What is wrong with Vern Yip, and why is he being such a bitch? I hate using the “b-word” — but sometimes there is the perfect time and place for its employment and now is one of those times. We first grew to know and love Vern on “Trading Spaces.” He was the best designer on that show, and we admired his caring for people and his brilliance in design.
Vern just finished a stint as the lead judge on HGTV’s “Design Star” — and while Boring White Bread Emily Henderson was crowned this season’s winner last night — the rest of us are left wondering about something more pressing: What happened to our Vern?
All season Vern was overly stern and upset with the contestants. Did he hate them? Did he feel threatened? Was he insulted by their obvious lack of talent? Vern’s feedback was consistently bored and cruel. He was unloving, mean, and disinterested. He seemed to hate the contestants while loathing his hosting duties.
Where was the Vern we had come to know and love? Where was the Vern who taught through example and brought us all together by wanting a higher aesthetic that was facilitated through his simple, insightful, design philosophy?
Sure, you can be a Simon Cowell-esque judge — and hate the world around you — but you will have a longer, and more sustainable success, by being kinder and more helpful to those who obviously adore you.
Vern’s bad attitude poisoned the show. His feedback was always sternly and stonily delivered — as if the center of the world were about to explode inside his head — and we Vern fans are left in the lurch wondering what happened to our force of brightness and positivity.
Were we seeing the real Vern on “Trading Spaces?” Or is this new dour and headstone-faced HGTV judge the real Vern? He can’t be both. It is impossible to have two such opposite sides of the human condition residing in the same temporal body without ripping a hole in the Space-Time Continuum.
We can only hope the Real Vern will one day come back to us — and we’re holding thumbs the reality with be a return to the warmth and support we’ve come to expect from one of the best designers we grew up imitating on television.