Project Runway 5 - Episode 14 Preview

>> Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anyone else feeling like we're lost in Oz this season? We sure are. Or, rather, that we're returning home from Oz, and that this whole season has been a dream.

"And what have you learned, Dorothy?"

Getting a taxi in New York is as difficult as getting home to Kansas from Oz.

Well, last week we learned that Jerell isn't going to be with us in the finale. His brown wedding dress had flying monkey wings--over his model's breasts. It was an unfortunate dress, and now Jerell has clicked his heels together and gone home. We'll miss you in the finale, Jerell!

Korto and the Tin Man: both in need of Rustoleum.

We also learned that Korto, when left to her own devices, gets rusty like the Tin Man. Her wedding dress was so overworked it could have been a Japanese salaryman. Korto, what happened? That wedding dress was almost worthy of going home, which would really have been an upset. Korto seems to have learned her lesson though, as neither her wedding dress nor her bridesmaid's dress appear to be in her final collection.

Lemme at 'em. Lemme at 'em.

We learned that Leanimal the cowardly lion might have courage after all. The self-styled "silent fashion assassin" roared loudly with an architectural wedding dress that was one part exclamation and one part restraint. And perhaps Leanne learned that it can be very awkward when the model you dumped on her ass without any warning is brought back to wear your second look down the runway in the biggest single elimination challenge of the season. (Ouch.)

I'll get you, my pretties, and your little Gunn too!

We learned that Kenley may in fact have a heart under that tough exterior. Or should we use a Wicked Witch of the West metaphor here? If we did, we'd have to make it Elphaba from Wicked: The Musical, as there was redemption for this season's villain. Kenley showed up ready to bury the hatchet--as much as she could--and by the end of the episode had even Korto crying and wishing that none of them had to go home, "Not even Kenley." We also learned that Kenley can bring it, stunning judges and fellow contestants alike with her Alice in Wonderland-inspired, whimsical wedding dress. (Alexander McQueen be damned.)

Oh, and we also learned that Kenley apparently has no friends or family for Tim to visit. We know we're not the only ones to notice that omission. Strange and sad.

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we cry. A lot.

But of course the most important lesson of all is that there's no place like Bryant Park. It is never so serious, never so meaningful, never so surreal as it is now for these three designers. This is the Emerald City without the glasses on, the peek behind the curtain, the technicolor fantasy world that makes the real one pale by comparison. This is where reality show silliness gives way to real world fashion and style. Are you ready, Dorothy?

We sure are.

First, since we had an elimination last week, let's pay one last visit to the Big Board of Shame:

Korto: 19 points (Two 1sts, two 2nds, three 3rds, one "top four," one "no decision," one 3rd worst, one second worst, two safes)
Leanne: 18 points (Two 1sts, two 2nds, one "top two," one "top four," one 3rd/3rd worst, one 3rd worst, one 2nd worst, four safes)
Kenley: 17 points (One 1st, three 2nds, one 3rd, one "top two," one "no decision," one 3rd worst, one 2nd worst, four safes)

Jerell: 16 points (Three 1sts, two 2nds, one 3rd, two 3rd worsts, four safes, one auf)
Terri: 8 points (One 2nd, two 3rds, five safes, one auf)
Joe: 6 points (One 1st, one 3rd, one "top four," one 2nd worst, five safes, one auf)
Kelli: 3 points (One 1st, three safes, one auf)
Suede: -2 points (One 1st, two 2nd worsts, one 3rd worst, six 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)
Stella: -4 points (One 3rd, two 2nd worsts, four safes, 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)
Blayne: -6 points (One 2nd worst, two 3rd worsts, five 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:

- Jerell, not surprisingly, becomes the strongest designer yet eliminated. His margin of victory over the other aufed designers is considerable, with twice the points of his nearest competition.

- Korto slips back to the pack with her bridal blunder, but still retains a narrow lead.

- The three remaining designers are really bunched up. In political parlance, one might say it's a statistical dead heat, assuming a plus or minus one point margin of error.

Which seems as good a segue into predictions for this week as anything...

SPOILER ALERT: 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. Then we make guesses. If you don't like such things, close your eyes, click your heels together three times, and say "There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home..."

An "appropriate" use of the accessories wall.

Last week there was no special guest judge--perhaps it wasn't in the budget. Or perhaps they blew the budget on this week's special guest judge: Jennifer Lopez! Oh man, is this going to be the biggest star they've ever had on Project Runway! She's going to be so kickin', so gorgeous, so--

Wait, what? She had to cancel?

That's what we hear, at least. JLo was supposed to be the big finale judge for Season Five, but had to back out at the last minute due to a "foot injury." An injury that was apparently too debilitating to allow her to sit in a director's chair and judge the finalists, but not so debilitating that it prevented her from competing in a charity triathlon a few days later. (We kid you not.) Hmm. Perhaps she just watched this season with the rest of us, and decided not to show until PR could "Get Right." Maybe next season, huh JLo?

What oh what were the producers to do? With JLo a no-show and Debra Messing and Parker Posey busy eating ice cream in their pajamas at home, Project Runway needed a miracle...

The Gunnderful Wizard of Oz!

When in swept the Make-It-Work Wizard of Oz Tim Gunn in his hot air balloon!

