The 12 contestants are initially chosen based on a single project entry from their 2013 or 2014 repertoire. From there, they are paired off with 12 "celebrity" bloggers who will coach them through four weeks and four rounds of eliminations.
I normally pass on this sort of thing just because I'm not sure I even have enough energy to make it through one week/project (and uhhh, our bathroom is still "undergoing construction"). But one thing got my heart pounding about it this year, and that is the CELEBRITY judge....
MARTHA. My idol.
I have a vivid memory of a time in 6th grade when our class was building mini adobe houses together. I was, of course, very concerned with the construction and aesthetics of this mud brick pile and as a result, our project was totally kicking butt. I remember one kid saying, "Stephanie is going to be the next Martha Stewart" and the other kids nodding in agreement (or just pretending to know who she was). I'll admit, at the time I wasn't entirely sure who Martha was either, but you bet I made a point to find out after that! What I discovered in the following years was that she was a woman with impeccable taste, a fiercely opinionated, and the creator of such a powerful brand that she could bounce back from a total career killer (hello, jail).
So yeah. Martha.
I thought carefully about what I would submit for my entry. I wanted something medium-scale that required several skill-sets (design, tiling, carpentry, painting, etc.) with a not-everyone-can-do-this WOW factor. Of course, it had to be the fireplace.
UPDATE: I totally did not make it, but (and not to be all sour grapes) I'm kinda relieved. Looking at the contestants' projects this year, there's no way I could have taken on a new job AND competed against these people. Maybe next year :)