August 4th, 2008 13:56 EST
Design Star Winner Announced on HGTV!
America`s vote crowned Jennifer Bertrand, 33, an artist and designer from Olathe, Kansas, the season three champion of the popular reality competition, HGTV Design Star. In just two days, from Sunday, July 27, at 10 p.m. ET through Wednesday, July 30, at 10 a.m. ET, viewers voted via HGTV.com/designstar and mobile phone text messages to support Jennifer as their favorite designer. Jennifer reigned supreme during the season finale of the nine-episode series, winning the life-changing prize - her own show on HGTV and a feature in In Style magazine. Her new show is expected to premiere on the network in January 2009.
"Our viewers have selected Jennifer Bertrand as our next big star," said James Bolosh, vice president, HGTV event programming. "Jennifer is a very gifted designer and we know she will bring her expertise and out-the-box creativity to her new role as a television host."
Jennifer and her final competitor, Matt Locke, 38, from Los Angeles, Calif., were emotional as they reunited with the other finalists and anxiously waited for the winner announcement. Standing side-by-side in front of a live studio audience that included their friends and families, Jennifer and Matt were joined on stage by Michael Dingley, HGTV`s senior vice president of programming and content strategy, who held the promised network contract. In the next moment, HGTV Design Star host, Clive Pearse, opened the envelope to reveal that Jennifer had won her chance at television stardom.
"I`m shocked," said Bertrand, when asked how she was feeling about her win. "I look forward to this adventure and the chance to show America more of my designs!"
Season two winner Kim Myles made a special guest appearance to congratulate Matt and Jennifer for making it to the end of the competition. Myles handed the finalists the all too familiar blue and white HGTV Design Star paint cans. Upon popping the lids, each was thrilled to find mini cruise ships representing a seven-day Caribbean cruise for two on Princess Cruises` newest ship, Ruby Princess. Aboard the Ruby Princess, Jennifer and Matt will indulge in world-class cuisine, have access to four freshwater swimming pools, relax in an on-board spa and experience the unique adults-only Sanctuary and outdoor theater, "Movies Under the Stars."
In addition, as the winner of HGTV Design Star, Jennifer will attend the ship`s VIP inaugural festivities in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this November. Each finalist also received a $5,000 gift card from Bank of America.
While most of the third season was shot in Nashville, Tenn., the final challenge took place in New Orleans, La., where Jennifer and Matt redesigned the Katrina-ravaged homes of two neighbors - fire captain Mike Gowland and police officer John Olega. The two families were present at the live finale to thank Jennifer and Matt for helping to rebuild their lives with such extraordinary home makeovers. In the next moment, however, the Gowlands and Olegas were totally taken by surprise when HGTV presented each family with more unexpected gifts - including a $1,000 gift card from Lumber Liquidators and a $3,000 gift card from Sears.
The highly-anticipated season finale also reunited the show`s judges Vern Yip, master designer and host of HGTV`s Deserving Design; Martha McCully, the executive editor of In Style magazine; and clothing and home designer, Cynthia Rowley.
As the finalists and judges reminisced about the third season and offered personal perspectives on the competition, they watched never-before-seen video highlights and bloopers from the series. During each week of the competition, the drama unfolded as the finalists faced tough design challenges that put them to the test. For example, in one challenge they were required to design a space using items only purchased from an arts and crafts store, while in another, they had to design hotel suites for country music sensation Sara Evans at the famous Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
HGTV, America`s leader in home and lifestyle programming, is distributed to more than 95 million U.S. households and is one of cable`s top-rated networks. HGTV`s website, HGTV.com, is the nation`s leading online home-and-garden destination that attracts an average of 5 million unique visitors per month. HGTV owns 33 percent of HGTV Canada and provides much of the Canadian network`s daily programming. The network`s branded programming also can be seen in 122 territories across all seven continents and its selected programming is available to service men and women on board Navy ships and through American Forces Radio & Television Service (AFRTS), which services more than 1,000 outlets in over 175 countries. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York and San Francisco, HGTV is wholly owned by Scripps Networks, which also operates Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living Network and Great American Country.