Recap: 'Project Runway' - Who faces Heidi Klum's wrath in the elemental challenge?
Oh boy! Tonight is the night we get to see the design Heidi describes with the stinging criticism, “It’s like a cat in a baby sling!” Which just sounds so weirdly fascinating I have to see it as soon as possible. Is there a pillow involved? Maybe fur? Is this like that chicken-and-egg outfit from last season? How exciting! As much as I love the great designs on this show, it’s the disasters that really make an impression. And this season’s been a little short on weirdness. If the late, great Alexander McQueen can put his models in alien hoof shoes, well, I think these guys can push the envelope a bit further than they have.
Mila informs us that Maya is an old soul, because even though she’s almost twice Maya’s age, she can totally relate to her, which really means she likes the fact they basically have the same haircut. I mean, come on, Mila isn’t exactly the deep and meaningful type. Meanwhile, Anthony urges his teammates to “trust their viscera.” Even though he doesn’t know what that means or where to locate his own viscera. Pssst, Anthony, think fancy word for guts. But I will say, at least it sounds better than trying to inspire everyone with, “trust your entrails!”
The challenge is to design a look inspired by one of the four natural elements: earth, air, water or fire. Oh, and only Jay gets to pick his element. Everyone else has to choose a card. Seth Aaron gets air, and he’s bummed out because air means happy blue s--- to him. Which means he needs to look up, because in New York, that could also mean cloudy, rainy, humid, dirty and possibly toxic.
But otherwise, no one seems too bothered by the challenge, because I’m sure they were expecting to be forced to make outfits out of twigs and leaves or wilted produce or some other cruel and unusual idea the producers dreamt up. So really, being inspired by fire or smog or whatever, not so bad.
Tim comes to visit, and this time, he’s not giving away too much, honestly. He seems to like Jonathan’s idea and calls it stunning. Seth Aaron also gets a thumbs up. He tells Amy to let her idea distill within her, which suggests to me she isn’t really making sense, because she keeps talking about a bowl and hair in the bowl and other crazypants stuff. Unfortunately for Ben, Tim thinks his idea might be too subtle for the judges. He urges Mila to make her outfit harmonious, which is pretty close to a non-comment. He has every confidence in Maya. So far, no one’s emerging as a winner or loser. And nothing looks like a cat in a baby sling, arggh!
Spoke too soon on the winner/loser front. Mila points out that Ben’s pants are a disaster. And right now, I have to say, they’re not looking great, as it looks like he’s trying to give his model a wedgy But there’s still time, so I’m not counting out Ben just yet.
The weepy segment for this show is Ben missing his new husband. I just wonder if the designers feel completely violated when, teary and sleep deprived, they call their loved ones for support, only for some camera guy to zoom in for a close-up. “That was great, Ben, but could you give me another sniffle? They might need it in editing.”
Jay finishes early and offers to help Ben finish his outfit. Jay is officially my new favorite designer, because that’s just so damn nice of him, seriously. How many other designers in the room are were secretly relieved watching Ben tank, thinking, thank God, Ben and his wedgy pants are going home instead of me? And that’s completely understandable since it is, oh, a competition, but to rise above that impulse, pretty impressive. Or supremely confident, but either way, great.
Oops, just saw the cat in the baby sling. Amy’s bowl of hair idea is just... creeping me out, honestly. But I will say, she took one heck of a risk!
Runway time! Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and French designer Roland Mouret are in the house. And that’s all well and good, but let’s seem some clothes!
I like the ruffled panels, I like the back. Nice, nice dress.
Love the stripes, Jay, but I don’t love the baby doll cut of it, as it makes the lower half of the dress feel heavy. Still, good job.
This looks Macy’s from the front, though there’s detailing in the back that might be interesting if the show didn’t quick cut like crazy. Still, it looks blah and doesn’t seem to fit.
Nice dress, but he might have a hard time selling it as fire. A red detail anywhere might have been nice.
I dig the asymmetrical vest, but the rest is blah. Still, no color blocking!
I like this a lot. Of all the outfits, it’s the one that best captures the element it’s about. Even if it is, um, laughter, I mean, air.
The hair bowl is just freaky. But yes, Amy, it’s different and unique, albeit kind of gross.
Nice job. It feels like a safe outfit, but not a winner.
Of all the designers, Seth Aaron makes stuff I secretly want to buy. This is cool, but I do wonder, what’s with the butt flap? But if you’ve got to have a butt flap, it might as well be black leather.
Heidi calls out Anthony, Emilio and Jay. They’re all safe.
Next, Heidi calls on Mila, who is probably sure this means she’s in the top three. Instead, Michael says he thinks her look is drab and normal. Nina didn’t understand it, and Heidi only liked the vest. Mila looks too surprised to say anything.
Next, Seth Aaron. Heidi is astonished he pulled this look off in one day. Nina thinks Seth Aaron is true to himself. Roland thinks a big designer would be jealous. Go, Seth Aaron!
Maya also gets a thumbs up. Michael thinks it’s great, Roland thinks it’s chic, but Nina worries Maya is drawing from Nina Ricci. Oops. Someone might be getting stuck with the Kenley Collins copycat label.
Oh no, Amy’s turn. Heidi delivers the cat in a baby sling comment, which really nails it, if you ask me. Nina thinks the model’s growing hair out of her chest. Michael thinks Amy got caught up with her concept. Roland says something in such heavily accented English I have no idea what it was.
Ben’s turn. Michael had no idea how to describe it, other than ill-fitting. Heidi thinks he doesn’t know how to make a suit. Nina thinks it’s a real mess. I think Ben’s going home.
Jonathan explains his outfit as laughter. Nina loves the use of the model’s skin tone. Roland thinks it’s fantastic. Michael loves the textile. Jonathan finally took a risk that paid off.
The judges get down to business. Roland loves Maya, but Nina thinks her design is a rip off. Seth Aaron, a big hit. Nina thinks Jonathan’s outfit was beautiful and Roland thought it was perfection.
As for the losers, Ben’s definitely bottom two, I think. And so is Amy. Mila’s outfit is deemed boring, but I don’t think she has anything to worry about, because the judges usually looove her.
Seth Aaron is... in. Jonathan is... the winner! Maya can leave the runway to go research Nina Ricci.
Mila is... safe. It’s down to Ben and Amy. Amy is... in. Ben’s a goner. Insert “Jaws”/shark joke of your choice here. I think Ben might be okay with going home, because he misses his husband and he looks exhausted. I will say, Ben’s been exceptionally even-tempered and nice throughout the season and I’ve loved some of his designs, but yeah, wedgy pants that don’t fit are exactly the kind of thing to turn the judges against ya, even if another designer created an entirely disgusting hair bowl.
Although it’s hard for me to imagine anything will top the cat in a baby sling design, next week promises to have fun in store, as it’s another couple challenge, and that means plenty of sniping and crying and general sleep-deprived angst as the designers have to, eek, work with one another. I’m guessing that, unless Mila is paired with Jay or Maya, she’s going to have a fit, although after ending up in the bottom two, she might realize her competition isn’t as far beneath her as she used to think.
Do you think Ben deserved to go? Do you think Amy’s design looked like a cat in a baby sling? And who do you want to see coupled up next week?