Project Runway is all about vision and delusion. The vision to search for inspiration in the circus. The delusion these people aren't a bunch of clowns. The vision to be confident. The delusion it isn't arrogance.
Last night Tim Gunn took the five remaining designers to Coney Island. They did not get to ride the Cyclone, eat fried clams, or shoot the freak (lucky for Mila!). No, they went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. This is the first top, big or otherwise, that has been on Project Runway since Austin Scarlet. They had to search for their inspiration in the circus and make a "high-end couture look" based on what they had seen. The circus was pretty cool and the challenge interesting, but that it was the final challenge that was one of the:
Things We Hated:
- Out of the Park: Heidi, you are such a lying piece of shit. You kept telling us that "only three of you will go to Bryant Park" and "this challenge decides who gets to show at fashion week." Sorry, Heidi, but are you on Lost and your body traveled back to the challenge six weeks ago, because that determined who went to fashion week? Anyone with even more than a passing interest in this show knows that the final runway presentation was held in February with ten, yes ten designers. Not only do all of these people go to Bryant park, but so do Amy, Jonathan, Ben, that awful crying girl whose name I can't remember, and that horrible Jesse. They're all going to be there and we know it. Do you take us for a bunch of idiots? Like we're going to believe this little fantasy that you set up where only three people get to show? With a bit of creative wording—"This challenge determines the finalists for a $100,000 prize"—you wouldn't be lying to us. Also, if the real prize is going to be in fashion week, then Lifetime needs to get better about scheduling their show so that not everyone gets to the big tent.
- It's a Motherfucking Walk Off: Then Heidi lies to us again and is all, "two of you are going home." No! Lie! Now Mila and Jay have to have a walk off to see which collection actually gets to be in the fashion show and which doesn't. Except they both do! Ugh, this whole plot device is annoying because there is absolutely nothing at stake. If the real prize is to show at fashion week, then they already won. We're begining to feel like Sandra Bullock and Heidi is putting on her Nazi cap and sleeping with a bunch of tattooed skanks. Stop the deception.
- Oh, What a Beautiful Morning: I love Suzanne Sugarbaker (who mere mortals call Anthony) but if he woke me up in the morning with songs and costumes and general hilarit, I would cut his throat, stuff him in a box, and put his corpse on the midnight trail back to Georgia.
- Bring the Hate: Mila and Jay obviously hate each other. They have hated each other all season. Why can't we see more of this, please? Why can't they bitch and fight and do horrible things to each other? Why didn't the producers move Jay into Mila's room after Bangs the Younger went home last week to cry while listening to Death Cab for Cutie? You need to milk this shit for all it's worth!
- The Crown Jewel: You may not know this, but Heidi Klum has her own jewelry line. Yes, she is a one woman factory. Why do you think she keeps having these babies. They're not children, they're new staff members for her factory. If she makes pretty baubles for the world, what is she always wearing on the show? Last night she had on a small chain with this giant door knocker thing at the end. It was like it was an anchor for her brain or something, keeping her whole head from just floating away. Maybe it's just a way to distract us from the fact that she has a new hire gestating in her belly. Either way, it's just bad business to be seen wearing things like that.
- Sophie's Choice: Every season at the final runway judgment Heidi asks the contestants "Who should go with you to fashion week." Every season it's a silly exercise. Of course they don't pick the people they think are the best, the pick the people they like the best. That is, of course, unless they are like Emilio and Mila and no one likes them. Then they say they pick the people who are the most skilled, but they're really picking the people they think they can beat. This is a sorry little attempt at drama that never pays off. Why not just let Michael Kors give the reasons why each should go to the final and why each should go home and make them stand there and listen to him dissect each of their past failures again. Whoever busts into tears first gets sent home. That is how you make television, people.
