Project Runway 4: Episode 7 - Preview

>> Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hello teeny-boppers, and welcome to Week Seven of Project Runway Season 4. Six designers down, nine left. It's certainly getting tight. This is no time to lose your poise--and yet lose their poise a few designers will this week, if the previews are any indication. Let's go right to the video, shall we?

This week's episode is reportedly titled "What a Girl Wants," and in the Yahoo preview we get a couple of good looks at a teenage girl in knee socks and a skirt back behind Christian, who's fretting in the foreground. In the MSN preview, Heidi tells the designers they'll be creating looks for "one of the most important days of a woman's life," and that this challenge is about "creating memories." The speculation? Prom dresses.

Okay. I have to stop right here. First quibble: "One of the most important days in a woman's life?" Seriously? Okay, one of the most important days in a teenager's life, maybe, but if your prom night proves to be one of the biggest days in your life, you need to get outside more often. As for "creating memories," the only memory I have of my senior prom is ending up on the eighteenth hole of a golf course around 1 a.m. dodging sprinklers in my rented tux. I suppose your results may vary.

Second quibble: We don't get the models? Again? How many times has this been now? Let's count them, shall we?

Episode 1: Models.
Episode 2: Models.
Episode 3: Male models.
Episode 4: Models.
Episode 5: Weight Watchers.
Episode 6: Models.
Episode 7: Teenagers.

Four with, three without. Gee, remember when not using the models was a novel thing? Remember when there was actual drama in the snatching of someone's favorite muse? Kind of hard to have a muse when you see her once every other episode--and in team challenges may never use her at all. (Like Episode 2: SJP.) Understand, we at Gratz Industries are not looking for fifteen minutes of America's Next Top Model at the beginning of each episode. But there is a rhythm to these things, and we're not feeling the beat.

But back to the most important moment in these women's lives. Before the clips appeared with the young girls in them, I actually thought this might be a maternity challenge. Now that's an important moment in a woman's life, although I doubt even Heidi Klum was wearing a Vera Wang and four inch stilettos when she had little Leni, Henry, or Johan. There was also some speculation that this might be wedding dresses, but mercifully, no. Ditto bridesmaid dresses. (Ouch.)

No, it's pretty clear it's prom dresses. And interestingly, the models may not be chosen randomly out of ye olde velveteen bag this week. There's a clue in the strange "Chris in drag" montage in the MSN piece. "What did you think when you looked at my portfolio?" Chris asks with a laugh, and then we're shown images of him in a variety of costumes with exaggerated hair and boobs. Is it possible the girls have been shown portfolios of the designers' work and actually chosen their designers? It would be an interesting twist. If not, perhaps Chris is just explaining to the viewers why he's chosen to put his teenage girl in a Carmen Miranda costume with a triple-D bra size. (It would certainly be a night she would remember.)

The teaser at the end of last week's episode focuses on two designers who are having trouble with this challenge: Christian and Ricky. Christian's having trouble because he got a pushy "client" who wants glitz and glam ala Kayne Gillaspie, and because Christian doesn't know the word compromise. (Like, seriously, his fierce vocab isn't big enough. bitches.) Ricky, on the other hand, is in trouble because he too apparently thought this was a maternity challenge, at least based on the empire-waisted brown sack he's building on his dress form.

Christian rolls around on the floor. He whines to Tim. He whines to Victorya. He whines to the camera. Everybody else thinks this is fun, but to him it's just "horrible, tacky, and gross." Well, at least he's not getting carried away with hyperbole or anything. But while Christian may be in trouble, Ricky is in serious peril--he is getting the dreaded "loser edit." The MSN preview has Ricky telling us, "I came on Project Runway because I thought it would better my life." Uh-oh. We're getting the "why fashion is my life speech," which, as everyone knows, is reserved for winners and losers. And based on the grievous looks on Ricky's face during the runway judging, I'm guessing it's definitely the latter with Ricky this week.

What else can we intuit from the runway judging clips? Again the judges' comments are choppy, but in two of the three videos we do see five of the six designers left on stage: Sweet P, Victorya, Ricky, Christian, and Kevin. But who is mysterious number six? There are always sets of three winners and three losers. Aha--last week's brief teaser and the hard to find MSN preview reveal his identity: it's Rami, doing strange things with his big powerful neck as he writhes under the judges' commentary.

