BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A Bay St. Louis interior decorator has taken her talent to Hollywood. Yuki Northington is a finalist on the national television show Design Star on HGTV. Northington is competing against 11 other interior designers on the reality show.
Her face maybe new to the rest of the nation, but it's a familiar sight in downtown Bay St. Louis. When Northington isn't decorating homes or businesses, she's working at her gift shop, The Social Chair in old town Bay St. Louis.
She said being a contestant on Design Star is a dream come true.
"This was my third year trying to get on the show. This time I went to an open casting call in North Carolina so that the agents got to meet me in person, and it worked this time."
Northington has been a professional interior designer for more than 10 years. Her touch can be found in several local businesses, including Hancock Medical Center and Memorial Hospital in Gulfport.
"I shot the show in January and February in Los Angles and I couldn't tell anybody where I was going or what I was doing. So in a small town, there were lots of rumors flying around. But now they know that, yes, I was on Design Star."
The 12 contestants' first challenge was to decorate an empty mansion in Los Angeles.
"They pick people for strong personalities. Everybody's trying to win, so you get the drama. True personalities surface when you are under stress."
A panel of design celebrities judge the competition. The winner will get the opportunity to host his or her own show on HGTV.
And get this, Northington is leading the pack in the online fans' favorite portion of the competition. (Click here to vote in the online competition.)
"From the get go, I wanted to be from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and not from New Orleans, or not from Gulfport. And I think it's to my advantage, because I've got this small town and the whole town is behind me. This is great for Bay St. Louis too because it's national publicity."