HGTV 'Design Star' Recap: Trump Plaza Disaster Leads to Elimination Shocker

Shari Altman

HGTV design star contestant tom

Designing an apartment for the Trump Plaza Residences in Jersey City? Sounds like a designer's dream come true. According to Donald Trump Jr., the Trump look is "always luxury." There's a catch this week, though. Each designer must also incorporate a New York City souvenir package into their design. Tricky stuff, Design Star. Which designer has what it takes to turn tacky into classy?

Spoiler Alert: We're telling all. Check it out.

What a crazy challenge! Design a model apartment in Trump Plaza Residency with souvenirs? Say what? This challenge had me biting my nails from the beginning. How in the world are they going to take those tacky souvenirs and turn them into something elegant and beautiful?

And the designers were just making crazy decisions across the board last night.

Stacey's taxi fabric being used as drapery ties and embellishments? Looks like she was designing a room for a 4-year-old and not someone who would be living in Trump Plaza. Early prediction? She's going home.

But wait! Casey cut the crown molding wrong and then installed it upside down. Love the girl, but she might be the one packing her bags. Remember Donald Jr. said it's all about the details!

Or will it be Tom be singing the blues after painting every single surface in the bathroom blueberry?

Actually, with so many bad concepts going around, I have no idea who is going home, so let's just talk about the tacky souvenir projects.

Bravo to Alex and Michael for creating a simple pillow and lamp from their souvenirs. Creative and useful to boot.

Stacey's taxi curtains and taxi under glass were just awful. I cringed every time the cameras showed her projects. It was obvious that she was just plain out of ideas.

Courtland's coffee cup with lipstick and a note signed XOXO? For the Trump Plaza? You're joking, right?

Blue Team takes top honors for the second week in a row. Loved the metallic color palette they used. Chic and elegant. Kudos went to Alex and his adorable, pleated Big Apple pillow.

Red Team takes another well-deserved hit. I agree with the judges (and Courtland) that the bathroom was horrible, and don't get me started on their souvenirs. There were far too many design elements that were unsuited for a luxury apartment. I do think Tom and Stacey are the weakest links, though Courtland didn't really impress me this week, either.

Harsh words for all three designers this week, and the judges had such good points. Painting a bathroom without natural light a dark blue? No artwork or details on the walls? A bed without a box spring? Heavy, opaque curtains? In a shocker of an ending, Vern eliminated Stacey without even looking at host videos. He's had it!

But the evening still had another surprise in store for the designers. Can you say double elimination? Both Tom and Courtland impressed the judges with their hosting videos, but the judges sent Tom home because of his decision to paint the entire bathroom blue.

Did you notice that it was the first time that all of the judges said goodbye to a contestant? They seemed sad to let him go. Tom left with class and grace. I applaud him for giving the hosting video his best shot, unlike Courtland who just mocked his own team's design.

What did you think of the double elimination? Did you think it should have been Courtland going home instead of Tom?


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