>> Thursday, October 29, 2009
A Project Runway six pack.
We're late today--we apologize. A combination of travel and last-minute grant writing. Let's get to it!
Look, can we just call mercy rule on this one already? In backyard sports, when one team is up by big points you just call mercy rule, and everybody gets to walk away without playing it out. It's like a mercy killing.
Season 6 has certainly been killing us. Slowly. Like poison. It's killing Tim Gunn too. You can see it in his face. You can hear it in his voice. Especially when he brings the hammer down on the designers--which he's been doing a lot lately. And with good reason. Never has there been so uninspired an Inspiration Challenge.
"I want a medium french fry, a Diet Coke, and a Filet-O-Fish swimming in mayo."
To be fair, it was kind of lame that the designers had to choose their inspiration from a set of stock photos--and had only the one random picture of each town to serve as inspiration. Could they really not come up with inspirational cities on their own? We have some more appropriate ideas for their inspiration, and random photos to match:
Christopher: Bemidji, Minnesota
Nicolas: Vostok Station, Antarctica
Irina: New Jersey Turnpike, New Jersey
Gordana: Sarajevo, Bosnia
Logan: Cape Disappointment, Washington
Carol Hannah: Boring, Oregon
Althea: Cincinnati, Ohio
Wouldn't this have been more fun? We dare say they would have elicited more fashionable entries too. As it was, we got a New York look for Greece, Prairie Home Companion couture, and Hollywood Mimes, along with a few other ho-hum looks that were elevated by default.
"Can you believe this #*@%?"
And so we have to say goodbye to one of our favorites here at Gratz Industries. Nicolas may never have been America's next top designer (is anyone on this season?), but he was the most entertaining designer on the show by far in our book. Look back at bygone episodes, and you'll rarely find any other designer more genuinely enthusiastic and engaged. He was there to compete, AND to have fun, and that was refreshing. Even his exit was entertaining, though not welcome. We would much rather still have you with us, Nicolas, but we're sure you'll go on to a long and profitable career in fashion, so we're not too worried about you. And though you joked we'd never see you again, we have a sneaking suspicion that we'll be seeing you again on television in the not to distant future...
"The little blonde one. She's the herd's weak link..."
And congratulations are again in order for Irina, who takes home her third win of the season. Images of steamrollers and tsunamis come to mind at this point. Irina is winning and taking no prisoners, and this late in the game that doesn't bode well for the rest of the designers. If she were doing exciting things with a unique vision and flair, we might be ready to just call this thing already, but given the level of competition we're not sure if she's the best of the best, or just the best of the rest.
Let's break it down...
Annotated Big Board:The Big Board of Shame™
Irina: 22 points (Three 1st places, One 2nd place, One 3rd place, Five safes)Carol Hannah: 18 points (One 1st place, Two 2nd places, One 3rd place, Six safes)
Althea: 17 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, Two 3rd places, Six safes)
Gordana: 10 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, One 3rd place, Five safes, Two 3rd worsts)
Christopher: 2 points (One 1st place, Two 2nd places, Three safes, One 3rd worst, Three 2nd worsts)
Logan: -4 points (Six safes, Two 3rd worsts, Two 2nd worsts)
--------------aufed--------------Ra'mon: 3 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, Two safes, One 3rd worst, One Auf)
Shirin: 8 points (One 1st place, One 3rd place, Six safes, One Auf)
Epperson: 6 points (One 2nd place, One 3rd place, Five safes, One Auf)
Nicolas: 0 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, Four safes, Two 3rd worsts, One 2nd worst, One Auf)
Johnny: 0 points (One 2nd place, One 3rd place, One safe, One 3rd worst, One Auf)
Louise: -1 point (One 3rd place, Four safes, One 2nd worst, One Auf)
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)
- We screwed up on Logan somewhere along the way, so we've made a course correction. And not in his favor. Somehow we attributed a safe week to him along the way he didn't have, and so his score is a point lower even than we originally thought. At -4 points, with nary a top three finish, we don't see any chance of Logan making Bryant Park. Now it's just a question of how long his tight pants can keep him around...
- No change at the top of the board, as Irina keeps chugging. Carol Hannah pulls out of last week's tie with Althea, but only by a point.
