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HGTV Design Star Second Season Finalists Announced

June 22, 2007 12:33 AM by Joe Blackmon

HGTV Design Star, the network’s top-rated series, is back for a high
stakes second season in Las Vegas with 11 new finalists who are ready
to roll the dice for a chance to win the jackpot – a starring role in
his or her own HGTV show. The competing finalists, many of whom run
their own interior design businesses, are self-taught or formally
trained and include a stay-at-home mom, a video game designer, a
celebrity party planner, a landscape architect, a hairstylist and a
former fashion model. The HGTV Design Star season two finalists are
Scott Corridan, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Todd Davis, San Francisco,
Calif.; Josh Foss, St. Paul, Minn.; Josh Johnson, Hendersonville,
Tenn.; Neeraja Lockart, Palm Springs, Calif.; Robb Mariani, Orlando,
Fla.; Lisa Millard, Berwick, Pa.; Kim Myles, New York City; Adriana
Nussbaumer, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; Christina Ray, Atlanta, Ga.
and Will Smith, Charlotte, N.C.

Each designer will do whatever it takes to impress the returning panel of judges – architect and interior designer Vern Yip; designer and author Cynthia Rowley and In Style magazine’s executive editor, Martha McCully. The reality competition, set in glittering Las Vegas and hosted by Clive Pearse, will premiere on Sunday, July 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, but will air weekly in its regular time slot beginning Sunday, July 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT through September 16.

The series will begin with a casting special, HGTV Design Star: Making the Cut, in which viewers will see the unique qualities and skills that made each finalist stand out from the more than 2,000 submitted entries. The series is then off to a sizzling start as viewers watch each finalist size up their competition and learn how to share a single Vegas-style condo with wildly-different personality types during the show’s nine-week run. In the end, it’s anyone’s guess which finalist will successfully navigate the clever design challenges and emerge victorious as the winner of his or her own HGTV show.

"The competition in this season of HGTV Design Star is fierce," said James Bolosh, vice president, event programming, HGTV. "We’ve raised the bar and these finalists are ready to design to win. Each episode features finalists from a variety of backgrounds and all levels of expertise, but the passion they bring to each challenge will surprise viewers who might be skeptical that HGTV can find another talent like season one winner, David Bromstad, who is both an incredible designer and a perfect fit for television."

HGTV Design Star also will invite viewers to extend their viewing experience at http://hgtv.com/designstar . Once the judges have narrowed the competition to two finalists, viewers will get the opportunity to vote for their favorite designer online or via cell phone. The virtual polls to select the winner will open on Sunday, September 9 at 10 p.m. ET, immediately after the eighth episode, and will close at noon ET on Wednesday, September 12. Viewers can vote once per day online and up to five times per day via cell phone text message to HGTV1 or 44881. Viewers also will get chances to win fantastic prizes valued at $2,500 and up throughout the series.

Meet the HGTV Design Star Finalists

Scott Corridan
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Age: 37
After years of owning a high-profile Hollywood event design company that caters to the rich and famous, Scott is ready for his own close-up. A California native and skilled equestrian, Scott uses his favorite surroundings, such as his expansive horse ranch, as inspiration for everyday design. Although a self-proclaimed "diva" at times, Scott’s admitted weaknesses include impatience and a temper. A talented designer with 19 years’ experience, Scott believes he can tackle any design obstacle. He sews, builds everything from homes to furniture, sketches designs, paints and installs plumbing, but he prefers to leave such tasks to his staff. Scott studied architecture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and earned a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Todd Davis
San Francisco, Calif.
Age: 34
No stranger to competition, Todd is an athlete and surfer who earned a degree in landscape architecture from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design from California Polytechnic University. Now, after several years as owner of a design business, Todd is ready to compete in design – a field that fuels his passion. He describes himself as "smart, hyper-creative, dynamic and very opinionated" and says he can "build anything from chicken wire and lint in a timely fashion." Todd is unafraid to make his presence and opinions known and admits that his sometimes adventurous design style reflects his risk-taking personality.

Josh Foss
St. Paul, Minn.
Age: 24
Josh, who holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Principia College in Elsah, Ill., describes his style as "metro hippie." As a builder for eight years prior to getting into interior design, Josh believes that environmentally friendly building and design doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. He prefers to design spaces that are both environmentally conscious and "ridiculously good looking." In his opinion, building "green" doesn’t mean spending lots of green. In fact, he finds that the costs of "green" building materials are often cheaper. Josh’s father, who was an intern for Charles and Ray Eames, inspired Josh’s creativity at an early age and nurtured his love of design.

