Matt Lorenz wins Bravo’s Top Design

On the finale of Top Design, Jonathan Adler’s eyebrows announced that Chicagoan Matt Lorenz won the competition. He gets $100,000 and a spread in Elle Decor, and we never have to hear Jonathan Adler say shit like, “judges, shall we motor?” again, at least not until next season.

Matt’s competitor, Carisa Perez-Fuentes, created a loft that featured a floor plan the judges liked better, and a bed in a pit in the middle of a raised bedroom area. Jonathan Adler said her design was “confident, beautiful, functional … and that bed was fierce.” He told Matt only, “your loft is sophisticated, and your daughter’s room is magical.” The judges criticized Matt’s space plan and said he was just a decorator.

But for some reason, he won anyway, leaving GLAAD award-winning Bravo with four straight white male winners in a row (Top Chef, Project Runway 3, Top Chef 2, and now Top Design).

Interestingly, Carisa went into the finale as the “villain,” although that was kind of a stretch for this show, which didn’t really sustain any kind of conflict. But the finale seemed to be edited to set Matt up for a loss; he constantly dissed Carisa, saying things such as, “If I lose to a student, and I am going to, like, rob a bank and go in Mexico and drink the rest of my life.” Charming.

The two finalists had two months to plan and five days to construct a loft in downtown L.A. for themselves. They had $12,500, plus $150,000 to “memo out” furniture from the PDC. They also had other sponsored supplies, such as $25,000 in GE Monogram appliances, and carpenters were told that they were competing for $10,000 from LendingTree.com.

At least we have the second season of Design Star coming soon.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.