When Matt Blashaw, contractor and host of DIY Network’s Blog Cabin, knocked on Alan Young’s door two days ago, Alan was in for the surprise of his life.
Alan, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is this year’s winner of DIY Network and Food Network Magazine’s “Worst Kitchen in America” contest. A self-proclaimed sweepstakes junkie, Alan recorded his entry with a cell phone, and after one take uploaded it to DIYNetwork.com just one day shy of the final entry deadline.
The five-minute video opens with Young calling his kitchen a catastrophe. With drab pink walls, exposed drywall and electrical sockets, the U.S. Airways flight attendant had little space to store his extensive cutlery collection, as well as pots and pans. The stove had only two working burners, and a piece of bedroom furniture served as a cabinet for all of Alan’s cookbooks and cooking magazines.
At the end, he signs off by saying, “I’m in desperate need. I have the ugliest kitchen in America. No doubt. Just sayin’.” The video wasn’t supposed to be funny, he says, but something about it caught the attention of the network.
After whittling down the entries to 30 finalists out of about 5,600, Alan was ecstatic to be just one in 30. Winning it all has been really emotional, he says.
“The reality of the situation really clicked,” Alan adds. The day after learning he’d won, Alan and his friend Shonn were flown to New York to meet Anne Burrell and attend her Rock & Bowl party during the New York City Wine and Food Festival.
He was all smiles while sipping a glass of white wine and describing his design aesthetic — eclectic and transitional while leaning toward sophisticated, timeless and modern. DIY Network and Food Network Magazine will keep this in mind as they revamp his kitchen with granite, glass composite countertops, floating shelving and stainless steel appliances.
Watch for the makeover in a one-hour special on DIY Network in January 2012, as well as a feature in Food Network Magazine’s January/February issue.