After last week’s snoozefest of an ecochallenge, we were wishing and hoping (and thinking and praying) that the new episode of Project Runway would return to our good graces in a big way. We were not disappointed: The show bounced back with flying colors—also with Carmen Miranda-cha-cha-cha! colors—lots of glorious New York scenery, and a blissfully minimal amount of Stella time.
After the most anticlimactic model selection ever—Suede loves Tia! Suede blows everyone kisses with two hands!—our fearless contestants are sent back to the cozy Atlas apartments to await the arrival of our hero Tim Gunn, who will be taking them out for a night on the rainy town. Tim rolls in with a sleek black trench and majorly popped collar (Blayne: “Aren’t you ’licious!”) as well as ponchos and brightly colored Hunter wellies for all. (Seriously, where did those materialize from? Random!) Why, he’s taking them on a double-decker tour-bus ride!
Our fearless contestants are chauffered around New York City and dropped off in small groups at various neighborhoods. Blayne is not amused—he would rather be all dolled up and out dancing. Korto is primarily concerned about her hair. Leanne looks seriously freaked out about having to disembark in the middle of Columbus Circle with that wacko Suede.
We’re treated to lots and lots and lots and lots of footage of the ponchoed contestants snapping photographs of the city (because the model selection took about, oh, two seconds, there seems to be lots of time to fill). Suede slips up and actually refers to himself in the first person. We imagine Suede is not very pleased about that. Suede must stick to character, no matter how forced! (Blayne sticks to character and inquires about tanning salons in the middle of Times Square. Well played, Blayne.)
After a lot of running around—Oh, my gosh, graffiti! Sex shops! Keith is too competitive!—we’re back to the studio and then off to shop for fabrics at Mood. This week, the seriously grating Stella has decided to channel my grandma—“How do I work this camera? How do I zoom? Who’s helping me here? There are too many states nowadays!”—but other than that, things seem to be going swimmingly. Tim encourages everyone to “push push push push!” and then leaves the designers to their own devices.Suede would like everyone to know that Suede is here to rock it! There is a slightly disturbing and mildly amusing encounter in which Blayne informs Kenley—she of the fabulous red lips and cute retro headpieces—that he’s going to eat her, and then threatens her with orange slices. Kenley, in turn, talks some smack about Emily, most likely because she’s worried about Emily’s short bangs and little headbands stealing some of Kenley’s elaborate-hair-accoutrements thunder. Stella hammers. (Cue a little “If I Had a Hammer,” please.) We will take the incessant hammering over the incessant whining any day.
Tim returns to dole out advice. He’s clearly concerned that Stella is usurping his role as Token Older Person and makes an effort to Try to Connect With Those Crazy Kids: “Holler at your boy? Holler? Holler? I don’t get it.” Blayne’s explanation: “It’s like, ‘Holla at ya dawg!” Um. Thank you, Blayne. And, never one to let a funny moment go by without beating it mercilessly into the ground, during the next commercial break Bravo holds a text-message poll: Should “Holla at cha boy” be Tim’s new catch phrase? (We won’t hold you in suspense: It’s later revealed that 13 percent of respondents said yes, while a whopping 87 percent voted for “Nothing will replace ‘Make it work.’ ” Of course, those people also paid 99 cents to submit their answers, so I’m not sure how much good judgment they have to begin with.)
We move on to the runway show. After last week’s guest appearance by Natalie Portman, the guest-judge pool is firmly back to the D list with comedian Sandra Bernhardt. (Seriously? Does she have any style credibility whatsoever? Did someone owe her a huge favor?)
The show begins. Goatee Joe brings forth the lampshade look. Jerell sends his model out in an insanely elaborate, ruffled, tiered, floor-length, puke-green gown that hasn’t gotten one smidge of screen time all show. (Our first thought: This is for a night on the town? Then: How on earth did he make that entire concoction in time? And finally: Ew.) I’m not entirely sure how Korto’s black jersey jumpsuit actually reflects her picture, but I’d wear it in about two seconds.
In the end, we’re down to the final six. Michael Kors is positively giddy over Kenley’s ’80s-inspired, Lacroix-esque “power bitch” ensemble. (Our reaction was more like “Um, is that a mock turtleneck?” But we have to admit it looked pretty fab.) Sandy Bernhardt—who is looking a bit rough, we must say—thinks Terri’s breezy, open-backed dress says, “I have a knife and I will cut you up!” Poor Jennifer sticks valiantly to her Holly-Golightly-meets-Salvadore-Dali story when quizzed about her satiny, layered, insanely unattractive mess of a dress.
It comes down to Jennifer and Emily, and in the end it’s Emily who must go home. Emily’s reaction is mostly “I can’t believe I just lost to a girl who matched her yellow sandals to her button-front cardigan.” She is a little flabbergasted at the loss. (Frankly, we are too.) But sorry, Emily. you and your edgy bangs are out.
We move on. Coming up next! Ginormous places! Fabric wars! Blayne and Tim continue to widen their generation gap with Sgt.-Pepper-related miscommunication! Until then kids: Holla at cha boy. Or at cha dawg. Oh, we give up.
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Read last week's Project Runway recap—and check back every Thursday for Betsy's recap.