>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We're quickly losing our street cred here at Gratz Industries. If ever there was proof that we have no crystal ball, the guy we picked for the auf last week won. But seriously, who would have guessed that the only straight guy on the show would turn out the cutest little Anne Margaret/Love Boat outfit you ever saw a six foot tall, two hundred pound man wear? Certainly not us, but color us impressed. Congrats, Joe.
Oh, and did anyone else catch the disgusted look on third-place winner Terri's face in the waiting room backstage when Joe told her he won?
Not sure if that was an eye-roll because she thought she should have won, or because she thought her friend Korto should have won, but the usually gracious Terri apparently didn't think much of Joe's work.
So, to cut ourselves a little slack, we did think Korto would be in the top two (she came in second), and we thought Daniel would be in the bottom two (he was aufed). Still, not our brightest moment in the prediction business.
Daniel went home for refusing to bend. Keith stayed despite sending a run-over chicken down the runway.
Jerell hit the bottom three for...what, boring the judges? Partially, although RuPaul had valid criticisms of his dress as drag. Still, was Jerell's worse than what Blayne sent down the runway? Yikes. That Blayne is still around is a testament to nothing else but numbers: there are still ten designers left. He can't survive when the numbers dwindle, can he?
Speaking of numbers, let's go to the Gratz Industries Big Board of Shame:
Kenley: 12 points (One 1st, one 2nd, one third, three safes)
Joe: 10 points (One 1st, one 3rd, four safes)
Terri: 10 points (One 2nd, two 3rds, three safes)
Korto: 9 points (One 1st, one 2nd, one 3rd, one 3rd worst, two safes)
Suede: 9 points (One 1st, five safes)
Leanne: 4 points (One 2nd, one 2nd worst, four safes)
Stella: 3 points (One 3rd, one 2nd worst, four safes)
Jerell: 2 points (One 2nd, two 3rd worsts, three safes)
Keith: 2 points (One 1st, one 2nd worst, one 3rd worst, three safes)
Blayne: -1 point (One 2nd worst, one 3rd worst, four safes)
Kelli: 3 points (One 1st, three safes, one auf)
Emily: -2 points (Two safes, one auf)
Wes: -3 points (One safe, one auf)
Daniel: -4 points (One 2nd, one 2nd worst, one 3rd worst, two safes, one auf)
Jerry: -4 points (One auf)
Jennifer: -5 points (One 2nd worst, two safes, one auf)
Scoring: Win (4 pts), 2nd place (3 pts), 3rd place (2 pts), Safe (1 pt), 3rd worst (-2 pts), 2nd worst (-3 pts), Aufed (-4 pts)
Notes of interest:
- Joe's first place win catapults him into a second place tie with Terri.
- With her third place finish last week, Terri leapfrogs "Mr. Safe" Suede.
- Korto joins Suede in third with her second place win this week.
- Keith and Jerell slide below Stella and Leanne.
- Stella, despite our standing prediction that her departure is imminent, appears to be a survivor.
- After six episodes, Daniel proves no better (or worse) than episode one aufed designer Jerry. Ouch.
- Blayne is still the worst designer on the show.
The other thing we'll mention is that there really seems to be some separation now, doesn't there? There's a big point gap between the top five designers on the list--Kenley, Joe, Terri, Korto, and Suede--and the bottom five designers on the list--Leanne, Stella, Jerell, Keith, and Blayne. This may not hold up, especially in light of our predictions for this week's episode, but it's certainly telling at this point in the season. We've seen some mediocre talent hang around pretty late before (like last four/five kind of late), but by now we think we can start legitimately talking about a final three. Barring some kind of melt down (ahem--more foreshadowing?) you could argue for any one of those five--although we're going to argue that two of those five are in trouble, starting tonight!
SPOILER ALERT: If our crappy job of predicting the winner last week isn't proof enough, we'll say it again--we don't really know what's going to happen each week. But we watch the preview videos, break them down, and report them here. If that sort of thing bothers you, go read something else.
In a rather blunt pun, this week's episode is titled "Fashion That Drives You." Guest judge Rachel Zoe (who's getting her own show on Bravo, in which she says "major" a lot) will be asked to judge looks that, by all indications, are created out of car parts. Oh, and there's one other guest judge this week...
That's right, season three's Laura Bennett is back. We know Laura has a lot of fans, but we're not among them. She was downright condescending to other designers in season three (particularly Kayne) and whether she was right or not about other people's taste levels, she was a real bitch for saying so to their faces. Supercilious is the word for Laura. She's a snob, and we dislike snobs. We're sure she'll make a good judge though--judging other people is what she does best. Since this is Rachel Zoe's guest judge week, we're guessing Laura is sitting in for the Nina.
As for the challenge, we smell another sponsor placement challenge. And let's see, what car company has been sponsoring Project Runway from season one? That's right--Saturn. If this isn't a Saturn tie-in, they should sue.
Project Runway Australia already did this gag in episode three with Aussie sponsor Fiat. That challenge was to take car "parts" (read: interior upholstery, wires, and decorative accessories) that were planted in the "boot" of the cars and create sporty designs from them. And one or two of the designs were actually really good. But we just know Project Runway USA won't do anything so serene as hand the designers their materials. They'll no doubt have to run across the car park and fight each other tooth and nail for the goods. And remember that clip of Keith, pushing some kind of shopping cart with all kinds of junk in it, the clip Bravo couldn't get enough of at the start of the season?
