*Except When They Do
Project Runway has a hold on me. I gots the Runway fever. Last weeks cliffhanger episode was a true TVgasm. One that had better get nominated for a year end Golden Gasm or I will quit TVgasm altogether and create my own TV blog. I’ll call it TVejaculation or something. Unlike fake dramatic cliffhangers, this one had real honest too goodness human drama caught by the cameras. Did Jeffrey cheat on his collection? Will he be disqualified from the show on the day of the final runway competition? Not to mention the fact that this is already the finale episode with the Fashion Week show and crowning of our new winner, so it was an episode full of drama already.
So it was with sadness to see in this weeks episode the entire drama get resolved within minutes. Very anticlimactic. Which is tough because I’m someone who loves climaxes. That aside it was still an exciting episode. Fashion Week! It was so emotional even Tim Gunn got misty. The show starts where the last episode left off. Jeff has been accused of getting outside help on his collection and now that Tim has said the producers are investigating it he is in a panic. Laura is defending her choice by saying that it is like the athlete on steroids. You mean Jeffrey nuts are going to shrivel up and he’s gonna get really bad acne? Gross. Laura tells us that of all the designers he is the only one with a full shop of designers and patternmakers there to help him. She then tries to smooth things over with Jeff, who’s not really in the mood. He tells Laura that he is upset that she would “question my integrity”, to which Laura quizzically says she was not doing. She was just saying you cheated, not that you don’t have integrity. Two different things. But still, Jeffrey just screams integrity doesn’t he? In fact it’s tattooed on his back, so you know he has it.
As Jeff is stewing (that’s an image for you isn’t it?) he gets a phone call from Tim. Jeffrey then goes out on the terrace for some privacy. And can we just call it the roof now please? I know terraces. I’ve worked with terraces. You sir, are no terrace.
You’re a roof with window access. Tim says they are missing some receipts for the leather pleating that he had done on his shorts. He wants to see if he can get copies. Jeff isn’t so sure because the place he got them done is kind of “Sanford and Son”. When he asks Tim what will happen if he can’t get them, Tim just says “I don’t know”. Jeffrey gets on the phone calling Park Pleating for copies if the receipts. When he gets on he says “This is Jeffrey from Apocalypse” which is funny because I forgot that he named his clothing company the name of a D.C. comics super villain. Jeff’s gotta keep up with that badass image I guess. Can’t really design for rock and rollers with the name “Puppy Dogs and Candy Canes LLC”. Although I heard Kara Janx named her clothing line “Dahnguh LTD”. Its main purpose is to warn you of dahn-guh. No tresspass!
The one thing I can take away from Jeffrey in these moments on the show is the true fear you can see on his face and in his demeanor. He tells us that “I’m scared to death I’m not going to be showing in Bryant Park” and we believe it. Of course by that he means get disqualified and only show as a decoy because we all know he showed, but for TV’s sake they just say he won’t show. This kind of true human sturm und drang makes for some awesome TV. Real drama, not that fake Jonathan and Victoria bullshit. Alas it was not to last.
The next day they all wake up and head to the workroom, it’s the day before the runway show. The mood is quiet. Jeffrey leaves messages for Tim to call him and then he starts to make a skirt. When Uli asks why he is making it Jeffrey says he doing it in hopes that if he can’t get a receipt for the pleated skirt and can’t use it he wants to make sure he has something to put on the model. I say to hell with it, we all want to see Amanda go down the runway and have her prove once and for all if she’s a true redhead.
When Tim shows up later in the day he gathers everyone around for an announcement. In regards to Jeffrey and the allegations made, Tim and the producers have made a decision. They are confident that he sewed all the clothes himself and he will be allowed to show. Then Mr. tattooed bad ass rock and roller owner of “Apocalypse” clothing line cries like a little girl. The same kind of tears O.J. had after they read the verdict. As Jeffrey is busy squirting out a few Tim continues and reveals that Jeffrey has exceeded his 8 thousand dollar allowance by over two hundred dollars. And when Tim says this to a crying Jeffrey, even Tim starts to break up a little. And where Tim goes, so goes the country.
Oh Tim, you don’t know what you’ve done
Oh god, not Alex too!
OH Go- well, actually this one I expected
Good lord. The Hoff? Where will it end!?!
Shit. We’re screwed.
When Tim composes himself, he tells Jeffrey the punishment. Banned fro the Runway? IT affects the judges score? Nope, he just has to take something away from his collection of equal value. Lame. On the rooftop “terrace” Uli is still consoling a now relieved Jeffrey. “Laura you won, you made Jeffrey cry!” she says. Laura says she didn’t want him to cry, and that she’s just happy that the whole thing is behind them now. And with that the whole crisis is over.