- Take This Job and Shove It: Why does Grampa Gunn hate his job? He just doesn't seem to be feeling it like he used to. In the olden days, when he walked through the snow to and from Parson's one-room red school house uphill both ways with coal in his pocket to keep the stove burning bright, he seemed to love, nurture, and get along with the designers. The past couple of seasons he's been more like a beekeeper, shunting these pests to and fro with puffers of smoke, annoyed at their sting and just waiting to get that sweet, sweet honey of a paycheck. Oh, poor Grampa Gunn.
- You've Got Guts: When he was at the little red school house, Grampa Gunn met a new colored boy who came into school one day for some book learnin'. His name was Suzanne Sugarbaker and everyone loved him, but he didn't know all the fancy words that everyone used. Then Grampa Gunn taught him a word. It was "viscera." It was a potent and secret password in to the world of privileged white folk and he would use it at every opportunity. His viscera was telling him to make dresses. His viscera said that little Timmy was stuck in a well. Ooooh, boy, did his viscera hurt. He used it so damn much because it was the only one-dollar word he knew and, girl, this world is expensive. He used it and used it until it was threadbare and see-through. He used it until the only sound left in it was "vi——," and then his mouth would be open and air would come out like he was a weezing geezer or Dick Dastardly's dag Muttley laugh, laugh, laughing at Yogi Bear's horrible fate. And then, like a fart frozen by the chill of the school house, it was gone.
Things We Loved:
- Group Dynamic: Say what you will about the designers that are left, but they are certainly talented. I would be pleased if any of them were crowned winner, which is a much nicer feeling that last year when it didn't matter who was in the top five, because they all sucked. Yes, Mila, Emilio, and Seth Aaron, you all may be jerks, but at least you're jerks who can sew.
- Making an Exit: Tim's peek through the workroom door was only bested by Jay, who did a sashay roundelay do-si-do in fifth position to get out of the room. He was going to leave Runway to join the cast of Billy Elliot, but he is too short.
- Cynthia Rowley: This is how guest judging is done. She had a great outfit, gave wonderful advice, was funny and charming, and clearly knows her stuff. Don't mess with Rachael Bilson when you can still get the Cynthia Rowleys of the world to come on your show!
- Michael Kors, the Queen of All Tangerines, Wants a Gentleman to Fill the Crazy Crotch of His Trousers: It has been declared! Off with his head!
- Nina Garcia Fashion Director of Marie Claire Magazine Is No Longer Amused: Long ago in a far away land, there was a princess named NGFDMCM. Yes, that is a mouthful, and she was a handful. She had decided that her favorite jester, Mila the Magnificent, who only wore black and white variations of Pagliacci's costume, would one day rule over the whole land. Yes, she did everything to make sure that Mila would take over the tower and the moat and all the stones in the catapult. But then one day, NGFDMCM decided that she was tired of Mila and her boring two-tone clothes. She kicked and screamed and threw a fit and threw blocks of color at Mila's head. She decided Mila would not rule anymore. Jazzy Jay, with his classy dance movies and pixie movements should be the leader. But the Queen of All Tangerines and Glinda the Good Witch, who is held to earth only by the crazy necklace that anchors her to the world objected. There would be a duel. A great fashion duel! Only would would survive, and we have to wait to find out who.
- You're the Tops: Grampa Gunn hates a top hat. When Seth Aaron says that he wants to put one on top of the striped carousel he's going to put on the catwalk, Grampa took a Werther's Original out of his cardigan pocket and, over the loud crinkle of the cellophane, he said, "Well, Little Seth. Let me tell you about my old uncle Austin. Back in the day he lived next to Washington Square with his ugly daughter and his mean sister Lavinia. He was very, very rich. One day this handsome man came and wanted to marry his daughter Catherine and she was in love, but mean Uncle Austin did not like him and thought he was going to steal all of Catherine's money. He terrorized this poor suitor until he broke the couple up. Catherine's heart was broken and no one ever wanted to marry her again. Mean Uncle Austin died alone without leaving a penny to his poor daughter because he was a terrible, horrible, petty old man. I'm not telling you what to do, but mean Uncle Austin, he wore a top hat. Just think about it."
