Last night, “Project Runway” treated us to yet another remake of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” am I right? The parallels were undeniable. The well-dressed, fun loving, asexual tour guide / figurehead of a large looming building we know little about gives a handful of superfans the tour they’ve always dreamed of. There was a warning to mind your mouths while passing a table full of a shitload of candy. An Oompa Loompa was referenced on the runway as Alexander’s ill fitting power suit was verbally shredded. Plus Ken is Veruca Salt right? Everybody hates Veruca Salt.
At times, this episode fell like two different ones smushed together. The two main storylines couldn’t have felt more opposite.
On one hand, we had eight truly delightful superfans standing in for the “real woman” challenge. One of the drawbacks of the “real woman” challenge is that there is usually one that is impossible to work with. Not this time, though. The “real women” were superfans! They knew how the show worked and by God, they would sacrifice a small animal in order to see their designer triumph. The positive energy of the eight fans was a pleasant departure from the pressure induced cat-fights littered through the first half of this season, including this show.
On the second hand, once again Ken woke up on the wrong side of the universe and everyone was on his shit list. While Alexander and Bradon, our two remaining gingers tried to move in to their new digs, Ken decided they could move in when he was done with his ironing, which, my friends, was going to take some damn time. Alexander isn’t totally without blame here, but let’s be clear. It is Ken we are talking about. Where there’s smoke, there’s usually Ken burning down a building because someone forgot to cut the crusts off of Ken’s peanut butter and anger sandwiches.
These two plot lines came to a head during a Come to Jesus meeting before the second day of an all too rare two day challenge. Tim Gunn took time out from singing and showing the golden ticket holders around Parsons to become the leader for Ken’s, what, like third intervention? The children gathered around Tim and stared off in different directions until the group of campers decided that they must rise above their squabbles. The most sage advice came from Alexandria, who set aside her icy cold stare in order to remind the other contestants that “hey, there are superfans counting on them to provide them with happiness through our work and demeanor.” This made me happy and sad at the same time
, but a quart of rum raisin squelched my inner pangs of lonliness.
We’ve sort of danced all over the episode already. There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going. There’s no knowing where we’re rowing, or which way the river’s flowing. O (thank goodness), we’re here.
THE CHALLENGE: DESIGN AND COLLABORATE ON A LOOK FOR YOUR ASSIGNED SUPERFAN. YA GOT TWO DAYS.
Dom – with the help of Jane-Sarah: An art deco print dress with a tan jacket for the modest museum curator looking to wear her icebeaker. I thought this was a bottom three look. It seems that my Dom may be running out of Perignon. Lately the dresses she churns out look to be overly simple. I haven’t been this unsure of Dom since the first episode. And there is a parallel here. The bird feather earrings are back on. Not a good sign. Come on Dom, channel your inner Japanese youth pop culture fanatic and start designing from there again.
Kate – with the help of Altagracia: Olive and lace top with black leggings appropriate for a little shuffleboard on the poop deck. Oh sweet, sweet Altagracia. I tried to spell your name without looking at the screen for ten minutes and not once did I write it down correctly. Also I couldn’t make out at any point in the episode what you were saying. Kate seemed to be relieved that she was safe. Safe to say she didn’t know what the hell the judges were going to think about her garment. If Kate’s off week is a “safe,” I guess we should resign ourselves to seeing her at Mercedes Benz fashion week.
I feel bad for Altagracia and Jane-Sarah here. There were eight superfans, meaning three would be in the top and three would be in the bottom. Those six would get to be on stage for the feedback sessions and also get to interact with the judges during the “up close” portion of the critique. The other two? Eh. Enjoy the craft services that Tim Gunn told you not to enjoy while you’re waiting for your new buddies to come back and regale you with stories from the front line. Sorry ladies.
Justin – with the help of the Mormon Tristan: black (literally) signature dress with built in shame shorts to ensure hidden lady bits. Tristan had the positive energy of four wives, and with good reason! This was the most creative piece of the night. There wasn’t much to dislike here. You cannot get more personal than putting your client’s name on something and not having it look like you are at an AA meeting or an electronics convention. Justin might be able to string enough winners together to get to fashion week, but I do not think he can win this rodeo.
