Project Runway 5 - Episode 8 Preview

>> Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tricked. Fooled. Hoodwinked. Punk'd.

We were all of those things last week, most cruelly misled by the mischievous editors at Bravo who put together the preview trailers. Oh, they're always tricky--they only show some of the designers left behind to be judged on the runway, and they cut and splice judges' comments with mismatched designer reactions. It's all an elaborate ruse, meant to tease us and tempt us, but still evade the truth.

Until last week. Last week the Bravo editors pulled a real fast one on us. Instead of just mismatching the designers and the commentary, they deliberately cut in shots of designers who weren't kept out on the runway. They made us think that safe designers were in trouble, and vice versa.

You would almost think they read our blog and did it on purpose.

Conspiracy theories aside, we got snookered big time. Last week we took the faces we saw at face value and thought we'd see a runway judging that included at least Suede, Joe, Kenley, Terri, and Leanne. Turns out Suede, Joe, Kenley and Terri were all safe. Leanne was the only person out of those five whose design merited comment from the judges, and lo and behold, she was the winner.

"Hmm. This looks like the dress I made for the Green Challenge."

Congratulations, Leanne. The girl sure nows how to bring it from time to time, doesn't she? That little poofy-hips number vaults her back into the pack of players at the top of the list.

Keith has flashbacks of the forced labor sweatshops he escaped in Utah.

We did call one thing right last week: we said Keith would be on the runway for judging too. Trouble is, of course, that we thought he'd be in the top three, not the bottom three--and certainly not the one to go. Ouch. So it's back to Utah with the Stormin' Mormon. And apparently Utah is like some totalitarian state, because they don't usually let Keith out. He's like Yao Ming, that basketball player from China. They only let him out to play for the Houston Rockets, and then they lock him up back home in China again when his team loses in the playoffs.

Note to Keith: it is still legal to move between the states of our union freely, and without a passport.

Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your safety belts.

Keith's departure didn't shake things up as much as Korto's second place finish did. Let's go to the Big Board of Shame and see how things are playing out:

Kenley: 13 points (One 1st, one 2nd, one third, four safes)
Korto: 12 points (One 1st, two 2nds, one 3rd, one 3rd worst, two safes)
Joe: 11 points (One 1st, one 3rd, five safes)
Terri: 11 points (One 2nd, two 3rds, four safes)
Suede: 10 points (One 1st, six safes)
Leanne: 8 points (One 1st, one 2nd, one 2nd worst, four safes)
Jerell: 4 points (One 2nd, one 3rd, two 3rd worsts, three safes)
Stella: 0 points (One 3rd, two 2nd worsts, four safes)
Blayne: -3 point (One 2nd worst, two 3rd worsts, four safes)

Kelli: 3 points (One 1st, three safes, one auf)
Keith: -2 points (One 1st, one 2nd worst, one 3rd worst, 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:

- Even though Leanne won, Korto is the big winner this week on the Big Board of Shame. While Kenley, Joe, Terri, and Suede all played it safe with one point apiece, Korto leapfrogs two of them into second place.

- Despite being a point behind Kenley, Korto has more top three finishes. She just has that bottom three "Aquagirl" dress debacle weighing her down.

- Korto also remains the most dynamic designer, only playing it safe twice. In seven episodes, she's been in the top four times and the bottom once. She's the only designer in the top five to have appeared in the bottom three in any episode.

- Leanne, despite her win, maintains her relative position, moving neither up nor down.

- Suede should be wearing an orange vest that says "Safety Patrol." He's been safe an incredible six out of seven episodes. Oddly, his only other finish was winning first place in the Green Fabrics Challenge.

- Leanne, Blayne, and Stella are the only remaining contestants to have survived being in the bottom two at some point.

- Jerell, Stella, and Blayne are the only remaining designers to have hit the bottom three more than once.

- Stella is the only designer left who has been in the bottom two twice.

- Keith pulls into a respectable second place on the aufed designers list, behind Kelli.

- Blayne is still the worst designer on the show.

