Project Runway 6 - Episode 3 Preview

>> Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"You will live in happiness too, like the Oompa Loompa doompadee do!"

Mamma mia! Fifteen designers gave birth to maternity clothes in Episode Two, and, surprisingly, there were a number of standouts. But it was Shirin (above, channeling her Oompa Loopa alter ego) who took home first prize. Congratulations, whippersnapper! Who said a seventeen-year-old couldn't teach those old fogies a...

Wait, what? She's twenty-four? Yeah, right. We've heard that one before--right before those Dateline people jumped out with their hidden cameras.

Alas, one of Shirin's fellow 24-year-olds did not prove to be the mother of invention, as "I-guess-I'm-too-conceptual-for-America" Malvin went off to join Ari in the Dungeon of Dismissed Designers. He actually looked surprised that he was aufed. Really, Malvin? Did you really think, watching the five previous seasons, that yours was the kind of design sensibility Michael and Nina respond well to?

"So you think a beak right here would be bad?"

To Malvin's credit, we thought there was a playfulness to dressing a pregnant woman like she was already carrying her baby in a sling. The trouble was, he wasn't playing around. He was being conceptual, people--if by "conceptual" you mean "totally literal." The only person who would wear an outfit that looks like an egg with feathers and chicken legs is the poor sap hired to stand on the corner and wave cars into the KFC parking lot.

"To make maternity clothes, I just multiply everything by ten, right?"

Chicken legs and all, Mitchell still gave Malvin a run for last place. Unfortunately, Mitchell failed to understand that it is only the tummy of pregnant women that grows disproportionately huge. Their thighs, while they may perhaps gain some weight, do not become elephantine. Then, to compound his problem, he gathered the waist but did not take in the pant legs on his shorts, leaving his model with what looked like pleated shorts. As Heidi said, the shorts looked like she had sewn them, and that's not good.

On the plus side (so to speak), Mitchell's overall look was flirty and modern, and (sans shorts-apocalypse) would have fit a pregnant Park Avenuer to a tee. Dare we even suggest it would have been a top three look had the shorts been right? Hmm. Maybe that's too generous, but safe wasn't out of the question--and at this point, "safe" is a goal Mitchell should aspire to.

Mitchell and Malvin were joined in the bottom three (as we predicted!) by Ra'mon, whose dress did, indeed, look like a bowling ball bag. That Mitchell could see the doom inherent in Ra'mon's design and yet not see that he himself was also doomed is what we former English teachers like to refer to as "dramatic irony," and what reality show producers like to refer to as "television gold."

Meet a loser of the designer lottery: Valerie.

The collateral damage from Malvin's aufing is the loss of his model, Valerie, whom none of the other designers rescued during the re-selection in Models of the Runway. We're really sad to see Valerie go. Beautiful, mature, and wise--and even better, a student of past seasons of Project Runway!--Valerie was a powerful presence in the henhouse. But no more. Valerie, wherever you are, we're sorry to see you go.

But on to happier thoughts. Joining the Oompa Loompa in the top three were Althea and Louise, both of whom turned in fine efforts. Blogging Project Runway, while conceding Shirin's outfit was the pick of the litter, still took the time to single out Louise's excellent outfit for further praise. (Even if it did look a lot like lingerie.) We'd be happy to see Louise stick around for a while. Althea took second place for the week though, giving her a bump (sorry, had to say it) on the Big Board of Shame:

Shirin: 5 points (One 1st place, One safe)
Christopher: 5 points (One 1st place, One safe)
Althea: 4 points (One 2nd place, One safe)
Louise: 3 points (One 3rd place, One safe)
Johnny: 3 points (One 3rd place, One safe)
Carol Hannah: 2 points (Two safes)
Epperson: 2 points (Two safes)
Gordana: 2 points (Two safes)
Irina: 2 points (Two safes)
Logan: 2 points (Two safes)
Nicolas: 2 points (Two safes)
Ra'mon: 1 point (One 2nd place, One 3rd worst)
Qristyl: -1 point (One safe, One 3rd worst)
Mitchell: -6 points (Two 2nd worsts)


Malvin: -3 points (One safe, One Auf)
Ari: -4 points (One auf)

Scoring: 1st place (4 pts), 2nd place (3 pts), 3rd place (2 pts), Safe (1 pt), 3rd worst (-2 pts), 2nd worst (-3 pts), Aufed (-4 pts)

The Annotated Big Board:

- Shirin and Althea leap to the top with steady Christopher, while Johnny and Louise stay a step ahead of the pack.

- Ra'mon drops like a bowling ball to just above Qristyl and Mitchell, who can't be too long for this show.

- In fact, statistically speaking, if Mitchell were to go right now without smocking another stitch, he would actually rank worse than either of the two designers who have already been aufed.

- Dark horses we think will surge ahead in the coming weeks: Irina and Carol Hannah.

With that, it's time to leave the nest for this week's predictions!

* * * * * * * * * * *

SPOILER ALERT: As we point out each week, we don't have any prior knowledge of what's to come, other than (usually) the guest judge, (sometimes) a vague idea about the competition, and (occasionally) whatever preview videos Lifetime chooses to air. Using all these sources of public information, we make guesses about who will be in and who will be out. Often bad guesses, but (we hope) fun ones. If you prefer to be surprised by this week's episode, we suggest you go wax down your surfboard. (And no, that's not a euphemism.)

* * * * * * * * * * *

Tonight's challenge: make an outfit out of sand.

This week, Mitchell shows some tough love for Ra'mon, Epperson puts Qristyl on a shelf, and Gordana proves she has a second expression. But first, what season in LA would be complete without a trip to the beach? Yes, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, up comes another dreaded swimwear challenge. At least we think that's part of it. Why else would they drag the designers out to the beach?

