The bright lights, big sounds and broad influences of the Big Apple greet the sixth-season "Design Star" contestants, who compete for a chance to host their own HGTV show. Like last season, each challenge takes place in a different New York location, which is then visited by returning judges Vern Yip, Genevieve Gorder and Candice Olson to complete evaluations of each finalists' designs. The contestants also are judged on their on-camera hosting skills, ranging from providing quick design tips to executing a full design demonstration on a national talk show. New this season is guest judges, including designers Thom Filicia, Nate Berkus, Kathy Ireland and HGTV's own John Gidding. Also, the first "Design Star" champion, David Bromstad, mentors the contestants, and Tanika Ray debuts as host.