Home Culture Broject Runway: I’m tired of second place

Broject Runway: I’m tired of second place

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Probably not THAT tired of it, am I right Kate?

I was looking forward to the remaining season taking its time and meticulously picking off the seven contestants left. After all, the fat had been trimmed. We’ve survived the minefield of bombastic personalities and second-rate talent. We had survived a letter from a pretty girl, numerous run-ins with the shows camera staff, and more “fuck-offs” than a shop class.

Alas, our time with the sizzling seven was rushed. The production staff decided to make some sweeping changes to the format of PR this season and they had come to collect/save the chosen souls when given the chance. It was a best-case scenario for production to save face. And while it appears they lost some micro-credibility, they won the macro-credibility battle.

The top of the show started with our magnificent seven relishing the eerie quiet that had taken over the Refinery. With Ken gone, the iron breathed a steamy sigh of relief. Some of our contestants seem to be running on empty, and Ken gave them a common enemy to fight. Now some contestants began to fight with their inner selves.

An HP Rep named Rob Le-Bras Brown took time out from tormenting James Bond to let us know the this was the challenge that they had all been waiting for.

The Challenge: It’s The HP Make Your Own Print Fabric Episode. Pull Your Inspiration From A Group Of Young Innovators.

The contestant/innovator meetings were so comical they deserve their own section.

The Next Gen Innovators?

Nana (Miss America 2012) — Ok, ok, her cause is great, but innovative? Helping children has been human innovation since mothers were invented. The truly wonderful part of this segment is the cadence of Nana’s speech. She sounds as if she is discovering the wonder of words mid-sentence, every sentence. You can take the girl out of the pageant, but you can’t take the pageant out of the girl. Still, she’s using her celebrity for good, so it’s hard to bash too hard here.

On the innovation scale I give her a Billy Mays out of a possible Thomas Edison. She’s a shill, man.

Maria (Seventeen year old girl that helped start a group to teach girls code. Showing off her help the homeless application.) — Besides Kate overusing the word empowerment (pet peeve of yours truly), and even citing her empowerment upon finishing a garment, Maria was a legit innovator. Maybe it was only to pad her resume in order to get into college, but you got to do what you got to do. By the way, I am empowered every time I eat Mexican food.

On the innovation scale I give her a Rockstar Studios out of a possible Steve Jobs.

Nigel (BMX biker) — Oh, dude. This had me laughing from start to finish. It started off with a perfectly awkward staged handshake after Nigel pulled off a freestyle trick on an indoor ramp. But the true brilliance was Nigel waxing poetic about his innovative side. See, this guy sees innovation everywhere. “Handrails, stair sets, ledges, even a car.”  He can express himself on all of that by riding a bike on it. See, when Nigel is down, and having trouble explaining to the world what he’s feeling, he can ride a bike on a ledge and that problem is solved.

I’ve peed on all that stuff. Does that make me an innovator? I’m expressing my need to release all over the back stairwell to the apartment building three doors down, because I couldn’t make it home from the bar. You’ve been innovated by my expression stairwell.

On the innovation scale I give him a really, really sweet ledge out of a possible, like, ton of sweet ledges.

Ilana (Bit of a mystery) – I’m so confused by this one. So she produces a magazine, right? What was up with all the hurricane damaged restaurant remodeling? I must have missed an important sentence or two there. Regardless, all Alexandria pulled for inspiration were bricks. Very little time was spent on this meeting.

On the innovation scale I give it her a Riddler on the Howard Hughes scale.

Premal (Founder of Kiva.org, a website that crowdsources microloans for needy entrepreneurs) – Finally someone who actually sort of invented something. The cool thing here is that eventually you earn your loan back and can either re-invest or probably withdraw the loan. Dom and Pre met on a bench and he showed her some of the photos of a group of African women that have taken part in Kiva. I immediately wrote down “Dom advances”. This is a match made in fashion heaven.

On the innovation scale I give him a Mother Theresa on the Sean Parker Scale

Ryan (A mixed media artist) — He paints on photos. Fair enough.

On the innovation scale he ranks somewhere between Larry Flynt and Da Vinci.

Thiago (A pastry chef that makes edible art) — Now, here is something I can get behind. Sweets! This meeting was dominated by Alexander’s lack of focus though. At one point I wanted both of them to look at each other and say “you don’t want to be here, do you?” Followed by hearty laugh and awkward goodbyes. Alexander had trouble putting forth his best foot with Iago though. But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at: 1 I am not what I am.  He missed Ken.

On the innovation scale I him a Salavdor Dali on the Mrs. Field’s scale.

HP went out of their way to add a human element to their 90-minute ad, but it just came off as sort of tacked on and odd. O well. We’ll always have Nigel’s seven minutes in heaven. Stairs, yo.

The Challengers:

Alexandria– Designed a leather vest and brick printed skirt for that stylish gal who wants to look like she’d been attacked by lions. Alexandria spent much of the episode as an afterthought, and for good measure. Her muse and her look were confusing and safe. Fourth place, y’all. Interestingly, the two Alex’s did share a lunch time bitch fest about Helen and her unending self-confidence issues. Both agreed Helen was whiney and asked too much of their time asking questions ala Kevin in Uncle Buck. Alexandria broke down Helen’s judging breakdown manipulation moments like hey-day John Madden on the telestrator.

A montage of Helen’s questions ensued showcasing this behavior. My huge problem with this is, everyone obliges her questions. My parole officer always said, “If you don’t want to be asked questions, give bad answers.” But no, everyone went to great lengths to give excellent answers to her questions. You’re enabling her, guys.

