Project Runway Finale: Santino Wants His Mommy

Don't ask us why a show featuring catty, aspiring fashion designers frantically hot-gluing cat-suits together and bitching conspiratorially about each other to a camera lens is so damn addictive Project Runway just is. Part of it is the contestants' ingenuity we look forward to the episode when Heidi Klum greets them in an emergency room and tells them, "Use any of the materials around you to make a wedding dress for Tori Spelling. You have 90 seconds. Go!" but then just as entertaining are their personalities themselves. Santino Rice has emerged as the predominant bad guy this season, and what a villain he is: The guy's a dead ringer for Rasputin, though Santino would have probably given the Tsar a head-to-toe makeover after he was done brainwashing him.

The four finalists (three real finalists and one red herring) showed their collections to the show's judges including celebrity guest judge Debra Messing in a packed Fashion Week tent this morning; a Gawker reader sent in a full report, including Rice's comments to the crowd (mild spoiler alert):

Santino was the last designer to show off his collection. I guess they had to show us all four designers because they didn t want do give anything away (they knew someone would write to Gawker). He said, I m not just good TV, I m a good designer. Then he goes, Where s my mom? Mom? He sounded a little panicked that she wasn t there, but she stood up and waved to him as he went MY MOTHER S THE SHIT! Yeah, dude. That s not gonna air.

It was a nice touch, evoking some of villainy's greatest momma's boy hits, from Friday the 13th's Jason to Norman Bates. This guy has got the whole scary bad guy thing down. Too bad his lingerie looks like something you might find on a waitress at an Epcot Center Germanyland restaurant.