Yes, that one. That's from this episode--Keith is wearing the exact same thing in the preview video. Perhaps Saturn will have a deconstructed car (or cars), and the designers will have to fight over the parts. And these really do look like parts, not just upholstery and trim. Although a lot of the designers do end up with black vinyl, making us wonder if we're in for another "I'm disappointed in all of you for taking the easy way out" lecture from Tim Gunn.
Blayne is shown busting up a rear-view mirror. Joe has a row of engine parts laid out. Kenley is trying to tear some gizmo apart. Meanwhile, Leanne gets an "I worry that you're not taking this far enough" from Tim. The key word this episode seems to be "innovation." (We also won't be surprised to hear someone utter Saturn's current tag line, "Rethink design.") Across the workroom, Kenley is having trouble with this assignment, while Keith talks to Tim about refining his look. Later, in a priceless moment, Keith gets mad at his model for failing to hem the skirt he gave her to finish. Um, Earth to Keith, you're the maker, not your model. We've seen plenty of models pitch in and help (and we get the idea that this happens way more than we see on TV) but any and all help from the models is icing, Keith. It's a bonus. It's not something you should expect--or count on.
Five designers are shown on the runway at the end: Suede, Joe, Kenley, Terri, and Leanne. Assuming they keep six again, that leaves one mystery designer to be accounted for, but we have a good idea that it's Keith, based on something Michael Kors says: "I think in this instance, you reined yourself in." That comment would certainly fit with Keith, especially if he follows up on that discussion with Tim by editing his work a little. His bottom two finish last week certainly seems to put the fear of the Mormon God in him.
Beyond knowing who's left at the end, there aren't a lot of clues as to who's on top and who's on the bottom--except for a quick snippet of criticism from Laura B., directed at the right side of the stage. That just happens to be where Kenley is standing. She's already shown how much trouble this challenge is giving her, and, perhaps most damning of all, she is getting a lot of behind the scenes face time in the preview videos. That's often a good sign that someone is getting the infamous "loser edit."
Based solely on the Big Board of Shame, Kenley, Joe, and Terri would seem to be shoe-ins for the top three spots this week. All three are kept behind for comments from the judges. But as we know, this is Bizarro season, and we think in fact that two of these three designers are in the bottom three. Kenley looks like a lock. The other person we're putting there is Joe. Joe's "hide the candy belt" ensemble last week was sensational, but we're still not sold on him as a designer. Consider: although he put together a fab outfit last week, it was Varla Jean who had to suggest lowering the Elvis collar and making it into a sailor theme. Where might that outfit have fallen if it had been Joe's original vision? It's that kind of question that haunts us. (Yes, haunts us!) Yes, Joe takes criticism well, and he listens to other people--particularly Tim and his clients. But what happens when Joe is left to his own devices?
Joe has immunity from last week's win, so he's not going anywhere. But we think he's going to hit the bottom three this week. Call it a gut feeling. (We also think he might be the person to whom Heidi's bizarre "You know this means you'll have seven years of no sex!" comment is directed--perhaps because he uses broken mirrors in some way? We think she meant "seven years of bad luck," although we'd have to agree that seven years of no sex is bad luck.)
Rounding out the bottom three then has to be Leanne, who is also having trouble with this challenge. Her problem in the workroom (at least according to Tim) seems to be that she's not pushing things far enough, and we have to wonder if Kors wasn't right the other week when he wondered if Leanne's begun to question who she is as a designer. She might be "designing scared," still reeling from the beatdown she took in the "green" episode where Wes took her bullet. That black dress she made for "Bright Lights, Big City," was really stunning--one of the few such pieces from any designer this season--so we think she has it in her to be great. She just has to find a happy medium between too outlandish and too conservative.
If we're right about the bottom three, that leaves Suede, Terri, and Keith in the top. There is very little to go on here. We haven't seen any of these designer's outfits, and we're totally guessing that Keith is even in the picture. But we feel pretty confident we're going to see both Suede and Terri in the finals, and both designers have proven flexible in odd challenges before. (See Suede's "green" challenge dress, and Terri's supermarket mop-top, and over the top drag queen outfit.)
Terri's the only one of those three designers without a first place finish, and we think she's due. We've got Terri for the win. Just guessing, we think Suede will come in second, with Keith finishing third. (Perhaps his model's poor sewing knocks him down a bit.)
As for the losers' bracket, we think Joe will be sent off first, as he has immunity, leaving Leanne and Kenley on the chopping block. Leanne's look will lack innovation, but Kenley's will just be a hot mess, and we think Kenley will be aufed. Based on the heaps of hate poured on poor Kenley in the comments on just about every Project Runway blog we read, there will be great rejoicing. Yes, Kenley is in first place overall on our Big Board of Shame, but as we said before, this is Bizarro season. If she goes this week, she'll be the strongest designer by far to be aufed.
For Fafarazzi, we're going to put our money where our mouths are and pick all three of the designers we think will be in the top three this week. If nothing else, choosing Keith will be good for some bleeps, as the Stormin' Mormon appears to be getting a bit tetchy. Suede's usually good for a bleep or two as well, and of course we hope to drag a six point win out of Terri. We dropped to third place overall with our botched Joe pick this past week (seriously, who picked Joe to win that one!?) so we're more vulnerable than ever.
Fafarazzi also has a new "Duel" feature, posing eternal questions like "Who's hotter...?" and "Who is the most scandalous...?" For Project Runway, they not only have a "Who will win?" duel, pitting a series of random remaining contestants against each other, but they also have "Who's design was better...?" duels after every episode. It's an interesting exercise in seeing how your opinions about the designers and their outfits measure up to the collective zeitgeist.
Good luck to fans and designers alike. We'll see you on the runway!