The Tops

Bradon – Tiny techno printed bomber jacket over two cleverly placed socks for that stylish European trying to look Jersey Shore-ish. His print was probably the best looking, and for that he deserved to be on the top. The judges gushed over his sweater dress that was clever, but just reminded me of how hoes used to kick it in the early nineties, in they butt tight getups. The real star here is not just Bradon and his ever changing but always pleasant design. It’s TEAM BRADON. We all know how I feel about Nigel. We’re bros for life. It’s also his model, Ya. We all know how I feel about her. She’s got a body that makes Barbie feel ugly. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. He has an unfair advantage because everything looks good on her.

Helen – Designed a full length stomach exposed 4th of July dress for the hipster who finds irony in fireworks. I don’t know where anyone would ever wear this. That said, it wasn’t as bad as some of the others. My problem here is that the print looked awful from far away. The different camera angles made this piece look completely different. Up close the pattern was fine. Simple but fine. From a distance, the print looked like a horizontal stripe that was completely unflattering. I’ve accepted the inevitability that Helen is going to fashion week. I’ve instead turned my mild animosity into a gnawing curiosity of what her Tim Gunn at-home visit is going to be like. If I had to rate the at home visit curiosity I’d go Helen, Alexandria, and then everyone else would be a distantthird.

The Bottom … Singular

Justin – Designed an “I love you” bodice that tugged at your heart strings, and forgot to design anything below her waist for the woman who is deaf and blind. And here is where it all goes to plan production team. We’ve thrown around quite a few ideas here at the Broject, but one of them is that in order to justify the save being used on Justin, he was going to stick around awhile to validate Tim’s no-fail save. Here it is. Was this one of the worst of the night? Sure? Was it THE worst? No. But did Justin have the worst track record of the three on the bottom? Sho’ did.

Previously this would have sent him packing. Not this year. It’s hard not to think that Justin’s handicap helped him along the way. It’s a shame, but all signs point to it. Now do the producers put him all the way through to Fashion Week to set a precedent that the Tim Gunn save was validated? We’ll see.

Does Tim Gunn always Recommend going with your Viscera when you’re Stuck in a Rut?

Yes, yes he does.

Judge of the Week

Zac Posen fired off a few gems tonight. It feels like a snake shedding his skin at the bottom (to Justin). She looks like a cult leader…of chocolate (to Alexander). She’s a landing strip (to Alexander). There is so much wrong with this (to Kate).

THE WINNA!

Dom – designed a long sleeve dress with a borderline gaudy print that Robin Givens would have worn in 1991. Hooray! Love me some Dom, and it was great to see her back on point with a wheelhouse challenge that she didn’t fuck up. What I love most about Dom was on full display after her win. The confessional interview reduced her to childlike exuberance without all the gloating. I dig it. She feels genuine. We are all aware of how people can be edited to look a certain way, but it’s hard to get happy out of someone if it isn’t there. Go get em’ Dom.

Pack Your Damn Sewing Kits … PLURAL … and Telegraphed

Alexander – designed a brown dress with a white cross on it. Like for the bachelorette looking to make a statement to go along with her rubber penis sunglasses. A shame to see him go, but it was a matter of time with my man. Costume designers cannot seem to squelch their need to go over the top. Alex seemed at ease (regardless of the story his eyebrows told) with his elimination from the very beginning of the episode. The brainwaves had stopped and so he drew upon his own last name for inspiration. He knew it was over the top and literal and yet still went ahead with it. The show must go on. Without you.

Kate – designed a tragic blue Swiss Miss look for the designer who absolutely wants to go home. Kate had no margin for error. I’ve said it before: you cannot have a retread from the previous season win the following years PR. It would undermine the entire show. It was cause an infinite loop that would cause the universe to collapse on itself. I watched the show a little late this week, so I heard non-spoiler spoilers over the last few days. “Very controversial.” “I couldn’t believe it.” Well, believe it. We had the sneaking suspicion here at the ‘Bro that Kate could not make it to Fashion Week, and we were right. Her exit was as soul crushing as I can remember. But unfair? No more unfair than a person who had been on the show before coming back on it a season later. I’d sworn off my Kate revenge after she had turned over a new leaf, showing us a more likeable side.

But I smiled anyway. Dammit I loved Tu like a brother.

We are one week away from the in home visits, people. The best episode of television of the year. I cannot wait to see Alexandria’s pad. I bet it’s like Bruce Wayne’s.

POWER RANKINGS

A TOTALLY SWEET LEDGE

1)     Helen

LIKE, YOU KNOW, A SOLID, SOLID LEDGE

2)     Bradon

A REALLY HIGH QUALITY GRADE “A” LEDGE

3)     Dom

AN OUT OF THE WAY, SNEAKY GOOD LEDGE

4)     Alexandria

A SERVICABLE LEDGE

5)     Justin

Notes:

  1. Othello
Um, let's see, I don't know, maybe about six feet tall and two hundred pounds? I've been doing theater and improv in Chicago for a while now. Like fifteen years or so. O, yeah, I have a full day, day job for insurance and monetary purposes (no more half days with a big nap in the afternoon). I work as a project manager for a metal manufacturing plant. Huh? O, ah, two kids a wife. Yeah, they're great. I mean, not all the time great, like Brady Bunch shit, but no one has burned the house down yet. So, yeah, I guess that's it. I didn't get the job, did I?