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I missed the first airing of tonight’s episode due to a work thing, and realized, in playing back the tape and taking notes for this recap, not a whole hell of a lot happened in this episode. Maybe because last week’s gave us so much pre-show speculation, or maybe just the shock of the fact that Angela won, but last week’s episode seemed chock full of exciting drama. Tonight, not so much, but there was scads of fashion to be found, for better or for worse.

In what has become the key foreshadowing interview segment—the first one of the episode-- Jeffrey complains that Angela won and he didn’t, but what else is new; he could send nothing down the runway and still crab that he didn’t win. Michael tells us that he really wants to win one challenge and Robert says he was humbled by the judges’ comments and wants to prove he is not boring.

Bag of Chance.

The designers are seated along side the runway, and Heidi comes out to introduce their next challenge. Before going into the challenge detail, she brings out all of the models. There are 12 models since Bonnie was out and Keith was kicked to the curb, so two models will go home. The way that decision is made is left in the hands of Lady Luck, as Heidi explains that each model’s name is on a button in the famous velvet bag. She will pull out a button, and that model will chose which designer she wants to work with. The remaining two models left in the bag will be left holding the bag.

The great model-pickoff begins, and the results shake out thusly: Alexandra picks Alison; Clarissa picks Angela; Amanda picks Kayne; Nazri chooses Michael; Lindsay chooses Uli; Daniel picks Robert; Marilinda goes with Jeffrey; Camilla picks Laura; Jia stays with Vincent; and, it’s kickball all over again, as Bradley is chosen last by Katie. Javi and Katia are out.

Heidi tells everyone that the challenge is to modernize the look of a known fashion icon. There are ten photos of fashion icons in the workroom; the models are going to go in and pick one that they want their designer to do. Laura says to the interviewing camera that she is a bit frightened that their future is put in the hands of these models, and they don’t really know these girls. True enough, but at least the models didn’t have to think up the icons of fashion.

In the workroom, Tim explains, in his very best hall monitor tone, that when he says “go” the girls are to make a dash to pick whichever icon picture they want. On his “go,” the models fly across the room and tear for the pictures. No wild fights ensue, but it is a bit rougher than you might imagine. Tim then sends in the designers to see what they’ve drawn.

Audrey Hepburn is a Cause of Incontinence.

Clarissa, Angela’s model scored Audrey Hepburn, which is exactly what she wanted. Angela is so excited she threatens to pee her pants. Michael is beyond excited when he finds out he got Pam Grier. Well, he kind of Sam Jackson’d it up a bit when he expressed his exuberance, but trust me, he was glad to get Foxy Brown (or Jackie Brown, depending on your era, I suppose).

Robert thinks that Jackie O is perfect for him, and Jeffrey is pleased to be modernizing circa 1984 Madonna since he does stage-wear. I really don’t know why Madonna was a choice, since she pretty much has a handle on how to reinvent her image every couple of years, but whatever. Kayne is slap-happy over the idea of having Marilyn Monroe to modernize, and Uli seems pleased enough that she’s got Diana Ross. Laura is cool with the Katherine Hepburn choice. Alison is a bit confused by Farrah Fawcett and asks her model about Farrah, and learns that she is sexy and from the 70s. I forget how young some of these contestants are, and in all fairness to Alison, the only thing Farrah as been famous for in the last ten years is painting with her nude body and acting really weird on Letterman. If that’s all you know, the design challenge is apparent.

Tim tells the designers that they have two days, $150, and thirty minutes to meet with their models and sketch before heading to Mood. Off they go, and we see Michael picking some really bright magenta fabric that he is going to use in a body-conscious design. Robert picks out a Tiffany blue fabric and plans to make a suit. Vincent finds fabric and happily—maybe a little too happily—describes his master plan consisting of bell sleeves, like he’s stumbled upon the Rosetta Stone and Missing Link all wrapped up into one.

Jeffrey is Quackers.

In an attempt to make this episode about something other than fashion, we are treated to an incident of high drama in the sewing room. It seems that Angela used Bradley’s machine after Jeffrey did. When Jeffrey left the machine, it was working. Angela somehow got it messed up—the bobbin did something bad—and she says she fixed it. Bradley couldn’t use his machine because it was screwed up, so he had to use Alison’s machine, and so on. (Where’s Keith’s machine? Or Bonnie’s? Do they remove a machine when a designer is kicked out? I never noticed that before.) So, Jeffrey, true to form, starts bitching that Angela needs to fix what she breaks. Laura jumps in the fight; she looks like she’d enjoy a good fight anyway, and Laura asks Jeffrey why he’s on PR if he’s so damn good in the first place. Then Jeffrey quacks like a duck to the interview camera for a long time. I’m telling ya, I could not make up his antics if I tried.

Captain Save-A-Ho, Ready for Action!

