Project Runway 6 - Episode 12 Preview

>> Thursday, November 5, 2009

Four gals, one guy, and three tickets to Bryant Park

Here we are, kids. The last elimination challenge before Bryant Park. That's assuming we have a double elimination tonight, and not a last minute showdown in New York a la Rami and Chris from Season Four. Some of the faces we expected to be here. Others...well, they beat the odds. Now they have one last challenge to prove whether they belong at Fashion Week.

"It's for the professional woman who likes to parachute in to work."

First off, congrats are due to Althea, who takes home her second first-place finish. The Princess of Pantsuits now has five top three finishes, just one behind front-runner Irina and, surprisingly, tied for top three finishes with Carol Hannah. And Althea, like Irina and Carol Hannah, has never yet been on the bottom. With last week's win, Althea all but guaranteed herself a spot on the runway at Bryant Park. Only a meltdown as big as her hair would keep her from the finals.

The perfect look for a night on Broadway--
if you're a cast member of
The Lion King.

Irina thought she had another first place finish in the bag herself, but it reminded Nina a little too much of a couch she once found herself on, and that was that. Irina, meanwhile, was a little miffed that Althea was aping her big sweater look. Yes, Irina stuck a flag in oversized sweaters and claimed it in the name of Irinastan, but as Uncle Nick said, you can't spend that much time in the same workroom and not begin to influence each other. And Irina didn't exactly invent the big-ass sweater-jacket. Still, it's that time in the competition where everybody starts to get a little more bitchy, and each of the designers is rightfully guarding very jealously what few tricks they still have up their oversized sweater-sleeves.

 "Logan stole my zipper collar, but I'm stealing
your baggy sweater thing, so we're even."

Irina came this close to actually respecting someone else on the show when she and Althea found something in common with their front-runner statuses. She might even have made a friend this past episode (of course, she's not here to make friends, natch) except that, well, she sort of called Althea out on the runway for stealing her big sweater look. Add that to Althea's good-girl guilt about being snarky (see her recent apology on Blogging Project Runway!) and you can almost see the footprints on Irina's scarf from Althea's hasty backpedaling.

"See, I thought I could add some feathers here, or some sequins, or
--oh hell, I don't know."

Carol Hannah did what she could to hang with the big dogs, putting together a cute little dress that many readers at Blogging Project Runway thought was the best look of the challenge. This was her hump to get over, her Waterloo, and she made it--though not without losing a little of her soul. How will she rebound next episode? We saw Shirin zapped of everything she had left and crash out after hitting the top three earlier. Will Carol Hannah follow suit?

 Next stop for this dress: Regretsy.

And Logan is finally out. We used up all our "rollover elimination" minutes in one week. How telling was it that each of the remaining six designers last week had at least one first place finish--except Logan. Not only did he not have a first place finish, he had never been in the top three. Worse, the dress selected as his best was his very first dress. The subtext was pretty clear: it was all downhill from there. That Logan lasted this long seems to us to be a combination of inconsistent judging, weak overall competition, and shiny pants. Shiny, shiny pants. Those shiny pants weren't enough to bail him out this time though, and finally the judging and the competition caught up with him.

 "Screw your courage to the sticking place, Christopher!"

Which leaves us with Christopher as the low man on the totem pole--even though Gordana's drab business suit was in more danger of going home. (And boy has Uncle Nick taken some heat for his Warsaw, Poland comment about it!) Christopher has clearly lost his mojo and isn't getting it back, despite our hopeful predictions for him along the way. Meanwhile his model, Katie, has turned into Lady Macbeth.

"Is this a tape dispenser which I see before me?"

We won't be surprised if Katie puts a dagger in Christopher's hand and tells him to sneak into the girls' room late at night.

But out, out, damn thoughts! It's time to rank the survivors on the Big Board of Shame™ ahead of their final showdown.
Irina: 25 points (Three 1st places, Two 2nd places, One 3rd place, Five safes)
Althea: 21 points (Two 1st places, One 2nd place, Two 3rd places, Six safes)
Carol Hannah: 20 points (One 1st place, Two 2nd places, Two 3rd places, Six safes)
Gordana: 7 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, One 3rd place, Five safes, Two 3rd worsts, One 2nd worst)
Christopher: 0 points (One 1st place, Two 2nd places, Three safes, Two 3rd worsts, Three 2nd worsts)
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)
Ra'mon: 3 points (One 1st place, One 2nd place, Two safes, One 3rd worst, 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)
-3 points (One safe, One Auf)
-4 points (One Auf)
Logan: -8 points (Six safes, Two 3rd worsts, Two 2nd worsts, 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)
 Annotated Big Board:

- For making it to the top six, Logan doesn't put in a very good showing on the Aufed board. He ranks just above Mitchell--and is tied with Qristyl for next to last. 'Nuff said.

