It's getting closer to the end of Design Star, and last night the remaining contestants faced someone familiar to fans of the show: last season's champ, Meg Caswell. Having braved a return to the series that put her on the HGTV map to judge a color-themed challenge that played out on the set of The Talk, the peppy host of Meg's Great Rooms gave us some great insight into the finalists...and which one she would love to go up against.
TV Guide Magazine: How nice was it to be on the other side of the judging?
Meg Caswell: It was very surreal sitting there with the judges. I have looked up to them for years, so it was a huge honor!
TV Guide Magazine: Did you have any flashbacks to your time on the show?
Caswell: Walking out on the studio floor made my heart start to race. I felt the [same] anxiety I had every time I went there to be judged! [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: Have you been watching this season? What have you thought of the talent so far?
Caswell: The designs are big and the amount of talent these designers have, I think, is the best yet. The final four are also really good in front of the camera, which I believe is the most important part at this level of the challenge.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you get a chance to give the finalists any advice? If so, what was it?
Caswell: I gave them a lot of advice! One of the things I believe is very crucial is to not repeat yourself, so I told them to always use all of their skills and to mix it up so they can show the judges the wide range of skills they have and that they are willing to take a risk.
TV Guide Magazine: Which of the judges did you fear seeing again?
Caswell: I love the judges! I had no fear because when you join the HGTV family everyone is so welcoming and helpful. Including Genevieve [Gorder] and Vern [Yip].
TV Guide Magazine: Do you keep in touch with contestants from your season?
Caswell: Kellie [Clements] actually came to my wedding and helped with the flowers...we started having flashbacks to the wedding challenge! Trust me when I say we did a much better job this time. I also talk with Leslie [Ezelle] and Kevin [Grace] a lot.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you think you would have fared with this challenge?
Caswell: I'm all about color. I love to use it in my designs. I also won the comparable challenge last year and the camera challenge on The Nate Berkus Show, so I think I would have done well!
TV Guide Magazine: If you could be on a Design Star All-Stars, which former contestants would you want to compete against?
Caswell: I would like to compete against Britany Simon. I think she is very talented, but also very similar to me when it comes to design. So going against her would be very difficult, too.
- TV Guide Magazine