Vision Malevolent #10: Ignore Momento Mori, Look at Meaningless Limbs

Oh, how I love the team challenges. Half the screencaps!


But one of the reasons why I write about Project Runway so much, despite producing this column for a reader base that is actively puzzled and unamused by my persistence in doing so, is because I love the layers. The bounty of angles this show provides is inspiring; the drama, the characters, the action, the relationships, the gaudiness, and, if nothing else, the fashion. And obviously, considering that I’ve yet to write once recap under 5000 words, I indulge in all of the above. But I love the structure more than anything else.


And even to that, there is layering: the structure of a season and the structure of an episode. I try to examine each in context to the other: How does this episode fit into the season, what purpose does it serve, what are they trying to build, what are they trying to demolish, etc. But I’ve got only one question this week:


What the fuck were they thinking?

And yes, that’s is always the question. All that bollocks I talked about, it’s all an intellectual game trying to satisfy that question without specifically asking it. It’s a coarse question. Not only is it blue, by language, but it’s broad. Really broad. I’m supposed to be making myself feel smart by going deeper, brah.




And not even What the Fuck Were They Thinking?


What the fuck?




Were they thinking?



And you can go to the front of the line, buster.


Because this was such a baffling 90 minutes, I was enthralled and horrified, like I was watching tsunami footage. Or, if I live in London, I looked outside. Oy oy oy.


There’s two things about this episode that assails my functions: the structural concept of placing the Paired Couples challenge this early in the season, and the idea to have the designers make fashion for fucking stiltwalkers. Both lead to Greater Points. I’m going to focus on the latter first.


The fact that they were even merged is perplexing enough. The Pairs challenge is always a favorite, because instead of a giant cluster-rape the group challenge assaults us with (a jumbled mess of personalities reacting), we instead get several pairs of focused dysfunction, each with it’s own delicious quirk.


That’s enough on it’s own. We don’t need awkward Suicide Girls on stilts walking down the runway like they have shingles filled with cystic fibrosis. These were not professionals. No way. If they were, the stilt walking industry needs a long look in a long mirror.


Not THIS long, but close.


But the idea itself is ludicrous… designing for stiltwalkers. People that walk on stilts. And not the classic “two chopsticks 50 feet in the goddamn air” stilts. They were 4 foot long leg extensions. These things were better than my legs. I could get so much more accomplished in a day if I had these bloody stilts.


It is so preposterously abstract. You know, it’s one thing for the show to fall into the trap of using too many “fashion” based challenges. Which they have, as TLo has documented. Challenges should be about exploiting and testing design capabilities, in the process utilizing fashion aesthetic and taste. “Make something for Heidi’s new line” is the converse: fashion first, design supplementary. They shouldn’t do this.


Tune in next week as the designers make something for Nina! Oy VEY.


“Design for a stilt walker” is in the same vein as the “design-based” challenges. In theory. Truthfully, it’s saturated with irrelevance. I don’t see the point or the function of this challenge. Designing for a excruciatingly obscure skill? I could see if the point was to consider proportions. In actuality, they are merely adding a few feet to the hemline. Or, at least, that’s what Michael Kors thought. That’s certainly how he judged it.


And this leads me to Greater Point #1: DoesTim Gunn’s Word Mean ANYTHING Anymore?


No one who keeps his chin that high should be ignored/


Tim’s role on the show is very clearly defined. He is a“mentor” for the designers. But, despite the distinct role boundaries placed upon him, he has the most influence on the show (and it’s not even close). Tim is, at varying times, everything to the designers. He is their editor, their psychologist, their coach, their motivator… he’s the empathetic, avuncular presence that make us excited for the process and the designers. In the end, he exists to help.


And that’s why, despite Nina and OranjeKors logging equal time on the show, Tim is always the one next to Heidi in the promotional material. For many people, Tim Gunn is Project Runway. There’s no cynicism in Tim.


