DALLAS, Aug 23, 2011/ — Leslie Ezelle, former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, artist, interior designer and mother of four did something unusual on Monday August 22nd — she invited her friends, family and even television cameras to watch her demise on HGTV Design Star.
Around 75 people sat in a sprawling Preston Hollow home to see the 7th episode of season 6 kill Leslie off the popular show. In addition to an estimated 200,000 households, her guests sat in front of the TV and gasped when show host, Tanika Ray, shared the grueling words, “Leslie, we will not be producing your show” near the end of the 8pm hour. Her four children, from a blended family with wife Libby Toudouze, shared the most intense reaction of shock with the rest of the deflated crowd. Her family and house guests expected Leslie to win the episode challenge or be counted as ‘safe’ this week–not be kicked off the show.
Leslie however did not want to mourn the end to the 7 intense weeks of competition with 11 contestants from around the U.S. The first episode was on the heels of her last of six breast cancer surgeries which followed a two year winning battle with breast cancer — no other disappointment could shutter her resilience. So instead of crying on the couch with feelings of defeat or embarrassment Leslie flaunted the fact that she would not win Design Star’s ultimate prize…her own HGTV show.
At the show’s conclusion she grabbed a microphone to share that the end of this reality show is the beginning of something more real, especially after hearing people have noted her inaccurate portrayal as a tame woman from Texas. She continues,”I do see my own show in the future which would spotlight the love for my real life modern family, passion for design and the spirit of perseverance I’ve learned through breast cancer and this pop culture phenomena.” She went on however to share that her true reason for gathering the crowd was to emphasize her pursuits as the 2011 Honorary Race Chair for the Komen Dallas Race for the Cure® (once served by former First Lady Laura Bush).
The return from the HGTV challenge in early summer empowered Leslie to not only raise $29,000 for Komen in less than four weeks but to embark on a larger than life awareness campaign with sculptor George Tobolowsky. Tobolowsky, critically acclaimed co-founder of the Texas Sculpture Association, are currently building a 11ft high by 12ft wide metal bra (pictured below) that will debut at West Village on September 17th. This bra, entitled Anne Girl, in honor of Leslie’s family member who lost her battle with breast cancer, will mysteriously appear in a variety of metroplex venues throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month and hopes to ‘bust out’ of Texas in a campaign titled You Can’t Strap a Good Woman Down.
Once the nomadic strappy bra makes its appearance, the surrounding area will turn pink via paint, lights or other creative method. The goal is to raise awareness for the Susan G. Komen foundation and to help shed the limelight on the artistic movement in Dallas, And Leslie, with Susan G. Komen, are producing a documentary film to capture the evolution of this one-of-a-kind bra structure and its Texas tour.
Leslie also challenges women who have battled breast cancer to embrace their feminine woes and “bring sexy back”. She recently took part in recreating Marilyn Monroe’s infamous portrayal being wrapped in white sheets and snapping a few captivating pictures. Her purpose is to entice women to feel their sexual being again, by embracing their battle scars left from breast cancer. Not only is Leslie getting her sexy back but, she’s wrapping her radiation tattoo with a pink ribbon in support of breast cancer survivors.
Leslie Ezelle is the new “it” girl of design, pushing the boundaries with her sharp wit and smart sense of style and creativity that was at times lost on HGTV Design Star. She is a woman of enticement and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She more importantly is using her battle with breast cancer and her TV debut to make a difference by giving back to the local and national community and to Susan G. Komen.