Reality Check: Pittsburgh native's chances on design show go down drain

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Taking chances earned Stanley Boyd Palmieri a spot on this season of HGTV's "Design Star." So when he and another contestant, Rachel Kate, were eliminated on Tuesday's show, at least, like Sinatra, he did it his way.

"I am who I am: part of my design is unique, custom-built products. That's why people hire me," said Mr. Palmieri, a Hampton High School graduate with a degree in fine arts.

Although his work was generally praised during the run of the show, the judges were concerned he was concentrating too much on the construction phase of each challenge.

The designer disagreed: "I would say they hammered that home, but I'm stubborn -- I'm a Pittsburgher."

On Tuesday, he and teammate Hilari Younger created a bright eclectic kitchen that featured, in the judges' opinions, too much clashing color and big accessorizing.

Mr. Palmieri designed and built a wooden framework over the window that he'd hoped would say "funky loft-style apartment." Instead, it was judged as overworked.

He said that originally, the frame was to be painted in chrome, with a matching design on the kitchen island. But, as in many challenges, there just wasn't enough time to execute.

His color choice of an electric blue for the walls was also deemed a false step.

It was great working with Ms. Younger, he said; the two had bonded over cooking in the house during the show's filming.

"We were like the odd couple, but really, it was so much fun."

Mr. Palmieri is in the process of starting his own custom lighting and furniture line, so the television exposure has been invaluable. It's also a kick, he said, to see his work on E!'s "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

One of the Season 7 "Design Stars" challenges was creating a new office for Kris Jenner, the "momager" of the family.

"My wife watches it, so I watch and see my 'tennis bracelet' [sculpture]. It's cool to see your work on another show," he said.

'Burghers on 'Big Brother'

Ninety-eight microphones, 53 cameras, 12 housemates -- including two Pittsburghers -- and a $500,000 prize add up to a new season of CBS's "Big Brother," which has its debut on Thursday.

Ashley Iocco, 26, and Ian Terry, 21, will be part of the domestic madness. Ms. Iocco's Facebook page states she graduated from Franklin Regional High School in 2004 and studied elementary education at Penn State University.

She now lives in West Hollywood, Calif., where she owns Bronzique Mobile Airbrush Tanning.

Mr. Terry graduated from Shaler Area High School in 2009 and is studying engineering at Tulane University. His Facebook page pegs him as the academic in the house, with quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Feodor Dostoevski and John Steinbeck, as well as a couple from the movies "Office Space" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

'Breaking Point' cliffhanger

Ballet West finished a week of drama as "Breaking Pointe" ended its six-episode season on the CW Thursday. Chartiers Valley grad Allison DeBona and Rex Tilton were shown fighting over whether they actually had or wanted a relationship, then the two awkwardly met up at a going-away party for one of their colleagues.

"I'd love to have peace and no chaos in relationships, if there is any chance," Mr. Tilton said in the hour's final segment.

As for Ms. DeBona: "I don't know where things are heading for me, in Ballet West or in my personal life, but all I know is that I need to start making decisions that are going to make me happy right now, and don't second-guess that, and just go with it."

And then, surprisingly, she did. The CW hasn't announced if it will pick up the show for a second season, but in the closing moments, Ms. DeBona was filmed climbing the stairs and knocking on a door. It was answered by Mr. Tilton. Cliffhanger!

Mt. Lebanon resident makes 'Warrior' finals

Suffering post-Fourth of July letdown? To get those spirits up, look no further than the finals of "American Ninja Warrior."

Mt. Lebanon motion graphics artist Danny Johnson is one of the competitors in the finals; he qualified by finishing 10th at a regional in Miami earlier in the spring.

Unlike ABC's "Wipeout," "ANW" is a truly impressive display of great athletes attempting to conquer the strange and colorful obstacle course, "Mt. Midoriyama" in Las Vegas.

Six regionals in three host cities have been televised on G4 and NBC, leading up to the two-day finale. The show is on G4 Sunday, and Monday on NBC. Both begin at 9 p.m.

Winner gets $500,000.


Maria Sciullo: or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG. First Published July 7, 2012 4:00 AM


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