September 02, 2006 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon
During a dreary weekend punctuated by torrential downpours in New York City’s Bryant Park, the final two HGTV Design Star candidates got their last chance to impress the show’s judges and television viewers. In full view of spectators in the park, the talented finalists designed two 16′ x 12′ glass houses and demonstrated their on-camera hosting skills. After surviving six rigorous design challenges and besting eight other competing designers, architects, decorators and artists, David Bromstad, 32, of Miami, Fla. and Alice Fakier, 31, of Temple, Texas took their last shot at the coveted prize – the chance to star in his or her own show on HGTV. The pair’s final designs will be revealed during the HGTV Design Star episode airing on Sunday, September 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
At the conclusion of the episode, viewers will have the opportunity to vote once daily on HGTV.com for their favorite designer finalist or they can send one daily text message via cell phone to HGTV1 or 44881. Viewers can text the letter “a” to vote for David or the letter “b” to vote for Alice. The virtual polls to select the HGTV Design Star will open on Sunday, September 3 at 10 p.m. ET and will close at noon ET on Wednesday, September 6. After the viewer votes are tallied, one of the final two talented designers will catapult to fame as HGTV’s next design star during the final episode airing on Sunday, September 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Bromstad and Fakier were given 26 working hours to finish working on the room-sized glass structures. With the clock ticking and host Clive Pearse checking in periodically, they sketched, shopped, designed, decorated and raced to complete the final challenge. While show judges Martha McCully, the executive editor of In Style magazine and renowned designers Cynthia Rowley and Vern Yip stopped by to view the finalists’ progress and offer a perspective on the designs and on-camera performances, ultimately the winner will be selected by viewers across the country.
“This final challenge not only stretches the designers’ abilities, it also tests their spontaneity and endurance,” said James Bolosh, Vice President, Original Programming, HGTV. “Of course we knew that putting them in a public venue would amp up the drama, but we mostly wanted to see how they would handle the kind of stress that they might encounter out in the field, taping a show. It can be a bit of pressure cooker on location and they needed to experience that in real time, in the real world.”
HGTV Design Star premiered on Sunday, July 23 with an eclectic group of 10 finalists who represented various lifestyles and life stages, personalities and preferences, education and experience. The group included a former beauty pageant finalist and mother of two from Utah, as well as three Harvard graduates. Each week the competition in the highly-rated show became more intense as the finalists were pushed to their limits in devilishly clever design challenges. For example, in one challenge, the finalists designed spaces using only items found in pet, beauty, camping or automotive stores; while in another challenge they designed using a single color – yellow, blue, red or green — as inspiration. Bromstad and Fakier each won a weekly design challenge before getting the final shot at stardom.