- Irina: still here to chew gum and kick ass, still out of chewing gum.

- Althea edges past Carol Hannah for the number two spot on the Big Board, but it's neck and neck. Still, if everything holds true in the next challenge, there's really very little mystery about who we should see in the finale.

- Gordana ends up in the bottom two on the runway for the first time this season, and her phoenix-like rise comes crashing back down to earth. Gordana is finally learning to stand up for herself, but last week she didn't produce a look worth fighting for. Still, she's around at the end, which counts for something. Could she prove to be a surprise spoiler?

- Christopher isn't in the bottom two this week, but he still wasn't in the top. He's officially back to even now, ahead of whatever happens next...

* * * * * * * * * * *

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, why don't you break out that watercolor kit you bought a few years back and paint a portrait of Tim Gunn?

* * * * * * * * * * *

 Jail break!

It's time for a field trip, kiddies!

 "All right, Nina, let me explain it again. Schrödinger's cat illustrates
the paradox of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics..."

Cindy Crawford guest judges this episode, so the remaining designers head down to the giant Rooms To Go showroom in downtown LA to get inspiration from the "Cindy Crawford Home Collection":

"I see what she did here."

Wait. No. Cindy Crawford is the guest judge, but it's not Cindy's interior design chops that have her on the show this week--it's her expertise in pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, and illuminated manuscripts. Instead of Rooms to Go, the designers are headed for The Getty Center, one of the nation's premier art museums. We're not sure how this art-museum-as-inspiration is much different from Season 4's "The Art of Fashion" challenge, but we'll allow that there are some mysteries of the universe still not revealed to us and let it go.

"You flash the security guard, and I'll grab the van Gogh."

The designers will be met there by their models, and possibly by the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, who is not a fashion model. He's supposed to appear in the episode sometime, and The Getty's commanding view of downtown LA seems like a better bet for his appearance than the break room at FIDM.

One day each year the smog lifts and you can see all the way to San Diego.

Will the designers' final looks have to be worn to some big city soiree, or is the museum just for inspiration? Probably just the latter--although we haven't had a designers-and-models-on-the-town-together episode this season, which is surprising. And we're vetoing our own soft prediction last week that we'd see a return of the aufed designers--there isn't a whiff of them in the previews. It's the final five's time alone in the spotlight this week.

"I like dat it is gray."

Gordana finds inspiration in a scary painting...

 The Girl in the Fireplace

...Carol Hannah looks for inspiration up a chimney...

"What if I attached about thirty of these dongle things to a big poofy dress?"

...while Christopher communes with upholstery not designed by Cindy Crawford.

"I'm thinking about putting feather and sequins all over it."

Back in the workroom, Carol Hannah goes for a simple but striking silhouette.

 "Who ya gonna call?"

Irina goes for the Ghostbusters "I've been slimed!" look.

Pay no attention to the woman in the foreground...

And Althea, in the background behind Gordana, is making something glittery, gold, and diamond-y.

"Look, Tim. If I'm aufed, the entire state of Minnesota and parts
of northwestern Wisconsin are gonna go crazy and invade Canada."

But it's Christopher who has Tim completely befuddled. Part of it has to do with these:

Perhaps the Getty had a paper airplane exhibit going on back when the show was filming. Otherwise, we're not quite sure what's going on here. Neither is Tim. He calls them stalactites. When Christopher tries to explain ("They're going to be edged in...") Tim is only more confused. "Christopher...what!?" he blurts. It's a rare moment of discombobulation from the usually unflappable Mr. Gunn, and we can only think it spells trouble for Christopher, who will hear worse on the runway. In fact, the previews show Christopher in tears again, professing that his final look "speaks more about me than any other piece I've put down the runway."

Heidi doesn't want to hear it, son.

We highlight Christopher's crying not as some kind of exercise in Schadenfreude, but in our duty as prognosticators. The waterworks and the stalactites point to just one thing: an underground sea Christopher's elimination. So we're going to go with not-so-hard-to-believe prediction #1: Christopher will be out this week. It's been an incredible run for the Shakopee Kid, who has outlasted eleven of his fellow designers--no small feat--but he's going out with a dress he stands behind 100%, which is about all you can ask for.

"Dis week I vill make Heidi eat de crow."

