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13 August 2007 @ 05:04 pm
design star and mangled egos  
People who know me in real life know that when I was recovering from heart surgery I watched a lot of cooking and interior design shows. I figured I might as well be learning something rather than just watching soaps and ancient sit com re-runs.

So recently I tuned in to Design Star, in its second season. Like all competition-based reality TV shows, Design Star is hard on the ego. Lynn Chang, author of Yoga For Cats and other books broke down and ran off stage, then was persuaded to come back and finish her audition. Last night one of the contestants who was sent home, Adriana, broke down in tears and proceeded to question her self worth and how she was going to recover. I don't know if they offer crisis counseling to contestants of such shows, but they should. After all, this woman made it through the auditions to be a contestant, and her business will undoubtedly pick up just from her exposure. The judges may not like her latest design, but some of her prospective customers will. She just needs a new perspective.

That said, I can see how brutal the process of having your work judged in front of a television audience can be to your ego. These people all feel that design and artistry are their strengths. Suddenly their ability is put under a microscope and found wanting in some respect--and publicly! Unless their self esteem is well grounded in other areas, it would be easy to collapse under this kind of pressure.

I was surprised last night to see the rudest contestant whose design I couldn't stand make it through to the next stage--with praise even--while two others got sent home. One of the two went over the top accessorizing (Scot), the other didn't have a cohesive design plan (Adriana), but both designs were more pleasant to look at than Mr. Rude's (Robb). See what you think. They were each given a totally white space with the same items of furniture, given $399.00 and sent to shop at the 99 cent store with a time limit. While I didn't remember hearing that in the instructions, it didn't have to be functional. So people did things like make "rugs" out of construction paper and varieties of beans. It was rather amazing what could be accomplished with things like laundry baskets, paper plates, mirrors, paint, and glassware.

The wildest design of the evening won a special award of participating in a photo shoot for inStyle magazine. Todd chose to represent a tidal wave hitting a living foom in a design called High-Tide Barrel. It was pretty wild but has viewers wondering what he can do when working with actual customers needing functionality, especially considering one of his contributions previously was to build a skate board ramp in the penthouse living room where the contestants are staying.

I have to say, for me Design Star is far more dramatic than shows like American Idol. Or maybe I'm just obsessed with design. One of my major desires in life is to have my own home to fully decorate--after decades of renting spaces that I can't touch.