So, Tim exists to help the designers produce winning designs. He has two roles in this regard: critique them as designers (fashion and technique), and critique them as reality game show contestants. In the latter, he advises them on time constraints, and, most importantly, on what the judges will “respond to.” He’s used this phrasing countless times during workroom evaluations.


But Tim also guides the designers in Judge Response from the very beginning, by framing the challenges in regards to what the judges will be looking for in the designs. For instance, last week Tim made it very clear that the judges would not find materials similar to traditional fabrics agreeable. The judges undergirded him by judging accordingly. They judged, in part, based on the creative use of materials.


But when they don’t do this, they leave Tim completely unsupported and vulnerable. And, at worst, insignificant. This misalignment was prevalent all of last season, and been well documented. Tim himself had to pull his brilliant video blog in part because he couldn’t restrain himself for lambasting the judges’ arbitrary standards.


In that vlog he related that during the judging for the Jackie O Challenge, he actually interrupted the judging, something he had never done before, so that he could explicate to the judges the directions he gave the designers. He felt that aggrieved. That this didn’t air is a travesty, but if it did I supposed the gap between Tim’s popularity and the judges’ would be as wide as the line for Jenken at the Gathering of the Juggalos.



Penance for putting Tim and Juggalo in the same sentence.


Tim’s suggestion to the designers this week was to “Think about Paris Couture Week,” which “causes you to question what’s real and what isn’t.”


This week’s winning design was specifically praised by Korrsa on the basis that it would still be fabulous if the girl wasn’t on stilts, and you scaled it down. That begs a very particular question.




Do a Google Image search for Paris Couture. You get images such as:



I don’t see stilts on those women, so I presume that they are “scaled down.” These pictures are what Tim was alluding to when he first addressed the designers. So, when Josh revealed his Ready to Wear, Ready to Wear, Ready to Wear Theorem, it wasn’t just hot air or sour grapes.He had a legitimate point. That above is what they were supposed to replicate. Three groups followed Tim’s concept fully (including Bert, who was so captious about fashion lexicon that I think it lends weight to this faction), and three kinda-sort-of did.


The ones that followed Tim were excoriated. Balderdash.


Let’s start the recap, and then get into my other remonstrance.


A montage of the previous episode, Heidi comes out on stilts, and she tells the designers this week is the Pairing Challenge.


Now, about my other remonstrance.


The other remonstrance I have is that I don’t see the point in having the Paired Challenge this early in a season. Groupings, either paired or greater in number, are supposed to exploit the comforts and discomforts the designers have near the middle of a season. By that point in the season, they would have established their egos, with those egos have either been gratified by victory or tweaked by indifference. Aesthetics are going to clash. Take into account the grind of 24-hour designing over a two week period, and things eruption is ensured.


But Pairing people up in Week 3? The audience hasn’t even learned who the designers are yet! The designers are still feeling each other out, too. There was drama this week, yes, but it could have been so much more concentrated and volatile a few weeks down the road.


It leads me to ponder the way challenges are even devised. In the epic Tim Gunn vlog I mentioned before, he notes that the Jackie O challenge was doomed from the start because the producers changed the concept at the last minute. Tim actually went to the wrong building, as no one had told him the revised plans.


So, if they can change challenges at the 11th hour, it leads me to Greater Point #2: They really love to pump up the gimmicks when the end result is already known by the audience, and confirmed like two minutes into the episode.


Look, we all knew Fallene would not survive this episode. This episode was like watching an execution, and not one of those cool Tim McVeigh executions were the dude just stares at you through the wall, molesting your soul with his glare. And it wasn’t one of those thrashing, desperately fought, “yeah I know I killed 47 people, but I CAN FIX THIS!” executions. Fallene was resigned; she knew it was coming, too. In fact, I was quite proud of Team Stench of Creeping Death. They knew that being on the bottom last week meant that anything less than exceptional this week was going to get them AW’d.


It seems so blatant that the Pairing Challenge was bumped up in schedule to cover the very obvious fact that Fallene’s name was in the Death Note. It was the safe, assured drama that would make up for the inevitability. But then you recall that they had the goddamn runway OUTDOORS.


