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[05/05/08 - 01:22 PM]
Finalists Revealed for Third Season of 'HGTV Design Star'
The network's top-rated series returns for a third season on Sunday, June 8, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and runs through Sunday, August 3.

[via press release from HGTV]

FINALISTS REVEALED FOR THIRD SEASON OF 'HGTV DESIGN STAR'

Knoxville, Tenn. [For Immediate Release � May 5, 2008] A sizzling summer of thrilling competition kicks off, this time in Nashville, when HGTV's top-rated series, HGTV Design Star, returns for a third season on Sunday, June 8, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and runs through Sunday, August 3. In the premiere episode, viewers will meet eight talented finalists who are ready to win the coveted prize � his or her own show on HGTV. The premiere episode also will reveal the identity of a ninth finalist who online visitors selected via vote at HGTV.com.

The finalists, many of whom run their own successful interior design businesses, include architects, a former elementary school art teacher, a furniture designer and a police officer who patrols by day and designs by night. The HGTV Design Star season three finalists are Jennifer Bertrand, Olathe, Kan.; Tricia Beaudet, Shelby Township, Mich.; Dwayne Paul DeRouen, Lafayette, La.; Tracee Dore, Louisville, Ky.; Matt Locke, Los Angeles, Calif.; Jerome Scott Miller, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Michael Stribling, College Station, Texas; Michael Verdugo, Hollywood, Fla.; and the additional finalist selected by online users.

Each week viewers will watch the drama unfold as the finalists size up their competition, navigate the compelling design challenges and attempt to impress the judges with their ingenious design skills. The series is hosted by popular HGTV host Clive Pearse who will be joined by the returning panel of judges: architect and interior designer Vern Yip, designer and author Cynthia Rowley and In Style magazine's executive editor, Martha McCully.

"The skill level of this season's HGTV Design Star finalists is at its highest yet," said James Bolosh, vice president, event programming, HGTV. "Each finalist has extensive practical design experience and a competitive personality. We've already found extraordinary talent in our previous winners, David Bromstad and Kim Myles, so there is no doubt another superstar is in our midst, waiting to emerge victoriously as the next HGTV Design Star."

HGTV Design Star also will invite viewers to extend their viewing experience at HGTV.com/designstar. Once the judges have narrowed the competition to two finalists, viewers will vote for their favorite designer online or via cell phone. The virtual polls to select the winner will open at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 27, immediately after the eighth episode, and will close at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 30. Viewers can vote once per day online and up to five times per day via cell phone text message to HGTV1 or 44881. Viewers also will have chances to win fantastic prizes throughout the series.

Meet the HGTV Design Star Finalists:

Jennifer Bertrand
Olathe, Kansas
Age: 32
Growing up in a military family, Jennifer spent her childhood moving to different Air Force bases all over the world. She says her passion for design began when she saw her mother "magically" transform their modest surroundings into an elegant environment each time they moved. The years she spent living abroad further shaped Jennifer's love of design where she found inspiration throughout Europe, from decorative grand palaces to rustic outdoor antique markets. After teaching art in elementary schools in Italy and Kansas, Jennifer, along with her English husband, Chris, now own a design business. Jennifer views herself as a talented artist with a bubbly personality and says she loves to inspire others to enjoy the design process.

Tricia Beaudet
Shelby Township, Michigan
Age: 37
Tricia, a self-taught designer, has co-owned a successful design business since 2002. Equipped with the design motto "A spoonful of honesty and the design knowledge to wash it down," this self-described fun, vibrant and stylish mother of three says she isn't afraid to express her opinion. Although she describes her design style as timeless, sophisticated and traditional, Tricia believes that each room should always have an unexpected element, whether a standout print, texture or color.

Dwayne Paul DeRouen
Lafayette, Louisiana
Age: 33
Dwayne, also known to friends as "D.Paul," began his career as an architectural designer after graduating from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. Dwayne believes that his formal training instilled a "function before aesthetic" approach to his design style and that the most important element of design is a proper space plan. This married dad of four little girls says he is at his most creative when he's asleep. In fact, he keeps a journal by the bed to record his design dreams and relies on music to keep the creativity flowing. Despite Dwayne's beliefs about preparedness and space planning, his approach to life is a bit more spontaneous. Dwayne says he "works hard, plays hard and is willing to take a risk to create something beautiful."

Tracee Dore
Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 36
Tracee, a designer with 14 years experience, grew up in the building business by her father's side. After earning a bachelor's degree in interior design from the University of Kentucky, Tracee opened her own interior design company in Louisville. During her years as a professional designer of residential and commercial interiors, Tracee developed masterful drafting, painting and building skills. Her work has been featured in local magazines and design shows. She says that her favorite eras � the '30s and '40s � best reflect her design style of simple sophistication with a touch of "bling." This mom of three views herself as confident and determined and insists that she doesn't follow style trends, she sets them.

Matt Locke
Los Angeles, California
Age: 38
Matt developed his love for design at an early age. His architect dad and artist mom provided him with a wildly creative home where he was allowed a great deal of artistic freedom. By age 6, Matt had planned his first bedroom and by age 27, he had built his first house. This Princeton grad also studied fine art and industrial design at the university level and for the past five years has operated his own custom furniture, lighting and interiors company. Matt describes his design style as warm and modern and looks to the great architecture of the world for inspiration.

Jerome Scott Miller
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Age: 40
Since childhood, Jerome, or "Scottie" as he's better known to family and friends, has always considered himself to be an artist. Growing up, Scottie says he was fascinated with drawing and color and was very curious about how these elements interacted visually. Scottie, who works as a property manager for the county school system, is a skilled carpenter who enjoys designing and building custom framing for wall art. He describes his design style as a "modern interpretation of traditional lines" and says he believes that a beautiful room is easy to accomplish regardless of the budget. Scottie says that with proper accessories, furnishings and, most importantly, window treatments, any room can become a work of art.

Michael Stribling
College Station, Texas
Age: 23
As the competition's youngest finalist, Michael attributes his success as a designer to his fresh and youthful approach to style. In fact, he says he feels like "a big fish in a small pond" of designers in his hometown of College Station, Texas. Michael describes his design style as elegant and fun and says that it is best reflected when he uses great fabrics and creative lighting. He also says clean lines and smart accessorizing are the keys to his design philosophy: keep it simple, trust the first instinct and always listen to the client.

Michael Verdugo
Hollywood, Florida
Age: 33
Michael, a bilingual police officer in Hollywood, Florida, spent his teens working alongside his father in a kitchen design business. A few years later, Michael, or "Mikey V" as he is know to his friends, found a creative outlet for his building and design passion by "flipping" homes that he renovated and redesigned in his spare time. The venture was so successful that he runs his own home staging company when he's not out on patrol. Michael also is an avid artist who describes his design style as industrial, modern and minimalistic, yet comfortable. With his knack for using unexpected materials to create an edgy, ultra-modern style, Michael plans to bring a new design sensibility to HGTV audiences.

About HGTV

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 5.2 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 125 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 The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP), which also operates Food Network (Foodnetwork.com ), DIY Network (diynetwork.com ), Fine Living Network (Fineliving.com ) and Great American Country (GACTV.com ).





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