Episode 5: Her Vagina is Eating Those Shorts

August 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Anthony Ryan has crotch issues

The episode begins, as it normally does, with a recap of the previous episode: Cecilia having a nervous breakdown and Julie’s elimination for her awful droat. But wait – Viktor and Bert are sniping at each other from Episode 3! Cut to a confessional of Bryce talking about how Bert is difficult to work with. I think I learned about this foreshadowing technique in 6th grade English class. SUBTLE, Lifetime. Significance: time for a team challenge where Bert is difficult to work with!

The designers wake up to see boxes from New Balance. Cecilia looks like the undead and doesn’t respond to Becky’s comments. Bert is acting more and more his age, as he cannot see the shoeboxes with placards in front of him. The designers anticipate the obvious (again, good with the foreshadowing) and prepare themselves to make some sort of activewear. They meet up with Heidi and Tim at the Armory near the Columbia Medical Campus (fun/depressing fact: the graduation ceremony for Master’s in Public Health is held on that track) who tells them that this will be a team challenge and that they will race to be captains. Upon hearing this, sad sack Cecilia shakes her head and trudges over to Tim to tell him that she just can’t do it anymore. Tim tells her, “We can’t want you to succeed more than you do.” Heidi looks pretty angry and she tells her, “If this is too hard for you, you can go anytime.” As the other designers are raring to go at the starting line, Cecilia tells them that she is off to go cry herself to sleep.

The designers are off! Joshua takes the lead and “whales” on them as he said he would. Olivier who looks a bit awkward out of his grandpa sweaters, is on his way to being a team captain when he takes a pretty bad stumble. Lifetime tries to jazz up the incident when Olivier gets his blood pressure read, but thankfully he’s fine. The team captains are, in order: Joshua, Bryce, Anthony Ryan, Viktor. Bert comes in last and it seems like Heidi could whale on him while wearing Louboutins. As has been foreshadowed: Nobody wants to work with Bert. Which is just fine with him, really, because he doesn’t “relate” to any of the other designers. Joshua picks Anya and Becky. Bryce chooses Kimberly and Danielle. And because Cecilia chose to leave before the race, Anthony Ryan, while he didn’t come in last, ends up with Bert. Viktor, who chose Olivier is pretty happy about this, especially after his last “partnership” with Bert. Instead, he and Olivier get to choose an eliminated designer and go with Josh C. Heidi says that he will join them later today (does she just have them on speed dial?). We’re happy to see him back, even if we have to differentiate between the Joshes again.

The challenge is an opportunity for Heidi to shill her line for New Balance. The designers must create looks that can be worn with the sneakers, and must incorporate material from the shoe – either suede and/or denim – into three, cohesive looks. The winner will have their look sold and manufactured as part of her line on Amazon. In the workroom, Tim tells the designers that they only have until 11 pm to complete all three looks.

Team Viktor and Team Bryce are getting along well together, but as FORESHADOWED, Anthony Ryan and Laura are getting frustrated with Bert who shuffles around muttering under his breath a lot. Joshua takes his leadership role very seriously and has Anya act as a sounding board and Becky, the seamstress. Becky is understandably frustrated with her diminuitive role and says, “I feel like I’m the intern who is there to sew.” Eventually she breaks down when Joshua tells her she makes “dowdy dresses” and that her demographic is “40 to death.” Becky begins to cry in the sewing room when Joshua snaps, “If you’re tired, take a nap. Because I don’t have time for it.” She eventually goes to cry in the bathroom stall. The cameraperson follows her and creeps around the corner just to get the money shot. CREEPSTERS.

Eventually Team Joshua rights itself as Anya comforts Becky, Joshua apologizes, and they all have a team hug. Yes, this is all still happening in the bathroom stall. Team Anthony Ryan, meanwhile is on fumes. What happens on the runway?

The Good

Viktor's winning look

Viktor for the win! Nina thought their collection channeled “road warrior” chic. Viktor wins for a crumpled grey jersey dress worn with a motorcycle jacket with quilted sleeves. The look was cool and tough, and almost made New Balances look like an actual option to be worn not at the gym. Josh C.’s look was an easy t-shirt with a nice assymetrical v-neck worn with a leather holster. We also didn’t mind Olivier’s much-maligned “farm” skirt. Overall, the three looks were cohesive and had that model off-duty look Alexander Wang epitomizes.

Heidi also announces that Joshua wins! He doesn’t win for his look though, a monochromatic tank made of a “tribal” print with a black shredded vest over it, and short black shorts with denim panels on the side. The judges preferred Anya’s look, a maxi dress with a bright red racing stripe down the middle, and a gorgeous zippered racer back. The look was hip, urban, and very Anya. But because of the very clear leadership role that Joshua took (this was HIS collection), the judges awarded him the win.

Anya is her own muse

The Bad

Poor Becky. While it can’t feel good to be relegated to the role of a seamstress, what she did “design” was an ill-fitting top that she admitted was about “3 inches too short.”

From Team Bryce, Danielle decided to make yet another green, silk top. Michael Kors thought that the blouse looked like “a souffle that flopped” and the judges were perplexed that Danielle would make yet another (green) chiffon/silk number. Despite also having made a cute leather jacket, the top was enough to send her home.

The Ugly

A triumphant Bert

Anthony Ryan’s outfit was ugly. The draping was messy; the shorts were a nightmare to behold. Michael Kors said, “You achieved the impossible: the shorts looks big and tight at the same time. She has camel toe in big shorts.” When the model turned to show the judges the back of the shorts, they just gasped.

Even uglier was what was to ensue during the crit. Anthony and Laura side with each other against Bert, who continues to act both 57-years-old and 7-years-old at the same time. After Michael Kors tells Anthony his model has camel toe, Bert snickers, “Got camel butt, too.” He raises his arms in triumph when teammate Laura also gets a bad review. While we agree that Anthony and Laura’s looks were pretty hideous, cheering on the loss of your teammates is pretty childish.

The judging was yet another face-off between Heidi and Nina/Michael – and we find ourselves, yet again, on Team Heidi. Heidi wanted to judge the designers based on the challenge itself, meaning that Anthony Ryan, who clearly had the worst look, should go home. Nina was not willing to let him go just yet, arguing, “He’s got more promise as a designer [than Danielle].” Heidi says, as she says every episode, “One day you’re in, the next day you’re out. It’s not fair to let him go on when someone else like Danielle made something alright.” But, as usual, Nina and Michael prevail and Anthony Ryan lives to undergo another challenge.

Heidi is right in that there is an understanding on Project Runway that for each episode, each designer is based on their work for that challenge. If she is the best for the week, she wins; if she is the worst, she loses. It is part of the excitement of the show that on any given day, anyone can go home. Obviously this philosophy has created problems. There are the Wendy Peppers who manage to squeeze by every episode because she wasn’t the worst. And yet for all of our kvetching that a Ricky (season 4) or a Vincent or an Angela (season 3) just needs to go home, what happened this episode – where the judges saved a designer whose work they have liked in the past over one who has been mediocre – feels unfair. While the judges may have exhibited such a bias in the past, never has it been so clearly stated that a designer’s past work gives him immunity. This episode, it wasn’t just Josh C. who got a second chance.

Next week: Can Josh C. make a go of it this time around?

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