Burning Angel Chicks.


On Stilts.




Paired Designers Challenge.



Apparently, they must have thought episode 2 sucked, because they clearly expected to have to win us back with this one. Jesus, what overload. But because they had a tight schedule, this must have been previously booked. An outdoor runway was set in stone for Week 3. So the question becomes, was it always going to be this epicure of conceptual nonsense, or did they add the garishments at the last minute.


Considering how well the girls walked on the stilts, I’m guessing they pulled every female PA on staff and affixed them to the bloody things. They had just enough to pair the contestants up. And thus, outdoor, drama imbued fashion on stilted punk gyrlz.


So, finally, the episode.


So, the designers are in the apartments. Last week, I went out of my way to point out how cool Josh M. seems to be, how he’sconstructively bitchy and supportive. That notion is obliterated 15 seconds into this episode. He piles snark on Fallene, wondering whether she is a hair stylist or a designer.


Whichever one she is, you need it, buddy.


Fallene, whilst waking up, admits to Becky that she’s nervous. And normal. She begrudgingly admits to one, and is nonchalant about the other. Go ahead and guess which one goes with which. Meanwhile, Anthony is determined to get a win. So there were have it: our winner and our loser, all wrapped up in 45 seconds. What will hold our interest, then?!


Oh right, an orgiastic blitz of concepts. Heidi is on the stilts. The designers find this way more funny than honestly possibly. Like, more than the collective audience combined. Heidi bring out the stilt walker model, and these kids act like they just saw that Barstool Sports post about Tom Brady’s son’s package.


OMG, poor people will do anything to survive!


The designers are starstruck to see the button bag. Button bag proves oddly prescient once again, pairing people with devastating accuracy.


Bert and Viktor (The Muppet Babies). Anthony and Laura (The Debutantes). Josh and Julie (The Team That Finally Killed Rev. Phelps), to Josh;s concern. Danielle and Cecilia (1 + 1 = Zero Footage Available). Oliver and Anya (When the Accents Don’t Match the Action). Kimberly and Becky (Team Let’s Avoid the Real Issue at Play Here). And the aforementioned Team Stench of Creeping Death.


I do have to say again, though, how refreshing it was to see such pragmatic distaste over a partner. With all the cattiness over the years, it’s kinda cool to hear two people use such rational thinking in disliking their pairing.


The pairs brainstorm together, and I just cannot resist screencapping Josh every time he’s in frame.




Seriously, I’ve had to restrain myself at least 5 times already. Anyway, the tone is set for Viktor and Bert, and they both agree upon a reference point (Mae West) and then bicker like hell over the particulars (Mae West apparently never wore pants).


Tim comes in and he gives them reference points that, of course, will be totally useless once the judging begins. Here’s a funny thing: when Tim mentions Paris Couture, Viktor and Bert both nod in satisfied acknowledgment. They must have thought they were on their fucking way after that.


Forecast calls for high levels of hand-on-muh-hips self-satisfaction


Tim brings the models in, and we get the usual montage of galimatias, until we reach Bert and Viktor.


So, they bicker over the difference between Victorian and Elizabethian. The part of my that has a history degree is appalled The part of me that simply watches this show for fun…. godammit, I’m still appalled. Honestly, there are two main adjectives associated with English royalty. They are polar opposites, even (though the polarity is overstated, and the Victorian Era is commonly misunderstood). It shouldn’t be hard to distinguish between them. I am apalled. Bert was right to snootily correct him.


My ignorance is coming out of this area here, you see? Isn't is fabulous?


But what’s weirder about this scene is that Viktor is doing all the talking, all the conceptualizing. But he later insists that the design is all Bert’s idea. In the Designer’s Dish on, the other designers seem convinced that Bert was the driving force behind the look. On the runway, they each blame each other. When Danielle hears that Bert denied that the look was his design, she was visibly incredulous.



