Nathan wins Top Design 2, which is now Bravo’s second-best reality competition

Top Design 2 concluded Wednesday with Nathan Williams winning the $100,000 prize, defeating Preston Lee and Ondine Karady. The judges said they appreciated Nathan’s growth during the competition and were “always dying to see what [Nathan would] come up with next.” They didn’t specify a runner-up.

Now that its second season is complete, it’s quite obvious that Top Design is the new Top Chef, which is the new Project Runway. In other words, Top Design 2 claimed the second-best Bravo reality show title after a makeover that followed a dreadful first season.

It was helped by some extraordinary casting which can be summed up in one word: Wisit! There was also that insufferably bitchy Eddie Ross, who works for Martha Stewart Living and was a perfectly detestable villain. And even Andrea Schroder, who could have come across like stunt casting (her husband, as we were reminded about 72 million times, is Rick Shroeder), was actually a strong core

Having been demoted to mere judge, Jonathan Adler was a lot more tolerable, even when he said crazy shit, and his stupid send-off line wasn’t missed. Margaret Russell grew into one of the best Bravo judges, particularly when she challenged other judges, while Kelly Weastler was more coherent while entertaining us with her “fuck it” wardrobe.

There were still some tonal problems; specifically, the elimination segments, from the set to the oddly creepy music, seemed too cold and unforgiving, even for eliminations. But overall, it’s a remarkable and surprising recovery.

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.