Clive Pearse, host of HGTV's "Design Star" is in town.
Design star born in Waikiki
The winner of the popular HGTV reality show will be revealed in an episode taped on Oahu
Life is about to change drastically for either Kim Myles or Todd Davis, the two finalists remaining in the second season of "HGTV Design Star."
"HGTV Design Star"
Season finale airs 9 p.m. Sunday on HGTV
(Oceanic Channel 59)
Both have gained public exposure, coming so far in the design competition, but just one will be assured a series of his or her own -- the grand prize in the reality series that began with 11 designers being pitted against each other in weekly challenges, such as decorating Wayne Newton's living space.
Look to Season 1 winner David Bromstad as proof. Now the star of his own HGTV show, the self-described former "starving artist" can routinely be seen Monday nights on "Color Splash."
"Design Star" host Clive Pearse has witnessed the professional changes in Bromstad's life, and what surely will be in store for the winner of Season 2. The winner will be revealed Sunday in the grand finale, taped in Waikiki at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. The show was filmed here over a week in April, while the majority of the season was shot in Las Vegas.
Jay Talwar, senior vice president of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, which helped bring the show here, said a Waikiki finale was a natural fit for the design show because of the dramatic changes occurring lately in the tourist mecca. More than $2 billion has been spent on renovation projects in Waikiki.
"People across the country are captivated by the lifestyle they think we have," said Talwar.
Pearse said the network used Waikiki as a backdrop. "My favorite part was watching the contestants arrive to film their challenges."
Pearse is here to tape the reveal episode with finalists Kim Myles and Todd Davis, shown above on Waikiki Beach.
Pearse spoke via phone from the set of his other HGTV show, the top-rated "Designed to Sell." The cast and crew of that 4-year-old home-improvement show recently celebrated their 100th episode. Future projects for Pearse include the new series "The Duchess," next fall, also on HGTV.
A week in Hawaii allowed a little time for relaxation, though the British-born host swore, "I kept my beady eyes on the contestants. ... One of these two will become a household name."
Davis, who lives in San Francisco, is a designer with a background in landscape architecture, while the Queens, N.Y.-based Myles is a hairstylist with an after-hours passion for design.
"Todd's designs are completely out there, and, as he says, he's 'going fifth gear and full throttle,'" said Pearse. "Kim represents the viewers. She is not a formally trained designer, but she has a strong interest in it, like many of our viewers."
Pearse said the second-season cast was an intense, focused group, with differences that became apparent when contestants were paired up on projects. "Last year the show was a new idea. It was charming because it was just starting. This year it was an assertive group of people. ... They spent last season watching the show from their couches. There's a harder strength to them. They're tougher, more assertive, and I think that's why there was so much more drama on each episode."
Pearse said his favorite -- from the beginning -- made the final. "I spotted them in the casting show and thought, 'This person is most likely to pull it off.' Last year I got it all confused, but this year I'm pleased to see I got it right -- that person is one of the final two contestants."
"Design Star" also has a few fans among the well-known stars of TV and film. "Well, I can't say her last name, but I can say her first name is Sarah Jessica."