I watched the premiere of Design Star HGTV Star yesterday and loved it! (Although I am still getting used to the new name...) I've watched Design Star for a couple of years now. Some of my favorite designers (David Bromstead and Emily Henderson) are former winners of the show. It's a dream of mine to be on the show someday!

Host David Bromstad With HGTV Star Designers
The cast made a really great first impression. They have a really good variety of talents. And David's doing a great job of hosting, as always! I love Abby's energy and design style, although her hair threw me off at first. Anne has really good energy as well. Jeribai seems very genuine and warm. Brooks is delightfully quirky and entertaining. I really want to have him as a teacher! Oh and for a good ten minutes, I was convinced that Jessie was Taylor Swift.

Like, seriously, they look absolutely identical! Anyway, I like how they started the competition off with a bang, combining the classic "white room challenge" with the added test of displaying your personal brand.

Abby Vasek in her Finished VignetteJeribai Tascoe HGTV Star Vignette
Those white walls were dreaming big! My favorite vignettes were Abby's boho living room inspired by ink blots and Jerabai's sitting room branded with his initials.
Brooks Atwood's HGTV Star Vignette
Brooks took a creative approach as well. From his pink wallpaper to his quirky accessories, you really get to know his outgoing personality. Additionally, he incorporated the sense of smell into his design by leaving a card with cologne on it for the panel to sniff.
I realized that the most important aspect of these challenges is often time management, just like taking your high school SATs! For example, Jerabai didn't give his painting enough time to dry so it dripped. Also, Anne didn't have time to pick up her bedding herself and had to present an unfinished bed. Both these mistakes were criticized by the judges and could've cost these designers their chance of winning the challenge.
Brooks Atwood - HGTV Start Season 8

The panel only invites the most and least successful designers to the evaluation room to review their designs. Not only does this add drama for the TV audience, it adds drama for the designers. Would you rather be told early that you're safe and know you're not the winner of the challenge or have the possibility of being the winner but have to face evaluation? Personally, my competitive spirit draws me to the latter.
All in all, I'm excited for the new season of HGTV Star and getting to know these unique designers. I can't wait for next week's show!
Who's your favorite designer? What did you think of the challenge? Do you agree with the panel's decision? Leave me a comment below! And keep dreaming!