It's time for another episode of Project Runway, folks, and this week's episode starts off with a look back at what happened last week. For those of you who missed it, last week's challenge was all about innovation, and the finalists had to make outfits for a night out on the town from items found at a grocery store. Daniel, whose butcher paper jacket and trash bag dress didn't bowl over the judges, was, unfortunately, the show's first casualty. Anyway, it's the day after Daniel's exit, and everyone is rather reflective on his departure and the competition in general. With someone no longer around, everyone is beginning to realize that this really is a competition and that any of them could be the next one to go. Anyone except Austin, that is, since he won last week's challenge and is immune from being "out" this week.
Heidi meets the group at the runway, and asks the group if they're ready for this week's challenge. They all say yes, of course, and Heidi explains that this week's challenge will be guided by one word – "envy". It will be up to the finalists to express their interpretation of the word through their designs. For this week's challenge, each finalist will get one bolt of white cotton (and we are reminded yet again that cotton is the "official fabric" of Project Runway), and they can do whatever they want with it. Heidi then calls the
matchsticksmodels back out, and she reveals another twist to the competition: Not only is this a competition for the aspiring designers, it is also a competition for the models. Each week, the finalists will pick their models, and the one that is not picked will be off the show. The last model standing will get an exclusive spread in an upcoming issue of Elle magazine. Last Model Standing? That sounds like a new reality show. Can't you just see it? Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, et al all try their hands at stand-up comedy. One by one, they're eliminated until we're left with the Last Model Standing. It could be a hit, I tell ya…a hit! But, I digress. Austin gets to pick first once again, and, as the choosing continues, Kara tells us that she will never pick the "tragic" Morgan again. Not to worry, Morgan fans, as Vanessa picks Morgan because "she can really walk". Cut to Kara in the back row, who just rolls her eyes and stifles a laugh. By the time the selection process is over, model Mary is left on stage and is, therefore, off the show.
The group is now at their workroom, where they set about to dividing up their fabric and starting on their designs. Wendy is in full mother mode, as she tries to make sure everyone gets his or her fair share of the fabric. The finalists may have fallen for Wendy's mother shtick, but Wendy says, "Everything I do is strategic. Exploiting my role as the mother of the group may be evil, but if it will help get me to the end, you bet I'm gonna do it." See, even sweet, compassionate Wendy isn't so sweet and compassionate when you get right down to it. I bet before the show is over, we'll even get to see Starr's catty side. Of course, I'd be happy just to get through one episode without Starr getting hysterical about something, but that's just me.
The group goes on a field trip to get the supplies they'll need, and then it's back to the workroom to begin working on their creations. Paranoia sets in almost immediately, as Kevin's black dye turns up missing. He goes into Nancy Drew mode and sets out to find his dye and finger the person who took it (hmm…maybe I should rephrase that). He approaches Jay and asks him if he took it. Jay gets all pissy and says he didn't take it. He astutely points out that if he had taken it, his outfit would be black instead of the purple that it is. He then says in a confessional, "I didn't take the bitch's dye, that's fo' sho'." He continues, "I'm no liar, and I'm no stealer. But, I want to be one…and play one on TV." You'll probably have to work on your wardrobe, Jay, if you want to be taken as a thief. That big white fur coat (or whatever it is) and the afro puffs just ain't cuttin' it. Kevin calls the situation "stressful", but Mother Wendy finally finds it and returns it to Kevin. Kevin goes over to apologize to Jay for thinking he took it, and what is Jay's response? He says, "You're an asswipe, Kevin." Oh, that's real mature, Jay…
It's a little later in the day, and we get a bit of an insight into what each finalist is creating. Vanessa says that she's interpreting "envy" as pregnancy envy, and she's going to be making a maternity dress. Austin says his dress will be inspired by the Evil Queen from Snow White and adds, "I think there's a little Evil Queen in all of us." Austin, honey, something tells me you've got more than just a little evil queen in you. Nora is designing a dress with strategic cutouts to show parts of the body that people envy. Jay calls his design—a jumpsuit with words and phrases expressing envy all over it—a "walking social commentary". Mario's dress is once again very simple and straightforward. It's a white dress with a couple of splashes of red on it, and he finishes 4 hours before the deadline. I can't figure Mario out. Is his blaséness an expression of the fact that he really doesn't care about what happens in the competition? Is he so cocky and confident that he feels he doesn't need to try all that hard to stay in the competition? Is blaséness even a word? Paranoia starts creeping into Wendy's psyche, as she says, "I struggle with envy a lot" while eyeing Nora's work.