- Gordana, meanwhile, continues her phoenix-like resurrection. (Perhaps we should have made Phoenix, Arizona her new inspirational town instead!) Gordana loves to wear the short-shorts and show off her legs. Does she have the legs to put herself in contention for Bryant Park? It would be the comeback story of the year.
- Christopher...oh Christopher. What more can we really say? We're not going to heap on the abuse. The track record speaks for itself. The only question now seems to be who will go off first--you, or Logan. In retrospect, perhaps we should have give you Greece as your inspiration, and found a photo of the Icarian Sea.
- And dear Nicolas, Season Six's most mercurial designer, drops back to zero. After ten weeks, he's right back where he started. We think that's an apt metaphor for Johnny, who also ended back at zero, but in the end we think Nicolas comes out in the plus column for his Project Runway experience. He does on our tally sheet, at any rate. And did we mention he may have a chance to earn more points? But we're getting ahead of ourselves. On to the disclaimer!
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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, please just turn your back to the computer until we tell you it's safe to turn around again...
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Back to the Future?
There are certain truisms in life. Don't spit into the wind. Don't eat yellow snow. Don't mix sleeping pills and laxatives. We would also add to the list, "Don't have your designers give us any ideas by turning their backs on this season of Project Runway." Its like naming your own book Something Rotten. You're just asking for it.
But this week Heidi does just that, making the remaining six (!) designers turn their backs on the runway for a big reveal. There has been some speculation about this over at Blogging Project Runway, and while most people think the designers will turn around to find their aufed comrades returned, we think that's premature. That Project Runway is going to bring back some of this season's eliminated designers seems probable--perhaps even inevitable. But it doesn't look like that's what's in store for us this week. Instead we're in for a different kind of blast from the past: the designers' old first episode dresses.
"Maybe if I just stand here and pretend to be ripping fabric, I can stare at Logan longer..."
Check out the dress behind Logan--it's his episode one dress. We can't think of any other reason to pull that one out of the mothballs, unless it has something to do with something Irina says in one of the previews: "You're supposed to get inspiration from your own look, not some one else's." So it would seem that this week the designers are presented with their week one efforts and told to go and better them. For some, like Logan, this shouldn't be too difficult. For others like Christopher (who won that week and hasn't won since) that will be a tall order.
Closed captioning provided by Project Runway fans everywhere.
Meanwhile, the cattiness reaches its zenith this season as Irina and Althea--perhaps thrown together by a common disdain for the rest of the contestants--complain that Logan has ripped off a look from Althea. "I look over, and Logan's collar is the same collar that I did in the Christina Aguilera challenge," Althea tells us.
No real vultures were killed in the making of this shrug.
Perhaps that means Logan is working on a similar "Roadkill Shrug" look. We're unclear. Logan, meanwhile, is talking smack about Irina. "Irina has the nickname 'Meana-Irina.'" Ooh! Burn! I'll be that one brought her to tears. On the playground in kindergarten.
"Can't we all just get along?"
Meanwhile, back in the land of fashion, the designers still have to get those red carpet looks out. Any chance we'll see a Project Runway alum/red carpet expert this week? Nick Verreos, perhaps? We were hopeful he'd be brought in as a judge, but BPR reports that this week's guest judge is Kerry Washington. The same Entertainment Weekly source for the report says we'll see a former Project Runway contestant though, so perhaps Uncle Nick will appear to deliver the challenge and then act as a workroom adviser the way Chris March did in the drag queen challenge from Season Five.
Inspired by Heidi? The gals love them some short dresses
So who's in and who's out? Well, we're down to six, so that means there's no more hiding for anyone. No one is safe. (Sort of the way the fans feel at home too, I suppose.) Now we'll find out whether mediocre is good enough for Bryant Park.
A hunka hunka burning shame.
We have now officially predicted Logan's demise three times--and each time we've been wrong. Considering all the evidence, you can't really blame us, can you? In fact, let's just make it official: with just two elimination episodes left before the finale, we're announcing our standing prediction that Logan is aufed each and every week. He's our first choice. Always. Any time we're wrong, we just get to carry the prediction over to the following week. It's like rollover minutes.
Dare we make Logan our official, stand-alone pick this week as well? Not so fast, my friends. Take a look:
Captain Shiny Pants to the rescue!
