Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas are among HGTV‘s biggest stars right now, having just launched the third season of their hit show “Bargain Block,” one of the network’s highest-rated shows of 2022, and also appearing this summer on the network’s special “Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge” series.
But the humble hosts are still getting used to their own stardom. So much so that Bynum recently described how “starstruck” he was while meeting “Farmhouse Fixer” host Jonathan Knight, who’s also a member of the hugely popular boy band New Kids on the Block.
Happily, Bynum has gotten to know Knight and is far less nervous connecting with him, plus he now counts some of HGTV’s other stars among his closest friends today. Here’s what you need to know:
Keith Bynum Recalls Being Impressed With How ‘Sweet’ Jonathan Knight Was When They Met
When Bynum and Thomas participated on Season 3 of “Rock the Block” in early 2022, Knight — and his brother and fellow NKOTB member Jordan Knight — stopped by to judge the kitchens created by each team of HGTV hosts.
Bynum posted an Instagram photo of the foursome after the episode aired and wrote, “It was so cool to get to meet @jonathanknight!! He was the nicest and coolest guy!”
What the Detroit-based designer didn’t share with fans at the time was just how nervous he was to meet Knight. But he recalled how excited he was to meet Knight during an interview with TV Insider published on August 28, 2023.
“Jonathan Knight, I remember when I first met him I was star struck,” Bynum recalled. “He was just so sweet and normal and made us feel welcome in that moment.”
Bynum continued, “I remember thinking at that moment, ‘He is so famous, and has been around for so long.’ It was nice to meet someone you can put a face and a human part to it. I love him. He is the sweetest.”
Another longtime HGTV personality Bynum was thrilled to connect with was “My Lottery Dream Home” host David Bromstad. When Bromstad interviewed Bynum and Thomas virtually for a Pride Month video in June 2022, Bynum told him that before “Bargain Block” became a reality, it had been so important for him to witness Bromstad, another openly gay designer, thriving on the network.
Bynum told the longtime host, “I remember watching HGTV and thinking to myself, like, ‘Oh my god.’ That opened up another door for me. I was so inspired by that, to see you in your … like, you were just living your life and you were doing your art, I loved it.”
“I’m from the South, so being gay isn’t the easiest thing a lot of times,” he continued. “So seeing that on HGTV and Discovery+ was really, it was just that moment for me … you know, I was like, ‘I can get this dream, we can. You know, I can be on HGTV just like David did!’ So, thank you for that because it really changed my life.”
In response, Bromstad tried to hold back tears as he said, “To hear that from you is just … phew!”
Keith Bynum Explains Why Friendships With Fellow HGTV Stars Are Unique
Bynum has had the opportunity to connect with Knight since that first meeting, including during the recent filming of “Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge” in Santa Clarita, California. In addition, he and Thomas, who have been a couple for the past decade, have become close friends with some of their other HGTV peers.
For instance, Bynum told TV Insider they “hang out a lot with Dave and Jenny (Marrs)” of the HGTV series “Fixer to Fabulous.” In fact, on August 22, he revealed on Instagram that the Arkansas couple visited them in Detroit, posting a photo of the two couples together.
Bynum wrote, “It’s been a blast working with @dave.marrs and @jennymarrs!! Cannot wait until y’all see what we’ve been working on!! Just love them!”
Jenny replied, “We love y’all and had the best time in Detroit!”
Getting to socialize and work with them and other HGTV personalities is special, he told TV Insider, because there’s so much to talk about.
“It’s super fun to work on these projects where we can get together with others going through the same stuff,” he said. “Some viewers might think that what we do is easy. But we all have pretty intense jobs doing this. It’s nice to talk to people going through the same thing.”
“There is just a sense of camaraderie there that is fun and unique,” Bynum added. “It’s a lot of personalities coming together. It can be a little intimidating when you’re in the middle of it, but a lot of fun to be around.”
Meanwhile, Bynum and Thomas are also extremely close with Shea Whitfield, the Detroit realtor on their show, who’s become like extended family for them along with her husband Terry and their one-year-old son, Beau. The trio often sings each others’ praises on social media, sharing how grateful they are to work together.
On her birthday on August 23, Bynum posted a photo with Whitfield and called her “the sweetest and kindest person on the planet plus just stunning!!!”
“Bargain Block” currently airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern time.