If the country didn’t already have a spike in pink fever brought on by the premiere of the Margot Robbie-starring Barbie, HGTV’s Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge could very well change that.
The new four-part event series premiered Sunday and is hosted by supermodel Ashley Graham. It features eight teams of two made up of various HGTV stars and one Food Network chef, Antonia Lofaso. They’re all working to transform a Southern California home into something worthy of being called a Barbie Dreamhouse, not only incorporating all the bright colors you would expect but also adding in “toyetic” features similar to those found in Barbie’s actual toy Dreamhouses over the years.
And, considering the Barbie doll has been around since 1959, this show is paying homage to the full history of the franchise, with each renovated space inspired by a particular decade, leaning into all the trends, pop culture and aesthetics of the time.
Each episode includes two teams facing off in hopes of being selected as the winner that week, with one team eventually being named the “Dreamiest” of them all during the finale. Not only will the winning team pick up a donation to charity made in their honor, but they’re also playing for one of eight Barbie superfans to win the chance to spend a night in the completed Dreamhouse.
Sunday’s premiere episode included the husband-and-wife team of Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson from HGTV’s Married to Real Estate going up against the team of Jasmine Roth from Help! I Wrecked My House and her partner Lofaso, who is not only a chef but has also designed restaurants. The judges include designers Jonathan Adler and Tiffany Brooks, who will be joined by a guest judge each week, with Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick filling the role this week.
Sherrod and Jackson were assigned the living room and dining room spaces and drew the 1990s as their decade of inspiration. And immediately upon entering the rooms, the judges were hit with lots of bold, bright and pink color blocking, accented with fun patterns and splatter-painted areas.
Their spaces also included an actual outfit worn by Robbie in the Barbie movie, stained glass windows with Barbie silhouettes similar to Dreamhouses from the ’90s and a working elevator in the living room for things like Barbie’s “shopping bags.”
Meanwhile, Roth and Lofaso were given the kitchen and family room with the 1960s as their decade of inspiration. They paired vintage-looking appliances with lighter shades of pink and blue on the walls, ceiling and floor along with some patterned wallpaper. Their toyetic feature was a countertop with hidden compartments that raise up and bring appliances — in this case a blender and a toaster — to the countertop so Barbie can easily entertain.
Their family room included a couch with fabric that replicates an old cardboard couch from a ’60s Dreamhouse, with the added toyetic feature of armrests that become TV dinner trays. And of course, Lofaso put the exclamation point on the presentation with a homemade TV dinner that included mashed potatoes that will “change your life,” according to Roth.
In the end it was Lofaso and Roth moving on to compete in the finale. And if they know what’s good for them, Lofaso will have plenty more of those life-changing mashed potatoes ready to serve.
Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on HGTV.
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