So… who the hell designed this garment? We very clearly saw Viktor conceive this garment. Yet the designers universally understood it to be Bert’s design. It seems logical to me that, considering Viktor’s constant disregard for the past (not merely British History, but his own previous statements), as well as the internal dislike for Bert amongst the designers, that Viktor simply skewed things in his favor and everyone accepted his story.


The design teams go to Mood, in our first trip there of the season. Viktor and Bert play Marco Polo, and Bert chooses one of the worst fabrics imaginable. I’m surprised the employees didn’t step in and force him to buy something else. Josh is getting frustrated by Julie’s inexperience, or uncouthness, or something. He delivers a sage piece of life advice: “Anything in life can be pleated.” We’ve finally found this generation’s Bronze Heidegger.


The (Fabulous) Being-in-the-World.


We head back to Parson, although something doesn’t feel right. There’s something missing, a vacancy that can’t be explai…




Designers get out their sketchpads and HP tablets, and look at what we have here. There’s a number of shots of Bert sketching whilst Viktor watches and brainstorms. This fits in well with Bert’s claim that Viktor refused to sketch. But then:



Well well… that looks like two latino hands connected to one childish latino queen, and they appear to be sketching. Fancy that. I mean, he could be writing, but I’m not convinced that Viktor is even literate, so there’s only one conclusion: Viktor was sketching and Bert’s a vindictive bastard.


Elsewhere, Viktor openly challenges that awful print that Bert chose. Bert is obstinate, and this team is just a wonder. And wonderful. Josh and Julie, however, are so inspired by the magnificent fabric Josh picked out, that they decide to go with what Julie describes as a “romantic matador” theme. You know, as opposed to all those boorish, realistic matadors.


Back to Bert and Viktor, where contradictions swirl so fast you can’t even comprehend them all. Bert starts to detach himself from the project already, then fights as Viktor tries to do the same. Viktor spitefully tells Viktor that this is all his idea, but when Bert responds by saying that this is a team design, Viktor immediately agrees. More bickering leads to Viktor storming off.


Pay no attention to that staff notation storming past you, Laura.


In the sewing room, Josh M. mocks Bert for not having immunity to fall back on this week. Viktor returns with the dress portion of the outfit. Remember when Viktor was aghast by Bert’s choice of fabric?


Hey asshole, that's Continental Royalty. No high ground for you, anymore.


Viktor continues to henpeck Bert and he his statements upend themselves so drastically that he is totally incoherent. For some reason, we then get some comments from other designers about what a stubborn, intransigent prick Bert is, and I feel like the railroading is in full force. They are trying to squeeze Bert into this role so badly, yet Viktor, to me, is coming off much worse. At least Bert is consistent. Viktor can’t even string two thoughts together.


In contrast, Julie and Josh have one of the greatest sequences in the show’s history, as Julie pokes Josh for dramatic emphasis, Josh squeeling about it, and concluding that “you’re such a rough chiiiick.” I screencapped each part of this three-act story.


Act 1: The Snowboarder's Preemptive Onslaught

Act 2: Not on My Bronze Body

Act 3: If I Was Straight, We'd Be Fucking on the Table In Front of Everybody (Parts 1 & 2)


Cecilia and Danielle talk about the technique of working with Chiffon and how other desOH GOD MOVE ON. Becky and Kimberly dance around each other, but are getting work done. Bryce and Fallene establish their relationship… Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character from Secretary would tell her to be less submissive.


This eventually leads to the Great Grain Debacle of 2011, in which Fallene, so uneased by her impending death and Bryce’s dismissive treatment of her, somehow forgets how to cut fabric “on grain.” This leads to a thoroughly fascinating explanation from Bryce about how to cut a goddamn piece of fabric. Now I’m wondering when we’ll get to see some more Danielle and Cecilia. Goed. Ver. domme.


Remember how I said Bryce and Fallene were really self-aware, having learned from previous seasons how to handle this situation? Well, Bryce tosses that virtue out the fucking window and makes one of the most repeated mistakes in the show’s mythology: he makes a big goddamn deal over being formally trained, over being self-taught.


