Thirty million dollars in encrustables adorned the models of the runway on Thursday night. The ante has been upped this season as there seems to be an influx in funds. But has it really changed all that much? This week’s episode further fleshed out some of the initial changes, but … uh oh. Once-thought-to-be-wonderous changes in PR strategy and philosophy, have now fizzled out to be the same old same old. Let’s peep a few of the changes again, and reassess their long term effect.

Refocusing the microscope: PR 12 changes

Q: So, the judges don’t know who sent what down the runway?

A: Kind of, but they eventually know. In fact, Heidi Klum knew every single one because she handed out the models via the dreaded button bag. Sure, there is an off chance that the judges select the three best contestants of the season and put them in the bottom triumvirate and would be forced to eliminate a good contestant. But Tim Gunn still has the save. I’m sure that is why it has been instituted. Once tops and bottoms are announced, the judges all know who designed what. It gives them the opportunity to still go with the lifetime achievement award or even worse, they send home the lowest q-rating. In reality this does very little to alter the show.

Q: Will Tim Gunn’s presence on during the judges post runway make a difference?

A: Yes. This has knocked Tim Gunn’s likeability down a notch or two in my eyes. All of the drama, struggles, and poor choices are no longer left open to the judges best guesses. Tim is there to answer any and all the questions the judges have. Now I don’t think the mighty Gunn will be anything less than totally objective, but for me it comes across as sort of a tattletale. It taints Tim’s mentor role on the show.

Q: Is the monitor your own money over the course of the season anything more than an in show ad?

A: Not really. Which is a good thing. As I’ve said before, it would suck if they made these designers moonlight as CPAs. They don’t. There is a suggested budget for each episode. So unless Sandro falls in love with some $1000 a square foot chain mail, I expect there to be no issues regarding funding. I guess possibly at the end there may be some benefit to having leftover bucks, but we shall see.

As for the episode it was another feeling out episode. So let’s just get to the individual contestants.



Justin – My beloved one man deaf Wolfpack designed a stunning black dress. His fellow contestants audibly gasped loud enough for him to hear their heavy breathing of approval. Justin has become my early rooting interest. Seems like a genuinely quirky, funny, talented guy who could probably use the exposure and all the riches that come along with winning. Consider your pack one wolf larger.

Ken – Andre 1500 put together a beautiful asymmetrical green dress. He hasn’t gotten a lot of airtime, but I believe that is all about to change as the promos from next week have Super Mario Sandro and him swap quips in the sewing room. I’m a sucker for all things sassy southern, so needless to say, I’m also a fan of Ken.

Alexandria – our aging assassin put together an uber simple deep blue draped gown and despite its’ simplicity it looked fairly spectacular. The caliber of dress early in this season has been surprisingly high. It feels like they are going to shove the oddball personalities down our throat this year, but I don’t know if that is entirely necessary with the caliber of talent this season. Let’s all hope they maintain a reasonable balance.

Miranda – Looks like we have a pattern with this one. Company halt! This must be one of those “in” fashion trends that I totally don’t understand. Open stomached dresses? Back to back weeks? Whatever. At least last week she designed something I semi-liked. This week she goes with the Pan-Am stewardess’s dress with a stomach cut-out. I don’t trust she’s any good. Anyone who considers Timothy a rival might not be good. Milwaukee is not faring well so far.

Alexander – Due to an unfortunate eyebrow tweeze, our resident costume designer looks constantly surprised. Ginger the Merciless nearly shat his pants when the mystery judge was announced as an Emmy award winning costume designer. But then again he always looks excited/confused/on cocaine. He sent down an indescribable disco jumper for Dr. Girlfriend. I think this was terrible. And I loved it. More of that please, sir.

Karen – Our undetectable Red October from last week, managed to evade radar detection again. I personally thought her lingerie-necked dress was way too simple and boring, plus I hated the color. But there were so many trainwrecks/stunners she avoided any notice again. I’m keeping my eye on you, Karen. Or am I?

Jeremy – EuroDad cranked out another solid dress. A black gown turned smoky tulle explosion at the bottom. He’s got all the tools to go very deep in this competition. Experience, a good eye, and deft sewing skills. He’s a force to be reckoned with. I thought this dress could have been a top three.