Where did my brain go off to? Oh yeah? Runway. We were watching Project Runway. So yes, Emilio, whose ego is as big as his skirt and is practically intolerable made one of the all time great dresses on Project Runway and won. This thing was pretty amazing. It looked like the way Les Miz sounds in your brain if you really like Les Miz. I'm a Phantom guy, myself, but this thing was still wonderful. It was well-made, interesting, and walked down the runway like it was a laugh bottled right out of André Leon Talley's fat mouth. As for his arrogance, we'll get to that in the videos.
Anthony got sent home for something that looked like that puffy thing in your shower got caught on the drain and you stretched and pulled it until all that was left with a long blue string and a bunch of frilly fluff. Oh, and it was made out of polyester. Gross. Bye, Suzanne. We're really going to miss you but, sorry to say, your dress was the worst last night. And with a volley of Muttley laughs, Suzanne was lost into the night, for the second time, and Easter doesn't come again.
Seth Aaron come in second for his dress that looked like a costume for a P!nk video that never happened. Or an outfit that Britney Spears commissioned when she was going through her shaved head crazy period. Or the screeching of all the people who ever appeared in Cats! on Broadway dying at once. Mila and Jay will be pitted against each other in a jester's duel. Jay for his Rhythm Nation 1862 jacket and harem pants that had too much pant and not enough harem. They were like hot tub threeway pants and Rebecca Gayheart would have worn them if she wasn't pregnant. Mila's outfit looked like a cat ate a bunch of dyed Easter eggs, a box full of dominoes, and a tube of lip gloss and then was placed in a microwave and exploded. It looked like the window of that microwave, but from the outside. That's what it looked like, I swear.
Alright, class, in this little one-room red school house we will now be discussing the circus, Emilio's attitude, and polyester crepe de Chine. Please turn your books to the videos.
Run Away with the Circus
Context: The crew watches a bunch of circus performances getting inspiration for their challenge.
Vision: Jay had a vision of love. And it was all that you've given to him.
Delusion: Sorry, Jay, you can't put your model in a pink latex thong like you would to those circus performers.
What Would Nina Say?: "I'm a pretty Princess. I'll wear a pink thong."
Emilio Comes Hard
Context: Emilio is full of himself. Yes, he is a good designer, but he is letting his skill and all his wins go to his head. Usually hubris this intense is preceded by a crashing fall. We hope that fall comes next week, because if he wins this thing, he's going to be intolerable. Just like Mila thinks he is.
Vision: Emilio thinks he is a hot shit, and Mila thinks he is a cold turd.
Delusion: Neither of them is Christian Siriano.
What Would Nina Say?: "You are not as pretty as me. I am a princess!"
Under the Gunn
Context: Emilio has ignored Tim in the past. Usually that is the cardinal sin of the show. However, every time Emilio ignores Tim's advice, he does well. Now, Emilio is not only ignoring Tim, but mocking and deriding him on television. Tim is not happy with this and would strangle Emilio if he cared that much.
Vision: Yes, Emilio, you may "have this" now, but listening to Tim is never a bad idea.
Delusion: While Emilio may "have this" challenge, Tim Gunn is a well-liked man in the fashion industry and beyond. Making an enemy of him is not a good idea. Just ask Kenley.
What Would Nina Say?: "Only a princess gets to be mean."
Context: Emilio watches his dress walk down the runway.
Vision: Ugh, we hate that this dress is so good!
Delusion: Emilio's only delusion is to continue to think he's a fashion god. A little humility can go a long way.
What Would Nina Say?: "It's pretty enough for a princess."
Context: Michael Kors, the Mistress of the Mangos, finally gets out of his throne to inspect Anthony's fabric. Little does Suzanne Sugarbaker know, the only time that polyester is good is when it is the title of John Waters movie.
Vision: No one will notice if he skimps out on the last challenge.
Delusion: Ms. Kors knows a polyester crepe de Chine from 10 paces because that's what she uses to make all her garments that she sells at Marshalls.
What Would Nina Say?: See for yourself!