Here’s the deal: WE DON’T CARE. We don’t care what your level of education is in fashion. And there’s no best case-worst case in these scenarios. The formally taught designers always come off like self-satisfied assholes, and the self-taught designer always retains some level of sympathy, no matter how badly they mes… ok, maybe not to the extreme that Fallene screwed up, but still. If you have a problem with your self-taught partner’s skill level, do what Mondo did last year: educate them. Calmly and patiently.


This is also as good a time as any to address Bert’s comment that Bryce is a “bossy kid.” Well, I love Queen Gay putting her drones in their place, but it turns out that Bert wasn’t alone in this opinion. In a video diary on, it is revealed that pretty much everyone was upset with Bryce for the way he treated Fallene, and they actually had to confront him about it. In his defense, though, Bryce seems horrified by the way he acted and admits that his attitude was a reason why the garment failed so spectacularly.


Tim arrives to provide the kind of mentorship that lasts all of 25 minutes in TV Time before being totally undone. He’s amused by the direction of Julie and Josh, and Josh preens in the pants he has made. They are, to be honest, stunning. Those pants were the best thing on the runway, by far.


Cecilia and Danielle tell Tim about the propor… zzzzzzzz…


Bert and Viktor openly bicker. Bert insists that he wanted to do a contemporary look, but Viktor did not. And while that’s technically true, since Viktor’s reference points were the 1930’s and the 1600’s, Bert’s fabric undermines any leverage he could have had. Bert claims that Viktor has shot down all of his idead. Viktor claims the same. How how is there a fucking dress in from of Tim Gunn? How did it get made, then?


Tim thinks Anthony and Laura’s look is on trend. Which is funny, since Nina considered it a bit too on trend. Tim is very optimistic about Kim and Beck’s look, but openly concerned for Fallene and Bryce. He seems totally uninspired by Anya and Olivier’s. Anya perceives that he seems thrown off by their fabric selections.


Unless you're 1987 Salt n Pepa, you would be.


On a side note, although it didn’t appear in this episode, in the extended Tim’s Workroom on, Anya/Olivier and Tim discuss a gradation and use the word ombré. Seriously, the saturation of this word is starting to get to me; did everyone just learn this word four months ago?


Where's ombré? Whatever happened to ombré. Designers, I can't stop saying ombré. Ombré, ombré, ombré.


Cecilia snaps at Danielle and here we go! Oh, wait, it’s over. Their mouths never even got within 6 inches of one another. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!


Models arrive. Bert affirms that his dress is “fantasy, not costume.” Oh boy, there’s someone who does not see the impending slaughter. Anya and Oli, who have been totally ignored all episode, are quitely putting together one truly godawful outfit.


The Dream Team (of whatever country Olivier's accent traces to)


Bryce and Fallene finally recognize that Fallene cut the bodice off-grain, as they fit their model Bryce immediately starts fanning his face. Queen Gay has a challenger, indeed, but he’s a thousand years to young to claim that throne from him, as they say.


Bryce's Bankai makes his trend-glasses prescription.


Fallene starts the waterworks; they won’t stop until they finally figuratively decapitate her. Oh, and the girls make up and everyone heads home for the night.


Too little, too late, girls. I've already lost it.


Back at the workroom the next day, Bert and Viktor (ok, just Bert) congratulate themselves for finishing early, and that edit always turns out well, doesn’t it? Julie and Josh continue on their bizarre chemistry. This leads to more screencaps.


For no mere mortal can resist/ The evil of the thriller


Anya and Olivier realize that they’ve made not merely a terrible looking garment, but one that might also fall apart on the runway. I can’t even make a cynical joke; Olivier’s too cute. I can’t bring myself to trash him. Especially since he shows sentience in the Designer’s Dish on He defends Bert, pointing out that Bert has always been supportive of him. Laura instantly retorts that Bert does that because Bert’s enamored with with. And Olivier laughs. Like a normal person!


