Karl Sponholtz' bonus room wall mural.

Karl Sponholtz' white room challenge design.

Karl Sponholtz' white room challenge design.

Karl Sponholtz' HGTV'd bedroom design.

Karl Sponholtz' HGTV'd bedroom design.

Karl Sponholtz puts a new twist on an old design element, creating bookshelves out of books.

Karl Sponholtz puts a new twist on an old design element, creating bookshelves out of books.

Karl Sponholtz' tiny house was packed with sophisticated design elements.

Karl Sponholtz' tiny house was packed with sophisticated design elements and was the most multi-functional space of the entire episode.

To see the judges compare these two designers’ work and continue to effusively praise Meg is just beyond me. But then we know firsthand Vern Yip will call anything “beautiful,” as long as he’s getting paid to do it.

Vern Yip's organ meat collection for little old ladies, brought to you by HSN.

Vern Yip's organ meat collection for little old ladies, brought to you by the center of suckage that is HSN.

The final nail in the coffin for me was Meg’s show concept, Design Crimes.  Every single one of those HGTV personalities knows full well you can’t go on TV and accuse homeowners of committing design crimes.  Nothing is a greater turnoff than starting out of the gate by insulting the client, yet they all put their smiley faces on and gushed over how brilliant the idea was.  What a crock.

I feel like a fool who was duped into watching thirteen hours of bullsh*t. I hung in there week after disgusted week because I believed there was no way there wouldn’t be some outstanding win at the end.  To quote former President Bush, “Fool me once, shame on–shame on you. Fool me–you can’t get fooled again.”  I won’t play the fool next year.  If the next cast doesn’t BRING IT, I’m not going to waste my time watching it.  And I’m certainly not going to give HGTV free PR by writing about some sucky show.

End of rant.

Stay tuned for my post about the Season 7 casting process, coming soon.

10 Comments

  1. NataLee September 13, 2011 at 6:42 am

    So I take it you didn’t think she should’ve won? Ha! =) I agree though. I thought she should have gone home on the white box challenge.

    It’s unfortunate that people DONATE/SACRIFICE (for free I might add) their time to give their dream a shot, and it is in vain because the outcome is predetermined. It would be interesting to hear from the other contestants if they feel this is the case again this year. Hmmm…..

  2. Kirsten September 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I have to agree 100%. Karl mixing Tuscan and ghetto successfully should have won it for him. I also thought his pilot was a lot more sophisticated and his solutions to the homeowner’s concerns were a lot more creative. Karl took a while to warm up to the camera, but eventually he got that nervousness out of his system and totally brought it on. I think if Meg’s personality isn’t toned down for her show, she’s going to get really annoying really fast.

  3. Stacey Hess September 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    AGREE!! I can’t believe she won. Now, that i go back and look at the pictures you posted above it is even more obvious. I am so glad you tought the flowery headboard was awful. The judges LOVED it and I just tought hmmmm, guess that is some new “trend” I am unaware of.
    Anywho, thanks for sharing.

  4. Susan September 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

    These pictures truly are sad . . . .what has happened? I think the only area where Meg really was a STAR was on camera.

  5. Shelly September 13, 2011 at 10:46 am

    AGREE!! I am disgusted. What a joke. So glad you told it like it is, Robin.

  6. Barbara September 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Yes, Karl was robbed. And so were we. He delivered design after design and with the amount of improvement, comfort and ease in his camera challenges, to me it was a given–KARL WINS! I felt like a balloon that was just poked by a pin. In Karl’s tiny house, his “necessities, ” ie. his dinnerware, also served as beautiful accessories and as bakeware and he actually had storage space. In Meg’s, she used her space to accessorize and for storage you would have to build another tiny house out back to hold all your stuff, including your necessities. Was glad to see they didn’t saddle either designer with Cathy. Seems everyone was as happy to see her back as I was, NOT. My suggestion: No team challenges. Everyone stands on their own and let the judges AND the public vote each week for the decision as to who gets sent home and who wins.

  7. Michelann September 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    The whole season seemed like a celebration of mediocrity. I thought last season kind of sucked, but this season was just plain boring. What happened? It used to be such a fun show.

  8. cece September 18, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Hi Robin… just discovered you site… you are too funny. Thanks for the writeup about the DS try-out… that was insightful!

    I agree completely with you about Meg’s “designs”… they are atrocious. Going into the finale I was so sure Karl was going to win I felt great all week… until ON the finale when Candice said “there are a lot of design shows out there, but not many that entertain”!! Wtf?! I knew instantly it was another “Antonio” season and the less talented person had been pre-ordained and was in fact going to win.

    I do strongly disagree with you about Antonio… and me and about 5000 of my closest friends protested on the DS forum after he was anointed… I like Antonio personally… but he was so clearly NOT the most talented person 2 seasons ago (I think you should post photos of his “designs” throughout the show)…. and his last “design” was SO abhorrent I was truly outraged. Dan Vickery had these fabulous, sophisticated designs, and he lost at the end… it was even more of an outrage than Meg’s win.

    I’m not sure what happened last year with Emily… perhaps she was pre-ordained too, but at least her designs were of an acceptable enough level that it didn’t cause mass protests or rioting in the forums.

    The really sad part about Antonio’s and Meg’s wins…. is who in the world would want to sacrifice so much of their lives if they know someone has been pre-ordained to win?

    Also, I’m not quite sure when they eliminated the audience vote… but clearly that was when they wanted to create the charade of a design competition culminating in their selection of the next personality they need on HGTV…. absolutely disgusting.

  9. cece September 18, 2011 at 12:45 am

    ps… I think Meg is actually doing the funky chicken in her screen shot above!

  10. JACKY July 19, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Meg won the challenge unfairly, karl was much more crearive than she was by far. She sounds more chocked than the chocked chicken dance she does on camera. I loved karl’s tiny room and to be honest, karl deserved to win.

Leave A Comment