There are only two hours left in Day 1, and tension is high due to the manufactured drama. Michael can’t figure out why Jeffrey has jumped all over Angela, and, although he doesn’t want to be the aforementioned superhero, he does want to point out that the sewing machine issue is not a Jeffrey issue, since he wasn’t impacted by the sewing machine switch-up. Michael observes the competition is really picking up and he wants to continue to stay true to himself as a designer. Then we are treated to a little phone call he makes to his Mom, where he says that he is keeping up with saying his prayers every night. At this point, I really start to worry about Michael. I like him and want him to stay, but the sudden increase in airtime gives me pause. Either he’s getting a winner edit or we’re about to bid him farewell.

Linen & Things.

Vincent bought three fabrics for his Twiggy look. He’s got some tan linen fabric that he is just not happy with, and he goes over to talk to Robert. Robert is also futzing with his Tiffany blue suit fabric and looks put out. They strike up a deal where Robert will get Vincent’s tan linen to use to make his Jackie O outfit. He says this oatmeal colored, potato-sack looking fabric will give a young and modern look and wow the judges. Maybe he needs to call Captain Save-a-Designer.

It is finally the end of Day 1 and the designers go home to Atlas. Kayne comments to Vincent and Jeffrey that he is most intrigued by Jeffrey’s and Bradley’s outfits. Jeffrey says he wants to see Laura’s so he can mock it; he does not like Laura at all.

Ground Control to Major Tom.

The designers are back at work on Day 2 of the challenge. Kayne is really happy with this challenge, calling it the best one yet. He’s working with black lambskin leather, a nude stretch lycra, and a black sheer stretch mesh to create a gown for his updated Marilyn Monroe. Angela works on her Audrey Hepburn outfit so that it shows some skin, but not too much, and is still sleek and sophisticated. Alison works on a outfit to fit a 1970s/1980s Farrah, but not so much so that the outfit looks like it is from the 70s. She wants to make high waist-band pants with versatile fabrics. Across the room, Bradley is working on a silver lame, back-closure top that looks a bit like the inside of a mylar balloon or a space man outfit.

Tim arrives early on Day 2 and brings in the models for a mid-design fit and consultation. After Nazri tries on Michael’s outfit, he determines that the dress he made is not right so he is going to have to remake it. Bradley is again haunted by ill-fitting pants, this time because of a misjudging of the model’s measurements. Kayne is stuck with his model, Amanda, who is talking non-stop about whatever enters her head—a party she went to, the ipod that someone wants to buy her, the ipod that someone has bought her, the price of tea in China, etc. Kayne eventually tells her to wait somewhere else.

Tresemme, tresemme, ooh, la la!

As all the designers and models were gathered together in one place, they are treated to a design consultation on hair and makeup by the Tresemme lead stylist, Nathaniel Hawkins. He informs the designers and models that the winning look will be featured—along with the designer—in an upcoming Tresemme ad in Elle magazine. Because this prize is huge, there will be no exemptions for the winner. Kayne thinks this prize is a huge to-do. Bradley, during one of the camera confessionals, and in his characteristic sly style, feigns excitement and belief in the Tresemme products, asserting that he just used some of their hair gel and it made his hair look so much better. Of course, Bradley’s hair has the same curly-haired-guy-gets-caught-in-the-rain look it always does.

Using the same approach as last week, we are treated to a rapid fire/near montage of the designers and models getting the Nathaniel Hawkins consultation on hair and makeup. Not a whole lot happens during this time.

Back in the workroom, Tim arrives and reviews the designers’ work. He finds Robert’s linen suit plain and boring. He agrees with Kayne that a cascading ruffle needed to be added to the front of the dress Michael tells Tim that he had to completely rework the design and he’s going with hot pants right now. Tim says he hates hot pants, but they’re “in” now, so go for it. (Wait, hot pants are in?!?! That is soooo wrong!) Tim is very concerned about Bradley’s Tin Man outfit and tells him as much.

They pack it in and head for the door next, as that is the end of Day 2.

Last minute details.

On the morning of the runway show, the models come in and there are two hours to prepare hair, makeup, and the outfit. Michael is frantically trying to finish his hot pants. Kayne is trying to ignore Amanda’s non-stop chatter. He says he’d use her again, but only if he could duct tape her mouth shut. Yet another montage of hair and makeup occurs, and at this point, I just want the montages to stop, because every time I see one, I get that damn “Montage” song from South Park stuck in my head.

Runway Showtime!

Heidi comes out on the runway and recaps the challenge, again stating that there is no immunity for this win. She introduces the judges: Michael Kors has returned; Nina Garcia is present; and the guest judge is Diane von Furstenberg.

