Consider “American Idol” finalists and how anyone who ranks in the top few usually has a great voice. Then consider who won and how many you can name.
After the first year, it sometimes becomes a trivia contest, but there are memorable contestants from each season. The lesson here is that runners-up generally make for good TV.
HGTV applies that lesson with the six-episode “Design Star All Stars,” airing at 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Drawing from its talent contest “Design Star,” the show features David Bromstad, the Season 1 winner, as host and mentor.
“It is one of those really fun type of shows taking the people who didn't win on the regular season of ‘Design Star' and offer a personality that more people want to see,” Bromstad says. “If you didn't get enough of Tom or Kellie, Sparkle is definitely hilarious.”
He refers to Tom Vecchione of Season 5, Kellie Clements of Season 6 and Sparkle Josh Johnson of Season 2. They're competing against Dan Vickery of Season 4, Leslie Ezell of Season 6 and current “Design Star” competitor Hilari Younger.
The first episode Tuesday proved that two of the women do not suffer from low self-esteem.
“I was amazing before,” Younger says. “Now I am unstoppable.”
To win this competition the designer needs to meet a variety of goals, and some are intangible. Sure, he or she needs to create fast and wow judges Vern Yip, Genevieve Gorder and each week's guest judge, which in the first episode was actress Emily Procter. But it's not all about design, Bromstad notes. A part of being chosen winner is the amorphous quality of how much an audience wants to watch the designer.
“On ‘Project Runway' they could not care less if you are a mean person or a bad person,” Bromstad says of the burgeoning fashion designers, who are picked on talent alone. “This is all about being on television and likability and something that the network does not have.”