HGTV says Kim’s friendship with InStyle editor is not a problem

Voting concluded yesterday for HGTV Design Star 2, and the winner will be revealed Sunday night. Considering that finalist Todd Davis did everything he possibly could to stay shirtless during the final challenge last week, and considering that worked well for last year’s winner David Bromstad, he’ll likely win–even if his creative designs weren’t as cohesive as Kim’s, and even if his hosting seemed amateurish next to hers.

As the finale approaches, there’s minor controversy brewing regarding one of the finalists. Tuesday, HGTV released a statement regarding a possible conflict of interest for Kim. Citing the rule that says “any applicant closely acquainted with any person connected with the production or administration or exhibition of the program is not eligible,” some have taken issue with Kim’s friendship with an editor at InStyle magazine, which sponsors the show and has one of its editors as a judge.

However, Kim “is not friends with Martha McCully, an InStyle editor and one of the show’s judges,” but “is the hairdresser, neighbor and friend of James Patrick Herman, who is senior entertainment editor at InStyle,” The Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedecker reports. And statement released by HGTV said that they didn’t view that relationship as problematic in any way:

After an internal investigation of the issue raised regarding Kim Myles’ elgibility to participate in the HGTV Design Star competition, HGTV is satisfied that nothing inappropriate occurred and the competition between Kim and Todd wil proceed to its natural conclusion. Ultimately, America will decide who will become next HGTV Design Star.

“HGTV Design Star” controversy: Is this a problem or not? [Orlando Sentinel]