One Man's Trash...

This season's Design Star gays -- Jason Champion and Nathan Galui -- talk Ikea, turning trash into treasure, why reality TV is the world's best diet, and design hacks like Bobby Trendy.



Bobby Trendy x390 (getty) |

On the flipside, who is a total hack in the design world?Galui: If they are a hack, you probably don't know about them. Oh. Bobby Trendy. Hack. There you go. A hack right there.

Tell me a secret about each other.Champion: Nathan is very smart. He's very creative. But he's very quiet. I felt like I wanted him to step up sometimes and we be the team because we did talk from the start of the show. Oh wow, we're the only two, we've got to keep going. We had our challenge with each other to keep going through the show. Galui: Jason's great. He's definitely my buddy and I feel like I have a friend in him after the show.

That's not really a secret, Nathan, but OK. If you were the winner, what would your show be like? Have you already come up with a concept?Galui: Of course, I've been thinking about it forever. My show… I'm not going to answer that question. You just have to wait and see. It's my dream, any designer's dream, to have that platform to showcase their abilities. Champion: Well, my show would consist of my personality, my design creative ability, and being able to relate with kids. Maybe [a show] called Big Kids or Crazy Adults. I've got a weird, kooky sense of design and maybe something will be developed out of that.

If you get your own TV show, will your personal life inform it -- talking about your husband or boyfriend the way heterosexual hosts always discuss their wives, girlfriends, etc.? Champion: Of course. Jim and I have been together for six years and married for two. Our life being married is just like all other married couples -- it's the same sex all the time. [ Laughs ] Galui: Absolutely. I am proud to be gay and I am constantly referencing all the people in my life -- family, friends, partner, pets, neighborhood mailman, whatever! If something is on my mind, I'll be sure to voice it. Now if only I had me a husband to refer to.

Does your hubby have design taste, Jason?Champion: I would love to say he has no design taste at all, but we butt heads all the time. He should have been an architect. We complement each other well but also have strong personalities and want to kill each other.

And do you see yourself using this platform and your work for philanthropic or LGBT activist causes?Champion: Yeah. I am a huge activist in that sense. You tell me what to do and where to be and I will. I would love to [volunteer for] gay student alliances across the country and speak to kids about what I had to do growing up in Mississippi to survive and what kind of person it made me today. I got one of the most touching e-mails the other day from a woman from a small town in Alabama. She wrote, "My son loves design and is 12 years old, and I told him to watch the show because if you can make it he can make it too." And I just started crying. I never knew the show would impact people like that. So I'm glad I'm true to myself on this show and people will see who I am. Galui: Yes. A friend and I have been working on a concept of possibly creating great gift baskets for cancer patients. I haven't really pursued that just yet, but it's in my future to make changes with design.

Tags: television