"Red rover, red rover, we dare Tim Gunn over!"

Tim and an as yet unidentified surf wear designer square off against the designers at thirty paces to deliver Week Three's beach blanket bombshell: some kind of beach-to-bar challenge. Consider this a variation on the venerable old "day-to-evening" challenge--and just as impossible. And son of a beach, Project Runway has already done something like this! (Season One's "Making a Splash") So has Project Runway Down Under. (Season One, Episode Two) But we suppose it was too much to ask not to have a bikini challenge the first year Project Runway was filmed in California...

But wait, there's more! This week will also be the first team challenge of the season. (All together now: "Ugh.") Each team will be responsible for two looks: an outfit for clubbing, and an outfit for hot-tubbing. So how do they pair up? Apparently with much high-fiving, and a bit of brouhaha.

Logan and Christopher (Team Dude)

Althea and Louise (Team Night and Day)
(Sorry, Louise; we couldn't get a screen capture without your eyes closed.)

Carol Hannah and Shirin (Team 'Tude)

Johnny and Irina (Team Shoo-in)

Nicolas and Gordana (Team Moose and Squirrel)
(Yes, we totally stole that one from Nick and Andrae!)

Qristyl and Epperson (Team Tiff)

But wait, what about Ra'mon? Why is he so concerned? And why has he been video-toastered into a flip-flopped image of the workroom? (Check out the reversed Marie Claire cover in the background. Weird, n'est-ce pas?) All this wackiness must have something to do with his partner for this challenge:


We're not sure what Mitchell's so upset about. He's the only one who can't get saddled with a worse designer for a partner, because he is the worst designer. It's usually painful to see who goes last in these playground pick-ems, but this one's a foregone conclusion. Sorry, Ra'mon, you're gonna have to take one for the team--

Ra'mon and Mitchell (Team Oh-HELL-no)

In a preview, Mitchell tells Ra'mon, "In our relationship, I can't always tell you that you're perfect." Somebody get this man a daytime talk show! Neither Ra'mon nor Mitchell may be perfect, but believe it or not, we're not picking them as one of the bottom teams this week. Yes, only Malvin was worse than these two last week, and yes, Mitchell has been in the bottom two twice in two episodes. But we think these Ra'Mitchell will not only be safe, they'll be one of the top two teams.

Seriously. No, really. We're not kidding. Despite dealing with time management issues (or perhaps a machinery malfunction) that makes things tense at the deadline, we think Mitchell and Ra'mon will hang ten. Call it a brief moment in the sun for them both. (A very brief moment.)

Which other team do we think will shoot the curl? Johnny and Irina. Both designers have impressed us out of the gate, although Johnny's the only one to make the top three so far. This is the week that's going to change. Irina's the real big Kahuna here, and if there's a top designer picked from the team, we think Irina surfs to victory.

Gordana practices her other expression.

On the other hand, Moose and Squirrel (aka Gordana and Nicolas) don't seem made for a beach challenge. We think their designs will be a wipeout, landing them sputtering head-first in the sand. But they'll both be saved from elimination this week by Qristyl and Epperson, one of whom will turn in a performance never before seen on Project Runway.

We've seen accusations. We've seen shouting matches. We've seen designers make mothers cry. But we've never seen a designer just walk away from the competition before, which is what we think is going to happen this week. Check out these bits of conversation between Epperson and Qristyl:
Q: You're putting me on a shelf.
E: I'm not putting you on a shelf.
Q: I said I was done, and I mean I'm done.
E: Good.
Q: It's really about to get hot in here.
And now consider something Heidi tells an unseen designer on the runway:
Heidi: How am I supposed to judge someone if they didn't actually do anything?
Circumstantial evidence at best, we know, but a colossal tussle between Epperson and Qristyl (who both, individually, seem like the nicest people!) could be the reason the producers scorned all the bad surfer wordplay we've used and called this episode "Rumble on the Runway" instead. If Qristyl walks away from her teammate and leaves Epperson to do all the work, Heidi and company will face a challenge all their own: do you eliminate a designer who sent something bad down the runway (Nicolas or Gordana) or a designer who sent nothing down the runway (Qristyl)?

We think "nothing" trumps "not good," and Qristyl goes home. If we're right, this has to be one of the most boneheaded things a designer has done to get herself aufed since Vanessa told the judges in Season One that she was her team's weakest link because she couldn't sew. Problems dealing with your partner in a team challenge? Deal with it, make nice on the runway, and squeak through. You can have your revenge next episode when you're back to being your own boss. You cannot have your revenge, we'd like to point out, if you get yourself booted off the show.

The O.C. and The Nina

Getting her feet wet as guest judge in this week's challenge will be native-Californian and O.C. star Rachel Bilson, who also has her own line of clothing called Edie Rose by DKNY. There are no bikinis in her collection, but we suppose she's worn enough to be a judge. She also gets points for listing Project Runway as one of her favorite shows in the Playboy-centerfold-esque "Likes and Dislikes" on her clothing line's web site:

We'll just ignore the fact that she also likes Jon and Kate plus 8.

See you in seven...


David Dust September 3, 2009 at 12:10 PM  

I look forward to your prediction posts almost as much as I look forward to the actual show. Great job!

Julia Sober September 3, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

I am so glad you're doing these predictions again! Are you playing along on Fafarazzi again, too? Can't wait for tonight...

Tom September 3, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

What David said! "Red Rover Red Rover send TIM GUNN! right over!" Wouldn't it be a hoot if they played Red Rover, even just one round? ;O)

Trevor H.,  September 3, 2009 at 8:35 PM  

Loved that first picture of Michael Kors you posted. Nice seeing him in his natural habitat.

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