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The Fix Is In: Vincent Has the Winning (Yes, Winning) Design on "Project Runway"

Project Runway has always had that certain sniff of authenticity. Unlike other reality shows, it seems important to the judges (and one would imagine the producers) which contestants actually have talent and which ones just don't have what it takes.

But lately things have gotten a little, um, ugly on the supposedly "reality-based" fashion competition. Last week, Allison was kicked off the show without an iota of consideration about the consistent work she'd done every other week (unlike Robert who had been kept in the running because the judges saw his "talent") and then this week? Vincent wins this week's competition?

Am I alone in thinking what the hell is going on over there?

The fact that Vincent won this week makes me completely irate for several reasons. First, Vincent can't seem to design his way out of a crap-festooned paper bag and his designs are consistently off-the-wall or entirely lazy, showing no imagination, reach, or skill. His dress, designed for Uli's mom, was a bland-and-boring rendition of a black dress with a hideous beige lapel-style collar. In no way did it even warrant being on the same runway as the amazingly gorgeous printed tunic Uli made for Kayne's mom to wear; not only does Uli have an eye for pattern (because she does) but her design was so instantly wearable and casually elegant that Kayne's mom lit up from inside as she was walking down the runway. The judges appeared to *LOVE* the design and instantly began talking about Uli's genius and skill. And then they went and awarded the top prize, not Uli (nor to Michael, whose reversible shirt-dress was a clear runner-up to Uli for me), but to... Vincent?

The decision to crown him the victor seems to come from left field. It seemed such a forgone conclusion that Uli would win that I actually fell off of the couch when Vincent's name was called. (Uli seemed pretty shocked too. Was it just me or did she seem pretty close to tears after the announcement?) Uli's outfit was not only flattering, it was age-appropriate, stunning, and wearable by a "real woman," the very definitions of the challenge. Vincent's design was okay, certainly not his worst, but it didn't come close to capturing the essence of Project Runway.

Vincent's win last night also means that there's a 99 percent certainty that he'll have immunity next week, which means it's going to be another two weeks before he even has the opportunity of getting booted off the Runway. Here is a designer who consistently lands in the bottom 3 week after week and who was saved from elimination at the expense of a more talented (if less "controversial") competitor (read: Allison). Vincent's sole purpose seems to be that he makes the series more "wacky" and "offbeat" and less "predictable."

I keep asking myself: why has Vincent somehow managed to squeak through elimination time and time again? I happened to pause my TiVo during the show's closing credits last night and read the statement that was printed there: "The judges considered both their scores and input from the Producers and Bravo in reaching their elimination decisions."

Um, excuse me?

The producers and Bravo wouldn't want Vincent to continue to stick around, would they? It almost gives credence to those rumors floating about the internet for the last few months about the final three. So to recap: Allison is gone and Vincent wins. In Hell, someone just reached for a designer parka...

I was also stunned last night by Jeffrey's casual cruelty to Angela's mom last night. Granted, he didn't choose her as his model (his name was called last) and her inspirations/guidelines were mind-numbingly boring but at no point did this Ohio housewife ever deserve to be treated in that fashion. Jeffrey humiliated and belittled her on national television, with her daughter standing a few feet away, and then blamed her for his loss. Yes, the colors she mentioned would have been hideous but what he designed for her was so inappropriate and unflattering (and looked like judicial robes, in fact) that he should have been called out for it. (I don't disagree with the elimination, however. Robert has been consistently lackluster every week and it was well past time for him to be sent home.) But to treat this woman--someone's MOM for god's sake--this way was completely inexcusable, even if you are an ex-junkie with a penchant for "layered" clothing. And to tell the judges that she discussed being "body-conscious" as part of the brief? Complete and utter lies. I wanted to smack Jeffrey upside the head for his behavior and boorishness last night. He far exceeded Project Runway exile Keith in that department. (And where did Jeffrey's tears come from upon Robert's dismissal? That was... odd.)

So, Laura is pregnant with her sixth child? Did anyone else think that was totally bizarre? Besides for the way that it came out, that is. I still can't imagine her having a brood of five sons at home and managing to look as pristine as she does, but six? Six kids? In this day and age? Even her mom was a little shocked, to say the least; she didn't seem so keen to be made a grandmother a sixth time over. I'm actually surprised that Jeffrey didn't make a comment, upon learning of Laura's state, about her bitchiness stemming from an excess of hormones... but then again, Jeffrey proved that he's not above making moms cry at the drop of a hat.

