HGTV has announced the 11 finalists who will compete on the second season of HGTV Design Star, a reality competition series that pits designers from all walks of life against one another and rewards the winner with his or her own HGTV television show.
HGTV Design Star's second season, which will once again be hosted by Clive Pearse, will begin its nine-week broadcast run with HGTV Design Star: Making the Cut, a one-hour special that will air on Sunday, July 22 at 10PM ET/PT and show home viewers the distinct qualities and skills that made each of its second-season finalists stand out from the more than 2,000 applicants.
HGTV Design Star's second-season cast consists of six men and five women who range in age from 24- to 42-years-old and hail from across the country. In addition, each of the 11 finalists comes from a different corner of the design world and include everything from a video-game designer to a celebrity party planner.
"The competition in this season of HGTV Design Star is fierce," said James Bolosh, HGTV's vice president of event programming. "We've raised the bar and these finalists are ready to design to win."
Following its casting special, HGTV Design Star 2 will air weekly in its regular Sundays at 9PM ET/PT time period beginning July 29, as the finalists will move into a condo in Las Vegas, NV. During their challenges, HGTV Design Star's second season finalists will be critiqued by the same judges as the show's first season's finalists -- former Trading Spaces designer Vern Yip, renowned designer Cynthia Rowley, and In Style executive editor Martha McCully.
Similar to last summer's HGTV Design Star edition the judges will whittle the cast down to two finalists who will compete in the "Design Showdown." After the broadcast of the showdown on Sunday, September 9, the show's home viewers can vote to determine which of the two remaining finalists will receive their own HGTV show. The winner will be revealed during HGTV Design Star 2's finale on Sunday, September 16.
The 11 finalists who will compete on HGTV Design Star 2 -- as well as their HGTV-supplied bios -- are:
Scott Corridan, a 37-year-old from Santa Barbara, CA
After years of owning a high-profile Hollywood event design company that caters to the rich and famous, Scott is ready for his own close-up. A California native and skilled equestrian, Scott uses his favorite surroundings, such as his expansive horse ranch, as inspiration for everyday design. Although a self-proclaimed "diva" at times, Scott's admitted weaknesses include impatience and a temper. A talented designer with 19 years' experience, Scott believes he can tackle any design obstacle. He sews, builds everything from homes to furniture, sketches designs, paints and installs plumbing, but he prefers to leave such tasks to his staff. Scott studied architecture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and earned a bachelor's degree in urban planning from the University of California in Santa Barbara.
Todd Davis, a 34-year-old from San Francisco, CA
No stranger to competition, Todd is an athlete and surfer who earned a degree in landscape architecture from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design from California Polytechnic University. Now, after several years as owner of a design business, Todd is ready to compete in design - a field that fuels his passion. He describes himself as "smart, hyper-creative, dynamic and very opinionated" and says he can "build anything from chicken wire and lint in a timely fashion." Todd is unafraid to make his presence and opinions known and admits that his sometimes adventurous design style reflects his risk-taking personality.
Josh Foss, a 24-year-old from St. Paul, MN
Josh, who holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Principia College in Elsah, Ill., describes his style as "metro hippie." As a builder for eight years prior to getting into interior design, Josh believes that environmentally friendly building and design doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style. He prefers to design spaces that are both environmentally conscious and "ridiculously good looking." In his opinion, building "green" doesn't mean spending lots of green. In fact, he finds that the costs of "green" building materials are often cheaper. Josh's father, who was an intern for Charles and Ray Eames, inspired Josh's creativity at an early age and nurtured his love of design.
Josh Johnson, a 32-year-old from Hendersonville, TN
This self-taught Tennessee native is a big fan of Southern glitz and glamour and is ready to expose America to the fabulous technique he calls "glamour layering." Josh, often the first one to awaken to style his hair, is unapologetic about his over-the-top outfits or his indulgent designs. He is an expert shopper with an eye for unique items and a knack for finding unbelievable bargains.
Neeraja Lockart, a 42-year-old from Palm Springs, CA
With no formal design training, this former model is in the competition to win, not make friends. As she says, "I try to get along with everyone, but I am a director and we have a tendency to step on people's toes." Her funky, cool design style reflects her background in the fashion industry and as a photo stylist. She says her strongest areas of design include "modern, hippie chic, Hollywood regency, shabby chic and rustic." Neeraja loves to have fun and says she is "playful" and has a "flair for the dramatic."
Robb Mariani, a 39-year-old from Orlando, FL
This middle child of seven siblings never planned to become an interior designer. Robb, who earned a bachelor's degree in graphic design from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, began his career as a video game designer for a major company until he decided to try his hand at interior design. Robb's intense personality helps him work well under the pressure of a reality competition. In addition to learning from his design philosophies, which include "incorporating vintage pieces that are timeless into modern works," look for Robb to discuss his collection of 18-wheeler trucks.
Lisa Millard, a 25-year-old from Berwick, PA
Lisa's passion is working with unique materials and manipulating them for her designs. In fact, this nonconformist created her own wedding dress with wax paper for just $40. Armed with a bachelor's degree in sculpture from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Lisa is currently designing commercial restaurant spaces with her trademark style of punk with an industrial flair. Lisa believes the keys to becoming successful are attitude and ambition and she says "Thankfully, I have both!"
Kim Myles, a 33-year-old from New York City
Although Kim has lived in New York City for more than 10 years, it was her childhood in the suburbs that initially drove her to explore interior design as a personal interest. "Growing up in suburbia gave me an aversion to sameness," she said. This hairdresser, who got her start designing her own clothing, jewelry and hats, has no formal design education but uses her city surroundings as inspiration in her design styles, which she describes as "global urban elegance."
Adriana Nussbaumer, a 36-year-old from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Although currently residing in California with her husband and 3-year-old son, Adriana, a self-taught designer, originally hails from Mexico. Since Adriana is self-employed and does everything from designing, sewing and painting to installation and carpentry, she is comfortable multitasking. Adriana admits that she might be an "under-the-radar competitor," but she is deeply passionate about living the American dream and says she understands what it takes to win this competition.
Christina Ray, a 29-year-old from Atlanta, GA
This self-taught designer is not shy to share her love for design. Christina has been designing rooms for her neighbors and friends for more than 10 years and her experience has made her a master at using tape to create unique painting techniques. Cheerful and spunky, Christina always has a positive outlook and can design with the smallest of budgets. In fact, this stay-at-home mom says she gathered many of her design ideas from her favorite HGTV shows.
Will Smith, a 30-year-old from Charlotte, NC
The self-proclaimed "real Will Smith" entered the design business under ironic circumstances. After a difficult breakup and a 200-pound weight loss, Will, who studied design at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, decided to re-design his bachelor pad. The result was so inspiring that it motivated him to pursue interior design professionally. Will went from being an insurance agent who charged $25 for design tips on the side to becoming a design guru in less than a decade. He now runs his own interior design business. Although he describes himself as a deeply religious person, Will can't help using what he calls his "pimp palace" style of design, which incorporates his love of bright, bold colors.