The HGTV record-breaker disqualified its winner and crowned the runner-up

By Lanford Beard
Updated March 03, 2015 03:20 PM
Credit: Stephanie Diani/Getty

Ellen’s Design Challenge was short, but boy was that ending a whopper.

The hit HGTV show concluded last night with a shocking epilogue: Tim McClellan, the Western-style furniture designer who’d been named the winner, was disqualified and runner-up Katie Stout learned she would take home the $100,000 prize.

To be fair, producer and namesake Ellen DeGeneres had warned her audience on Monday’s episode of her eponymous talk show that the finale would be “very dramatic. Even if you think you know what’s going to happen, you don’t know nothin’.”

At the end of Monday’s finale, the episode flashed to one week after the original taping as a narrator said, “After the finale, it was discovered that there was an existing piece of furniture designed by European designer Simon Schacht that resembled Tim’s. That led to the conclusion that Tim did not fulfill the requirement of the final challenge, which was to create an original piece. Unfortunate for Tim, but good news for someone else.”

Despite the accusations, McClellan posted his gratitude to DeGeneres, 57, and expert Chip Wade on Twitter:

Brooklyn-based Stout also Tweeted about the “amazing experience” of competing, though she didn’t address the turnabout directly.