Project Runway 6 - Episode 5 Preview

>> Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In honor of Lifetime's increasingly hyperbole-filled previews, we declare this Gratz Industries preview to be the MUST READ PREVIEW OF THE SEASON. We'll make ONE UNBELIEVABLE PREDICTION, and put TWO HUGE FEET IN OUR MOUTHS, all leading up to THE BIGGEST. LIE. IN GRATZ. INDUSTRIES. HISTORY.!!!!

But first we'll recap last week's lame-ass episode.

"Since Nina's not here, it doesn't matter if it's finished."

Last week we predicted Carol Hannah, Althea, and Epperson would make the top three, and darned if we weren't right. Sure, we had Carol Hannah winning and Althea taking second and it was the other way around, but we're feeling pretty pleased with ourselves right now. And yes, we thought Althea's three-piece suit looked like a hot mess, but hey, who are we to argue with Heidi and...wait, who were those people sitting with her? Where's Nina? And didn't there used to be an orange guy they always had on the show? Mikey somebody?

"Sorry, could we get some name tags here?"

Instead, this week we got a guy who's a cross between Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken as a stand-in for Michael, the sublime Zoe Glassner, shopping editor at Marie Claire as a stand-in for Nina, and some stylist who styles herself as "the Wicked Witch of Wardrobe" as, what--the guest judge? Okay. If you say so.

My friend, those are some tight, tight pants.

Marc Bouwer and Zoe Glassner we liked. Neither of them are Michael or Nina, but Bouwer is at least a designer with a mile-long list of starlets who've worn his dresses, and Glassner shined in "Running in Heels," the life-at-a-fashion-mag reality show that debuted earlier this year. Though we want Michael and Nina back, Marc and Zoe were fine.

The purse is the most interesting thing about this picture.

So that means Jennifer Rade was the guest judge? Really? We had to look her up after the fact to know who she was. Besides dressing Angelina Jolie, she's known for her pithy magazine commentary on celebrity fashion disasters:
This stuff practically writes itself! No, seriously. It writes itself. Okay, yes, technically it's the same kind of stupid stuff we put under photos, but no one's asking us to judge Project Runway! Right?

See what we did there?

Rade's biggest "oh no she di-n't" moment of the night of course came when she slammed both Qristyl and her model Valerie for bad taste. It's one thing to smack down the designers for bad taste--having a good sense of style is, after all, part of their job. But Jen, please. Lay off the clients. Even Michael, who loves his little one-liners, wouldn't have gone there. When there are clients, the judges pull their punches until the clients are off-stage--especially when the client says she loves what is clearly a fashion disaster. Tsk tsk, Jen. Cheap shots don't become you.

And really, what else was Valerie supposed to say? "I could have bought this off the rack at T.J. Maxx--not that I would have wanted to." No. She's smart. She stood by her designer on the runway, as expected. Rade was just cashing in on her five minutes of cable-tv fame.

Okay. Stepping off the soap box now. Once again, our favorite model personality Valerie goes home--this time probably for good. Here's hoping she got the gig she walked for at the "industry party" in Models of the Runway, and gets many more.

"See Tim, I'm really a tall black model trapped in the body of a small round white man."

We also managed to pick the bottom three, and although we flip-flopped where Johnny and Logan would end up, we nailed Qristyl leaving. So, again, felling pretty good about our prognosticating skills right now.

"All I'll say is, if you're going to go with this skirt, and that lace top, you'd better wear some really shiny hot pants out on the runway."

Logan scored his first "non-safe" look of the season in a bad way, creating a dress that looked like something Madonna wore in Desperately Seeking Susan. Thus Logan learns a Project Runway lesson the hard way: listen to the client, but not too much. But thanks to Logan's hot pants and Jennifer Rade's purring cougar, he's in and Qristyl is out. Happy trails, Qristyl--we could barely spell ye.

On to the Big Board of Shame!
Althea: 9 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, Two safes)
Shirin: 7 points (One 1st place, Three safes)
Christopher: 7 points (One 1st place, Three safes)
Carol Hannah: 6 points (One 2nd place, Three safes)
Ra'mon: 6 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, One safe, One 3rd worst)
Epperson: 5 points (One 3rd place, Three safes)
Irina: 5 points (One 3rd place, Three safes)
Louise: 5 points (One 3rd place, Three safes)
Johnny: 4 points (One 2nd place, One 3rd place, One safe, One 3rd worst)
Gordana: 4 points (Four safes)
Nicolas: 1 points (Three safes, One 3rd worst)
Logan: 0 points (Three safes, One 2nd worst)
Malvin: -3 points (One safe, One Auf)
Ari: -4 points (One Auf)
Qristyl: -8 points (One safe, One 3rd worst, One 2nd worst, One Auf)
Mitchell: -10 points (Two 2nd worsts, 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:

- Althea leapfrogs into first with one first and one second place finish. Only Ra'mon rivals her successes with one first and one second of his own, but he's got that bowling ball maternity dress weighing him down.

