By Figgy | TV | October 18, 2010 |
By Figgy | TV | October 18, 2010 |
Here we are at last: the final challenge of the season before the top 3 are chosen to go to Fashion Week. It’s fitting that it features what’s possibly the craziest, most ridiculous judging in a season full of crazy, ridiculous decisions. It left a bad taste in my mouth. But let’s get on with it.
Previously, a truly terrible challenge caused a lot of drama. Ivy, The Bitch Queen of the Universe, returned and stirred some shit for no reason, then disappeared, and hopefully will never be heard from again. Andy won for making the least boring clothes in a show that was amongst the worst we’ve ever seen, and Christopher was finally sent home.
We open seconds after Christopher’s exit after his elimination. Tim tells them there’s a surprise waiting, and to go out and meet Heidi at the runway. She tells them they’re getting the night off to “relax,” and while both Michael and I expect a twist, I’ll let you know right now that there isn’t one. Much to my disappointment. So they go to the Presidential Suite at some fancy hotel, have a champagne toast and they all make a speech about how much this show has changed them. They all cry, drink some more, and it feels forced by the producers. I think they should have let them sleep; it would’ve been as exciting to watch as this was.
The next day, they’re on a rooftop where they’re greeted by Tim Gunn and Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of NYC, because…why not, I guess. (OMG he was on “Project Runway” I’m sooo voting for him! Wait…I don’t even live there. That was useless). The designers are told that their final challenge is to create a look inspired by a NYC landmark, which would be exciting except that at this point everyone’s exhausted and will probably make something fast and painless. Tim tells them it’s their last chance to wow the judges, and that they’re getting a budget of $500 and free run of the city.
So, while I’m here thinking that I’d immediately run to the Guggenheim or the Chrysler Building, these people are too exhausted to be original and go to some pretty boring, obvious places. Michael is the worst at this and goes to the Statue of Liberty, and I groan at the TV. Mondo and April both pick the Brooklyn Bridge, and see what I mean? They couldn’t even think of two separate places! In New York City! Andy goes to Central Park and Gretchen, who admits to being at a total loss (because NYC is against her hippie-lady-of-the-mountains aesthetic, I guess) goes to the Lower East Side. Honestly, I can think of at least 20 different places that would be more inspiring than this, and I’ve only been to New York like four times in my life. But moving on.
Mood. Gretchen picks some hideous patterns, Michael is lost, and Tim tells April to maybe pick some other colors than black and black, so finally someone’s telling her to do something different. She picks…navy blue. Oh, April.
Tim tells them that “at least one of them” will be going home. Michael, who’s been in the bottom three the last three challenges (ow) knows he needs to do something different. Gretchen, who suffers from the worst case of foot-in-mouth disease in the history of reality TV, says that Michael’s skills are like hers—five years ago. I’m sad that she really thinks she’s that much more advanced, with her ‘techniques’ of making clothes look like they’ve been run over by tires and ripping tops a la Flashdance.
Mondo takes a 2.5 hour “nap.” and the others wonder vaguely whether they should wake him up or not. Andy even sits and eats in the same room and doesn’t say a word, which I found hilarious and kind of evil. But, really, he was dumb and it’s not anyone’s responsibility. He finally wakes up and starts to freak out.
Which is a running theme with everyone this episode, as they’re so exhausted they’re really beginning to lose their minds, particularly on a day when they know they really have to make something big for the runway. Hee. Michael drapes a big black fabric over his head and keeps it on with his hat, strutting around and parodying the judges saying they love his accessories. And then he does the freakiest Michael Kors impersonation—seriously, it’s dead on. “When Diane Von Fustenberg first moved here, THIS is what she was envisioning” he says as he sits at the sewing machine with his costume on. I admit I started cackling.