We keep up with the Big Board of Shame more out of scientific curiosity than as a real predictor of anything. Heidi says it every episode, but that doesn't make it any less true: "One day you're in, and the next day, you're out." As it is in the fashion world, so it goes in Project Runway Land. Anybody at the top can be out as quickly as anybody at the bottom. So while it seems like the writing is on the wall for Blayne and Stella, this week's aufing could just as easily be one of the top five.

That said...

SPOILER ALERT: [insert usual disclaimer here] If our awful track record of late (curse you, Bravo preview editors, curse you!) isn't evidence enough, we'll be clear--we have no prior knowledge of who's in and who's out each week. We do, however, watch the preview videos Bravo provides, from which we try to glean clues of what's to come. If you don't like such things, avert thine eyes.

Outta sight!

Project Runway wheels out the big guns this week with fashion legend Diane Von Furstenberg (henceforth DVF) in an episode entitled "Double O Fashion." But why the "doube o" bit? All that makes us think of is James Bond.

Von Furstenberg. Diane Von Ferstenberg. 007.

According to, "The contestants must create a look inspired by the fall collection of a fashion icon of this decade." That's right--no vegetables or spark plugs this time. It's real fabric, real fashion, real fast. Joe even complains that they haven't got enough time to create something worthy of DVF.

DVF's fall line must include a lot of black, because that's what most of the designers appear to be working with in the clips. Jerell's working with something black with blue trim. Joe's got black fabric. Blayne's got something black with a stiff collar. Stella, of course, is using black. Leanne mixes things up with a white fabric with black dots.

A woman of color.

The only designers shown working with color are Terri and, not surprisingly, Kenley. Terri is also shown scrambling before the runway show, trying to make what she says is "a 60 second skirt." She also tells us, "We're all screwed!" Kenley, meanwhile, is shown crying, telling us behind the scenes that "I really love Diane Von Furstenberg, so, it's big!" Terri's comment makes us wonder if the designers receive a late visit in the workroom from DVF--or perhaps from Nina Stand In Part Two: Fern Mallis, the director of Olympus Fashion Week. (And always a good, honest judge.) Either way, any criticism they hand down at the eleventh hour would cause much of the rushing about and consternation we see in the previews.

On the runway at the end, if we are to believe the edits, are Joe, Kenley, Stella, and Leanne. Yes, Bravo burned us once before, but a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and our minds are pretty little. At the risk of being fools again, we'll bite. Of the remaining two designers left on stage, we have little to no clue--beyond some cringe-worthy commentary from the judges about someone's cape. Kors says it looks like "a magician's cape." DVF adds that it looks like "Dracula." Ouch.

Though many people are working with black, which we imagine is the color of the "Dracula cape," there are two particularly likely candidates here. First is Stella, who is shown with a lot of black fabric stretched out on her work table. It's late, too--her model is there with her, helping her construct things, so we figure she's sending a lot of that black fabric down the runway. The other candidate for Romanian runway is Blayne. We catch a glimpse of something he's working on that appears to have a very stiff, standing collar to it, which makes us immediately think "Count Dracula." We also know that Blayne is capable of such "fashion."

Dude, where's my cape?

With little other evidence, (and, admittedly, relying a bit on our Big Board of Shame) we're going to go out on a limb and say that Blayne is also among the judged, and in the bottom three. We think the Dracula cape is his. We think another biting Kors comment, "That crotch is pretty much every woman's nightmare" is directed at Stella, for who else, besides Terri (who already told us she's working on a 60 second skirt this time), is likely to make pants? So we think Stella is in the bottom three as well this time.

Of the other designers we see being judged (or think we see being judged--curse you, Bravo!) that leaves Joe, Kenley, and Leanne. On the strength of her last win, we think Leanne is pulling it together in the stretch run, and we're putting her in the top three. Ditto Kenley, who defied our predictions last week and was not aufed. (Nor even in the bottom three.) This design challenge seems right up their respective alleys, and Kenley, despite shedding tears of stress during the workroom phase, is practically giddy on the runway, telling the judges, "I kind of nailed it!" We're guessing she's not too far wrong.