SueDee Snider put together a solid black ruched dress. What needs to be discussed here is her awful sewing table behavior. I’m beginning to think that she is a timebomb waiting to happen. She obviously knows how to sew on a machine right? I get a feeling like the rest of the designers need to put their collective feet down and tell her “we’re not gonna take it”.

Bradon – The bearded ballerina put together a discoball gown that I wasn’t a huge fan of, but I still like his aesthetic. I feel he goes deep in this competition. His normal leveled headed self-deprecating humor is a breath of fresh air.


Dom – A perfect little green and white roman style gown. I feel like I got her first impression really wrong last week. I think she knows what she is doing and I like her spunk. Her dress would have been my winner this week. I didn’t see her wear any earrings that may or may not have been alive at some point either. A lot can change in a week. Sadly not for enough of the contestants.

Sandro – My man. Where to start. O I know. THE FUCKING LEOPARD PELT PRINT SHIRT OPEN DOWN TO HIS FUCKING NAVEL. This guy. This is the guy. Not to be defeated by the steamer, he grabbed a PA who made his TV debut and skedaddled shortly thereafter. He starts fights with everybody and cries. Shows compassion and speaks in tongues. This guy. Designed a tan cigarette girl getup that I thought got a little too much praise considering the multitude of good pieces out there. But I can’t deny, he is a human highlight reel. A combo of Dmitry’s Russian lost in translation humor and Daniel’s emotional rollercoaster, this guy is not going to fade away. Enjoy the ride people. More Sandro please.


Timothy – Dammit! The elimination bothered me so much this week because you had two bona fide shit fests to choose from and chose neither. So much for the blind elimination. Well done producers. Get rid of the least neurotic contestant in order to push ratings.  I HATE THIS. Timothy designed a velour motel blanket from Mood’s trash bin. Instead of being eliminated both weeks, he is kept on to push my buttons.

Helen – She was even worse than Timothy this week. I knew I wasn’t going to like her. I just didn’t know it would be this fast. In her defense, I don’t believe they stopped the runway show to console her. I think that was creative editing (look at her makeup smears, they don’t line up). That said, the wannabe badass cries herself through to round three after sending down a brown sad unfinished piece of shit. She might actually have talent, and I will be thus reminded I hate her for many more weeks. Unlike Timothy, who is awful. Thirty Helens agree.[ref]Ed. Note: We’re giving Pete a victory lap for this reference. Well played, sir.[/ref]


Yes, yes she did.


Kate – All Kate bashing aside, I thought her dress was fine. Not the winner though. I don’t get the asymmetrical bunched lower arm attachment thingie. It looked very uncomfortable. I thought there were better pieces, but this isn’t an outrage. I’ll never her forgive her for what she did to my Tu, so I hope she goes very deep in the competition and then falls flat on her face. I’m kidding.

I’m not.


Kahindo – This was a travesty of modern justice. I kinda liked the way her dress turned out. Tim Gunn gives her advice, only for him to unearth all of his help in front of the judges at the most inopportune time. Then he backs the Gunn Boat up to run over her again by pointing out her original design. Meanwhile, Timothy, Helen, and George Zimmerman are free to ruin more lives. All to satisfy the producers unending thirst for nutty personalities. A shame. A damn shame.

Well we’ve definitely separated the good from the bad from the indifferent. Both on the design and sass fronts. I figure after one more episode, the feeling out period will be done, and I think we are going to be in for a good to great season of the Runway. I don’t know how I feel about Tim Gunn turning to the dark critical arts. He’s just always been that super lovable gay uncle that everybody has/wants. We’ll see where this goes young Anakin.

Power Rankings

Diamonds are Forever

1)      Bradon
2)      Jeremy
3)      Dom
4)      Justin

Emerald City

5)      Ken
6)      Kate
7)      Sue
8)      Alexandria

Ruby Tuesdays

9)      Helen
10)   Karen
11)   Miranda
12)   Alexander

Fool’s Gold

13)   Sandro
14) Talcum Powder
15)   Timothy

Yes, Timothy is ranked below Talcum Powder. Yes, he is.