Bradon – with the help of a suburban model Jennifer: black leather jacket with dipping dots shoulder pads and a cute LBD with electrical tape on it. Heidi mentioned she’d love to wear this look to work. Unless you work at a massage parlor on an episode of “Firefly,” I don’t know if this is work appropriate. Not only did Bradon hit the jackpot with an already model looking superfan, she also let him know she wanted to look like she’d “cut a bitch”. I mean, come on. If Ken was paired with her even he would have finished in the top three. I loved her before picture was shot at the worst angle to ensure her Rapunzel hair looked ridiculous. It reminded me of the beauty cream before and after shots. In the first shot, our client looked like this (holds up a photo of seventy day old sausage pizza), but wait! After using this new age defying cream she looks like this (photo of Iman). Jennifer’s tears probably stemmed from the fact she couldn’t believe she was back modeling again. Should have never married that bro from Jersey city, Jenny. 867-5309.
Alexandria – with the help? of Stephanie: A grey jacket to cover a print dress for a person trying to relay the shamefulness of having to apply for work at a adult book store. I didn’t think this was that bad. Sure, it was boring and Alexandria didn’t listen to her superfan, but there were two clear bottom feeders this week and this was not one of them. Of all the personalities on this show, Alexandria’s is the strangest. I can’t tell if she’s shy, or cutthroat, or super intelligent or a Scientologist or maybe she’s just foreign? Her confidence never seems to waver and her design aesthetic is all over the map (as long as the map is black). I always have the toughest time ranking her. At the very least she has the thickest skin on the show. Man the judges love to pile on her.
Alexander – with the help of Andrea: A business suit for no occasion. This was terrible and should have been the eliminator for the week. Goes to show you what playing nice with others will get you. A train wreck from the beginning, Andrea wanted a business suit (first strike) to go with her curvy body (second strike) and Alexander ran out of time (third strike). At what job would you wear a sleeveless business suit to show off your arm tattoos? Professional wrestler? Porn? DMV? I mean, what the fuck was that?
In more exciting news, it was Alexander who finally stood up to the diminutive (pause the Runway lineup – it looks like Ken might be under four feet tall) mighty-mouthed Napoleon-in-worse-clothing Ken. He was passive aggressive, but at least it was aggressive and there weren’t any tears shed. Poor Justin just rocked back and forth on his bed praying that Mommy and Daddy would stop fighting. Alexander should have been sent home. But, Ken wasn’t going to let that happen.
WOULD ALEXANDER RATHER BE HOMELESS THAN ROOM WITH KEN?
Yes, yes he would.
JUDGE OF THE WEEK
The true star this week was the guest models, so in that same vein, the judge of the week was Johnny Lavoy. He was given the test of making a ten minute makeover montage seem less like a painful TV commercial and more like two people shooting the shit over a mountain of L’Oreal product. Mission accomplished. The judges were relatively quiet this week other than Tim Gunn, but technically he isn’t a judge. What? Neither is Lavoy? Moving on.
Helen – with the tremendous help of Jamie: A navy blue evening dress and makeover fit for Cinderella. I mean…wow, right? This was the Bizarro version of Alexander’s forty-eight hours. Everything went right. Did Jamie have any clue as to how bad her haircut was? I mean, she’s a cutie-patooty. I had to rewind Jamie walking down the runway like a million times. I still think she might have been a plant with a wig piece on. Helen’s sine wave of likability continued this week as she was impossible to dislike. Helen, Helen, Helen, I don’t know what to do with you, but I better get used to you. You are going to fashion week. To be continued.
PACK YOUR DAMN SEWING KIT
Ken – with the help of Susie: a green and black dress that most resembled a 1970’s couch (dis courtesy of Zac Posen). This dress was bottom but it was not the worst. You know what, though? Ken is the worst. I bet on a horse that turned out to be a loudmouth asshole horse. I think the collective universe (including Ken) was happy Ken was going home. I’ll give Ken some credit here, he is aware that he is a maniac and labels it as a defense mechanism to hide his insecurities. Side note: I’d just love to see an animal in the wild with the defense mechanisms of Ken. Lion chases down Zebra, only to have the Zebra stop and shout, “YOU KNOW WHAT LION, YOU ARE GETTING ON MY LAST FUCKING NERVE, K? YOU NEED TO BACK THE FUCK OFF. I’M KEN FUCKING ZEBRA AND DON’T YOU FUCKING FORGET IT.” If I was a lion, I’d back off. Any zebra that high strung probably tastes like shit any way. Fat is flavor, people. Don’t let the door hit you.
KEN’S QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I don’t want her dream here on Project Runway to fall through the cracks on the ground.” — in regards to his muse Susie, before he designed a dress for her that would get her compared to rec room furniture.
The next couple weeks should be good, as I truly believe any one of the seven could slip into the top four and get the opportunity to design a collection for New York. BTW, PR All Stars starts in a few weeks and has Alyssa Milano as the host? Man, PR is a full time commitment these days, like the NFL and Farmville.
The Golden Ticket
The Everlasting Gobstopper
The Chocolate Factory