That leaves Joe, and one other mystery person. Ah, Joe. Every week that we predict your downfall here at Gratz Industries, you surprise us. And honestly, Big Board of Shame-wise, you're a top three/four designer. So why is it we keep predicting against you? We suppose it's because we just want to see the wow. Your drag queen outfit brought the wow, but your work in the more conventional challenges has left us saying, "eh." Does that mean you'll be safe like Suede more often than not? Perhaps. But if these previews are to be believed, you're not safe this week. Sigh. We're going to put Joe in the bottom three again--but not nearly as bad as Blayne or Stella. If Joe's in the bottom three, it's an early "Joe, you're in," from Heidi, and a sigh of relief from his little girls.

G.I. Joe was there!

And of course, now that we've predicted he'll be in the bottom three, you just know he'll end up in the top three... If we're wrong, we can handle it. Prove us wrong, Joe, prove us wrong--

Which brings us to the last of the six designers being judged. With no evidence to help, who shall we pick? Terri's getting the "we're all going to crash and burn!" edit that might indicate that she rises from the ashes to be successful--and we love that she's using a colorful print in her design. That screams DVF to us, and we know Terri can handle prints. But her scramble to create a "60 second skirt" on runway day leaves us dubious. An add-on skirt means criticism on the runway, or no wow-factor and a pass. Either way, we don't see her in the top three this time.

Less sassy, more classy.

Do we go with Korto, who is almost never safe? Or play the odds that Suede is due and put him in the top three? Both are tempting picks, but we're going to go Jerell's way instead. Like Leanne, Jerell has really been putting it together lately--despite his third worst showing in the drag queen competition. And really, was what he sent down the runway worse than some of the others that got passes? We think not. Jerell has really grown on us, both personally and as a designer, and we confess we're rooting for him. We've tried all season to pick with our heads and not our hearts, but given no evidence to the contrary, we're going for Jerell in the top three this week.

So, to sum up:

Top Three: Jerell, Kenley, Leanne
Bottom Three: Joe, Blayne, Stella

Leanne will be sent off first, meaning she got third place. Then for the winner--it will be between Kenley and Jerell, and we think Kenley will get the nod, making all the tears and agony worthwhile. Jerell will get a "good job," and be sent off in second place.

Then we'll deal with the bottom three. Joe will be sent off first. He's in. Then it will come down to Blayne and Stella, and it will be Blayne who finally goes home.

If you're playing Fafarazzi, Kenley seems like a good play this week whether you think she'll win or not, because crying equals points. We also hear Stella curse, but we think she's a very dangerous play this week. Korto seems like a safe play no matter what, but she's usually just frowny, not bitchy or weepy. Suede is usually good for some random points too--but we just have no idea where he falls this week. (Although chances are, he'll be safe! That's his M.O.) We're going with our top three again. Leanne at least has immunity, so she's not going anywhere, Kenley will get points for crying to offset any bottom three position she might end up in if we're wrong, and Jerell, well, Jerell is just Jerell, and we hope he pulls out a good finish this week.

There you have it kids, better late than never. Good luck to all the designers and their fans, and we'll see you on the runway!


Tbone September 3, 2008 at 1:32 PM  

Any chance that Joe,Kenley, Stella and Leanne are the safe ones again?

Alan September 3, 2008 at 1:37 PM  

Yes, and now, of course, we doubt everything we see in the previews. But until they make a habit out of deliberately hiding who's left on the runway, we'll persist in believing them. And last week, one of the pictured designers WASN'T safe--Leanne, who was the eventual winner.

Tom,  September 3, 2008 at 2:05 PM  

After last week's predictions, I'm not so sure, but you know ... ANYTHING is possible.

Laura K September 3, 2008 at 2:35 PM  

I am kind of doubting that Kenley will win. Just the fact that the preview shows her saying "I kind of nailed it" seems like a red herring. We'll watch what happens...

Chris September 3, 2008 at 2:57 PM  

We seem to agree this week! I picked Korto instead of Jerrell, but they were just fillers, making it not matter. I see what you're saying about Blayne, but he is just too "lovable" for the producers to axe. Good luck this week!

vozbelle,  September 4, 2008 at 7:19 AM  

who hoo! I finally had a respectable week on fafarazzi. I went with Leanne, Kenley, and Korto and scored 25 points this. Making up for my disappointing -1 and -2 bad weeks. Kenley's crying was awesome.

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