And now I must share with you my anger at Project Runway for what went down. Not so much the resolution which was hyped up last episode only to prove to be a bunch of nothing. No that’s OK. I get that. It wasn’t a staged dramatic thing like having them make a last minute dress or something. Even though I saw it coming in my recap last week, they really slanted the editing to the point of splicing in a whole sentence in Tim Gunn’s mouth that he never said that would make us think Jeffrey got disqualified. They even released a preview minute of the show where the designers are walking the runway before the show and there is no Jeffrey (and another one of Jeffrey worrying about getting booted that erased certain words from sentences that clearly showed the focus was on him not using the pants as opposed to being eliminated altogether). Then we see the actual episode and Jeffrey is there the whole time. Did they do two takes and have Jeffrey not on in one just to trick us? Milking the drama I get. Even ambiguous sneak previews. But this was just dishonest. For shame, Project Runway. For shame. Where is the seriousness of purpose? Where is the integrity? Oh, who am I kidding, I can’t stay mad at you! C’mere and give daddy some sugar!
Tim comes by again for what he calls his “last gather round” and that’s when it hits him. Tim gets a little misty as he tells them that this is it. It’s Fashion Week. The big leagues. They will be showing among the most influential people in the fashion industry, and the crazy chick from the View who had her hair fall out on Survivor. Then Tim does the only thing anyone can really do in a situation like that. Group hug! Awwww. I would have followed it with an “Up high, down low, around the corner. Ooh, you’re to slow!” high five move, but Tim’s more restrained than I.
From here we cut to the morning of the Runway show. All the designers are up at 4 AM and ready to go. Jeff gets some coffee and they all head over to the Bryant Park tents in the dark. When they get there they are given the tour of the tent. This has become one of the signature moments of the Project Runway finale. Bringing the final designers into the promenade before the show and tape them as the full enormity of the experience washes over them. We get a lot of “I can’t believe I’m finally here!” type comments from all four designers. After that brief calm moment we jump right to the preparations before the show where all the designers are freaking out about every little detail. Michael is obsessing over his models eye makeup. I gotta be honest with you, he could have smeared turtle poop on her eyes and I wouldn’t have noticed. Michael Kors probably would have but knowing him he would have called it “provocative and edgy”. Backstage Tim goes up to Laura and tells her she has ten minutes and it’s go time. That’s when Laura starts to get the jittery stomach. And the same goes for all of them.
Then it’s time. Heidi comes out and exclaims “Hello Everybody!” in that high pitched Heidi way. And Heidi’s belly bump is much bigger than it was. She welcome’s everyone for coming and introduces our guest Judges, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Fern Mallis. And this years B list celebrity front rowers? Brandy, who we all know is dating Michael, and if you didn’t know, the 8 close-ups and brief after show interview with her pretty much confirms their budding showmance. Next we have Elisabeth (with an S!) Hasselback form the View. She’s taken over the “crazy bitch” role from the sorely missed Starr Jones. I hate everything about this woman. It’s not so much her politics, as gentleman and ladies can differ about things like that, it’s that her qualifications for appearing on national TV and opining on all the major events of the day is she was on Survivor once and her hair fell out from malnutrition. Christ I once won 5 bucks for drinking urinal water in the first grade, Where’s my goddamn talk show? Although to be fair, I only pretended to drink it in order to get the five bucks. So maybe we should split the difference and put me on basic cable. Other celebrities in appearance are Miramax’s owner Harvey Weinstein, Anthony Michael Hall and the tall chick from 3rd Rock From the Sun (Well, they weren’t shown on camera, but we saw them there. The 3rd Rock chick won “best random celebrity sighting” award)
Next to Michael Kors is his delightful mother. And the funny thing about Michael Kors is he judges the entire show while wearing huge aviator sunglasses. Indoors. That kind of annoyed me since if I was one of the contestants and he got me up on the runway and started criticizing my color choices I would have been like “Dude, you were wearing sunglasses the whole time. Did you even see colors?”
Then we start the show. The first up Is Jeffrey. He comes out jumping with glee wearing his pants that end at his calf and a ratty red shirt and his obnoxious sunglasses. When he then points out that his son is crying it doesn’t occur to him that they might be tears of shame. His stuff to me was very jagged looking, with all the zippers, but it had a good use of color and, I hate to admit it, was pretty good.
When it’s Uli’s turn she comes out and is as cute as a German can be. Thanking everyone and talking about living the American dream. Her collection is by far the best. Her swimsuit reveal got one of the few audible cheers from the audience. I also liked her runway music but I have yet to figure out who composed it.
Laura gets a laugh when she talks about how she has finally made her dream come true of being “Big in fashion. I’m now big, and in fashion” pointing to her big pregnant belly. Her collection is classic Laura. She even uses flapper music to drive the whole thing home. It’s OK, but its just the usual Laura stuff. During the show we hear Laura in voiceover “My collection is intended to send a message to American women to remind them to be fabulous and to take a few minutes to take care of yourself and through fashion you can actually make your life better.” Alas the message is only for American women, so all you women living in war torn Baghdad are shit out of luck.
Finally Michael comes out and talks about his collection. Street Safari. It’s about a strong sexy confident woman. Alas it’s also about a strong sexy confident woman who likes tacky clothes. His collection is a big disappointment. And I was a big MK fan. Even his big loud jungle type music is just in bad taste.
