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Let me tell you a little tale. 3 years ago me and sg-dub, co-contributors on a tiny little blog about all sots of things, including TV, were singing the praises of a little show on an obscure channel called Project Runway. “It’s about fashion, but trust me it’s really good” we kept telling all our friends, which would then be followed up with “and no were not gay. Not after what happened last time.” The shows strength you see was that it was truly a competitive reality show where the winners and losers were judged on their talent. Not whether they can schmooze Donald Trump in a boardroom or use a backdoor veto. You could try and be a “character” on the show but if you dresses sucked you were gone. It had Tim Gunn, It had pathos, and most of all, it had Heidi Klum’s boobies.
So here we are 3 years later, me and sg-dub were noticed and graciously brought into the TVgasm family via our initial Project Runway recaps and have done whatever we could to get the word out on what we thought was one of the premiere reality shows on TV. Why am I telling you this? Well, partly because these little intro paragraphs are always the toughest to write and I thought it’d be good filler, and secondly because this week marks the high point of the season with its first bonafide controversy. The big secret (well, not so secret) was finally revealed as Tim Gunn for the first time had to kick a contestant off the show for violating the rules.
My apologies for getting this out late, as I was stuck in a hotel room in the Midwest (or quote unquote nowhere as Angela would put it) and didn’t’ even get to see it until Saturday. So basically I’ve spent all week avoiding any mention of the show from anyone. And it’s really embarrassing when you’re in the middle of an important meeting at the Widget factory boardroom in East Saskatchewan and someone goes “Did you see Project Runway last night?” and you respond by sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling “LALALALA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LALALALA”.
But look at me, I’m rambling like a giddy schoolgirl. Let’s get to the recap.The show starts as always with everyone recovering from the last challenge and elimination. Angela feels like she has to save face from the last challenge where she put out a bag lady dress. Jeffrey is upset that he hasn’t won a challenge yet, since he already picked out a sweet tattoo to commemorate the occasion. Its going on his forehead. He then says that the judges just love Keith, he thinks mostly because he is a good bullshit artist (this is what’s called foreshadowing).
On the runway w are met by the always perky Heidi. This week’s challenge is to design a dress for I.N.C., International design concepts. Then we hear Angela explain who I.N.C. is. They are a huge brand that is sold all over the united states so this is “an important challenge”. Also, she informs us, I.N.C. is a “THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY!” What they don’t tell however is that I.N.C. is is also a major sponsor of the show after Banana Republic and Project Runway had an acrimonious split.
Next is the model selection. This time they are going to mix it up and have everyone pick again from scratch. Some stay with their original models, but most of them go with new models. The only thing this means to me is that the redhead survives for another day. And it’s still in the early stages where you can’t really tell the difference between most of them so I’ll skip over who gets who.
In the workroom Tim introduces everyone to Mehmet Tangoren, VP of Macys sportswear, which is obvious from his ripped physique. The challenge as he explains it is to design a 3 piece outfit for their I.N.C. brand (owned by Macy’s). But what is the I.N.C. brand woman really all about? Mehmet explains it to us. “She’s really ageless. She’s fashion forward, she reads all the magazines and wants the hot new looks. And then she gets hit over the head with a mallet and in her confusion wanders into Macy’s to buy her clothes.”
After Mehmet finishes, Tim then gives them the weeks twist. They will all be working in teams of three. Once he says that the entire group of designers in unison all take one step to the left of Angela. Angela however is thrilled since this means she can “redeem herself”. Robert is also happy because they are going to be presenting in front of Mehmet to decide who has the best ideas, and it is something he was used to doing when he worked for Barbie.
When Tim tells them they have 30 minutes to sketch everyone gets bust working on their ideas. Everyone is busy sketching, even Angela who never sketches out her ideas. Consequently her stuff is a little bit rougher than the others:
After they are done they all present their ideas to Mehmen. Alison is going with a thin pant look, Bonnie likes a tunic, and Michael likes a cardigan. Bradley, is his best Spicoli voice tells Mehmen “Colors, I like the nut I thought was really nice”. He is also interested is using their “Cock Blue” color. Speaking of color, Kayne starts his presentation by saying “I love color. I’m from the south.” Because as everyone knows if you live north of the Mason Dixon Line the only thing anyone wears is a gray one piece leotard (at least Until our Lord Xenu comes to free us of our body thetans). Angela’s inspiration was, get this, the Empire State Building. I want her to look like a giant skyscraper, with a pointy top! But then again my favorite dress from season one was Jay’s Chrysler building inspired dress, so you never know what could happen.
After all the presentations are over its time for Mehman to make his choice. He chooses Robert based on his pictures, Bonnie because he thought she understood the customer and Keith because he liked his color choices.. And the final team leader is… Angela. HA! The reactions on everyone’s face alone makes this choice worthwhile. Kayne tells us in his diary interview that he’s concerned because she hasn’t really proved herself yet.