Rami, in trouble? The golden boy? We do see Tim questioning Rami's design choices in the MSN preview, and Tim knoweth all. Rami is already on the defensive with him too: "Well, I like it and the client likes it, so I've already won." Um, no Rami, you only win when the Nina tells you you've won. Ah, but let's not forget--Rami won immunity in last week's challenge! He could put his high schooler in that dumpy outfit Daniel V. made for Chloe in Season 2 and not get booted off the show. Is that why we don't see him in the judging clips as often? In Season 2 they brought Daniel out to take his lumps, but that was a late season episode and all the designers were kept on stage for review if we remember correctly.

If Rami is in the bottom three, we've filled out the losers' bracket: Rami, Ricky, and Christian. Two of the show's bigger names fall in that bunch. That leaves Sweet P, Victorya, and Kevin as the finalists. Wait--which name doesn't belong here? Historically, of course, it's Sweet P. We like Sweet P, we really do--but she's very close to being the weak, slow antelope that's killed when a lion thins the herd. Will this be her swan song? She's practically beaming in a couple of the clips--but one of the reasons we like her is that she wears her heart on her sleeve, so it's possible that any praise will elicit a strong reaction.

Victorya is inscrutable as usual. Her facial range goes from scowling to blank to . . . well, scowling again, so she's tough to read on the runway. And is it us, or does it always look like Victorya has been crying? She's also in just one brief clip this week. Jillian got a similar teaser edit one week--and that's the week she won as the leader of her "fashion don't" group. Is Victorya a similar dark horse?

And then there's Kevin, who by default (at least by our reckoning) gets placed in the winner's group, although in the few clips we get of him he looks very nervous. That, however, could merely be due to dealing with a teenage client for two days. Some people have picked him to win this one, and we can certainly see him having the chops to do it. (The muttonchops, that is!) But we think he's in line for a third place finish.

That means it's down to Sweet P and Victorya, and while we think a Sweet P win would be the most stunning worst-to-first comeback in the history of Project Runway, history alone forces us to predict that Victorya will win for the second time in the prom competition.

In the losers' bracket, there's no telling just how low Rami might have bottomed out since he has that "Get Auf of Jail" card, but he'll be sent off first with a stern reprimand that will probably make him even more determined and hard to beat in the coming weeks. That will leave Christian and Ricky on the runway, and we just don't think this is Christian's waterloo. Really, how could he totally miscalculate on a dress for a teenage girl? He is a teenage girl. Therefore we predict that Ricky will be aufed this week, finally putting us out of his misery.

And if there's one thing we can predict with certainty this week, it's that we'll see a lot of Ricky crying.

Oh, and speaking of Kayne Gillaspie (we did, much earlier, if you'll recall), this week's guest judge is still a mystery. Could they pull the popular Kayne back as this week's judge? The man does design prom dresses! He would certainly be a fun addition to the episode--and might possibly be the only person capable of talking as fast as the teenage girls.

For those of you playing along on the TREsemme Fantasy Runway site, the answer to this week's trivia question--"Which designers' sisters modeled in the Everyday Woman challenge in Season 3?--is Vincent and Robert. As for best hair design? We guess Sweet P!


Tbone January 9, 2008 at 4:28 PM  

"there are always sets of three winners and losers"

That is true for roughly the 1st half of any season, but that rule gets thrown out the door on the team challenges (as you noted)or when the designers begin to dwindle to the point where it makes no more sense.

Safe this week: Rami (by immunity); Chris, Jillian and Kevin by process of elimination.

For the auf: agree completely with your Ricky pick. Christian, by virtue of his past performance alone will be kept alive.

For the win: I'm keeping with the spirit of Hillary's upset in New Hampshire last night and boldly giving Sweet P the nod for the win. She appears to be getting the most positive feedback, and seems especially delighted.

Kevin is not giving away his tell (I dabble at Poker) of the hand on mouth and nervous dance in any of the previews. That's the pose he struck when he thought he had the win in Episode 5.

Victorya looks a bit on the explanatory side, trying to defend against one of the judges who may h ave not quite liked something on her dress.

Excellent work again, Mr. Gratz - I'll see you on the runway!

Anne,  January 9, 2008 at 7:07 PM  

The idea that prom is one of the most important events in a woman's life is an evil myth, as destructive as it is ludacris, and it's time for that kind of thinking to die. Granted, I do not watch Project Runway for its feminist perspective (there's probably a lot more wrong with PR from a feminist perspective than my addiction to it allows me to concede); however, I'm mildly disappointed that PR didn't come up with something more creative and "cutting edge" (sorry)--dare I say it? something more fashionable--for young women than prom dresses. Holy smokes. Feminism notwithstanding, I'll be glued to the set tonight as usual.

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