Not to sound like a broken record, but can I just say again how angry I am about Vincent winning? It just seems to me, on a show that so prides itself on the stringency of its rules and regulations, that the fix, as they say, is in.

Next week on Project Runway: another "shocking" surprise for the designers as they are tasked to design something for a trendy jetsetter (my guess: flight attendant uniforms, heh) while Jeffrey and Angela finally have that showdown that Runway's editors trick us into believing is going to happen each week.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Big Brother 7: All-Stars (CBS); My Name is Earl/The Office (NBC); Smallville (WB); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); The Simpsons/Malcolm in the Middle (FOX); Everybody Hates Chris/Love, Inc. (UPN)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); The Office/The Office (NBC); Supernatural (WB); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); Malcolm in the Middle/The Simpsons (FOX); Eve/Cuts (UPN)

10 pm: Without a Trace (CBS); Windfall (NBC); Primetime (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: My Name is Earl.

On tonight's repeat episode ("Dad's Car"), Earl tries to give his mom a long overdue Mother's Day present but she instead asks him to do something nice for his long-suffering dad (guest star Beau Bridges).

8:30 pm: The Office.

On a repeat episode ("Michael's Birthday"), Michael takes all of his employees ice skating to celebrate his birthday but the event coincides with the day that Kevin is due to receive news if he has skin cancer. What a downer, Kevin, today's supposed to be about Michael.

9 pm: The Office/The Office!

Wow, NBC, two more episodes of The Office tonight! I might just have to add you back on my Christmas card list. On the first episode ("The Secret"), Jim is forced to pretend to be Michael's best friend after telling him about his crush on Pam. Afterwards, it's the "Drug Testing" episode where Dwight finds a smoked joint in the Dunder-Mifflin parking lot and everyone is under suspicion.

10 pm: Murder City on BBC America.

Continuing tonight on BBC America: a 2004 Brit mystery series starring Amanda Donahoe (L.A. Law) and Kris Marshall (My Family) as pair of terribly mismatched police partners. In tonight's episode, a skull is found buried underneath a city road and a grandmother is stabbed on her 81st birthday. Again, shouldn't that day have been about HER? That's all I'm saying...


Anonymous said…
ugh and double ugh. You already know my feelings, but just to add -
Michael was definitely the runner-up in my mind. But he did have an "easier" model to work with. I really think if the PR people really wanted to be fair, they would have chosen all plus-sized relatives.

Vincent is not immune. They said at the beginning the winner would not get immunity.

I almost fell off my couch, as well, when his name was called. I really thought it was a foregone conclusion.
Anonymous said…
While everyone is complaining about how racist Survivor is, for the third week in a row, Michael Korrs marvels that a black man "is really thinking about things!" At what point will this no longer surprise him? (I know he's responding to Michael Knight's Hood Rat Hood Rat Hoochie Mama portfolio, but still…)
I'm no Vincent fan, but I think the judges respond to his clearly defined aesthetic and his construction. I don't think it's manipulation on the part of the producers. No one tells Nina Garcia what to do. No one! And sure, Uli's dress was prettier than Vincent's, but Uli's mom looked better on the runway. Kayne's mother wasn't all that happy looking during the Q & A, where as Uli's mom said she loved the dress.
Delta Airlines did have the stylish Song devision. Not sure if it's still in operation. When it launched employees were told when saying something was good, they should say "That is so Song!" Ah, the culture of marketing! How stylishly retarded!
Anonymous said…
Now that the field has been narrowed down and the models have become easier to distinguish from one another, I went back and read the article about the model who made it to the final three and then was hit by a bus. Guess who it was? Jia, Vincent's model. Here's hoping there is a model shake up soon.
Kat said…
Fun episode to watch. I wish that the designers could've designed for their own family member...I think that the stuff would've been of the hook! The runway show would've been a whole heck of a lot better too. The girls were so *serious.*

I was a little taken aback by Laura's mother's reaction to Laura's pregnancy announcement. "That's good...I think." Ouch! I'm hoping that was just an edit thing, and not her real reaction.

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