This week is a big episode, as it looks to be loaded with drama, but in particular, is the last regular elimination episode before the finale. (The final episode before the finale is a double elimination.) Who will comprise the top five of this season? Let's recap the past two weeks.
Episode Nine: Race to the Finish
And when we talk about how good the episodes were this season, we'll conveniently forget this one. The most "Lifetime"-y of any of the episodes this season, it was 'make a pretty dress' plus 'make another pretty dress'. Kind of a jerkass move, and no one was going to perform under these circumstances. I couldn't really choose one winner, as Mondo's ready-to-wear look was the clear winner, but Andy's avant garde look was a clear knockout. So I would split the win. As for the loser, it was clearly Ivy's time to go home. But I will say, I never hated her less than her final few episodes. She went out with dignity. (Which appears to have disappeared again when she comes back for this week's episode.)
Shoulda Won: Mondo/Andy
Shoulda Gone Home: Ivy
Episode Ten: There's a Pattern Here
Also to be known in the future as the "Mondo" episode. Seriously, this was one of the most heartwrenching episodes of television on air this year. Not just reality television, not just cable television, but television on the whole. Mondo's completely organic confession of being HIV+ was beautiful. I can't tell you one moment I found calculated or manipulated. Not only that, but the judging, which has been spotty this season, was almost dead on. All four judges, including the strikingly beautiful (and brutal) Rachel Roy as the guest judge, had their best episodes in a long time. If anyone wants to know why Runway has a Peabody Award for Excellence in Television, look no further than "There's a Pattern Here". Classic.
Shoulda Won: Mondo
Shoulda Been Out: Valerie
So, who should be out this week? You could make a serious argument for Christopher, and I'm pretty sure that will happen, but I don't think he's the worst left in the bunch. Mondo, April, and Andy are clearly the three stars here, but there is absolutely no drama in that final three. Michael Costello will have to go home, because he's actually just as boring with no Gretchen. And let's be real: Gretchen, the Emilio Sosa/Althea Harper/Rami Kashou/Mychael Knight/Daniel Vosovic of this season, is getting to New York Fashion Week no matter what. I propose that Michael Costello will go home this or next week, and whichever week he doesn't go home, Christopher will. As far as who from the Dream Three I would cut in favor of Gretchen? Probably April, unfortunately. I love her aesthetic and most of her looks (she's actually just slightly above Mondo in my estimation), but I feel like the chances of either Mondo or Andy missing the final three is a long shot.
But hell, whatever happens, it'll still have been one amazing season.