The first look down the chute is Alison’s Farrah Fawcett look modeled by Alexandra. It is a deep-V halter dress with a brown top and sparkly white accenting on the inside of the V, and the skirt is a diaphanous white. I suppose she scrapped the high-waistband pants idea.

Bradley sends down Katie in his Cher outfit. It is still the silver lame top over poorly fitted white pants that have some kind of fringe down the front.

Clarissa comes out next wearing Angela’s Audrey Hepburn outfit. It is a low-cut black dress with a black textured fabric overlay. It is sleeveless and the waist and bottom are accented by Angela’s florettes.

Kayne’s Marilyn Monroe look on Amanda is wonderful. He’s made a halter top dress with accenting, especially at the waist, of black leather and has some dark crystals in the neckline. The dress is made of the white-ish stretch material, with the overlay of the black mesh stretch material.

Laura accomplished her Katherine Hepburn look on Camilla by making the pair of high-waisted trousers she designed last week for the pitch to the INC guy and paring them with a wrap blouse.

Vincent should apologize to Jia for sending her down in a black and plaid dress with bell sleeves and freaky patch pocket attached on the outside of the dress.

Nazri was rockin’ Michael’s Pam Grier outfit which consisted of a magenta halter and hot pants.

Robert’s Jackie O look on Daniel was the tan linen suit with a black tank top underneath.

Uli again worked with a fabulous purple print and made a lovely dress for Lindsay to wear as Diana Ross. It was a halter dress that had a cross-over neck line, but V-d deeply. Lindsay was offered no chest-area support, and was a bit droopy to say the least.

Finally, Jeffrey sends down Marilinda in an updated Mandonna look that was pretty much a bustier of red and gold fabric with a flouncy, short black skirt underneath.

After the judges score the show, the designers are called back on the stage where Alison, Laura, Uli, and Jeffrey are called to separate out of the crowd. They are all safe and can leave the stage. The remaining six represent the top half and the bottom half of the challenge.

Is there really such a thing as good hot pants?

The judges proceed to question and comment on the designs of the six contestants remaining on stage. Michael Kors likes Kayne’s Marilyn look, but says it is a little goth-y, but Nina wholeheartedly likes the look.

The judges ask Vincent what he was thinking with the crazy plaid print dress and big bell sleeves and patch pockets. He said he was going for simplistic and geometric. Michael Kors says the pockets are insane and the judges agree that the outfit is soooo not Twiggy.

The questions to turn to Michael, who says he picked the powerful color of magenta because Pam Grier was always playing strong, powerful characters. He did not want to do a full pant in the magenta because it would be too much, so he went with the hot pants. Diana von Furstenberg loves the hot pants, and was, once upon a time, a wearer of said pants.

The judges are in universal agreement that Bradley did not properly get the Cher look. As Michael Kors points out, Cher is a chameleon, so Bradley could have made her anything. Well, anything but a sad-looking spaceman. Heidi is especially vicious, saying it looks like a cheap Halloween costume—one so cheap, it may have been purchased at the mall.

Angela explains her Audrey Hepburn look as a modern update to the black dress by adding texture and her poofs, what she calls fleurchons. In this instance, they work because they are the same color as the rest of the dress and are only at the bottom of the hem and at the hip. The judges like her dress.

Finally, the judges ask Robert about his linen suit for Jacky O. He says he wanted to update a clean simple deign with a different kind of fabric, but Nina and Diane both hate the linen because it is too sloppy and unpolished.

The designers exit, and the judges deliberate. They liked Kayne’s dress, were impressed that Angela could do nice and sleek, and felt Michael really gave the whole package in presentation. As for the other three, they though Vincent’s fabric choice was terrible, Bradley had a bad presentation and was poorly constructed, and Robert got the fabric really wrong.

Bang, bang, he shot me down.

The six designers are brought back in. Michael wins the challenge, and will be photographed with Nazri for an ad in Elle magazine. Kayne is not happy, but Michael is thrilled and does a little happy dance right there on the runway. Angela, Kayne, and Vincent are all told they are in and can leave the runway. It is down to Robert and Bradley.

Heidi tells Robert that he couldn’t have chosen a worse fabric for a Jackie O suit, and the whole outfit was boring. She then tells Bradley that he could have done anything for Cher but instead, he made a poorly constructed, cheap looking outfit unworthy of an icon.

With that proclamation, Bradley is out, and Robert is in. Robert gets the warning that the judges believe he has the talent, but he’s going to have to wake them up with his next design.

Bradley leaves the runway and goes to pack up his things. He’s fairly zen about being kicked out this time, and says there was serious fashion going on and he ended up making a tinker toy. He, like the ones before him this season, seemed to really like their experience and leaves speaking highly of everyone.

In the last couple of minutes, we see Michael and Nazri at the Elle photo shoot. Tune in next week when the challenges get (allegedly) more difficult.