There’s a weird moment after this where Andy asks Gretchen what she thinks of his dress, and she says it’s nice but it looks a little like an Asian Madam. Andy realizes that, yes, it looks like “Mae Ling the head waitress at the sea house, who does happy endings.” He sighs. “I gave birth to a Chinese prostitute.” Heeee. But he really does take Gretchen’s words to heart, freaking out over them that night at their apartment, and a part of me wonders whether Gretchen did it on purpose to try and throw Andy off his game. But, nah, she’s stupid, but not that conniving. She’s not Wendy Pepper, anyway.
The next day there’s even more scrambling and stressing out. After Mondo and Michael decide to change tracks with regards to their fabrics (hey, it’s kind of a boring episode, don’t blame me) Tim enters for consultations.
April is making yet another asymmetrical black piece with shit attached all over the place, and Tim looks concerned as she starts listing about 500 things she needs to add to it. He warns her about editing herself, but I doubt she’ll listen. Why would she? The judges have consistently praised almost everything she’s made.
Tim tells Michael to not lose his voice. I think that the biggest problem with Michael is that he really has no voice, something that the others have pointed out before. He makes nice clothes, he’s a good sewer and has good ideas, but he really doesn’t seem to have a particular point of view other than ‘make nice clothes and hope people like them.’
Tim next tells Andy to not go too slutty and be like “one of the real housewives of New Jersey”, and bwahaha, I love Tim. Only he could get away with saying that.
Gretchen says she really needs help from Tim. Mondo interviews that Gretchen is exhausted, and that it shows in her piece. Yikes. It’s another asymetrical mullet skirt with this hideous pattern in the lining that makes Tim cringe. What the hell is she doing? Gretchen interviews that while she and Tim don’t always agree, the best thing about him is that he truly sees potential in people. I think she nailed it. Tim seems like someone who would have your back no matter what and would be an incredible friend. It makes me sad that I don’t know him personally. They hug and I’m glad they got over their differences from early on in the show.
And now for a little aside: I watch this on the Lifetime website, and there’s a link to their movies on the side, one of which seems to be titled Why I wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy. I cackle for a bit and think that Dustin should make TK review it. And I’ll probably be dead tomorrow night. Hee.
Back to the show! Tim brings up the weirdo hairstylist who tells them to wow the judges with product placement. I really don’t like this guy, and I hate these segments where the point seems to be to name as many Garnier products as possible.
Mondo has nothing for his model to try on. That’s not good at all, specially considering that he’s making a little cocktail dress that needs to be really well fitted. Michael is randomly weaving something together. He really seems to do things pretty off-the-cuff doesn’t he? No plans at all, just nice accidents. Ugh. Gretchen interviews he’s either an idiot savant or an idiot. I think you’re plain out a BITCH, Gretchen. I swear, just when I begin to like her a little bit, she comes out with something like that. She’s awful.
Runway day. Gretchen, stop wearing clown-red lipstick. It looks terrible on you, and makes you look like a hooker that caters exclusively to clowns.
At the Runway of Perpetual Sorrow, Heidi actually looks nice for once. No bangs next season, please. Let’s start the show! Guest Judge is the tiny and fabulous Christian Siriano, winner of season 4. I miss him. I want him and Chris March to have a show together where they solve crimes or something. Make it happen. But, did you know Chris March is getting his own show? I can’t wait. I love that those two have been so successful. Anyway, on with the runway.
Michael made a sheath black dress with a big slit up to there, some nice braids across the back and a huge, unflattering open back. It’s sexy, but so, so boring and done before. And…really, that’s what you did? You had all of New York City, and you had to wow the judges, and that is what you did? Come the hell on, Michael.
Gretchen made a brick-colored mullet skirt with that horrible lining, a white top and a short leather jacket. I like the jacket, but it’s a little boring, and the whole thing looks too much like something she’s done before, only worse.
Andy’s dress is very basic in shape, but the mix of fabrics and the lines they create are pretty interesting. It’s definitely Asian-inspired, and definitely a little slutty, but I like it quite a bit, even if I’m underwhelmed.
