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Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'A Rough Day on the Runway'

January Jones is the guest judge, but can the designers channel Jackie O?

January Jones of "Mad Men" is the guest judge on this week's episode of "Project Runway"

January Jones of "Mad Men" is the guest judge on this week's episode of "Project Runway."

Credit: Lifetime

And then there were nine.

It's quiet in the Atlas apartments as we begin this weeks' episode.  Why?  Because "does she think I'm retarded?" Casanova is gone. Boo (not really, that was one joke that went on way too long ).  Michael talks about last weeks' dramatic moment with Ivy.  She, on the other hand, says, "If I listened to those idiots I wouldn't be here today." Michael C. says Ivy has to use other colors besides green and pink.  Agreed.  Something suggests this week she will.

As Heidi appears, she lets us know "we'll be looking at the past to see our future."  As vague as ever Ms. Klum.  The designers then find Tim Gunn in front of a montage of Jacqueline Kennedy photos at Capsule Studio.  This week's challenge : create a look that reflects you as a designer and your own contribution to American sportswear. And for your muse?  Oh, just icon the famous First Lady herself.  And make this happen on only $150. 

Christopher is relaxed knowing this is his area of expertise (he's screwed),  Andy is worried because his aesthetic is Asian fashion, Valerie is going to break from her longstanding trend of dresses for - gasp - separates and now we know that if editing trends hold, one of these three will be gone by the end of the show!

At Mood, Mondo says fabrics have crazy voices and say "come pick me up."  Ivy is "lost" has no "clear vision," but somehow still has a color palate in mind. She's going chic and timeless.  Michael D. is already questioning his fabric choices (breathe girl).  Meanwhile I'm depressed that Christopher will be bald by 40 (nice camera angles Lifetime).

Gretchen is already ripping Mondo in the workroom (predictable). Mondo, on the other hand, is already switching to a skirt and a top after what we assume is just 5 min at his desk.  Michael D makes the entire room laugh with his witty one liners.  He may not last long on "Runway," but I see a Logo reality show in his future!

Oh, foreshadowing: Valerie brings up the fact she's never won a challenge. Someday Val.  That or you're out this week. 

After an extended commercial Garnier commercial break, we return to the workroom with an introduction from Andy who has for some reason decided to go with a bouffant fauxhawk look for the day (eek).  Ivy is already ripping her competition (why should Gretchen have all the fun?) by degrading Michael C. and Christopher's work to that of "cocktail" dresses.  Mondo has realized that Valerie is using the entire competition for feedback and perhaps her confidence is not up to snuff.  Things are worse for Michael C. who has decided his current dress looks like a flight attendant outfit (or a frock off a "Saturday Night Live" sketch).  But, he's not panicking, which is a relief.  Oh, Tim.  Save us from this forced non-drama drama.

Tim first talks to Christopher without giving much feedback, except we discover 21-year-old April thinks it's something her grandmother would wear not realizing her grandmother is probably from the same generation as Jackie O.  Tim then scares the crap out of Valerie by letting her know the current leg cut she's working on is pretty "vulgar."  Valerie then tries to get Tim to tell her what she should do, but he ain't having any of that.  Oh, yet another tease that Valerie could be gone.  Michael C. laughs off his not one, but two dresses to Tim (no reaction).  Ivy seems to be taking last week's criticism to heart (as she grits her teeth over it).  Andy is pretty much doing his same old thing and Tim is aghast Mondo is working with an "overcalled herringbone" print (oops, Mondo is worried).  Meanwhile, Michael D. gives the camera more catty observations as he prepares for frequent guest appearance on the Chelsea Handler show before Tim decides to check his stuff out.  Tim calls it a bit Annie Oakley.  Michael D. admits, "I don't want her to look like she has a ruler and beats children.  I don't want to go there."  Tim smiles and whispers "That could be the other side of her."  Oh, girls.

Next up, your models.  Does anyone miss the "Models of the Runway" show when these ladies actually had personalities?  Yeah, me too.

After the mannequins leave, Michael C. reflects on his great decision to make a second dress. Valerie, trying to out do Gretchen on the evil scale, feels he's just ripping Donna Karen off (is that what every "Runway" designer does?). 

Back at Atlas Apartments, the girls are ripping Andy.  Michael C. tries to make Andy feel better.  Meanwhile, the other room of boys make the last heterosexual male flip to the WNBA Finals with the third "tray" mention of the night (and it's not even 9:30 yet!). 

On day 2 of the American sportswear adventure, Tim arrives to announce today will not be a runway day.  Instead, it's another twist.  And Tim devilishly looks thrilled about it.  It looks like the contestants will have to fashion another look to go with what they have already created: outerwear.  Can they be inspired by their own work?  Michael C. insists being from Palm Springs means he has on idea how to even approach outerwear.  Um, ok. 

Ivy now realizes that she can now cover up her hideous mess of a dress with a new jacket.  Valerie is flipping cause she already made a jacket for her dress and is now going to scrap it for a vest somehow convincing herself it's "modern and versatile." 

Off to Mood.  Again!

The only notable moment?  Christopher thinks he's going to hell for touching animal hide and buying it.  No comment.

Back in the workroom, Gretchen tries to win points with the cameraman by saying she can't imagine Ivy not being at the bottom (he doesn't have a vote Gretchen).  She also rips about Michael C. for his multiple dresses, of course he's actually won two challenges so he must sort of know what he's doing right? 

Tim's back.  He just can't believe Michael D.'s skirt actually looked good on his model (we can't either). 

Christopher, after being told his leather shawl looks "anemic," says he's "losing a piece of his soul" every minute.  Is this "Survivor" or "Runway"?