No! Not the Shiny Pants! Curses, Logan! Now you dare us--again!--to contradict the power of the shiny pants and call you auf. We're tempted. Sorely tempted. But let's talk about the other usual suspects first, and see where that leaves you.
Keep smiling...keep smiling...keep ::sob:: oh damn!
Christopher's rocket-like ascent into the stratosphere has only been matched by the fiery deathball of his re-entry. If Logan gets a standing auf prediction, Christopher can't be too far behind. But Christopher has actually hit the top three a few times, and so makes us hesitate. He's also being asked to redo a challenge he won the first time around. Advantage Christopher, or does winning before make it impossible to top? We can hear you scoffing at us now, but we're going to say he pulls this one out. Maybe not with a win, but a top three finish. (Again, by default, as there are only six designers remaining.)
Is this Gordana looking at the other contestant close to being aufed?
Gordana's been on the upswing of late, but we're dubious. Her dress the first week was awkward. Will it prove inspirational, or point her in the wrong direction? We see a bottom three finish for the comeback kid, ending her streak. But how low will she go? Could Gordana possibly go home before Logan or Christopher?
Is this pic from tonight's episode, or next week's?
We'll put Althea and Irina in the top three again, again almost by default. By all rights, Carol Hannah should join them there, but she seems to be having trouble this episode. When the challenge is delivered, she tells us, "I don't want to do this!" Later, in the workroom, she tells Tim, "I think it's a big scary mess." Tim's indefatigable reply: "You're not going to get an argument from me." Her fabric choices (see earlier pic, where she's staring at Logan) don't seem to jive with the brown dress she created in the first challenge, either. Color doesn't have to be the only inspirational thing about the earlier dresses, for sure, but perhaps the two dresses' dissimilarity is what prompts the catty Irina comment that inspiration was supposed to be taken from your dress, not someone else's.
Carol Hannah is looking like she was rode hard and put up wet.
Is this Carol Hannah's Waterloo? Could she possibly screw up bad enough to go home before Logan or Christopher, or even Gordana? As that great Sicilian designer Fezzini would say, "Inconceivable." Now, Fezzini wasn't noted for always being right, but we just can't imagine she slips up that badly.
"I'd be perfect if I wasn't so humble."
We're dithering. Your winner this week: Irina. Why not? Can anyone beat her at this point? And that dress there is looking interesting, which in this season of "Project I Don't Mind It" makes it a winner. Althea comes in second, and Christopher gets a pat on the back for managing to do something not too awful after winning the first time around.
His faith in the power of the shiny pants was shattered that day...
Auf this week: Logan. Yes, damn it, we're making him our official prediction this week, Shiny Pants be damned. At some point we have to be right, don't we? (Don't we!?) In one of the previews, Heidi tells someone on Logan's side of the runway, "We did tell you to turn up the volume, but this exploded." That has to be Logan. The volume on his work has always been set to around 2 out of 10, and this week he cranks it up to 11--in a bad way. Standing with him sweating it out: Gordana. Sent off after a scolding: Carol Hannah, who lives to apply lots of eye make-up another day.
If we're right, and Logan is gone this week, we don't think we'll see him again. If it's anyone else, however, we think the chances are good they'll show up in next week's episode like Casper the Friendly Ghost. It's been done before: in Season Three, eliminated designers who had each won first place at some point in the competition were brought back and allowed to compete, but could only make it to Bryant Park if they won that week's challenge. Will we see the same stunt pulled here? That would mean three designers: Nicolas, Shirin, and Ra'mon--plus any of the remaining designers this week (besides Logan) who might get sent home. Why are we so sure?
We've been sitting on these pictures since week seven, when they were posted to the Lifetime photo galleries for Episode Six. Since we don't remember seeing Nicolas and Celine (who, it makes sense, would be brought back as his model) with this outfit before or since, we have to think we're going to see it next week. Or is this something Celine always wears, and this was just a make-up consultation before Nicolas was finished with her dress? We've seen that hat before--it's Celine's, and she wears it around when the models go on the town. Are we wrong here? Is this something that happened before, or is this a spoiler photo? We're still not sure. Thoughts? Opinions? Proof? Drop us a postcard and let us know if you've got something on this. In the meantime, we'll be watching to see if Logan's shiny pants bail him out one last time...
See you in seven.
Gratz Industries: We watch the previews twenty times so you don't have to!