**Titter titter**


Bryce’s grand concept for fixing Fallene’s cutting error is… a tube top. No wait, now we’re back from break and he’s made a goddamn tank top. Remind me again why they couldn’t send both of them home. Fallene makes a funny joke about how she was nervous with how freaked out Bryce was acting, and then she saw what he was making and she freaked out, too. Oh, sorry… that wasn’t meant to be a joke. She was serious. And thus, the joke is even better.


Meanwhile, Josh is besparkling the living whore out of the top Julie’s top. Laura and Anthony are frantically trying to complete their dress, despite have a tragic amount of work left to finish. Thankfully, they make it.


Or do they?! Josh M. in the Designer’s Dish for the bottom three teams, pretty much decimates their dress, stating “I’m sure it will be edited correctly so that you don;t see the duct tape flying through [their] skirt through the center-back seam, and the pins down the center… it wasn’t complete.” You better believe I screencapped him in his wide eyed passion.


I blinked in like 2 seconds. You win, Josh.


Fallene makes a super cute headpiece, which stands as an epitaph of sorts for her.


Mirror mirror on the wall/ Tell me, mirror, should I bawl?


Tim comes in and is very strict about time, as they legitimately have a schedule to follow this time. Time for hair and makeup, which means…


Literally too much man for one shirt to hold.


Swatch and Handlebars, in the same episode. It is now officially Project Runway. Also, Danielle tells the hair stylist that she wants “royalty.” She leaves it at that, and has no answer when he asks “which kind of “royalty.” This is a sad day for a History major. I mean it, you guys.


And off they go to Battery Park, one of those places they could show at the top of every episode instead of a goddamn row of cabs. They lucked out, too: overcast, so there’s no annoying glare!


Or noticeable historical landmarks!

Heidi comes out and people woo. She introduced Tanatar Korrsa, the increasinly exasperated Nina Garcia, and a guest judge that immediately disappeared. Not into obscurity, unfortunately.

So, the looks:

Josh and Julie (with detail)


Josh and Julie’s look is insane. She also keeps waving her arm, as if this design wasn’t literal enough. It’s a cool look, and certainly dramatic. But it’s a literal costume. Like, not a period piece you see in couture shows, but a literal fucking matador costume. I’m also baffled by that fabric used for the shirt, which clings to the girl’s areola at the cellular level, providing a perfect imprint.. The pants, though, are breathtaking.


Bert and Viktor


Bert and Viktor’s model keeps doing some weird shoulder, harem dancing moves. I was initially unsettled by it, unaware that we hadn’t even approached the nadir yet. And, as it stands, this seems like a period piece, but I can’t place it. And I’m thankful for that, because whatever period this came out of deserves to be forgotten. Two legendarily bad fabric choices, poorly juxtaposed. An enthralling lack of taste, on display.


Bryce and Fallene (with detail)


Bryce and Fallene’s model comes out to what sounds like Hercules and Love Affair. All runways from this point should be sound-tracked by Hercules and Love Affair, honestly. Anyway, for a ballerina, this model moved with the grace of a yokozuna. You know, I really wonder how you arrive at this look. Stilt walkers have to wear pants to cover the stilts. Those long pants make the tutu look nonsensical. The top is embarassing, but that head piece really is stunning.


Becky and Kimberly


Becky and Kimberly should have won. I love that flipping jacket. I love the asymmetry of the hemline, the buttons, the collar, the one sleeve, the military feel, the cut at the shoulder on the sleeveless side. And those pants! Impeccably tailored, well conceived. The styling was exceptional. The model’s hair is perfect.


 Anya and Olivier (with horrific detail)


Anya and Olivier’s performance mystifies me. Obviously they had nothing to lose, and probably understood that Fallene and Bryce would get all the negative attention anyway, but still… this is total dreck. I don’t get this look at all. The fabric for that skirt… I’m staring at it waiting for a 3-d image to appear. Awful. The top is ok, but looks glued on. Not well finished. And the styling took one of the prettiest girls in the group and made her look unappealing. Which is weird, since the styling these past three weeks has made it pretty clear that Anya thinks that she should be the one modeling her looks.