Yes, the big shocker of this year's finale is Tim Gunn sitting in that fourth chair, holding forth on whether the designers were able to mitigate their collections. Some people don't like this--they argue that Tim is so wonderfully helpful and supportive because he's not a judge, and that no one with an intimate knowledge of what really happens in that workroom should ever be able to sit in judgment of the designers. We get that, but we cannot deny the big grin we get when we see Tim sitting in that chair giving opinions in the preview video. Way to go Tim! If this is the last season for Project Runway on Bravo, it seems a fitting coda that Tim should be there with Heidi and Michael and Nina at the end. Next year we can start all over, and Tim can go back to being the workroom guru that he is. For now though, we'll be watching for the Great and Terrible Oz to crank up the flames and the big scary voice.

Beyond the surprise guest judge, we don't predict there will be much nonsense this episode. That was last episode, with the wedding dresses and the last minute bridesmaid's dresses. (Which, given that they pulled the same stunt on PR Oz, we should have seen coming.) This time we think the Magical Elves will be content to take us through the late-night trip to the empty Bryant Park tent, the selection of the models, the last minute alterations (including, for Korto, the creation of one entirely new dress from the remains of her wedding dress disaster!), and the build-up to the show and the runway collections.

Runway collections that have been on the internet for anyone to see for about six weeks now. We really wish these weren't released, but we suppose there's no way around it. When something shows at Bryant Park, it's public, and if Bravo didn't post the pics some other fashion blog would. So the runway collections are online over at Blogging Project Runway, should you want to judge for yourself.

We've looked the runway collections over, and we have our favorite looks and our "what was she thinking?" moments. Overall though, much as predicted by the Big Board of Shame, we don't see any clear-cut winner distancing herself from the pack. Disappointingly, it's not because all three are so incredibly strong, but instead because we think all three are hit and miss.

Korto with the cast of Wicked: The Musical.

If we have to pick a least favorite, we think it might be Korto's. Some of her dresses bear the mark of being as overworked as her wedding dress, which we know isn't going to play well with the judges. There are also a lot of colors and looks, and we wonder if she won't be taken to task for having a collection that isn't as cohesive as it could be.

Alice and the white rabbit at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

As for Kenley, we like some of her looks, but not others. Some of them are stunning. Some are so-so. And if there is one thing we can actually glean from the two otherwise pretty meaningless preview videos, it's that Kenley is again criticized on the runway for sending out looks too reminiscent of dresses from professional designers' fashion shows. She's been taken to task for this before, as late as last episode. She got a pass for that then, but we think this time it work more against her. Oh, and it can't help that she's been antagonistic all season long not only with the three regular judges, but also with this week's surprise guest judge...

Leanne plans to make waves.

And then there's Leanne, who seems to have the opposite problem of Korto. While Korto's collection seemed all over the place, Leanne's is almost too matchy-matchy. It's all taupes and teals and wavy pleats--her "beach" inspiration almost directly translated. Will that be points against, or points in her favor?

All things considered, we think the silent fashion assassin takes this one. What it will boil down to, we think, is that Leanne is the only one to give us something new and innovative, the only one to show the judges something they've never seen before, something they'll want to see more of. We like Leanne for the win, Kenley for second place, and Korto for third.

And there you have it. What a long, strange trip it's been down the yellow brick road. Thanks so much for reading our humble little blog all season long. We've enjoyed having you visit! We'll see you next season on Lifetime. Or Bravo. Or NBC. Or wherever the heck the Project Runway tornado takes us...


Kirby3131 October 15, 2008 at 7:25 AM  

I have truly enjoyed your PR posts this season. I think I have devoured every word. The Wizard of Oz theme this week was right on! loved it.

Have a fabulous week!

Anonymous,  October 15, 2008 at 11:24 AM  

Brilliant use of the Wizard of Oz references! Hey, maybe you should try writing some books......

I've seen the collections. It's impractical to think that the stills and clips won't be all over the place as soon as the runway shows end. Bravo really should schedule better. It's absurd to have three decoy collections, especially since two of them were so embarrassingly weak. Doesn't that cheapen the brand? If I ran Fashion Week I'd want to make sure that only the best competed.

I think Leanne's collection is stunning. I don't think there was a single misstep while both Ks had some clunkers. Apparently from what I've read the crowd went crazy for Leanne's collection. And I think she benefits most from having Tim as a judge. He seems to get her aesthetic and in Tim's Take often was very complimentary, even when she didn't score so well with the judges. So I predict Leanne for the win. She did something that was innovative, original and really quite beautiful. Will she actually pull it off? Who knows. It's been so clear this season that the judging is rigged but let's hope the judges show some integrity for the finale.

vozbelle,  October 15, 2008 at 3:47 PM  

Alas, we come to the end. :( I am also going with Leanne for the win. I like her design's. Sadly, I will be holed up watching the debate and willhave to watch when I get home.

Sarah,  October 15, 2008 at 4:31 PM  

LOVED your blog, looked forward to it every wednesday almost as much as PR itself. I agree with the Leanne pick. I would kill for that wedding dress! Can't wait until next season, wwhenever that will be. Thanks for entertaining us!

~marie October 16, 2008 at 8:16 AM  

i always feel a little let down when then end comes, like when all the presents have been opened and christmas is over...BUT my friend's daughter is in the NEXT round and i can't wait to see what you guys think of her!
thanks for putting so much effort into your PR post! it was fun following along with you. ~marie

Alan October 16, 2008 at 10:41 AM  

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. We hope you'll come back next season! (For that matter, we hope the SHOW comes back next season!)

And Marie, you HAVE to tell us who your friend's daughter is! (We'll be sure not to give her a hard time. Ha!)

~marie October 16, 2008 at 8:58 PM  

she'll be the one from SC. she's already home from filming the first part, but of course that's all i can find out for now...guess i'll have to wait till january like everyone else :)

Viagra Online June 9, 2011 at 3:59 PM  

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