1. What has been your strangest fan encounter?
Antonio Ballatore: The funniest one was the first person who ever recognized me. I was in this home-improvement store and I was trying to order these kitchen cabinets. I couldnâ€™t figure out how to order them and I was having a mini panic attack, and a lady came up and said, â€śWell, you should know, youâ€™re a Design Star,â€ť and walked away.
2. Youâ€™re at a magazine rack and can pick three magazines. Which do you choose?
Dwell, Rolling Stone, and then some miscellaneous one, whatever cover looks good. I used to work for Vanity Fair a lot, so I usually check out whatâ€™s going on in there.
3. If your TV only aired three shows, which three would you want?
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, Eastbound & Down.
4. Whatâ€™s your favorite sports team?
The 1978 New York Yankees. I used to play sports when I was little, and then I got my tooth knocked out by a baseball. Then I just went straight over to music, and that was the end of my sports career.
5. When was the last time you were starstruck?
Iâ€™ve worked as a set designer for years, so Iâ€™ve worked with pretty much everybody you can imagine, and the only time I kinda geeked out and got starstruck was when I did some sets for KISS. Gene Simmons made fun of me a little bit, and it was actually kind of funny. They were really awesome guys.
6. When was the last time you felt like crying?
Couple minutes ago [over a design project]. Thereâ€™s always something going wrong. Every day thereâ€™s a new obstacle, and itâ€™s down to the wire. Thereâ€™s always something to cry about.
7. You won the fourth season of HGTV Design Star. Whatâ€™s something about the show that people watching at home would be surprised to know?
Itâ€™s surprising to know how really hard it is. Thereâ€™s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks. People just come in and say, â€śOh, I could do that.â€ť When we did it, we had no cellphones, no computers, limited time to shop. Everything was very last minute. Thereâ€™s a lot behind it that makes it so hard to do cool stuff.
8. Who gets recognized more, you or your dog Chewie?
He does get recognized a lot. He also gets a lot of fan paintings. I get a lot of art from people that are just paintings of Chewie, which is pretty awesome. Iâ€™m starting a whole collection of it. I plan on doing a whole tribute wall to Chewie.