- Carol Hannah doesn't play it safe this time, and begins to climb, while...

- Johnny drops back to the pack below Epperson, whose Suede-inspired strip-pieced dress drew raves but didn't do enough for him to achieve mid-table escape velocity.

- Johnny and Ra'mon have hit either the top or the bottom three out of the four episodes--making them just as likely to win one week as to go home the next.

- Still not much judge-love for Louise or Irina, despite intriguing efforts from both of them this week (and weeks past).

- Logan, Nicolas, and Gordana are the only three designers left who have yet to crack the top three on any challenge...

- And Gordana remains the only person to be safe four weeks in a row. (Again, kind of a cheat. But for Mitchell, she might have figured into the bottom three of the team challenge in week three. But she didn't!)

- Oh, and Ra'mon can finally breathe easy this week. He earned his first "safe" from Heidi!

Who will be safe and who will have to read about the winning designers in the newspaper the next day? See Page 6!

* * * * * * * * * * *

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 buy a newspaper and check the want ads for "America's Next Top Fashion Designer"...

* * * * * * * * * * *


It's Season Six's

What could possibly be so terrifically unbelievable!?!?!?

Well, sit down, young people, and let me tell you a story about the olden days, before they had the series of tubes known as the "interweb," before they had "MyFace" and "Tweeter" and "The Daily Show" with that nice young Jewish boy. Back then, people didn't used to get their news from a Mactop. No sir. No, they got information about what was happening from things called "news-papers," so-called because they were papers, you see, filled with news. Now all this might seem pretty unbelievable to you, but believe you me, there was once such a thing. And this week, those magical elves have dug up a landfill full of the things and those fancypants designers are gonna have to make dresses out of them.

This is either the printing room at the LA Times, or Doctor Octopus from Spiderman 2.

Yes, it's the alternative materials challenge! Yay! Not exactly "unbelievable," but Gunn knows we need something to shake things up around here. This week the designers take a field trip to a newspaper printing facility, where Tim lays it out for them: they'll be using stacks of newsprint to make their dresses.

She read the news today, oh boy.

The alternative materials challenge always seems to be a make-or-break moment for a few designers. For some, there is sudden inspiration, followed by coffee filter skirts and corn husk couture. For others, there are brown paper bag dresses and Psycho shower curtain horrors. Who will be a headliner this week, and who will fold? (See? It writes itself. Seriously.)

Shirin is looking for something in particular for her dress, and keeps throwing away paper like it grows on trees.

Gordana has used the same pages in the pleats of the skirt, and a different section--an ad with leaf print?--in the bodice. That was interesting enough, but then we saw this quick snippet in the preview at the end of last week's episode:

Who does this nice work? Check out the color the designer is wearing, then scroll back up to the previous photo. Both of these looks are from Gordana! Is the first pic what it looks like before she stains it? Is this a jacket that's worn over the other? Is the first look recycled in favor of the second? We'll have to wait for the late edition, but they both look good.

Meanwhile, Althea is putting together this page six exclusive...

...which gets a lot of attention in the two previews we have...

In the background of this Althea shot, you can see Epperson going for a stiff-looking kimono. It worked for Korto in the repeat of the Gristedes challenge last season, but that was probably more for the fresh veggies she lined the collar with.

Carol Hannah's piercing eyes are once again focused elsewhere, this time away from her dyed-orange sleeveless dress and onto Logan's black, white, and blue top. Or on Logan himself. It's hard to know.

Nicolas wants to wash his hands of the whole inky affair. Ever notice that the producers get some of the best smack talk from Nicolas? We know they ask everyone to dish on the other designers, but Nicolas has been more quote-worthy than the rest, talking about the trash people are getting ready to send down the runway and the weeding out of the weaker designers. But ever notice then how many times Nicolas has ended up in the top three? That would be never. Tread lightly, Nicolas...

But it's Johnny who seems to be writing his own obituary this week. Check out this hot-off-the-press mess:

Yes, you're seeing that right. That's an origami swan on the dressform's left shoulder. And what looks like a meat hook sticking out of the other shoulder. And the rest of the dress doesn't look much better:

Of this look, Tim Gunn says, "it looks like a bunch of kindergartners did it," and yeah, it looks a lot like a paper mache thing our daughter brought home from first grade last year. Also: poop brown is never a good way to go, particularly when the dress looks like Mr. Hanky.

