Texas Tough

‘Top Design’ returns with a definite Lone Star flair.

By Nancy Ford

The Top Design crew.

It’s official. Bravo television network is now gayer than Rudy Galindo skating on pink ice at Christmastime.

The network whose programming is dominated by competing hair stylists, Kathy Griffin, and hot tranny messes has announced the contestants for the second season of its hit interior design competition series, Top Design.

And—imagine this!—a full six of the 14 are openly gay. (As for the sexual proclivities of the other eight designers . . . well . . . who’s to say?)

Houston's own Robert Reid.

New York City residents dominate the roster of contestants (with five), but Texas is well represented with no less than three; gay Preston, gay Robert, and not-gay Shazia all originally hail from the Lone Star State. In fact, Shazia and Robert reside right here in Houston when they’re not accepting decorating challenges from TD mentor Todd Oldham. The rivalry is fierce (sorry) this year, with the 14 being charged with redesigning a fallout shelter and competing in a full-on design triathlon.

The series gets a makeover this season with the high-def treatment, new producers, and a new host, fashion model India Hicks. Jonathan Adler (no relation to Grace), editor Margaret Russell, and interior designer Kelly Wearstler judge the weekly elimination, with the grand prizewinner taking home $100,000 and a four-page editorial showcase in Elle Décor magazine.

Hate to blow our own horn, but OutSmart already featured homeboy Robert (Reid)’s design firm, the Heights-based Brooks-Reid Studios, in our October 2006 issue. Scooped ya, Elle Décor! September 3, 9 p.m. Bravo (

Photo caption: Six out of thirteen (l–r): Nathan (gay), Natalie, Ondine, Andrea, Robert (in white shirt, gay), Wisit (gay), Eddie (in black vest, gay), Shazia, Serge, Teresa, Kerry (with red hankie, gay), Preston (gay), and Jennifer.


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