HGTV Places Design On Manhattan Event


New York--The cast and judges of Design Star 3, along with network executives, gathered here in Greeley Square to promote the third season of HGTV’s top-rated series.

Show host Clive Pearse welcomed fans to the live event the morning of June 12, and interviewed the third season’s nine finalists. Then, the contestants were broken into two teams and given a project, in keeping with the season’s new locale, Nashville, as they were challenged to reconstruct a tour bus.

As part of the “Ultimate Tour Bus Design Challenge,” the show’s finalists were given 30 minutes to hold a team meeting, paint the walls and decorate the interior. Running frantically through Greeley Square, the white team consisting of Mikey V, Scottie, Stephanie, Paul and Michael, took home the victory for their chic mobile living quarters creation. The redesign challenge is chronicled in this online photo gallery.

After the battle was over, fans met and chatted with the ‘Glam Squad,’ played games for prizes and took photos with cast members.

The third season’s casting show on June 8 was the highest-rated program premiere in the network’s history, according to HGTV officials, with a 1.5 average in the 9 p.m. hour. The Design Star 3 Casting Special averaged 1.88 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

HGTV president, Jim Samples attended the event and discussed the show’s Nielsen strength and the support the network has marshaled behind the launch of its third season, which officially begins June 15.

“We ramped up out marketing budget, and placed advertisements everywhere,” said Samples. “We changed the venue to Nashville, the U.S.A city of music, and have been running a theatrical trailer to promote the show.”

As cast members await the design duties that lie in the season ahead, the judges said it wouldn’t necessarily be easy for them to make weekly contestant cuts.

“The show is a hit, and it’s hard because the contestants know what we like as judges from previous seasons,” said Cynthia Rowley.

Judge Vern Yip went on to explain that the contestants need to be triple threats -- possessing design and construction skills, as well as a strong TV personality.

Contestant Mikey V. expects the season to be quite challenging because the bar has been raised, adding that “working with HGTV is amazing, the experience is rewarding and the show is filled with a great, talented cast.”

But the third-season winner, who winds up with his or her own show on HGTV, doesn’t figure to be the network’s last Design Star.

“Why wouldn’t we have a fourth season with the success so far?” said Samples.