And what do we do with Gordana? She has hardcore fans, but Heidi seems to have it in for her. Is it some kind of European rivalry thing, like UCLA fans hating USC fans? We never got this vibe from Mistress Heidi when Uli was on the show, but they were both from Germany. Conspiracy theories abound, but one thing you really can't argue is that Gordana's last effort was a show-stopper for all the wrong reasons. Gordana's got three top-three finishes in the pocket of her short-shorts, but she doesn't seem to have the dynamic design sensibility the judges are looking for--and the dress above isn't talking us out of it. Tim tells someone, "It's looking like roadkill," and we have to wonder if that was for Gordana. The previews certainly imply that.

"Please. I have fourteen hungry children at home."

Not-so-hard-to-believe-prediction #2: Gordana is out this week. She put up a good fight there at the end, but she just never found her voice on the show. We were pulling for you, Big G, but we don't think there's a chance in hell the judges will send you to Bryant Park.

No, this show has been Irina's, Althea's, and Carol Hannah's since week seven, and even longer for anyone who has gone to have a look at the final three runway collections that were shown anonymously before the season even aired. It was pretty obvious early on that at least two of these three were going to Bryant Park based on the work we saw at Fashion Week (Irina and Carol Hannah) and since then we've been able to confirm the third (Althea). The only real question is, who will wind up sweating it out on stage with Gordana in an effort to make the final decision more dramatic?

Given the way Irina's outfit looks (above), and a comment from Heidi in the preview ("I'm a bit shocked to see this from you today") we're guessing Irina. It could be Althea too, but Irina has been the clear leader, and if she slips up here we can see Heidi lowering the boom on her. Who will win, and carry that momentum home with her? Dark horse Carol Hannah--although, since she was sort of living out of her car before the show started filming, we'll be interested to see exactly where "home" is for her in part one of the finale.

And that's how we see it, Slimer fans.

Bustin' makes me feel good...

See you in seven!

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


Britt Kaufmann November 5, 2009 at 7:10 AM  

The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance...

You must see previews I don't. I didn't see anything about triangles. Doesn't Christopher remember Tim's reaction to Johnny's birds attacking the dress?

Now it's just biding my time until tonight.

Laura K November 5, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

Thanks for the preview Alan! I'm thinking that Irina might get the "roadkill" comment because she tends to use fur in her designs.

Also, I completely forgot that Carol Hannah was living out of her car! It would be a great story if she were to win this season.

Go Carol Hannah!

Alan November 5, 2009 at 11:49 AM  

@ Britt - This season, I've used two preview clips pretty exclusively. The first is the one that runs at the end of each episode--you can re-watch those by skipping through to the end of the full episode posted online at, where they have ALL KINDS of great video extras.

The second preview video I use is the one that's released online over the weekend in advance of the next episode. It's often pretty redundant, but it's a new edit, and I can often glean a little more from that.

Beyond those two sources, Blogging Project Runway often has good leads on the guest judges and (in this case) the location of the challenge.

I've also tried to use the Models of the Runway preview from the previous week, but the one time I relied heavily on that I got myself into trouble expecting Logan to be auf--and he was around for another four or five episodes after that. :-P

Alan November 5, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

@ Laura - You may be right about Irina's dress. It looks pretty sad.

And I think I have that right about Carol Hannah. She has lived in big houses with groups of girls all sort of co-habitating a la a sorority, but I don't know that she has a "home" to go back to after the show. It'll be interesting to see how they spin that story. It's certainly an interesting one.

Last year while doing a school book festival in Massachusetts, I met a young woman author who lived in a similar fashion--she had no home of her own, just bounced around from couch to guest room to home-sitting gig. It's a difficult life, living out of a car or a backpack, but at the same time she was never tied down to anything. I think this woman was currently living in downtown Manhattan while she house-sat for someone else. Not a bad gig if you can get it...

Tom November 5, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

I've been on board with Carol Hannah, Althea, and Irina as the top 3 for a while now. I think Carol Hannah especially has been overlooked more than once. In the end though, it's Irina's to lose. Well writte. Bravo!

Audrey November 5, 2009 at 11:42 PM  

I dearly love the top management at Gratz Industries and love these posts, too! I find that it has become much more entertaining than actually watching the show...

Anonymous,  November 6, 2009 at 12:03 AM  

Can someone help? I live in Texas, have AT&T uverse..and episode 12 did not air!! Models of the Runway aired, but not episode 12. Any suggestions as to why?

Alan November 6, 2009 at 12:28 AM  

Sorry, Anonymous - I don't know why PR didn't air in your area! If youc an avoid spoilers until then, they usually replay the episode on Friday nights, and then beginning Saturday mornings you can watch full episodes of both PR and MotR online at Good luck!

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