And the local reality/competition hits just keep on coming, folks.
A press release arrived this week announcing that a Sonora man will compete on the upcoming season of "HGTV Star," the show formerly known as "Design Star."
Now that's a connection I can get behind.
I've watched "Design Star" since its second season on HGTV. The show pits interior designers against each other with the prize being, among other things, their very own series on the cable home and garden improvement channel.
It's great fun and I already was looking forward to the June 9 premiere after seeing the promos for it in between our family's viewing obsession HGTV's signature hit series, "House Hunters."
(My family loves "House Hunters," despite all the reports last year that the home searches depicted on the show are staged. We don't care a bit. Correctly guessing which house the hunters du jour will pick is its own reality/competition event in our humble abode.)
According to the press release from HGTV, Sonoran Jerabai Tascoe is one of 10 finalists who will compete on the show. The bio attached to it said Tascoe calls himself a "jack-of-all-trades" when it comes to design.
"While he doesn't have formal design training, he has worked in many areas of design, including interior design, as well as product, graphic and Web design," the release said.
I contacted the HGTV rep who sent the release and got a little more information on the latest local to hit the television screens: Tascoe, 33, attended Mother Lode Christian High School and continues to live in Sonora. He currently works as a product manager for a software company and as a freelance graphic designer. In addition, Tascoe buys and redesigns older homes in Sonora while he also plies his trade all over the valley.
Tascoe is the latest in a growing list of regionally bred entrants on all manner of competition shows. We've kept up with as many as we can in this space, and I'm here to tell you, last week was a rough one for the most recent Modesto-area contestants.
We reported last Friday that former Modestan Meghan Camerena's time with her partner on CBS's "The Amazing Race" ended last Sunday. That same Friday night, another former Modestan, JesseRay Vasquez, and his partner also were shown the exit on NBC's "Fashion Star."
Both Camerena and Vasquez made it to the episode right before the finale in their respective competitions, both coincidentally coming in fourth place wildly well done for each.
I have to say, Vasquez's exit hurt. He and his partner, Garrett Gerson, were doing an amazing job with their designs and getting solid feedback especially from one of the three buyers who decide which contestants stay and which go home.
It was a shocker when that buyer, from Macy's, didn't call out Vasquez and Gerson's names to stay for the final battle (which will air tonight). A couple of episodes ago, the same buyer said that she wanted to see Vasquez and Gerson remain in the competition to the end even going so far as to personally boost their chances of winning.
But that buyer must have been outvoted by her fellow judges. Instead, they saved a designer who in my mind, anyway has struggled all season.
What's up with that?
Nonetheless, Vasquez and Gerson sold $695,000 worth oh, what?! of their designs collectively to Macy's, Saks and Express during their successful run on the show. And, they'll return to their Malibu-based knitwear design business, Sjobeck, with what will no doubt be heightened exposure and success.
Which brings us back to Tascoe and "HGTV Star."
There's no way to know how the design chips will fall for the Sonoran the first episode of these shows is always a nail-biter, because you hate the see the local folks hit the road before even getting a fighting chance in the competition.
"HGTV Star" is hosted by the series' first-season winner David Bromstad, who capitalized on that win and became one of the cable network's biggest stars. So the stakes are high on this reality television gambit.
The judges are popular HGTV host/designers Vern Yip, Genevieve Gorder and Sabrina Soto.
And now, I already have someone to root for when the season starts.