Friday, October 16, 2009


No, the blog title isn't referring to the new Britney Spears song about a "you're the most." (A Very Brady Sequel. Look it up.) Instead, it's referring to the number of times a designer is usually allowed into the bottom three on Project Runway. On that third strike, 95% of the time, designers will be sent home.

That didn't happen last night. Christopher Straub, a personal favorite, was saved yet again from the claws of elimination. Though I usually think Minnesota Nice's stuff is awesome, these past two weeks (last week especially) have been pretty horrible. It's odd. He started out so strong, and now is falling apart at the seams. (Fashion joke. Ha.)

(SPOILER: Judging from the Models of the Runway preview, Minnesota Nice makes it again next week, though he comes close to elimination one more time. Come on, Chris! Really?)

Episode Nine: Sequins, Feathers, and Fur, Oh My!
Lifetime: Television for Women Who Like Poorly Written Television Episode Titles. When Runway reaches the final eight contestants, a few important things happen. First, the judges really begin to look towards Fashion Week and who will show great collections. Second, immunity is no longer given to winners of challenges. No easy breaks. Finally, the judging gets a lot harsher. You do badly on one challenge, and you could go home. This week's episode involved designing for Christina Aguilera in the tradition of Bob Mackie. In other words, sequined, feathered, and with lots of over-the-top accoutrements. So...tacky, basically.

Not my favorite challenge, honestly. They've already done a "make a costume" challenge this season--do we really need a second? Also, though I think Christina Aguilera is talented and was once a huge star, in all honesty, has she done a whole lot lately? These folks were acting as though it was Beyoncé they were designing for.

Still, even when the challenge sucks, the show must go on.

Carol Hannah Whitfield
I was happy to see Two-Name Whitfield win a challenge. She's been a consistent designer so far, but hadn't done enough to win. She's a part of the incredibly strong female designer crop this season. Two-Name's dress, though pretty, didn't really fit the challenge, and I wonder if black can actually work from the nosebleed seats. To me, the Blonde and the Beautiful Althea's dress would better fulfill the challenge. Still, Two-Name needed a win, so I'm happy.

Logan Neitzel
I don't think our Designated Straight Male got the right amount of flak for his outfit. It was dull and poorly made, just like all his other stuff. Also, he is now the only designer left in the competition who hasn't won a challenge. In fact, Shirin Hideandseek, this week's eliminee, remains a full five points ahead of him in the standings. Thinking about it, I just can't see DSM at Bryant Park like I can Irina, Althea, Carol Hannah, Christopher, and even Gordana.

Gordana Gelhausen
Speaking of Fraülein Gelhausen... I have a very good feeling she had every intention of coasting with immunity this challenge. That's actually fine; there's nothing in the rulebook that says she even has to TRY on challenges where she is immune from elimination. Still, I was disappointed. Fraülein doesn't seem to have the same desire and drive to win this that the other designers do. Which is weird, since she's been trying out for this show for four seasons now. Still, the Irina/Althea/Carol Hannah triad is impossibly strong right now, and Gordana isn't showing that she deserves a spot in that final three.

Althea Harper
I loved this look. The detailing was great, the effect was dramatic, and it didn't look cheap as all get-out. The Blonde and the Beautiful is Irina's main competition to win at this point, but will losing the fabulous Tanisha Harper as her model shake her confidence next week? Probably not. Althea still hasn't taken a trip to the bottom, much like Irina and Carol Hannah, so it'll probably be Fraülein Gelhausen, Nicolas the Terrible, or DSM going home next week. Though Minnesota Nice isn't going that great right now...

Christopher Straub
Lucky he's SPOILER AGAIN obviously safe next week END SPOILER, because right now, if you told me Minnesota Nice was going home next week, I wouldn't doubt you. Christopher looked like the designer to beat for the first half of the season, but after his lethal third trip to the bottom three this week, can he survive much longer on this current course? He's the guys' only hope to win this season, but right now, he's got three incredibly strong female competitors.

Nicolas Putvinski
Nicolas the Terrible more or less remade a garment this week. He loves his white and lace, and Tim Gunn even pointed out the similarities to his winning design from three weeks ago. However, Heidi Klum was the only regular judge there that week. Michael Kors is gone again, and Nina Garcia, though back for the rest of the season (YEAH!), has no point of reference. No wonder he was in the top. No one remembers the last look! This really presents a problem about the judging system this season.

Irina Shabayeva
Shabbadabadoo's safety without interrogation this week puzzled me. There are only eight left: why not question all the designers? Still, her design was pretty safe, so her position was appropriate. She also kept her high score, so I guess there was a reason to keep her safe. However, next week looks like things don't go well for Shabbadabadoo next week, with the infamous "not here to make friends" label gets affixed to her. Is Irina the Kenley/Jeffrey/Santino of this season? Talented, yet despised?

Shirin Askari
Aww, Hideandseek! After representing Texas well for quite some time, including a win and avoiding the bottom three, Shirin was drop-kicked off the runway. I was surprised with her elimination, but Hideandseek was just annoying enough to become grating if she had stayed much longer. Still, this presents another problem with the judging. Ra'mon, Epperson, and now Shirin have been pretty unceremonially kicked off this show despite consistent performance. What's going on, Michael and Nina? You're both back next week, so I expect to see DSM going home!

My Winner: Althea Harper
My Auf: Christopher Straub

For the remaining finalists, here are the scores:

Irina Shabayeva: 6 IN
Althea Harper: 5 HIGH
Carol Hannah Whitfield: 4 WIN
Christopher Straub: 1 LOW
Gordana Gelhausen: 0 IN
Nicolas Putvinski: 0 HIGH
Logan Neitzel: -3 LOW
Shirin Askari: 2 OUT

Well, what'd you think? Surprised by Shirin's ouster? Is Irina unbeatable? Or will Althea or Carol Hannah usurp her? Is Christopher the biggest disappointment this show's ever seen? Gordana, Nicolas, and Logan: who goes next week? Or will it be someone unexpected? You know where to go to discuss: the comments!

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