Back in the workroom Tim brings out his luxurious velvet bag to select who gets to choose their first teammate. The winner is Angela. And once again the contestants all collectively cringe.
She chooses Michael, who tells us that when she chose him he was thinking “Awwwww, DAMN!” The second to choose is Robert who of course chooses power bottom Kayne. Keith picks Alison and Bonnie chooses Uli. In he end Bradley is the last to be chosen and he is dejected and feels like the last to be chosen for kickball. This could have something to do with everyone witnessing his meltdown last challenge and shoving a giant brown sack down the runway (I don’t care what Nina says, it sucked).
After they are all done choosing Tim then tells them the other big news. The winner of this challenge will have their outfit be sold at all the major Macy’s store nationwide. “That’s a big deal” he says. Ad he’s right, it is. Angela is so excited at the prospect of it that she literally starts bobbing her head up and down like a pigeon and gets that crazy smile in her eyes. Each team is given 15 minutes to caucus as Tim calls it (Caucus, that’s so…. Tim) 100 dollars to spend, and then it’s off to Mood.
When they all get into their little pow wow, Vincent is immediately turned off by Kayne’s idea. The man who called Angela’s unwillingness to work in a team THE greatest horror of his life and now we see him shaking his head and grimacing at everything Robert , the team leader, wants to do. Angela is trying to convince them that she does not eat cat litter for dinner, and Keith s busy “delegating”, which is French for “being lazy and handing off your work to other people”. He gives the pants to Jeffrey and the turtleneck to Alison, leaving him with the jacket, the simplest piece to do. .
At Mood Angela is still in her giddy jump up and down mode when Michael shows her some fabric that has a geometric quality to it that reminds her of the Empire State Building. Even Laura thinks her choices of fabric are “full tilt boogie Angela extravaganza of puff”. Wow, harsh and right on the money. I’m starting to like Laura. Another interesting note about Laura. According to a tip from reader Life’sabeach, according to US weekly, not only does she design clothes to accentuate her inverted ribcage, but she was also pregnant with her sixth child during the filming. Something tells me their house has lots of formula in it. Keith meanwhile is at the register schmoozing and conning his way into discounts to make it under the 100 dollar limit. Amazingly it works.
When they get back to the workroom a they all get right to work. Bradley however does his usual Bradley thing and sees something shiny which causes him to stare at it for an hour. We hear Bonnie talk about her trepidation at choosing him based on his work ethic, or lack thereof, on last weeks challenge. Bradley tells us that he doesn’t like the fact that Bonnie is riding him and not in the good way about his pants. Bradley responds with that droopy eyed look of his “Maybe Bonnie was doing that cuz she doesn’t like my beard. Maybe I should shave everything and just leave a moustache. Maybe she would’ve like, lightened up yknow?” He then breaks down giggling. It’s amazing what we find funny when we are high. Bradley not coincidentally is also a huge Yakov Smirnov fan from back in the day.
Over at Keith’s station We see Keith out of his depth. So much so that Alison had to come in and redo his arm hole because he screwed it up so bad. Jeffrey then has a “eureka” moment. Keith’s “talent” as you were is not in making good garments, his are very basic, his talent is being a smooth talker and having other people do his work. This point is driven home when we see all three of them together looking over the garment top while Keith lays back on the table. Even Kayne pipes in and says that he dioesnt do any of the work himself.
At this point in the show everything changes. After watching this show from its inception it has a certain structure to it. Challenge, work on day one, Tim’s takes, work on day 2, model fittings (yeah!), runway show, auf wiedersehen and were out. It’s a finely tuned machine. But not this week. This week is “the controversy” And it starts now.
Back at the Loft with Kayne and Vincent, Kayne tells Vincent that he saw something shocking. No, not the Wayan’s brothers Little Man, something relevant to the show. He saw pattern books underneath Keith’s bed. Whoa! Are you trying to say that Keith’s masturbates to patterns? And hear I thought I was all alone in the world! But no, apparently having a pattern book is against the rules of the show. Why you ask? Kayne explains it. When you arrive on the show everything not allowed is immediately taken from you. Having a pattern book is an advantage because “If I had to completely do a two piece notch color perfectly right now it would take me longer than if I just read up on that chapter real quick.” When they tell Robert he agrees with them. The rules clearly state that they cannot have any how to books or supplies that could aid them in the challenges because it can give someone an unfair disadvantage. The three of them decide that they need to inform the producers.