There are two hours to go on the first day, and Tim comes back to check in on the group and see how they're doing. He notices Kara's military-inspired design and asks her what it's all about. She says that, in her opinion, envy turns into greed, which, in turn, turns into war. Therefore, she's going with the military-inspired look. Tim nods and moves on, but I'm still trying to figure out how you go from envy to war and battle in less than a minute.
Time is running out, and everyone has moved to the sewing machines. It's late, and the finalists are all starting to get a little punchy. Austin is concentrating so intensely that he doesn't even realize his finger is under the needle and ends up sewing right through it (or, as he says, "I thewed thtraight through it."). All Nora can do is scream, "F**k!" over and over, and I'm not sure if she's expressing frustration or looking for sex. Starr goes a bit postal at her sewing machine, and I'm pretty impressed we've gotten this far into the show before having to witness one of Starr's "episodes".
We next see Vanessa and Wendy in the laundry room. Wendy asks Vanessa something from off-camera, and Vanessa says, "Don't interview me for the cameras, Wendy." I suddenly feel like we're back in junior high, because Wendy launches into this whole "What have I done to you?" and "Why are you so mean to me?" routine. Vanessa is as dumbfounded by the severity of Wendy's reaction as I am, but we learn that getting people to confide in her is another part of Wendy's strategy, and I guess Wendy felt like Vanessa wasn't buying into it. I still don't think that's enough reason for Wendy to throw the pity party she did, but whatever. The camera then cuts to Robert and Austin, who are hanging out at their apartment and wearing facial masks. It's all I can do to keep from spewing my iced tea all over the television screen, because the site of Robert wearing a facial mask while drinking a bottle of Coors is almost just too much.
It's the next day, and everyone is back in the workroom putting the final touches on their designs. Tim comes into the room and says, "Get your garments and meet me outside…right now." This throws everyone for a loop, because they're all expecting another runway show. But, Tim herds them into a van and takes them to the store 30 Van Dam, where they meet the owner of the store, Paul Berman. Paul tells them that the fashion business is about creativity, but it's also a business, and that is why the finalists are at his boutique. He tells the finalists that they are going to participate in a silent auction where some hoity-toity New York fashion plates will be bidding on their designs. Whoever gets the highest bid will be the "winner" for the week and will receive immunity from being sent home next week. The rest? Well, they'll be judged on the runway as usual. This silent auction twist throws our finalists for a loop, especially Vanessa and Wendy. Vanessa says she's "horrified" and that she's "completely screwed" because nobody is going to want to bid on a maternity dress at this chi-chi boutique. (Ironically, Vanessa's dress ended up receiving the second-highest bid of the group, but that's not revealed on the show. See the "Episode 2 Portfolio" thread for the silent auction results.) Wendy says she wanted to "immediately start looking for an exit" when she heard of the silent auction. A little bit later, the store opens, the patrons walk in, and the silent auction begins. Alexandra and Robert have no trouble drawing interest, but in Rob's case, I think the women are more interested in Rob than his creation. Even Starr has one lady interested in her green and red design, but when she start to explain that envy is like a cancer and the red areas represent tumors, all the lady can do is say, "Um…wow" and walk away. Starr, you might want to re-think your sales pitch. I don't think there's going to be a mad rush on "cancer dresses" this season. While some people are having success in attracting interest in their designs, Jay and Wendy aren't having as much luck. Jay thinks that his "Jesus" look may have scared people off. Jesus? With his hair slicked down and parted in the middle, I don't think he looks like Jesus so much as he looks like Marcia Brady with a hormone problem. Poor Wendy stands next to her creation and can't seem to drum up any interest. She later tells Austin that salesmanship is one of her big weaknesses and adds, "I don't like my weaknesses to be on display." (Personally, I don't like to see Austin's armpits—he's wearing a vest without a shirt for some unexplained reason—on display, but I digress.) What did you think this whole thing was going to be, Wendy? Cotton candy and cute little forest creatures at your feet all the time?
