Three will go on to compete at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and two will be out. For the first time in four seasons, that's exactly how it went, too. Only three will take part in this year's finale, which meant that a tough cut had to be made. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one.
Episode Twelve: The Art of Fashion
The challenge was more or less a direct copy of a challenge from two seasons ago: go to a museum to get inspired and create a look of your choice. Yes, it gives the designers a lot of creative freedom, but historically, the loosely-guidelined challenges create the worst looks. Today wasn't really any exception. The judges couldn't even declare a high and low group; everyone was either in or out. As a result, scores for the final three remained static.
Michael Kors was gone again, which really infuriated me. A judge should never be absent for the first or last runway show of the season. The judging has been totally ridiculous this season anyway, and this was just the icing on the cake.
Two had to go tonight, and the two with the worst designs were Althea "Brooke Hogan" Harper and Christopher "Minnesota Nice" Straub. Even the judges agreed. So, of course, the two going home were Christopher and... Fraulein Gehlhausen?! What?!?
Yes, somehow, the Bland Yet the Beautiful made it through to the final three despite her train wreck of a dress. The construction (as it always is, honestly) was a mess, the design was uninspired and dull, the top was an absolute mess, and it was by far her worst entry in weeks of competition. Obviously, the judges gave up their basic mission to judge only on the current week's design, because they couldn't give Gordana a good reason why this bimbo made it over her. I really despise Althea's designs not because she's bad, but because she's dull. Plus, she's a copycat with a bad attitude. (This, of course, coming from a staunch Irinaphile.)
YES! My girl made it through! She might be a bitch, and it's unfortunate that she's been saddled with the "not here to make friends" label, but in truth, she isn't. She's here to make good clothes, which she's done on a regular basis. Yes, I wish the length on her outfit this week would have been a bit shorter, but it was innovative and interesting. She obviously suffers from the occasional failure in taste, but look at season three champ Jeffrey. The guy was one giant styling error. Shabbadabadoo still makes the best stuff week in and week out, and has three wins to show for it. Assuming she wins (which she will), she'll have the highest score of any contestant in the history of Project Runway. That's damn good. Plus, she hates Brooke Hogan as much as I do. What will they do when Carol Hannah gets sequestered next week?
Carol Hannah Whitfield
Poor Two-Name Whitfield. Makes it all the way to Bryant Park, producing what was clearly the best look of this episode, and then she gets sick next week. Certainly it won't stop her collection from walking the runway, but what happens in a situation like this? Can she even be at the event if what she has is that contagious? Is anyone else thinking it's swine flu? Fashion Week would have taken place in January/February, which was exactly when all this swine flu stuff started. I would hate to see Carol Hannah get sick for her big debut, because the girl has had the greatest evolution over the course of competition, and I'm proud of her accomplishments, because her last four dresses have been impeccable. Feel better, Two-Name!
UGH! What the hell, Project Runway? I know my articulation is failing me, but I'm just so furious at this decision. Seriously, at least in past seasons, the producers BS'ed their way to getting the designers they wanted in the finale. It's true: three years ago, in a desperate attempt to keep Jeffrey and Michael when their plans to axe Uli went awry, they sent all final four designers to Fashion Week. Two years ago, when Rami was in jeopardy, they made Chris, the rightful third place finisher, face off with him in the equivalent of a fashion duel, and of course the lovable costume designer lost to the polished Israeli. Last year, to keep Kenley and Korto, they sent Jerell home in a desperate last-ditch extra challenge. Now, they simply BS the judging and send home Gordana. I wasn't her biggest fan by a long shot, but I am a fan of fair judging, and this decision was absolute bull.
Poor Minnesota Nice is kind of an afterthought now. While it's sad things got to this point, I still respect Christopher's skill. He did create some nice clothes early in the competition. I still think he just got psychologically beaten down. Who knows what exactly happened to him, but I think now was exactly the right time for him to go.
My Final Three: Irina Shabayeva, Carol Hannah Whitfield, Gordana Gehlhausen
My Auf: Althea Harper, Christopher Straub
For the remaining finalists, here are the scores:
Irina Shabayeva: 9 IN
Althea Harper: 7 IN
Carol Hannah Whitfield: 6 IN
Gordana Gelhausen: -2 OUT
Christopher Straub: -3 OUT
Irina and Althea's fight isn't really worth much mention, so I'm not gonna delve into it. Suffice it to say that I'm just livid over the elimination, so I'm cutting this post short. I'll post after next week's episode, then one more time to analyze the final looks from Fashion Week. We'll see how things work out with Carol Hannah's illness next week, but for now, sound off in the comments. Did Althea's season-long performance excuse the crap judging tonight? Or did Gordana get the raw end of this deal?