Mondo made a short dress in his usual technique of using many patterns and fabrics and it’s very cute. I like that he only used blacks and whites, though I’m bored with his use of houndstooth now.
April. What can I say about it? It’s like everything we’ve ever seen from her: flowy sheer fabrics, pieces sticking out, mish mash Dark Warrior Princess, random cutouts. I kind of like it, I think, and it’s definitely much bigger and out-there than anything anyone else made.I don’t see her inspiration at all, though. I mean, she was inspired by herself, and she really needs to do something else.
They all remain on the runway. Mondo is first, and a slightly less-Brown Kors tells him that he loves that he doesn’t need to use colors to make something that stands out and is joyous. I like that description for what he does. Nina calls it phenomenal, which I think is pushing it a bit. Heidi says that she feels that she’s seen it a lot from him, and I have to agree, though I really love what he does. I hope she says that same thing to April.
Andy. Kors says that the last thing he’s getting is Central Park, and that’s totally true. If anything, it looks like maybe a sidewalk at night or some building. Definitely not Central Park I think him and all the others did their own thing and decided to build some NYC story around their pieces, which is partly why they chose things that were so obvious. Kors says that it’s not fresh, but he loves the construction, and Nina loves how it makes her look very curvy. It’s definitely gorgeously done and flattering.
Gretchen. Kors is confused and lost, and that Gretchen seems to have lost her all of her steam, and that it looks middle-of-the-road. Rock-and-roll secretarial. Gretchen says that she’s tired, but she should know better than to expect sympathy from the judges. Then she puts her giant foot in her giant mouth again, saying how she’s tired of the challenges, because they didn’t let her be herself and that she had to force herself into doing these things. That’s the entire point of the show, Gretchen. Heidi, clearly angry, points out that this particular challenge was totally open, which is completely true. Christian (who’s been a great judge so far) asks what she plans to make for her collection, and she says she’ll definitely wow them.
April. Nina looks very angry, but maybe she’s just thinking. And FINALLY, Kors says that the sameness is exhausting and that she’s made the same version of the same damned thing every time. That she’s a pregnant witch.
And, OK here’s the problem with that. Yes, he’s right. But. Why did they not say anything to her about her repetitiveness before?! They actually praised nearly every single thing she’s made before! And I know it’s what I’ve been wanting, but I’ve been wanting it before for a reason; so that she could try and do something totally different at least once and she wouldn’t get screwed by the judges for their own negligence. But now, she’s done the same thing over and over again, or at least stuck to her point of view, but you’ve said nothing but praise about it, so what’s the girl to think other than you love what she does and want to see more of it? Seriously: fuck these judges. I’m so sick and tired of them.
April cries because how confusing must that be?! She’s so lost. Argh. Nina says she’s not sure April has any range. Again, and louder (and sorry for the allcaps, but they’re necessary): WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SOMETHING BEFORE, YOU FUCKS. LAY OFF THE CRACKPIPE. Christian is the only one who praises it, because he’s not evil and he’s never seen her other stuff before.
Michael. He says he wanted a showstopper. Kors says he got one, and I throw a shoe at the wall because I’m so fucking confused by these people. He doesn’t even know what the fabric is! The other designers look angry, and reasonably so. Nina loves the back—really? I think it gives her backfat. Christian says that he would make the slit a bit shorter—Heidi loves it, of course. Seriously these people are being contrary to fuck with everybody. It’s bullshit. Yeah it’s a nice dress but fucking hell, it’s a draped piece of black fabric. I like the guy, but the fact that Nina actually calls it a “phenomenally beautiful” dress makes me fume. I get that you like the guy and want to keep with the drama by sending him in, and I like him too, but this overpraising is flat-out ridiculous. It’s embarrassing, specially for Michael, who doesn’t seem to realize that he’s being played. I hate the judges so much.