And is that Johnny saying, "Jerk" to one of the judges at the end of last week's "Next Week on Project Runway"!?

Speaking of judges, this week we're also promised...

...which, compared to last week, shouldn't be too hard. But the hyperbole is warranted in this case, as...


sit in as guest judges. On the alternative materials challenge. Eh. Go figure. Nina and Michael are still AWOL, so filling in is Zoe Glassner...

...who apparently isn't a HUGE GUEST JUDGE, just a regular-sized one.

But wait, there's more! Also included in this hyperbole-filled episode, we're told, will be THE BIGGEST LIE IN PROJECT RUNWAY HISTORY! Over on Blogging Project Runway, they asked fans what lies they could remember from Project Runway's history, and about all anyone could come up with was Season Three's Keith, who lied about making the dog collar in the Puppy Love challenge. Oh and, you know, hiding all those fashion books under his bed and sneaking out at night to check the internet. Could it be something more scandalous than that? There's no real clue about it in the previews, but we have some guesses:

Shirin lied on her application. She's actually 44.

Louise has been slipping her dresses out to a team of tailors.

Michael and Nina haven't left--they've been hiding under tables in the workroom to see if the designers talk smack about them.

Logan used to be "Lorraine."

Althea is not a natural blonde.

Nicolas is not a natural blonde.

Tim Gunn died during the filming of Season Three, and was replaced with a Timbot 3000.

Johnny never really took drugs--he just made it all up to sound more interesting.

Oh, and Gordana is secretly a

Seriously we don't know what this BIG HUGE LIE is all about, but we suspect it is about Johnny. We don't have any evidence for that, so if we're wrong, we apologize in advance, Johnny. Could someone be lying about his or her credentials? Has someone used a material (like a muslin foundation) in an all paper challenge? Is the lie that this is the most unbelievable challenge yet?

We're in the business of making predictions, so we'll guess that Johnny lies about the construction of his dress to the judges, and one of the others on the bottom three calls him on it--prompting the "jerk" comment. You read it here first if we're right. If we're not, pretend we didn't say anything.

So, who will

Johnny. Liar or not, we think it's his time to go--marking the first real surprise exit of the season. Not a huge surprise, mind you, but he hasn't exactly been sitting on the bottom all season long like the past four aufed contestants were.

Joining Johnny in the bottom three, we think, will be Epperson (who is shaking his head and rolling his eyes on the runway) and poor amusing Nicolas, who just can't seem to impress the judges.

Top three? We see Gordana, Irina, and Shirin. Gordana's actually smiling and laughing--laughing!--on the runway, which, besides kind of creeping us out, makes us think something very good happens for her. We also like what we saw of her work in the preview videos. Shirin's also there on the runway, and though we don't have much clue as to what she makes, she's had a strong vision and been super impressive so far, so we like her chances.

But of the three, we're going to go with Irina as the winner. A personal favorite here at Gratz Industries, we think she (much like Louise) has been flying just under the radar. Add to that all the clips of her angsting in the previews, and she's poised for one of those "I'm trying something crazy that could fly or die" kind of story lines where the thing flies. Irina gets the page one headline, Gordana gets page two, and Shirin gets page three.

That's all the previews that's fit to print!

See you next


Gratz Industries: We watch the previews twenty times so you don't have to!


Laura K September 17, 2009 at 12:32 AM  

OMG - Hilarious! Thanks Alan!!!

Carter September 17, 2009 at 2:29 AM  

I was laughing all the way though, but when I scrolled down to the "YETI" shot, I must have woken up my roommate! You guys rock!

Tbone September 17, 2009 at 6:56 AM  





Tom September 17, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

Fantastic! Here's my prediction: The Biggest Lie ... will be a huge let down. Oh, and I call that color "Baby monkey shit brown"

TropicalChrome September 17, 2009 at 2:56 PM included a Beatles quote. That made my whole day!

Alan September 17, 2009 at 3:37 PM  

It seemed like the thing to do, what with Beatles Rock Band all over everything. :-)

Poodle Bitch September 17, 2009 at 5:16 PM  

Poodle Bitch believes that newspapers are for picking up messes, not creating dresses.

Nevertheless, she will watch with great excitement, as usual.

Miss Ginger Grant September 17, 2009 at 7:26 PM  

OMG! Your "precap" is such a hoot! I can't wait to watch the show to see if your vision pans out! Fun!!!

frogponder September 17, 2009 at 8:40 PM  


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