Reality Tv Thougths: Ellen’ Design Challenge Season One

This is one of the times that you will ever see her in this show. At all.

Well actually, I heard this show from simply searching “Season 1” one YouTube, and then the first episode of this series showed up, and one thing led to another.

6 contestants (paired up with a set carpenters that the show care about, and other helpers that the show don’t care about) challenge each other with various challenges that relates to furniture designing. In the end, the judges will award the winner a page in HGTV and $100,000.

What I like
I’m surprised by the fact it looks like a legit furniture design competition, designers that are mostly hired for their skills and their professionalism (I said mostly, cause Leslie isn’t, thought maybe is just her and her carpenter don’t get along well), challenges that are actually understandable (I like the couch challenge/4th episode the best) and most of all, the contestants are given a fair time frame (as in 3 days, from…I don’t know) to create an actual luxury furniture. Here are some of my favorites (According to my personal taste, and lack of experience in the furniture designing):

Tim McLellan campaign desk that won in the Gift Box Challenge. The drawer briefcase was a great charm to the story he made. Most of all, the totally reconstructed the gift box
Gaspar de Jesus dining table in the Specialized chair challenge. It is pretty and practical to dine in, and the chair really look like it is meant to be paired with the table
Katie Stout acrylic desk and chair in the Recycled challenge. It is not the most practical furniture, but this looks cool, expensive and futuristic, especially with the chair seat that is woven by wires.

Quality luxurious furniture.
And viewers, say what you want about some designers will be a dead man walking when they didn’t paired up the carpenters, this is a design competition, not a builder competition.

Weak Points
For a show about Ellen (who is the executive producer), she came across too busy and an afterthought, like they can change the show name to anything else and nothing will change. And now I know why Mad Tv criticism of her: Anytime she appears of the show, I felt like she is trying too hard to be funny.

According to Chip(Tim’s carpenter), the show actually minimizes the drama aspect (like from him, they actually did a rebuttal to the judges when they criticized his bar storage being too unsafe to keep the wines). So after Leslie left, it is just take challenge, do the work, get snippy for a few minutes, get judged, repeat until awarded for the contestants.

Which makes everyone (the contestants and the judges) in the show unmemorable, inoffensive and ironically, human (in a way that no one came across too over the top, and in a way that there is just no additional characterization after the first episode).
There is no human star that attracts the viewers attention.

The controversy
The original winner is Tim (deserving), however the show found out his piece isn’t original a week later, which didn’t fit the criteria of the challenge.

Simon Schacht, United States and the Internet has an interest on you.

So now the winner is Katie Stout (I liked her as a winner as well). And even the Tim speaking his side of the story at Ellen’s talk show, the viewers are not happy with the result.

For me, since my experience with interior design is limited, I think that originality has really hard to come by, especially with a 3 day time frame and the topic being furniture designing, so there is no one to blame expect for the challenge neglecting originality as a parameter when it should have. But still, the similarities are striking.

What would I improve
First, I think that the show should make the carpenters contestants as well, since they also get confessionals and share a equal part with the designer with working on the furniture.

Then, if the show is going to learn towards the professional side of a competition, I want to see some snippets of the contestants’ personality, teaching us more facts about furniture design and make the challenges as consistently great as this season.

Finally, Ellen DeGeneres, this show is above average for a reality tv Talent Show, it is amazing for a reality show that is released on the 2010s, and I hoped that this show keeps up and enhance the bar you have provided, I can see it being an iconic mark for interior designing history. But first, I think that you should take a backseat into the role of an executive producer and let the judges do their job.

So that was it, thank you for reading my post and hope that you comment.

And here are the videos.
Edit: Copyrighted, watch this in YouTube then.

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