Then the designers are asked the usual end-of-the-season question of who they would take to Fashion Week with them. I always hate this part; it’s useless and in no way affects the judges’ decision. The only interesting thing that happens is that they all name Mondo, who is probably a lock for the win anyway, and only April picks Gretchen. Most of them also pick April.
The judges deliberate. Nina is clearly in love with Mondo, and probably wants him as a pet. Christian makes fun of his styling and Heidi asks if he meant his (Mondo’s) own. I think Christian is jealous that we all have a new favorite Wee Person. Kors hopes that Andy doesn’t stick with the Warrior Woman thing forever, but they love how he manipulates fabrics and that he definitely puts on a show. They’re overpraising Michael’s dress into exhaustion: Phenomenal, the look of the runway, stylish, gorgeous. Seriously? Ugh. Christian points out that he doesn’t know his fabrics and wonders if he did it by accident. Heidi tells him it doesn’t matter, which is bullshit. They’re going to defend their choice no matter what, aren’t they?
Kors hates April’s Pregnant Witchy Woman and how it’s the same damned thing ever week. They hate that she only used black and that she has taken no chances. It’s because you never told her to!. Christian says that it could be interesting, and he seems confused as to all the sudden hatred towards her. Just because she doesn’t have a very strong personality. I do not get these people at all. They say that Gretchen’s outfit is unwearable, and again, she made the same thing she’s made before, that you praised. Same colors, same droopy top, same short jacket. And you loved it before. They all think she either lost her confidence or ran out of ideas.
Heidi lies that it was a difficult decision. She tells them only one of them will be out, and four will compete for three final spots. I hate that they do this. Why not kick two of them out, or have four compete in the finals? Oh, right, because you need to fill another hour and a half next show. Damn them.
They show Michael’s collection. It’s been nice, I think. He’s in Fashion Week. Good for him, even if it’s more about personality than talent. Also, take that, Ivy. Mondo is in, as expected. Yay, go win that bitch! They show a montage of his looks and really, he made some fun stuff. I miss his model. Him and Michael hug backstage and it’s quite adorable. Andy and his impressive cheekbones are in, and Michael gives him a huge spinning hug backstage. I’m glad they’re so happy for each other.
April and Gretchen are left. Honestly, I was expecting April to stay. Yes, she got repetitive, but she had a very strong point of view that was repeatedly praised by the judges and the other designers. What was she to think? And Gretchen started out strong but quickly disappeared into the middle of the pack and really antagonized the judges during the Team Challenge. So, who do they pick? Gretchen, for some damn reason. I really don’t understand it. They should have kept April or kicked them both out, because Gretchen has absolutely no chance of winning, unless the other three completely fuck up, which is unlikely.
Poor April cries, and I know that I’ve disliked her intensely before, but right now I feel bad for her. It’s unfair that she’s missing out because she’s not a character, and besides, I dislike Gretchen much, much more. But she’s young and still has a big chance of making it, I guess.
Tim comes in and gives April a big hug, and tells the others he’ll be coming for visits soon. That’s always one of my favorite episodes.
So, there we go. The final four, with the final 3 chosen next week. What did you think? I’m glad that Michael’s getting a chance, and I’m really looking forward to see if he can make a cohesive, impressive collection. I know Mondo and Andy will wow us, but I think Gretchen’s collection will be expected. As for the judges, how horrible were they, not just this episode, but the season as a whole? It seems to me like that they’ve given up all pretense and are playing for the cameras, falling for producer manipulation and making decisions for the sake of creating more drama. But in the end, I really didn’t want anyone but Andy and Mondo to make it, and they’re there for being the only stand-outs in a season full of mediocrity. I can’t wait to see what they make, and if Mondo doesn’t end up winning, I’m going to eat my hat.
To end, here’s a nice link from the Lifetime page, where you can see photos of everything the designers made this season. It’s cool to look at the work each of the final 4 has done so far, so check it out.