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About 225 mid-Michigan residents joined Cobblestone Homes to watch our long-awaited appearance on HGTV's "Showhouse Showdown" during a viewing party Saturday at Saginaw Valley State University.

"Showhouse Showdown" host Bob Guiney emceed the event, which was part of the weekend's 51st annual Home & Lifestyle Show at the Ryder Center.

"I'm proud of this episode because it shows off Michigan — the greatest state in the United States — to the entire country," said Guiney, a Detroit native who became a household name during his time as ABC's "The Bachelor."

The "Showhouse Showdown" episode filmed in Larkin Township took place within two houses built by Cobblestone Homes. The show pitted professional Michigan interior designers Corey Damen Jenkins and Michelle K. Mio against each other at the two homes. The designers were given the same decorating budgets and the chance to create a winning interior.

Bob Guiney Guiney said that before the show came to Midland County, they had just wrapped up filming out West, where the design competition took place in town homes.

"Then I get here, and these beautiful custom homes are on big lots, and they had everything you could want — plus great energy ratings," Guiney said of the homes, which, like all Cobblestone homes, were built to high performance standards, operating at energy levels far below the industry standard.

He said that, as always, he was impressed with the Great Lakes Bay Region — "You treated us like rockstars" — and was amazed that so many people came out for the show's Aug. 20, 2011, open house, which determined the show's winning designer. About 700 area residents showed up that day, setting a "Showhouse Showdown" open house attendance record, Guiney said.

During the episode that aired Saturday, Cobblestone co-owner Melissa Wahl told the designers that Midland is home to intellectual, professional folks who move here from all over the world. Jenkins and Mio had to keep that in mind when competing so they could appeal to this home market and the homes' potential buyers.

Of the 700 people who attended the open house, the first 100 voted to determine the winner, which was revealed as Jenkins during the airing Saturday.

During a commercial break before the winner was revealed at the viewing party, Guiney asked the crowd to indicate, by round of applause, which designer they thought had won the competition. The roar of the crowd was the same for both, which mimicked the result of voting on the day of the open house: Only 10 votes separated Jenkins and Mio.

Both houses sold within 48 hours of the open house.

"That's what I do, people," Guiney joked.

Scott and Karla McFarland, who bought the winning house, attended Saturday's viewing party. They said they are extremely pleased with how the house turned out.

They had been looking to build a Cobblestone home before finding out about the HGTV homes. They didn't get to tour it during the open house because they were in Las Vegas, but they fell in love with it upon their return.

When questioned Saturday, Karla McFarland revealed she is a Spartan, which prompted a hug from Guiney, a fellow Michigan State University alum.

"Showhouse Showdown" premiered in fall 2011 as a one-hour show. After a brief hiatus, it returned to HGTV's lineup in March as a 30-minute show, which Guiney thinks works better.

"Showhouse Showdown" airs at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays on HGTV. An encore performance of the local episode is slated for 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 30.

Did you watch the episode? What did you think? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page.

 

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Sales: (989) 692-0210

 

Office: (989) 692-0140

 

Fax: (989) 692-0142

 

Design Studio Address:
5474 Garfield Rd.
Suite 2
Saginaw, MI 48603
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