Marg Helgenberger Marg Helgenberger

She may have shut off her black light, but former CSI star Marg Helgenberger is still a pro at giving rooms the once over. Last night, the woman who made DNA evidence sexy as Catherine Willows on CBS' hit drama popped in to inspect the work of Design Star's remaining contestants as they created lavish party suites in honor of Hollywood's 125th birthday. And even though they were a far cry from crime scenes, we still saw this as a grand chance to interrogate Helgenberger anyway!

TV Guide Magazine: OK, so how did you end up a judge on Design Star?
Marg Helgenberger: I was invited! I love architecture and design, and thought the show would be fun to do...and it was.

TV Guide Magazine: Have you been watching a lot of TV since leaving CSI?
Helgenberger: I wouldn't say a lot of TV, but I'm enjoying Homeland, as well as Girls.  I also just watched the first episode of The Newsroom and wish I was as smart as the characters in that show.

TV Guide Magazine: What did you think of the challenge the designers were given?
Helgenberger: I've always enjoyed throwing parties, so I thought the challenge would be a great deal of fun.

TV Guide Magazine: What was tougher, nailing Catherine's technical dialogue or helping the judges send someone home?
Helgenberger: Definitely having to assist in sending someone home. 

TV Guide Magazine: Do you have a special place that was designed for your awards at home?
Helgenberger: Oh no, that would be a little weird!

TV Guide Magazine: How would you say your style meshed with those of the remaining contestants?
Helgenberger: There were a couple of contestants that really got me excited. If the opportunity were to ever present itself, I would love to collaborate with one or two of them

TV Guide Magazine: Is there a section of your home that you would want one of the contestants to redo?
Helgenberger: My guest bedroom could use some energy. I've moved my guitars into the room, and am hoping the music will inspire me. It usually does, [but] I would gladly take some suggestions from one of the contestants.

TV Guide Magazine: Name three other reality competition shows you're in to.
Helgenberger: Project Runway, RuPaul's Drag Race and American Idol.

TV Guide Magazine: Since you helped TV viewers master the art of collecting evidence, what did you pick up on during filming that would surprise viewers?
Helgenberger: The amount of patience both the judges and the contestants must [display] while the show is being shot.

TV Guide Magazine: After seeing some of those over-the-top party looks, was there ever a moment where you thought, "Hmmm...I want that design for my own place"?
Helgenberger: In a word, no! [Laughs]

Design Star airs Tuesdays at 9/8c, on HGTV.

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