We cut to that night. Outside the Atlas Apartments Tim Gunn walks up to the door and knocks on it. “We have clear an concise rules on Project Runway” he explains. “One of the absolute no-no’s is no fashion how to books. None of any kind.” After Kayne informed the producers of the patternmaking book, they also discovered that he left the production for a few hours without permission and used the internet, which is also against the rules. That’s right, Keith’s love of TVgasm is the reason he is off the show.
When Tim gets inside he, for some odd reason, sits Indian style next to Vincent’s bed as Vincent is drawing something. Keith sits on the bed as Tim explains that his two violations are an issue, especially with the other designers. “and accordingly, we’re going to have to ask you to leave.” Ba-BAM! The first eviction ever on Project Runway!
Keith is shell-shocked as evidenced by his stunned reaction and only saying “OK” to everything. Later he tries to talk to the other designers. He apologizes to them. “My image has been tarnished forever. I’m off the show, and I’m going to be a laughingstock to my friends.” Yeah that about sums it up nicely, except for the whole laughingstock thing, that happened week two. The amazing thing is when he said this he acted like all of it was the other designers fault. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt my friend. It is also the act of asserting that something alleged is not true. The amazing thing is when he said this he acted like all of it was the other designers fault. He tells us in his interview that he would “never have used those books to get an unfair advantage.” Yeah, he just liked them for the pretty pictures. Why won’t anyone believe him? With that Keith is gone.
The next morning Tim asks all his little lambs to gather round. He has a serious announcement to make. He tells them about Keith’s violation of the rules. “Project Runway is nothing without its integrity and seriousness of purpose. Therefore Keith had to leave. He’s gone”. Everyone is shocked at the announcement. Laura once again sums it up best “Keith. What an asshole. I’m glad to se him gone.” Now Alison and Jeffrey are on there own. They have to “carry on” like no one has ever carried on for before. This time without their team leader. But since he wasn’t doing much work in the first place it won’t be too difficult. Still, Alison takes it hard and goes into the corner to cry. Awww, cute girls crying. My Achilles heel. I feel like I should just give Alison my credit card. Wait, dammit Ed! Not again! Get a hold of yourself man!
Later in the workroom we see Bradley continuing with his troubles. “I’m a squid with no ocean, an eagle with no sky!” he says laughing. Or more like a stoner with no bong. What is this day 12 for him now? Shouldn’t he be getting the shakes? Over at Kayne’s station he thinks Roberts outfit is looking at little flight attendanty. Vincent, our previous team leader who was horrified by Angela’s criticizing presence, does nothing but grimace at everything Robert does and constantly tells him he doesn’t like it.
At Angela’s station, the craziness comes out as Angela is spending all her time on her insane little baubles. Michael and Laura are horrified. Laura tells us that Angela has a “wacky design aesthetic”, and then we cut to Vera Wang on the runway from last challenge telling her that her design aesthetic sucks and Nina saying she ahs bad taste. Back in the workroom, Angela is giddy, and I mean absolutely loopy, for her freaking rosettes. She wants to stick them on everything. Laura does her best to reign her in by suggesting that instead of just sticking on rosettes randomly and making the outfit look like a horror show, how about just using them as buttons. A good idea and one that Angela agrees with.
Soon Tim comes by for his critiques. When he sees Roberts piece he warns against it looking to matronly. At Angela’s station Laura tells Tim about how concerned he was with Angela’s desire to stick her rosettes all over the garment. She calls them “Granny circles” to which Angela just laughs. You see she doesn’t get it. When everyone criticizes her for her insane granny circle baubles tacked onto everything she does, it just doesn’t register. She laughs and goes right on sticking those things on everything. This simply tells me that Angela will not last the next few episodes. But, I said the same thing about Santino at this point in the season last time and look where that got me?
When Tim Sees the circles being used as buttons he says that he thinks it really works. Cut to Angela in full on nutty mode laughing hysterical saying that she “led Tim into the light”. Well, actually, Tim liked Laura’s idea of using them as buttons, not of just randomly sticking them on every piece of the garment.
At Bonnie’s station Bradley tells Tim that after he pressed the brown pants he was in charge of, he started to have “issues”. Tim says it looks diapery, which is just his polite way of saying the pants look like someone just took a steaming load in them. When he gets to Alison and Jeffrey he does his concerned voice (Tim loves his little lambs) and asks them how they are doing. Alison says that Keith talked with them about how they were going to go through each step, and since Keith wasn’t going to be doing much of the work anyway, they are coming along fairly well.
The next morning Tim comes by to tell them that they have 2 hours to fit the models and send them to the Hair, makeup and accessory areas. He then tells them that since this is the Macy’s challenge to use the Macys accessory wall. And when you’re dine have some of Carson’s ribs, finger licking good and available for overnight delivery at ribs.com, and then wash it down with a ice cold Budweiser. Smooth and refreshing, nothing beats the King of beers!
