>> Wednesday, February 27, 2008
It's finale time, and this year the finale is doubly final.
Wait, is that possible?
Perhaps it would be better to say that this year's finale means double jeopardy for one contestant. One designer will have to win a walk off to make it to the final three, then be judged again against Jillian and Christian. (I think there's a law against that in America, being tried twice for the same crime . . . but apparently Project Runway is above the law!)
In something of a groaner/shocker, Chris and Rami were both given reprieves in the penultimate elimination and told to "bring it" to Bryant Park, where they would be judged on their three best looks. So this week, instead of the usual full hour of Tim around in a Saturn product-placement-mobile visiting the finalists as they slog through the creation of their collections, we also get the added bonus of a walk-off between Rami and Chris.
(And an aside: Who else thinks that the driving we see Tim do in these episodes constitutes the sum total of the urban Manhattanite's yearly driving? I think he probably arrives a chauffeured car, mounts the Saturn, and then drives the last block or so at fifteen miles per hour for the cameras.)
Don't Chris and Rami look like a cute couple? And I do mean couple. There has been some speculation on the Blogging Project Runway boards that the two shared more than phone calls during the creation of their clothing lines, and in the reunion they did confirm that they had grown much closer due to their unique situation. We here at Gratz Industries think it's a sweet idea, but we think they're just friends. Their chumminess certainly brings Rami up in our regard though, as he seems to have been able to loosen up about his design and get over his weak showing in the last regular season elimination challenge. But a loose and revitalized Rami doesn't bode well for Chris competition-wise . . .
So on to the preview videos we go. There is scant evidence to work with this week. In the second of the two official Bravo previews, about all we learn is that Rami is still deciding which three looks he'll send down the runway walk-off when he arrives in LA, and that Jillian and Christian are enlisted to help the two challengers. The pairings are somewhat obvious too: Jillian teams up with Rami, while Christian helps Chris. It's the reunions of Team Valedictorian/Salutatorian and Team Fierce!
In the other video, we get the usual mash-up of judges' reactions and the contestants' responses. It looks like Rami is on the left and Chris is on the right. If that's true, here are the comments directed at each of them:
Kors: "The dress, at the end, it's really unflattering."
Kors: "Those round things on her hips . . ."
Nina: "I disagree."
Nina: Who is this woman you are dressing?"
Nina: "The clothes look terrific--don't know if I would wear it . . . but it can go overboard."
A bit cryptic there--does Nina like Chris' clothes or not? And both designers are getting critical edits. Rami comes off looking pretty confident though, and Chris is doing a lot of solemn nodding, like he's accepting criticism. This may be a misread--especially as Chris always looks like he could use some Maalox up on the runway--but Rami appears to be happier. Maybe he's just found wuv, trwu wuv?
And while Kors is critical of one of Rami's dresses, it sounds like Nina isn't too concerned. And with Chris' proclivity for big and bold, it's possible that he puts three looks out there that are over-the-top and daring, but not particularly wearable. (Oh, there's that word again!)
Now, the good folks at BPR have already posted the full lines of each of the designers--even the designer playing "spoiler" in this scenario--but we at Gratz Industries have not looked at these. Perhaps as prognosticators we should, for the sake of duty, but we prefer to be surprised this time. Thus our call this week is solely based on the two preview videos, and not the inherent strengths of the designers' lines, which we haven't yet seen.
Having said that, we think Rami is in line for the win this week, making him the third and last official contestant for the $100,000 prize at Bryant Park. Chris, alas, will be aufed for the second time this season. But Chris can go out knowing that he came back from defeat with a vengeance, and he got to show his line at Bryant Park as the decoy too.
And hey, maybe he got himself a beefy Palestinian boyfriend too!
Oh, and for those of you keeping score at home, we've still got Christian for the win, pending any preview videos to the contrary . . .