Danielle and Cecilia


If I didn’t understand Anya and Olivier’s, I really don’t understand the praise heaped upon Danielle and Cecilia’s. Yes, it is immaculately constructed. A marvelous use of time and sewing skills, absolutely. But she looks like every septuagenarian great-grandmother in the late-70’s. She looks like an extra from Casino. And it’s not just the ludicrous hair; that color scheme just offends me. I hate that shade of blue, and I don’t really like the brown, either. They age the model terribly. But wow… what an amazing feat of tailoring. The fit is spectacular.


Anthony and Laura


And finally, Anthony and Laura. Obviously, the very clear resemblance to Gucci was instantly recognized by many. Overlooking that, though, I see a very extravagant gown that, in this context, moved like a dream. But if you slow down the film, the construction issues Josh alluded to subtly present themselves.



Pretty much every garment besides Becky/Kimberly and Laura/Anthony was balderdash, but those two and Danielle/Cecilia are in the top, while Bert/Viktor, Bryce/Fallene, and Julie/Josha are on the bottom. Honestly, they could have just done two on top and two on bottom and been more accurate. Josh is not pleased, and derides the judges for choosing the three ready-to-wear pieces over the three costumes.


Are airplane pins on your lapel like Beauty Product Military Rank Insignia?


Heidi is impressed with the intricacies of Anthony/Laura, especially how they made that top without gluing anything. Anthony tells her that, in fact, everything was glued. **PRICE IS RIGHT HORNS**


Tantar Korrsa makes a complete fool out of himself by commending how the look’s charm is that would look great if was scaled down for a girl not on stilts. But the fucking challenge was to design for girls on stilts!


Danielle and Cecilia are lavishly lauded for the materials and the work, but scolded for the loony hair. Kimberly and Becky impressed the judges, but the collar confuses them a bit. Nina describes it as “circus-y.” The girl is on a pair of motherfucking stilts!


Viktor and Bert are obliterated for every single inch of the piece, for the anachronism of the fabrics and the dread of the design. Bert completely disowns the piece, showing his astounding ability to see an exit and get the hell out before anyone else even notices. Viktor tries to play cool and says that he “owns” the piece, and the judges pile on. You know what, I’m seriously wondering if the judges have some sort of prion infection in their goddamn brains. We all know what Viktor meant by “I own it;” he was taking responsibility in response to Bert’s balderdash brush-off.


Bryce and Fallene’s lashing is perfunctory. Josh and Julie should even be up there, since only two looks were truly worthy of causing an AW. So, without the burden of elimination, they have fun with it. Lots of laughs, OranjeKors is indignant but in a funny, exaggerated way. Each criticism is lighthearted and induces gut-busting laughter. But, in perhaps the oddest moment of the episode, the one person showing no emotion is Josh. I mean… honestly?


Honestly? This is when you make your stand for stoicism?


The deliberation is basically just an extension of what they said to the designers, as far as the top three. The bottom three had some quirks. They see Josh’s influence on Julie’s design (not for the better), Heidi seems galled that Vikor threw Bert under the bus (even though Bert did the same in return), and Nina seems to defend Bryce while the others point out that Fallene made the hat (Nina seems to be getting her way a lot this season).


So Anthony/Laura are victorious, and Anthony confers the win upon Ms. Luxury Since Single Digits. It comes down to Fallene and Viktor, and Fallene is officially declared dead. I don’t suspect any lingering nonsense on Viktor, since he’s been fine up to this point and there were obviously team issues. Bryce, on the other hand, is teetering. I kind of feel like Julie is about to exceed her ripeness very soon, as well.


Until next time, let us ponder Fallene’s closing advice: Always go with your heart. And if your heart has stopped, well… try to get another 90 minutes out of it, for our sake. I’m J. Michael.



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