Design Star All Stars Episode Two Recap: Let the Dancing and Drama Begin

Image via HGTV

Hello, how are you? I’m fine. I have to run tomorrow at 5:15 am, but otherwise, all is well. Okay, you don’t care about any of that, so without further ado, let me present this recap by Caitlin Giddens. On last night’s episode of Design Star All Stars, the five remaining contestants remodeled a condo for Dancing With the Stars regulars Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya. But not before taking a few dance cues from the ballroom experts—at my girl Hilari’s request.


“Anna and Jonathan are such a cute couple, and I love how Anna is totally feisty,” Hilari said. “I really enjoyed designing for them because I could tell we would have design harmony. Anna is so feminine in her taste, and I love that.”

The challenge was divided into creating a space for Anna and a lounge for Jonathan. Hilari joined Leslie and Sparkle Josh to create a glamorous and girly room for Anna. The dancer asked for a chic but functional room that allowed her to practice her routines. More importantly, Anna specifically requested an absence of mirrors. But at Leslie’s insistence, the room featured a mirror as the focal point above the fireplace. This wasn’t the only time Leslie clashed with her team; Hilari described her as a “Tasmanian devil” near the end of the challenge. “To say that working with Leslie was challenging would be an understatement,” Hilari said. “I don’t think we could collaborate on another design process.”

The trio managed to create a lovely space for Anna, despite Leslie’s constant interference. As always, Hilari’s furniture selection was perfect, and Leslie made a smart addition with the glass table. But the space needed some serious editing, and the judges seemed disappointed in the designers’ non-cohesive work. “You are all stars,” Vern noted.

Meanwhile, Tom and Dan struggled to communicate while working together. Or at least Dan struggled adjusting to Tom’s pace. But the two guys worked it out and finished with a cozy lounge for Jonathan and his friends. I loved Tom’s map and shadow boxes, and Dan’s media center was a knock out. But my favorite part of this episode was watching Tom and Dan finish the room in a blur of teamwork. Their joined effort contrasted to the tension in Leslie’s group and helped produce a cohesive and stylish space.

I wish the lounge had finished with a more masculine look, and I agree with the judges in their disapproval of the “grandma” wall color. But overall, it was a sophisticated space, and Tom deserved to win the challenge. Speaking of Tom, does he remind anyone else of Christopher Waltz, best supporting actor of Inglorious Basterds? I mean that in the best way.

Although Hilari didn’t win the challenge, she saved Anna’s room with her brilliant furniture selection and held her own against Leslie. Sparkle Josh seemed to fade in this challenge, probably because of Leslie’s overpowering personality, and he was sent home. Leslie seemed remorseful about Sparkle Josh’s elimination, but that may have been due to the producers’ editing. “Sparkle Josh was a very nice person, and I think Leslie can be disingenuous,” Hilari said. “It wasn’t necessary for her to sabotage the situation. I was sad to see Josh go.”

The judges wished the designer well. “Continue sparkling. You’re an inspiration to us all,” Vern said.

Tune in next week as the top four all stars design a set. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Mikel’s (a set designer from the past season) guest appearance. This looks like to be an entertaining episode in the preview. Leslie and Tom are teamed together, and Leslie says, “I’m not trying to run anyone over.”

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