During this part of the show, OD-TV’s and I had our moment of fame as we became part of Project Runway history.
Hmm, that’s a little fuzzy. Let me just zoom in a little…
There we go, much better. Wait a minute. That’s not right…
And of course, while I was busy tracking down Amanda, OD-TV and Sabrina form Bawls spotted Uli and went in for a picture, and got caught by the cameras. Eh, I regret nothing!
After the show we get a small bit of the after show hub bub. Based on the snippets of interviews we see with people, Uli was the big hit of the show, whereas was fan favorite Michael let a lot of people down. Well, except maybe Brandy.
Singer by day and at night she seeks the Powers of Castle Grayskull
Then we go right to the PR runway for the final judging. And holy sweet mother of Christ what is wrong with Michael Kors face? I assume that the man does fairly well for himself so why in gods name does he have the worst spray on tan I’ve ever seen? His face is a splotchy orange mess. Either that or he just has a giant yellow bruise on his cheek. As bad as he looks it must be that much worse for the designers that he will vote off. It’s bad enough to lose but to be eliminated by someone who looks like he just rubbed yellow shoe polish on his face. Hmmm, that gives me an idea. Michael Kors would be a great Halloween costume. Get aviator glasses, jeans and a blazer and paint you’re face Oompa Loompa orange, and run around calling everyone’s crotch insane. Genius!
All I gotta say is “Oompa Loompa doompity don’t!”
They have all 4 designers come out and then bring out their models wearing each designers “signature” dress from the collection. Heidi then takes a minute to tell us what the winner will receive. A spread in Elle magazine, a mentorship at INC, a 2007 Saturn Sky Roadster (if only we knew what it looks like!), and one hundred thousand dollars to help them start their own line.
They start with Laura. Laura says she wanted to go with Evening wear. At first they have nothing but praise for her. Michael said it didn’t look like it as only 8 thousand dollars it looked like 30 thousand dollars. The beading on her final models dress was amazing and they loved it. Laura says she wanted to make something “luxurious”. But Michael says there was no “surprise factor”. Laura defends it by saying she tried to “pump up the volume” but Fern says that evening wear gives you a lot of constraints and they felt she boxed herself in.
Then its time for Michael Knight. What do you say? His collection was a misfire and the judges agree. Fern Mallis says that she could tell for the audience that he was the crowd favorite but she just wished his collection lived up to that hype. Kors puts it more succinctly. “What happened?” Michael says he really wanted to get his point across but Nina says it’s a “fine line”, meaning he stepped over it.
Next is Jeffrey. He tells them the whole “Japanese ghost story” inspiration thing and all the judges are responding to it. They feel that there were only a few pieces that were the odd man out. Then they ask about the problems with his budget. Jeffrey shrugs it off saying that he went over budget by a few hundred dollars but to make up for it he just got rid of his wigs and ended up being 400 dollars under budget. OK, so 12 ugly blonde wigs were 600 dollars? I’d make one of those MasterCard priceless jokes, but I hate people who forward me those jokes. The judges barely even register this whole “controversy” and move on to Uli.
Finally its Uli. She wanted to broaden her stuff and not just do prints. Nina says she thinks her clothes are great and will sell and that women like them. Fern and Heidi liked her stuff as well. Michael however had a problem with her connective thread color wise.
After a brief talk amongst the judges, they bring back the contestants for the final decision. The firs tone to go is Michael. They believe in him but think he needs time to mature. Then it’s Laura’s turn to get aufed. They felt her collection was too limited.
And now it’s down to Uli and Jeffrey. Oh the tension. I can’t take it. Then Heidi announces the winner. It’s…. WHAT THE FUCK!? JEFFREY!?! Oh Jesus. Uli wuz robbed. Jeffrey cheated! He didn’t sew his own stuff! He dresses like a smelly homeless man! His pants don’t even fit for gods sake! The worst part is, I bet if he kept that stupid wig idea in he would have lost because lets face it, those were ugly wigs and that was a bad idea. Eh, actually just between you and me, he was my second favorite collection after Uli and after seeing his collection again, it looked much better than I remember it. I was hopped up on BAWLS the entire day anyway. But still, Uli should have won. Why are the Germans always so persecuted?
Then they bring out Jeff’s rocker family and his model Marilinda and everyone hugs and kisses. Then the other 3 contestants come out to congratulate him. And with that it’s over. Wham bam, thank you ma’am. No Project Runway until next summer. For those that need their Runway fix, you can check out Tim Gunn co-hosting Live with Regis and Kathie Lee on Friday, And of course, you can always subscribe to the, and I’m not kidding, Project Runway magazine. It’s good, but not nearly as insightful or content rich as Joe Millionaire: The Magazine. It’s like a cross between the Utne Reader and Cat Fancy.
So what did everyone else think? Was Uli robbed? Did anyone like Michaels collection?