What the Heck Is Food Network's Paula Deen Doing On HGTV's Design Star?

From teapots to kitchens in this new challenge for the would-be designers.

By , Contributor

The sixth season of HGTV's Design Star began this year’s run in early July with a dozen contenders. There are now eight left and there are signs of bickering, animosity, jealousy, and back-stabbing in the air and it’s all coming together just loverly.

I’d remarked on my first post about this show how, while I lacked any sort of stellar decorating skills, I do like my surround to be orderly and attractive. Thus decorating shows manage to get my attention, especially during the grand "reveal."

This competition manages to keep my attention throughout the entire show as it has all the elements: the catty comments of the contenders, the intrigue of watching the ugly slowly turn to the pretty, the drama of the clock countdown on to the final reveal of the completed room that will have me wondering how I can do the same to my rather boring home décor.

For winning this competition the victor is given their own design show on HGTV. Indeed HGTV’s programming lineup is peppered with shows of the prior five seasons' winners. Some of them aren’t half bad.

8811dspauladeen.jpgThis past week’s Design Star challenge required the remaining contenders to form four teams of two each. Using, of all things, tea kettles as their guide, the contenders were to create a stellar kitchen from its inspiration. Paula Deen, who has a well-known cooking show on the Food Network, would help judge the kitchen creations. The winner of the week’s camera challenge would have the video featured online. We do, as expected, have that video.

During any reality TV competition of this sort, whenever a challenge requires teaming up  there’s bound to be disputes and snark and this always adds to the interest. Since the final prize in this contest involves having one’s own show, camera challenges are part of the contest. It’s as important for these contenders to express themselves on camera in a clear and concise manner as it is for them to perform the task assigned.

Contender Cathy has a rough run during this series; she always seems to be involved in some sort of squabble with the others. Cathy did win the camera challenge which might help keep her around a little longer.


I suppose Paula Deen's status as a world-famous cook gives her insight into kitchens that work and those that don’t. Indeed Deen did show an inordinate interest in the lighting of the kitchen designs and hooray for this. I have one of the worst lighting setups in my kitchen and if nothing else I know how important lighting is in the kitchen.

Ah, the kitchens! One actually used tool boxes for cabinets! Another had live cabbages stuffed with candles - what was that all about? One paint treatment had the wall looking dirty instead of dear and original. One kitchen was so cluttered that there was no room for people! Frankly I did not see one kitchen that I’d want to work in. Oh, there were some pretty backsplashes and bright colors that caught my eye, but not a single one made my pupils widen with joy.

Judge Vern Yip loved the tool boxes as cabinets. Remind me not to have him ever design any room of mine as he also loved the live cabbages as candles. If a decorator were to ever install tool boxes in my kitchen, even pretty red sturdy things with lots of drawers, I’d rip them out immediately. As for the cabbage candles, well, they were just an accessory but still…

From what I’ve seen so far, I think Meg is going to win this thing. Even though Cathy won this week’s camera challenge, I predict she’ll soon be out of there. She’s entirely too unpredictable with her decorating skill and does not have a pleasant disposition. Kellie of the cabbages did win this week’s decorating challenge but she seems to be preoccupied with her family and her two sons whom she misses so much.

Meg, on the other hand, has never been in the bottom two, she regularly does a respectable job of her decorating challenge, and she did win one design challenge .

Design Star can be seen on HGTV on Mondays at 9p/8c. Keep up with the status of this show right here where we’ll be checking in from time to time.

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Pat Fish has been a blogger for almost ten years. She has been published numerous times in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort book series and wrote for Blogcritics. She has written a few books and vows to write till death does part her from the keyboard. Pat loves to write about current…

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