Pop Culture

Tim Gunn, National Treasure

Welcome to our first recap of my personal guilty pleasure, Project Runway.  Last night was a banner episode for our designers, filled with more drama than a room full of Bieber fans.   Snippy designers, eye-rolling and a few dozen yards of hideous gray sweatshirt fleece makes for great TV.

As we’re a staff of volunteers with no budget to speak of, we sadly can’t share any photos of last night’s imbroglio, but I’ll share links for the recaps I normally troll the internet to find on Friday mornings to meet your visual needs at the end of the article.

We open in the apartment, with Gretchen and April relieved to wake up without giggling and chattering from the other female contestants.   The men, on their side of the wall, are a bit more jovial, and Michael C mentions that he hopes a woman goes home after the upcoming challenge.  It’s nice to see Mikey C getting on so well with his roommates.

On to the runway, where Heidi tells the designers they’re all switching models.  The designers are miffed, as they’ve all built good relationships with the ladies they’ve worked with.  It’s left to Gretchen to decide which model is auf’d, and Mondo’s former muse is sent packing.   The theme for this week’s challenge is to design pieces for Heidi’s forthcoming New Balance/ activewear collection for stylish Hobbits.  The designers are split, with April and Christopher having never made activewear, Gretchen thinking the collection is “retail” and “basic”, and the rest showing various levels of excitement.  At Mood, all the happy elves congregate in the same aisle, with the gray and brown jersey. Sadly, Swatch does not make an appearance.

In the work room, Mondo’s former model is brought back when Christopher’s model has to leave the show for a family emergency.  Yay for Mondo’s former model!  Tim brings in Heidi to do the workroom critiques.  She can’t get Mondo’s piece over her head, Mondo rolls his eyes, Heidi calls him on it and Mondo stomps off to the ottoman room.  Oh Mondo, you’re better than that.  Heidi moves on to talk to Andy.  Christopher heads back to the ottoman room to boost Mondo’s spirits.  Mondo says something about how it’s so much harder to actually do this show than it looks by watching on TV.  (I feel you, Mondo.)  Heidi speaks to April, who is of course making something black and asymmetrical, with lots of strips.   Heidi and Tim shuffle off to Gretchen’s work table, and the shifts hit the fan.  Gretchen feels like Heidi’s collection is missing something, so she wants to improve on the concept by incorporating different shapes and adding new fabrics.  Words are exchanged, Gretchen gets huffy, Heidi gets sarcastic, Tim tries to smooth things over and Gretchen tosses her fabric across the room.   Moving on…  Speaking to Mikey C, Heidi tosses off a zinger – “Who was it that said you can’t sew? Oh yeah! She’s not here anymore.”  Yeouch, Heidi, I do so love it when you get snippy. As this is going on, the camera cuts to April, who says Mikey C. can’t sew.  (Is it me or was the editing genius last night? More on that in a bit…)   After all the critiques, we get a Heidi-bomb.  Each designer will need to make two additional complete looks.  But wait! Heidi is sending help.  We all know what that means.

Gretchen continues to look at what she finds wrong with Heidi’s collection, because she’s Gretchen and she apparently has no filters.   Back to Mood.  Gretchen is flummoxed and Tim shoots down every idea she has.  Ha.

Back at the workroom, the real drama starts.  The helpers, of course, are the deposed former contestants.   Mikey C is rightly worried about catching a vicious case of poison ivy.  But hey, Cassanova! And Peach!  Each designer picks a partner to work with.  Mondo picks Valerie, Gretchen picks Cassanova, Christopher picks Ivy (because she can sew and make patterns), Mikey C picks AJ, April picks Peach and Andy is left with Other Mike, saying “I know Michael Drummand isn’t incompetent, but…”

Mondo scraps his ideas that Heidi hated so he doesn’t look like a jerk in front of Valerie.  Gretchen is derailed because Heidi criticized her.  Andy is dumbing it down.  The day ends.

The next day in the workroom, AJ tells Mikey C he was nervous about working with him.  Ivy gives Christopher a boost.  April thinks Peach is a worrywort.  Cassanova thinks Mikey C’s outfit is the color of pumpkin pie on the bottom and pecan pie on top, both of which sound delicious.  Mikey C isn’t swayed.

In the sewing room, Ivy starts bitching at Mikey, Mikey bitches back and Ivy accuses him of cheating.  Cue ominous music.  There’s a conversation about tape and sticky boobs and Jackie Kennedy.  Mikey asks Ivy how it feels to be eliminated for a crappy design.  He drops some swears, Ivy more or less calls him a bad father, a cheater and a saboteur.   She’s mad because he took her spot and her dream.  Mikey says she’s bitter.  Ivy says Karma will get him, then the needle breaks on her sewing machine and hits her in the eye, to illustrate her point.  Ivy tries to warm up to Mondo in his fabulous polka dot pants, Mondo doesn’t buy it.  Even Gretchen thinks Ivy is out of line.  Ivy just keeps talking.

Enter Tim.  Tim asks for details, Ivy jumps at the chance, thinking the show will boot Mikey C and ask her back.  Tim says it’s too late, there’s no proof, and that’s that.  “We’re putting it behind us.”  I love this man.  As I type this, I picture Ivy sitting in her apartment, walls covered with “I HATE YOU GUNN” scrawled in red Sharpie.   And that picture brings me joy, readers, I’m not going to lie to you.

It’s runway day! Gretchen and April are bitchy, Andy is trying to finish all his pieces, Cassanova thinks Gretchen’s pieces look a bit soccer mom.

Gretchen: bad rouched leggings, weird cropped top, bathrobe and sheer bike shorts.

Andy: lots of diagonals and interesting shapes, cute dress

April: black stuff, asymmetrical, arm bands, booty shorts, April buns

Christopher: I can’t remember any of these pieces for more than three seconds without getting sleepy.

Mikey C: Really horrible orange pants, stupid open toe booties, exposed zippers.

Mondo: I would hurt someone to get that cute circle cut hoodie. His pieces, more than anyone else’s, seem to flow and work together really well.

When they judges get their say, Mondo, Andy and April are in the top; Gretchen, Mikey C and Christopher are in the bottom.   In the ottoman room, waiting for their walk of shame, the three bottoms all think they did better than someone who’s actually in the top three.   The judges fawn over Andy’s cool shapes, April’s lack of them and Mondo’s cute headbands and cohesiveness.  They are sent away.  The three losers take the runway to take their lumps.  Christopher made clothes for a pajama party, the judges agree with Cassanova about Mikey C’s thanksgiving palette and think Gretchen’s ego made her designs not fit in at all with Heidi’s Shire Aesthetic.

Andy is declared the winner and Selena is sad, because this means I can’t get Mondo’s hoodie at Amazon.  Boo!  April and Mondo are safe.   Gretchen is the first of the bottom three to be safe, leaving Mikey and Christopher on the runway to sweat it out.  After the commercial, the axe falls on Christopher and America instantly forgets he ever existed.  Best of luck to what’s his name as he goes about his life.

My Tivo cut off next week’s preview, but we’ll be back next week to talk about whatever happens.

*Update* Well kiss my grits (hi-o!) I forgot the links.  Here you go!

A/V Club – full review

Gawker – not up yet, but when it is it will be delicious candy for your brain.

Television Without Pity – Recaplet

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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