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Designers and Divas on "Project Runway"

There is justice--albeit massively delayed--in the world.

Any fears that I had that Ricky would somehow squeak by elimination yet again on this week's episode of Project Runway ("Raw Talent") evaporated as soon as I saw the hideous orange swimsuit and gold lame tunic he designed for his client, one of the ladies of the WWE.

In yet another "quirky" challenge, the six remaining designers were tasked with creating new outfits for those female wrestlers of the WWE that fit their personalities and would work inside the ring. Working only with a $100 budget and severe limitations as to what would work and what wouldn't (along with some pretty, er, intense clients), the challenge was definitely not as simple as it seemed.

And, yet, if anyone should have had a leg up on the competition, it should have been teary lingerie designer Ricky, whose skills in designing sexy and provocative undergarments should have shone in this fashion faceoff. Instead, his design was just flat out strange: a flashy orange swimsuit (belted, no less) with fishnets and mini-boots and a strange diaphanous tunic that had no logic or connection to the other piece whatsoever. It also made his model Layla look as big as a house, no mean feet considering how in shape she is.

Sweet P's design was also a disaster but she's had so many near-flops in this competition, that I knew that she and Ricky would end up in the bottom two this week but I hoped that she would at least manage to stay in longer than he would. Her garment--meant to embody model Candice Michelle's trademark disrobe and reveal "move"--looked instead like a Vegas stripper's sleepwear, comprised of white short shorts, a halter bra, and a slinky robe that failed to meet the client's expectations, thought it was festooned with rhinestones and feathers. But it lacked the royal monarchial robes that the client had hoped for. It was pretty boring and lacked any drama whatsoever. Early on in the competition, I could see this sort of disconnect with the challenge and the design, but now? It's time for Sweet P to be auf'd.

Oh, Rami. What was with that hideous pink that you put on Torrie? The design was pretty blah and certainly nothing exceptional or dramatic. But the color of the garment--a half-sleeved bra/skirt combo was rendered entirely unpalatable by the garish choice of color, the likes of which have never before been seen on Project Runway. I know Rami was trying to stay away from his normal fashion choices and make the client happy (she liked bright colors) but still, this was a mess from start to finish. I do agree with one of the Heatherette judges who said that pink and white gingham gone crazy would have worked much better with Torrie's good girl next door persona.

And then there were the highlights. I thought Jillian's sporty royal blue design, modeled by Michelle, absolutely fit the brief. It was sexy, sporty, and completely showed off her, er, assets while being incredible durable, perfect for the ring, and in keeping with her client's personality. I liked the racing stripes on the top and the little boxer-style laces on the micro-shorts, not to mention the knee-sock/high-heels combo. Well done, Jillian.

Still, I knew that the winner would have to be either Christian or Chris, who blew me away with their out-there designs in this challenge. Both were completely different and yet sexy, versatile, and looked incredibly expensive. Christian's S&M-influenced garment was a mix of lace and leather, exactly what Kristal had requested, and he deconstructed some typical leatherwear by injecting black lace throughout the entire garment. Plus, his ruched jacket was absolutely divine and just as fierce as Kristal herself. (Did you see how she rocked that thing on the runway?)

Meanwhile, Chris' design for Maria was a cross between Lara Croft, Rogue, and a wild leopard who escaped a futuristic zoo. It was incredibly well-constructed to boot, with an ornate top comprised of a criss-cross pattern of fabric strips, micro-shorts, a thigh-belt, knee-high boots, and a long-sleeved hoodie in the leopard print that had been lined in shimmering black fabric. In the end, I knew that this challenge had Chris written all over it but he never made it too drag-queenish or costume-like. Bravo, Chris!

And I was certainly not sad to see Ricky go for once. After his umpteeth placement at the bottom two (and last week's surprise victory), it was definitely time for him to pack his things and get the hell out of Parsons, but I was incredibly amazed that he didn't cry once upon hearing the news. At least on-camera, anyway. Sayonara, weepy!

Next week on Project Runway ("The Art of Fashion"), it's time for one last field trip, where the designers get to use their own unique artistic visions to create a design, before leaving to go and design their own lines. Looks like there will be four runway shows after all this year!

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Survivor: Micronesia--Fans Vs. Favorites (CBS); Deal or No Deal (NBC); Smallville (CW); Lost (ABC); Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (FOX)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); Celebrity Apprentice (NBC); Supernatural (CW); Lost (ABC); Don't Forget the Lyrics (FOX)

10 pm: Without a Trace (CBS); Lipstick Jungle (NBC); Eli Stone (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Lost.

Missed last week's fourth season premiere ("The Beginning of the End")? Here's your chance to catch it again before this season's second episode at 9 pm!

8 pm: Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America.

Season Four of the original UK Kitchen Nightmares begins tonight. On this week's installment ("The Priory"), Gordon Ramsay tries to save a buffet restaurant--based in a 19th-century chapel--from closing, but he has to contend with lazy staffers, steep discounts, and, well, awful food. (A hint to those with some major DVR conflicts: the episode also airs at 5 pm and 10 pm PT AND at 11 pm ET.)

9 pm: Lost.

On tonight's episode ("Confirmed Dead"), four strangers arrive on the island, but the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are left to ponder Charlie's final message and whether these newcomers are there to help them or to kill them.

9 pm: Last Restaurant Standing on BBC America.

It's a sneak peek at new Brit reality series Last Restaurant Standing, in which nine couples have a week to open their own restaurants, with one lucky couple getting the chance to own a restaurant with famed restaurateur Raymond Blanc.


Giulie Speziani said…
Yey Chris! I'm so glad he won. As for Sweet P, her outfit was awful. I think someone put it best by calling it Tranny Icecream, ha! And again, Rami complaining about the challenge and making excuses that his outfit doesn't represent himself. Grr, have fun for once and think outside the box!
Anonymous said…

And like you - we couldn't believe this was the ep he didn't cry.

I am so, so happy. And relieved.

Honestly, though, as much as Ricky's bathing suit didn't fit the brief, at all, Rami's was my least favorite this week. I really, really hated it. Not just the color. Everything. But I knew he'd stay, and I was happy with that.

LOVED Chris'. LOVED Jillian's. Both fit the brief perfectly.

Liked Christian's a lot, but felt he went a little OTT, even for him.
Anonymous said…
I loved Chris and Christian's designs but I was really impressed with Jillian too. I thought this challenge would be tough for her but she not only pulled it off but had fun with it too. Rami needs to start taking lessons from her.

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