Soon the models show up. One they get their model into the dress Robert and Kayne realize the slit in the back is a little high up. With the possible chance if a stray glimpse of a cooter, they think it might be a little “risqué”. Bonnie is worried about the poopy pants, Jeff ad Alison are just happy to have pulled it off and on Angela stream Michael talks over the styling of the model to keep it young and hip. Soon enough it is time for the runway show.
They are greeted by Heidi who introduces us to our judges. Once again Michael Kors is being replaced by world renowned fashion designer Vera Wang. Then we have Nina Garcia and finally Mehmen Tangoren. Surprisingly Heidi tells them that one of them will be out. So this will in fact be in effect a double elimination week. I was holding out hope that with Keith gone it would be kind of a by week, if only to stretch out the seasdon one more sow.
After the runway show Heidi brings them all together and asks Jeffrey and Alison and Angela team to step forward. Those teams have the highest scores. They want to keep them out there to ask them questions. Robert and Bonnie’s team had the lowest scores. And she will call them out alter to ask them questions. Back on the runway woth Angela and Keith’s team, they bring out the models.
Mehmet’s first question is to Angela about what was on the back of the models collar. “Those are my signature rosettes which I am obsessed with right now. In fact, if you want I can comedown their and sew some on your jacket. I keep them with me at all times. They are my babies. Here put some on. Dammit, I said put some on! PUT ON MY ROSETTES!”
Vera Wang likes the mix of pink with the masculine gray, which prompts Angela to show her the inside lining of the jacket with the pink grayish print. When the judges are excited about that detail, Angela gets so giddy she starts wiggling her legs back and forth. Man she really is giving Vincent a run for his money in the crazy department. You think if they fell in love and had a child together it would be like some sort of super crazy baby, or would each of the parents craziness cancel each other out and the baby would actually end up being sane?
With Jeffrey and Alison they first ask them how they worked together under the pressure. They think the whole look is hip and youthful, and Vera in particular likes the pants. With Heidi says that they can go now. She won’t announce a winner then but instead tells them that the winners dress will appear in Macy’s flagship store in Herald’s Square.
Then Heidi brings out the group with the lowest scores. They start with Bonnie’s tam. They hate the pants. They hate the fabric, they think it looks cheap and dowdy. They try to talk their way out of it but when Uli says they were aiming for an older customer, Nina cuts them off and tells them that even if you are an older customer, you don’t want to look older. And you especially don’t want to look like you just took a huge crap in your pants. When they ask Bradley what he thinks of the outfit Bradley deftly answers that the outfit looks like what they wanted from the sketch.
When they go to Roberts’s piece they are confused by the juxtaposition of the jacket and the outfit. The jacket looks like a giant tarp with all sorts of cinches around it and the dress of course has the slit. Vera Wang says its always tough o have a slit with a narrow skirt because it shows “her fanny”. Hearing Vera Wang say fanny was quite the moment let me tell you. Nina says she wants to be wowed and she was only bored.
During the judging Mehmen refers to Bonnie’s outfit as “triple LY. Last years last years last year.” A zinger for Mehmen. I’m gonna have to use that one at parties. Heidi thinks it had a seventies vibe and showed no style, and of course Nina couldn’t get past the shit pants. When they talk about Roberts they say it was a big miss. She had a sporty cinched up jacket with pumps on, so to Vera it seemed discombobulated.
After they are done talking its time to bring out the designers and it’s time to send someone home. Uli is immune so she gets to leave the runway first. She is followed by Kayne Vincent and Bradley. That leaves us with Bonnie and Robert. The two team leaders.
“Robert, you were too conservative. From your color choices to your odd proportions. We felt you’re outfit as a total bore.” Well, that was probably the first time Robert has ever been called a conservative. I mean, He’s no Rick Santorum. “Bonnie, you’re outfit was not fashion forward. The colors were wrong; the design was stale, and it was you’re design.”
Then Heidi drops the German hammer. “Bonnie. You are out.” Aww shucks. I mean I guess I can’t be too upset since her outfit was the worst, but she was clearly not the worst designer. Angela got lucky by having two of the strongest designers Laura and Michael there to rein in her madness, and Bradley is such a loopy pot head its only a matter of time before he gets sent packing, but since he wasn’t the team leader he got a pass.
The next day we see the contestants going up to Macys to see who won the challenge. When they turn the corner we see who the winner is before we see the outfit. Angela lets out a high pitched yell and spaz’s out like she never has before. Yes, Angela won the challenge. Jeffrey is just pissed because this means he has yet to win a challenge, and since he thinks he’s so awesome, it’s got to happen soon. All he wants to do is get back in their and start the next challenge.
Well, what did everyone else think? Was the big controversy all you thought it would be? Did you think Bonnie should have gone home?