Tim's best line of the night?  "Jackie Kennedy would not have camel toe." Anyone who can make me that ringtone gets 50 bonus points in my book.

The day of the show, the girls are ripping Andy insisting he doesn't know what women want.  Mondo then tries to calm down Michael D. and that he won't be eliminated because he's one of the most artistic designers there.  Andy, meanwhile, is trying to make his model's crotch work as much as possible. 

Uh oh, it's time to go to the runway and Mondo's zipper has broken.  He doesn't want to be sent home over a damn zipper! Thank god for those handy pliers. 

And, of course, before we had to the runway, Gretchen makes sure everyone knows what are the bad outfits to look out for.  You see, in Gretchen's world this is all just a waste of time.  She's already won the whole thing, mind you.  In some crazy alternate reality perhaps…

Finally, the runway show.  Joining Nina Garcia and Michael Kors this week is none other than "Mad Men's" January Jones

Christopher
Dress is nice, but simple.  That top?  Looks like it's something a cavewoman would wear.  Not really getting the American sportswear vibe.

April
Black, black and sheer black.  It's nice and is ready for the club, but anyone else getting a hoochie mamma vibe with this one?

Ivy
Gotta say, she's not very nice, but this is as close as you can get to what the stated goal of the challenge was.  It rocks.

Michael C.
Oh, that blue dress makes the model look like a whale.  And is it falling off her breast?

Gretchen
Interesting textures, but not sure the jacket works.

Michael D.
Still don't love that skirt, but that's a nice jacket that would sell very, very well.  He think's he's gone. 

Valerie
A bit sour, but those front pockets are cute.  Wait, is that two jackets there?

Andy
Oh my. Oh my.  It's like some bizarre parachute pant thingy.  And the white shirt does not help.

Mondo
Bold, but the black and white just contrasts a bit too much with the skirt in my view.

Michael C., April, Gretchen are safe.  So much for multiple dress Mike getting the ax. As they relax in the waiting room Michael C thinks Mondo and Ivy will be in the top.  They are worried for Val and Andy.  How right they are.

Heidi asks Val why she is wearing a jacket over a jacket.  She's clearly not a fan.  Kors thinks it's sad looking and he really thinks the "odd" collar is bad. Klum doesn't think a style icon would wear this.  Garcia rips her for overuse of pleating and zippers.

Christopher's dress is January's favorite.  Kors likes the dress, but he doesn't like the wrap.  Kors says when you take the shrug off it looks much better.  Heidi calls the fur a "dirty, old rug," but it's clear he's safe.

Kors thinks Michael D.'s look schizophrentic and seems totally offended.  "Why you would think it has anything to do with American sportswear, it's insulting."  Heidi, Nina and January also rip M.D.  This is not good for everyone's potential new comedy star.

Heidi wanted to know about Mondo's look, not his model (he's smart to put the focus on him with his "Cabaret" inspired outfit).  Heidi loves the purple on the inside of his competition jacket.  Kors loves the skirt.  Nina says the mix is clever.  January think's it's really well done.  He's in, but can he win?

Kors like's Ivy's elegance and the tailored look of her jacket.  Heidi thinks there is too much design in the top.  She's not sure what she is supposed to look at. Nina loves the printed black and white shoes.

Heidi wants to laugh at Andy's outfit. "I feel like I'm on a different planet."  She just doesn't' see Jackie O in this at all.  Harsh, harsh, harsh.  January doesn't see American sportswear . Kors thinks it's MC Hammer meets the "Beverly Hillbillies'" grandmother.  As he gets increasingly defensive, Heidi asks Andy if he'll look at his pants from the ground (he won't).  Nina calls it a "trainwreck."  Andy says he wanted to take a risk.  "Oh, you took one," Kors snaps back.

Andy is realizing in the break room that he's going to be eliminated.  Valerie makes it all about her which is silly, she won't be gone.

The judges make it clear Valerie, Andy and Michael D. could all go, but they really like Christopher's dress (if it didn't have the shrug), Mondo's "appropriate" look, Ivy's top and fabric.  Still, they are having problems figuring out who should win.  Ivy "stepped up," but does she deserve this week's crown? 

No wait here, Mondo is announced as the "clear" winner of this challenge (Ivy can't be thrilled).  Mondo finally wins and is so excited. Gretchen says she thought he was the clear winner, gritting her teeth doing so.  Christopher is in.  Ivy is in. 

Andy is in.  Shocker.  Really? With those pants? Christopher looks stunned when he comes in the backroom.

It's down to Valerie and Michael D.  Valerie is in, but barley.  Michael D. is out.  Just more time to work on the next reality show opportunity.  He says he's not sad and really bummed he's going to miss his friends.  Tim looks sad to see Michael D. go.  "One more bubble of laughter is going away."

Now, with only eight designers left, let's take a moment and step back at the clear frontrunners for Fashion Week.  Mondo, Gretchen and April seem to have the best shot at the moment.  It seems difficult to believe Andy or Michael C. will survive much longer.  Christopher and Ivy?  The wildcards.

Next week:  From the promo, it appears someone fainted again.  Yet another ambulance visit to the workroom!

What did you think of this week's episode?  Should Andy have been spared?  Did Michael D. really deserve to go?  Share your thoughts below.

[For those of you looking for the ever fabulous Ms. Liane Bonin, she'll be gone for a few weeks but insists she'll return for the end of the show.  Stay patient designers!  We'll work through Bonin withdrawl together.]

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Gregory Ellwood
Editor-in-Chief, Co-Founder
With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.
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