Josh Johnson
Hendersonville, Tenn.
Age: 32
This self-taught Tennessee native is a big fan of Southern glitz and glamour and is ready to expose America to the fabulous technique he calls "glamour layering." Josh, often the first one to awaken to style his hair, is unapologetic about his over-the-top outfits or his indulgent designs. He is an expert shopper with an eye for unique items and a knack for finding unbelievable bargains.

Neeraja Lockart
Palm Springs, Calif.
Age: 42
With no formal design training, this former model is in the competition to win, not make friends. As she says, "I try to get along with everyone, but I am a director and we have a tendency to step on people’s toes." Her funky, cool design style reflects her background in the fashion industry and as a photo stylist. She says her strongest areas of design include "modern, hippie chic, Hollywood regency, shabby chic and rustic." Neeraja loves to have fun and says she is "playful" and has a "flair for the dramatic."

Robb Mariani
Orlando, Fla.
Age: 39
This middle child of seven siblings never planned to become an interior designer. Robb, who earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, began his career as a video game designer for a major company until he decided to try his hand at interior design. Robb’s intense personality helps him work well under the pressure of a reality competition. In addition to learning from his design philosophies, which include "incorporating vintage pieces that are timeless into modern works," look for Robb to discuss his collection of 18-wheeler trucks.

Lisa Millard
Berwick, Pa.
Age: 25
Lisa’s passion is working with unique materials and manipulating them for her designs. In fact, this nonconformist created her own wedding dress with wax paper for just $40. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Lisa is currently designing commercial restaurant spaces with her trademark style of punk with an industrial flair. Lisa believes the keys to becoming successful are attitude and ambition and she says "Thankfully, I have both!"

Kim Myles
New York City
Age: 33
Although Kim has lived in New York City for more than 10 years, it was her childhood in the suburbs that initially drove her to explore interior design as a personal interest. "Growing up in suburbia gave me an aversion to sameness," she said. This hairdresser, who got her start designing her own clothing, jewelry and hats, has no formal design education but uses her city surroundings as inspiration in her design styles, which she describes as "global urban elegance."

Adriana Nussbaumer
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Age: 36
Although currently residing in California with her husband and 3-year-old son, Adriana, a self-taught designer, originally hails from Mexico. Since Adriana is self-employed and does everything from designing, sewing and painting to installation and carpentry, she is comfortable multitasking. Adriana admits that she might be an "under-the-radar competitor," but she is deeply passionate about living the American dream and says she understands what it takes to win this competition.

Christina Ray
Atlanta, Ga.
Age: 29
This self-taught designer is not shy to share her love for design. Christina has been designing rooms for her neighbors and friends for more than 10 years and her experience has made her a master at using tape to create unique painting techniques. Cheerful and spunky, Christina always has a positive outlook and can design with the smallest of budgets. In fact, this stay-at-home mom says she gathered many of her design ideas from her favorite HGTV shows.

Will Smith
Charlotte, N.C.
Age: 30
The self-proclaimed "real Will Smith" entered the design business under ironic circumstances. After a difficult breakup and a 200-pound weight loss, Will, who studied design at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, decided to re-design his bachelor pad. The result was so inspiring that it motivated him to pursue interior design professionally. Will went from being an insurance agent who charged $25 for design tips on the side to becoming a design guru in less than a decade. He now runs his own interior design business. Although he describes himself as a deeply religious person, Will can’t help using what he calls his "pimp palace" style of design, which incorporates his love of bright, bold colors.

Topics: HGTV Design Star |

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3 Responses to “HGTV Design Star Second Season Finalists Announced”

  1. Michael Torchia Says:
    June 23rd, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Michael Torchia Announces his ‘Confessions of a Personal Trainer’ Original Scripted Sitcom Based on Embellished Newsweek Article from 2004

    Hollywood is ready to break the mold of the cop/hospital/lawyer based TV shows and Michael Torchia is hoping they’ll look to the gym for its next hot TV comedy.

    Beverly Hills, CA (PRWEB) June 22, 2007 — Michael Torchia announces his “Confessions of a Personal Trainer” original scripted sitcom based on embellished Newsweek article from 2004. Torchia is hoping Hollywood is ready to break the mold of the cop/hospital/lawyer based TV shows and will look to the gym for its next hot TV comedy.

    “‘Confessions Of A Personal Trainer’ is ‘how personal trainers change their clients for the better,” says Torchia. “It’s fun and informative. Trainers do much more than tone bodies and help people improve their quality of life.” This intuitive, entertaining and often hysterical series will give the audience a close and personal insight into the relationships that unfold between Hollywood’s elite and their personal trainers.

