The Magical Elves (the team behind Project Runway, Top Chef) are sprinkling their fairy dust on the new season of Bravo's Top Design (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET) to shake things up — including Todd Oldham's move to his new Tim Gunn-esque mentoring role. We caught up with the design guru to get his take on Season 2 changes, contestants clashing and the new "hottie" host, fashion model India Hicks.
TVGuide.com: What made you switch from your hosting gig in Season 1 to solely mentoring in Season 2?
Oldham: It was just about the only room my schedule would allow! I was excited it worked out, and that I was able to do my very favorite part, which is mentoring. It was really fun to show up and help wherever I could — or leave them alone, because that can be just as helpful.
TVGuide.com: How was it doling advice out to the group?
Oldham: I try to push my taste into non-existence because it's not about what I think. I was there more to help them with a technique or overcome an obstacle. And over the five weeks we shot in L.A., the skill set of these designers, as well as their ingenuity in such a short time, was very impressive.
TVGuide.com: Did you have a catch phrase for the designers like Tim Gunn's "make it work"?
Oldham: "Get the hell out of here!" No, actually I don’t have one. I don't think I'm very catch phrase-y.
TVGuide.com: Now that you've passed the hosting baton down to India Hicks, what do you think she'll bring to the show?Oldham: She's a total hottie, so that never hurts. And she was hysterical. She's got that incredibly beautiful posh speaking voice and has that off-colored sense of humor. Everything that came out of that beautiful woman's mouth just made me laugh.
TVGuide.com: What other changes can we expect to see this season?
Oldham: We have new producers as the helm, Magical Elves, so it will look a bit different. No one really knew what we were getting ourselves into first time around, but now we have some very TV savvy people joining us. Also, the challenges are all over the place, and the time frames seem a bit more abbreviated.
TVGuide.com: Can we expect a healthy dose of the drama factor from the contestants?
Oldham: The designers were a bit of a boiling pot this season. We had few people who wanted to make their presence known, and some others to do their best. We'll let the viewers sort out exactly who's doing what, but there are definitely a lot of personalities and combustible moments!
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