It's time for the show and judgment (dum dum DUM!). The models are all in the hair & makeup room getting pretty, and Austin is right beside them putting makeup on himself. I swear, he puts on so much that if he put on any more, he'd be a geisha. We move to the runway, where Heidi gives her speech about how fashion is all about being "in" and "out" again. She then introduces the judges. Nina Garcia from Elle magazine is back, and Paul Berman, the owner of the store where the silent auction took place, and Constance White, the fashion/style director for Ebay, join her this week. Now, why a website like Ebay needs a fashion/style director is beyond me, but they've got one. Anyway, after introducing the judges, it's time for the show. Robert's model is out first, and she comes out wearing pants and a vest (with no shirt) and holding a cigar. Kevin's model is next, and he says that the reason his dress is as short as it is is because he was using leg envy as his inspiration. Wendy's model is next, and Wendy says something about a snake on the back of her dress, and I just can't see one. Wendy's dress is followed by Jay's "social commentary" jumpsuit, Austin's "Evil Queen" dress, Kara's military ensemble, and Vanessa's maternity outfit. Nora's cutout dress is next, and Nora says, "My confidence level has risen after this creation, and I think I can win this." Alexandra's Venus-inspired dress is next, and that's followed by Starr's "cancer dress". Mario's creation is the last one shown, and the splashes of red on the dress make it look like she's been shot.
Heidi announces that the judges have made their decision, and she asks Mario, Starr, Nora, Kara, Wendy, and Robert to step forward. Now, last week, the group that stepped forward was the "safe" group. However, that rascal Heidi says that the names she didn't call are "in", and they leave the stage. The ones that remain have their models come back out and join them, and it's time for questions from the judges. Nina asks Mario how his dress represents envy. Mario says that he was backstage with one of the other models (and he doesn't say which one), and she was talking about how she slept with this one's boyfriend, how that one has bad acne, etc. He said that his dress was meant to show that models could be very envious of each other, so much so that they would even kill because of it. Um, OK. Robert is asked where the envy is in his outfit. Robert says that his man's suit-inspired look was meant to represent penis envy. Robert, I guess that those hideous cornrows you're wearing are meant to represent Bo Derek envy. Nina tells Wendy that her dress looks "a little unfinished" and asks her if that was intentional. Wendy launches into this speech about how her model is supposed to represent the goddess of envy blah blah blah, and Constance cuts her off, saying, "I think you're talking a good game, but that's it. Your dress does not look finished." Me-ow! Paul asks Starr about her dress, and she launches into her whole cancer/tumor speech. Paul wonders if Starr thought about the difficulty in selling the dress with that sort of angle, and Starr is left speechless. Kara is asked what is envious about her design, and she rehashes her envy=greed=destruction=war explanation. Constance asks Nora about her dress. Nora talks about how the cutouts are supposed to expose areas of the body that people may envy, and Constance responds, "Your dress is about as simplistic as your explanation." Ouch! OK, this lady probably knows more about fashion than I do, but she's a fashion director at Ebay, for crying out loud. It's not like she works at one of the big fashion mags or has her own design house or something, but I digress. Constance is just really getting on my nerves. Heidi asks the designers to leave once again so the judges can talk, and her claws immediately come out when she says, "OK, who do we hate?" The camera cuts to the designers who are backstage waiting for the results. Wendy is telling Austin what the designers said about her dress, but I can't get past the fact that Austin is wearing a hairnet. Why on God's green earth is he wearing a hairnet all of the sudden? Is he going to apply to be a cafeteria lady if he doesn't win this competition or something?
The designers are called back out. Heidi tells Robert and Starr that they are both "in", and they leave the stage. That leaves Kara, Wendy, Mario, and Nora. Heidi reveals that, with a high bid of $405, Kara is the week's winner and will be immune next week. She then says that the remaining three—Nora, Wendy, and Mario—are the three worst of the week. (Again, the irony here is that Nora's dress received the fourth-highest bid in the silent auction, yet the judges think she is one of the week's three worst.) Heidi next tells Nora that she's "in", and Nora leaves and breaks down in tears backstage, saying that it is "rough" to go from being one of the best one week to one of the worst the next week. That leaves us with Mario and Wendy. Heidi says that Wendy's dress, while it certainly had a concept, looked unfinished. She tells Mario that his dress was too simple and that he didn't put enough effort into the challenge. She then informs Wendy that she is "in", which means that Mario is the one who is "out" this week. Mario calls his time on the show "an amazing experience", and he goes backstage to tell everyone goodbye. Everyone seems to be sad that he is leaving, but Jay is particularly affected, saying that he hasn't cried like that in "decades". Tim ushers Mario out, telling him that he needs to go clean his workspace. With that, the show comes to a close.
Next week on Project Runway: Jay focuses his anger on Robert and goes off on him, the group goes out drinking (and we see that Vanessa may have a problem holding her liquor), and someone has, in Vanessa's words, a "breakdown". Hmm…my money's on Starr for that last one.
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