    Michael Torchia’s “Confessions of a Personal Trainer” concept was originally told to Newsweek based on a recommendation from director Joel Schumacher. Torchia had been training Joel for a long time and told him about his fun and risqué idea for a TV comedy show based on all the stories and people he’s known in his 30 years in the training business. Joel loved the idea and when given the opportunity, talked to the editors of Newsweek about it. Torchia and his production company are presently in negotiations with major networks.

    Press Contact: MIKE TORCHIA

    Company Name: OPERATION FITNESS

    Phone: 800.933.8633

    Email: michael@operationfitness.com

    Website: http://www.operationfitness.com

  2. Michael Torchia Says:
    June 28th, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Michael Torchia, Wellness Expert, Takes his Health Organization International, Helping to Set New and Higher Standards for Health Organizations Around the World

    Los Angeles, CA. (June 28, 2007) Michael Torchia created the “Operation Fitness” program to provide children and adults with the ability to integrate health and fitness into their everyday routine. Michael’s well-structured organization will help increase motivation and improve self-esteem in a dynamic, inspiring way. This innovative program is supported by descriptive fitness updates and essential nutrition guidelines for all those wanting to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle.

    Although Michael’s clientele include such famous names as Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey and many others, his true passion is in helping everyday people. Michael has spent over 20 years of his life educating and teaching the public about fitness. Having suffered as an obese child himself, with incredible drive and determination he overcame his eating disorder and went on to become Teenage Mr. America, Mr. Collegiate USA, and Mr. California. This exemplifies that with proper guidance, learning of good nutritional habits and the use of research-based professional training that if you can imagine it, it can become a reality.

    Michael and his team of experts have recently launched “Fitness Nation.” Their mission is to travel around the country helping obese children and their parents create healthier lifestyles. They will educate communities nationwide how they can help prevent and alleviate childhood obesity. His team includes Dr. Karlis Ullis, Clinical Professor at UCLA and Director of Nutrition for Children’s Fitness Academy and Rona Freeman, Healthy Gourmet Chef and Life Coach. Together, they will go into homes, schools and work places to evaluate their daily environment. They’ll meet with organizations and government agencies to help implement a well-structured wellness program.

    Operation Fitness will create awareness and provide simple methods for both children and their parents to change their way of life—one child, one parent, one community and one state at a time, until we can truly become a healthier, happier and substantially more productive nation.

    Michael is currently embarking on a “Global Initiative” to build alliances with various health organizations to establish proper strategic planning to help fight the epidemic of obesity. His travels have taken him to Munich, Cologne and Hamburg in Germany; London, Birmingham and Manchester in England as well as Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia. He continues traveling even now.

    By providing the services of his organization to parents, coaches and teachers, he hopes to help implement methods of preventing and wiping out the obesity epidemic.

    Michael has performed seminars, lectures, fitness challenges and motivational speaking for the Los Angeles Unified School District, along with many inner-city schools throughout the country. He has combined forces with legitimate health organizations and renowned health experts such as Dr. Karlis Ullis, Clinical Professor at UCLA, Brent Berger, Operations Specialist for Children’s Fitness Academy and Robert Scott Bell, Director of Product Development for Natural Immunogenics Corp.
    In addition, Michael is building alliances with powerful politicians to create stringent regulations for food manufacturers and distributors. He is presently planning to utilize the star power of his elite clientele for fund raising events to finance his organization and to help make a significant turnaround in the obesity epidemic. Michael’s impressive list of star clients includes Matt Damon, Kim Cattrall, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey and Keith Urban.

    His goal is to eradicate this devastating problem by being pro-active and by using preventative measures. Michael truly believes the key to success is by properly educating both children and adults. The goal of Torchia’s Global Initiative is to set new standards for health and wellness organizations throughout the United States and the World.

    Michael Torchia has formed the Operation Fitness “Healthy Task Force,” an elite team of health experts that conduct research into manufacturers and distributors of food products containing refined sugars, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and genetically modified ingredients. Members of the task force will report all their findings to legislative representatives, Governmental agencies, as well as to school officials. Their goal is to provide essential information to children and parents so that healthy choices can be made.

    “It is just as important to focus on preventing obesity, as it is to alleviating this rapidly growing disease affecting our nation,” says Michael Torchia.

    “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.”

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    For Further Information:

    Contact: MIKE TORCHIA

    Company Name: OPERATION FITNESS

    Phone: 800.933.8633

    Email: michael@operationfitness.com

    Website: http://www.operationfitness.com

  3. www.lake-shore.co.uk Says:
    October 10th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    His goal is to eradicate this devastating problem by being pro-active and by using preventative measures

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