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Thread: Only the Producers and Bravo Know for Sure

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    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    Only the Producers and Bravo Know for Sure

    On ''Project Runway,'' when the designers are challenged to create looks out of recyclable materials, Michael shines, Alison flops, and Vincent somehow survives.

    Entertainment Weekly
    by Mark Harris

    To understand what happened on the latest installment of Project Runway, it helps to begin at the end. The very end — specifically that little sentence that flashes by in the closing credits that says ''the Producers and Bravo'' give the judges ''input'' during the elimination process. Following their lead, I would like to offer my own ''input'' to the producers and Bravo after this week's outcome: Butt out. Keep your grubby ''We have to keep him because he's 'good television' '' mitts off of the judging process, and let Runway be Runway. Because I bet there isn't a contestant, an actual judge, or more than a tiny handful of viewers who seriously believe that Vincent, perennial bottom-dwelling nut bag, should still be around.

    And yet, he is. This week's challenge wasn't a ''Make it beautiful'' show but a true ''Make it work'' hour in which the nine remaining contestants had to style clothes out of recyclable materials found in a Newark warehouse. (It was all very An Inconvenient Truth goes to Fashion Week.) Here's what we learned: Tim Gunn looks dapper and freshly pressed even at 5 a.m. Kayne used to Dumpster-dive as a little boy. Forced to use garbage, Angela will make exactly the same kind of Sporty Space Whore costume she makes most weeks. And one more thing: In the world of couture, looking like Minnie Mouse, whose name was rudely invoked more than once, is apparently a bad thing. As bad as looking like Frankenstein (or, as Nina Garcia pronounced it with regal disdain, Frank N. Stein).

    Minnie came up when the judges were considering this week's bottom three. Alison (who at one point this week was subtitled, apparently for viewers not conversant in Blonde) complained that she was stuck with a big model without a waist, a conversation that allowed Tim Gunn to become the least Jewish person in history ever to use the word zaftig. Figuring that humiliating your model is the best revenge, Alison wrapped her in a stiff, wide hate crime of a minidress, stuck a king-size hair bow on her head that looked like something a Topsy Tail vomited up, and, for good measure, attached a bewildered-looking six-inch stalagmite to her right shoulder. The poor model walked out onto the runway looking as if she knew the bad teenagers were about to dump a bucket of pig's blood on her and ruin her prom. And when Heidi used the sentence ''She looks like a plus model'' (a word so filled with rage I'm surprised Bravo didn't bleep it), end of story. Alison went home. And, as Mr. Gunn always says with an absolutely delightful lack of conviction on his indispensable podcast, ''we'll miss her.''

    That saved Kayne, a surprise tenant in the bottom three whose good judgment in saying that he knew his fourth-grade Thanksgiving-pageant, ''Look, Mommy, I'm playing a tree!'' dress was ugly did not mitigate the fact that it was, indeed, ugly. Kayne got off with a warning because of his past strong performances and open display of shrewdly calculated shame. (Oddly, Kayne also got subtitled once this week, I guess for the few Project Runway viewers who don't speak Gay.)

    That left seven other conflicted, worried personalities in jeopardy — all of them Vincent. True to form, he listened to the Inner Voices and designed a tubular white fire hazard that looked as if his model were the victim of a sorority hazing in which she was mummified in double-stick tape and then pelted with debris. At one point, as she shuffled along, I thought she was being pecked to death by origami birds. Even his design table was frightening; it looked like a room from Se7en. As Vincent stood there, he blinked and gaped and fussed and threw out words like ''artsy'' and ''avant-garde'' as if going through a series of fashion adjectives alphabetically would eventually save him. And something did — though what it was, only ''the Producers and Bravo'' know.

    This dunderheaded decision led to one of PR's only post-elimination fights ever, when in-it-to-win-it Laura leaned over (almost saw your boob; still love you) and tore into Vincent. He said something incomprehensible about Harry Winston and her nose and then smugly leaned back, ready to get kicked around for another week after all.

    What else? Oh, right — the winners. Is there anyone, at this point, not wowed by Michael, whose phenomenally smart and appealing three-piece gold, white, and translucent plastic combo won him his second straight challenge? He was joined in the top three by Laura, who found a way to make a Laura dress even out of garbage (although she appears to have contracted a localized case of Rosette's disease from Angela), and by the reprehensible Jeffrey, who made a dress that I guess had its virtues, especially if you've ever looked at bile and thought, ''Gee, what a nice color.'' (Michael Kors called it ''ugly-beautiful''; he was half right.) And that left three in the middle: Robert and Angela, both elated to dodge the bullet, and Uli, who seemed to aim a German-to-German laser death beam at Heidi when she missed the top three. Now that's a cage match I'd like to see.

    What did you think? Is Vincent still around on merit or because of meddling? What is ''the fine line between innovation and insanity''? And doesn't the timelessly stylish Minnie Mouse deserve an apology?

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    jmb
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    FORT Fogey Word Builder Champion jmb's Avatar
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    That article is hilarious! Thanks for posting it Violet!
    I sure hope the producers allow Vincent to be sent home next week... If he makes it much further the show will lose all credibility.

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    FORT Fan volatility's Avatar
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    yeah, up to this point, I can definitely see how the producers must have had something to do with this... especially because allison had strong designs before... where vincent has not had a SINGLE design that the judges really liked. so... wtf? it's pissing me off and I'm gonna stop watching if that mofo makes it to the top 3. I will write an angry, bitching, reeming letter accompanied by cassette tapes of my bleeping hatred for them every day until vincent dies. the end.
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    Dreamer rt1ky's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this.
    I agree with the "plus model" comment. GASP She looks... CURVY! That's not fashion! We need walking wire clothes hangers, no padded handers allowed.

    I don't think Vincent is good enough TV to validate his remaining on the show. Versus love or hate Santino - I don't see Vincent pulling in the ratings.

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    Moi
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    Quote Originally Posted by rt1ky View Post

    I don't think Vincent is good enough TV to validate his remaining on the show. Versus love or hate Santino - I don't see Vincent pulling in the ratings.
    Santino, much as I hate him, at least had some talent. I haven't seen a shred of talent in Vincent. I can't imagine why he is still there. We already have an obnoxious personality in the form of Tattoo Boy. We don't need Vincent for anything at all.

    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

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    I have to stand up for the producers, as Andy stated in his blog, he was really furious that Allison was let go and let Nina know it.

    I think the fact that Allison in no way even tried to defend herself and Vincent did had a lot to do with the final decision. That does not mean that I agreed with it by any means.

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    Fight Queen corprip's Avatar
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    I had to look myself, and here's what Andy said:
    I am not going to defend the decision last night by the judges. When I saw the rough cut of the episode I called Nina Garcia to ask her what the judges were thinking. She told me how awful the dress looked going down the runway and how the panel all were disgusted by how the model looked from head to toe, and that it was Alison's fault for doing this to her model.

    I am bummed out for the show that Alison is gone. She was one of my picks to go to fashion week. So the question becomes -- why choose Vincent over Alison? My answer is, "I don't know." The naysayers today will say that Vincent is great TV and that's why he's still on. IS HE, though? Would you rather watch Vincent than Alison? I personally would not. If it were up to me, I would've gotten rid of Vincent in Episode One with that lampshade on the model.
    I'm so with him on the lampshade thing. One thing is for sure though... the reunion episode will probably the best one yet. It will be a total bitchfest.
    "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier." The Killers.

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    Vincent is not good tv, unless you're talking about an after school program exploring the very special topic of schizophrenia. Does anyone have any doubt that he was probably the annoying guy doing austin powers impersonations two years after they were already not cool?

    Alison was also not good tv as she never said or did anything interesting or funny. She's the kind of girl (I say, without even knowing her and possibly just falling for a tv-edit) who is pleasant and laughs at everyone else's jokes so you think she is fun, but then when you think about it later, you realize she did not say anything humorous or entertaining herself. You know the type I'm talking about? I think those personalities develop quite often in such pretty girls - it's like they grow up relying on their looks and never become a deeper person. Again, I don't know Alison, and maybe she's sweet and fascinating and funny and it just didn't show on tv.

    Robert is clearly so jealous of Laura and it's bringing out an unflattering side to his personality. If you're going to snark on someone, make it funny or go home. Robert, we love you. Please start making some great clothes and stop making unfunny comments about Bree.

    I love Laura, excessive sternum exposure and all. I want to have a martini lunch with her every single week and talk politics, fashion, gossip, whatever. Michael can come too, and maybe Uli.

    Michael rocks, but I think Jeffrey deserved this win. Jeffrey is better than given credit for (in my pretty alone opinion), and I kind of like him. The tatoo is not good, but i'm sure he wasn't aiming to please the masses.

    Angela is a mess. I feel bad saying that, because she seems nice, albeit clueless. But she's a mess.

    Uli's dress should have been top 3, I think. It looked fantastic. Why wasn't it recognized more?

    Kayne is usually very good, but not good enough to win this, I think. And he really annoyed me when he was giving his lecture to Laura and Vincent while they were fighting. it would have been cool if he were like "Guys, cool it - Alison's saying goodbye," but instead he kept going on and on in an extremely self-serving 'look at how mature i am" manner. Lost points. And I don't believe for a minute the image of a young gay redhead and his sister dumpster diving. Whatever, Oliver Twist.

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    FORT Fan kerkeloo's Avatar
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    i think it is stupid that even though its very evident that Vincent can't really design and his head is just full of air, he still managed to survive... it definitely not because of merit the reason he is still there, cause we all know he really sucks, they are still keeping him for more drama in the show...

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    FORT Newbie CrosswordJunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKat View Post
    Santino, much as I hate him, at least had some talent. I haven't seen a shred of talent in Vincent. I can't imagine why he is still there. We already have an obnoxious personality in the form of Tattoo Boy. We don't need Vincent for anything at all.

    That's TRUE! Jeffrey - with the other musketeers - IS enough. Vincent's the fondant that slid off the cake but is still hanging around. Sorry for the oblique cake analogy, but it's true - Vincent's useless at this point. Never cared for fondant anyway
    Last edited by CrosswordJunkie; 08-18-2006 at 06:49 PM.

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