Today’s challenge was to go to Heidi Klum’s Manhattan apartment and scrub down her toilet and vacuum her curtains and spray for bedbugs.
Okay, not quite.
But it was to design fashion sportswear for her New Balance sports line, using only fabrics that she already has in bulk and only designs that she can sell for profit on Amazon.com.
It’s reality TV as free labor. Genius.
Also, Heidi has decided that the designers have gotten too comfortable with their models and she makes them switch up. (Wait? There are models on this show? I had almost forgotten.) No drama except for the fact that no one picks Mondo’s model, Ann, which strikes me as odd, what with her winning the last three challenges and all.
But because Christopher seems to repel models—didn’t his bridesmaid model also bite the dust?—he ends up with Ann anyway, after his model has to leave to deal with a “family emergency.” Likely story.
Unrelated to his model switcheroo, Gretchen drops her catch phrase (almost as reliable as Christian’s “fierce” or Tim Gunn’s “make it work”): “I’m a little concerned for Christopher.” You see, she thinks his designs show no imagination.
She screws up her face into its default concerned mode. Gretchen believes that Gretchen is one very caring individual.
Heidi comes to the workroom and Tim Gunn has to swallow a little throw-up in his mouth and say, “This is quite an honor.”
Heidi circles the workroom like a (statuesque) vulture. She really can be peerlessly bitchy when she puts her mind to it, huh?
Her first victim, fresh off his big vulnerable confession and emotional win last week, is Mondo.
She tries on his ultra cropped warm-up jacket.
“Do you see me shopping in this?” she asks Mondo.
“Sure, why not?” says Mondo, bracing himself.
“You see me picking up the kids in this?” she says sarcastically.
“Sure, why not? I would.” Now he’s getting defensive.
“And what about this undergarment, this see through tunic. …what does she wear under this? A bra?”
Flustered: “I. . .well. . .I . . .”
Heidi is turning his top upside down, pondering its tiny neck hole.
“You go into this hole?” she asks, pointing to the narrow opening. She’s absolutely killing him at this point.
“I haven’t done a fitting yet. Would you like to try that on as well?” he says through gritted teeth.
Tim Gunn takes note. Is concerned.
Gretchen stares from across the workroom. Also, deeply, deeply concerned.
“Why not, I’m here?” Heidi says, with a kind of faux breeziness. As if she doesn’t realize this situation is about to boil over.
Mondo rolls his eyes. In many ways, Mondo, while being a grown man, is in fact an emo teenage boy.
“Are you rolling your eyeballs?” she says, the idiom just slightly, hilariously off.
She attempts to pull the tunic over her head. It gets stuck.
“Maybe a Yorkie will fit through that hole,” she snipes.
(Note to self: Don’t ever get in an argument with Heidi. She will destroy you and make you cry.)
“Maybe I’ll give it to my dog when I get home,” Mondo mumbles.
“There’s no reason to be rude,” Heidi replies. None whatsover.
“I’m not being rude. . . I’m being hurt,” says Mondo. There has to be a My Chemical Romance song that sums up his feelings on this matter.
With that, he wanders off to the Casanova couch of despair. He needs a timeout. Christopher comes over to comfort him.
“You could actually win this thing,” he says to Mondo, which is obviously true, but maybe Mondo needs to actually hear it out loud.
“This is so much harder than it looks on TV,” says Mondo. (Which is also why I’ve never signed up to be a contestant on Jeopardy! by the way. . .)
Heidi’s next victim? Gretchen. And with good reason. You see, Gretchen is—say it with me—concerned about Heidi’s collection. She thinks the fabric choice is too limited. She thinks there needs to be more transitional, sophisticated pieces.
She thinks Heidi’s collection needs to be saved.
Heidi is having none of it. “What part of free labor using the materials I already bought in bulk in China don’t you understand?” she asks Gretchen (well, not in so many words).
Gretchen is also testy over Heidi’s criticism, but tries to keep her poker face. She makes an extravagant display of hurtling her fabric off the table, which she thinks is compliance, but just makes her come across like, well, an angry teenage girl. (I see a theme emerging.)
“Get out of here!” she says to the offending fabric. (Also, to her mom. From her imaginary bedroom.)
Heidi has another announcement to make: This whole free labor thing is working out really well, so she wants the designers to make 2 more designs for her New Balance collection, now available at Amazon.com.
“Make it work!” she growls in a deep baritone, thus doing the worst Tim Gunn impression in the history of the show, and possibly the universe.
Because there are still 45 minutes left in the show (and, uh, because the designers will need assistance with their two new looks)—they bring in help: Yep, the 6 most recently jettisoned designers. That should be smooth sailing.
Michael C looks on despondently: “Oh God. Not again,” he says. “Here they come. The past. The people who all hate me.”
Yup, that pretty much sums it up.
The teams are fairly irrelevant, but here they are, for what it’s worth:
Mondo and Valerie
Christopher and Ivy
Gretchen and Casanova
April and Peach
Michael C and AJ
Andy and Michael D.
Almost immediately, Ivy begins her sniping.
“So Michael, how does it feel to be so close to the finals?” she asks Michael C.
“I’m in shock that I’m still here,” he replies innocently. If he’s expecting an ambush, he doesn’t show it. Or maybe his poker face is just much better than Gretchen’s.
“Why, because you cheated?” says Ivy. She was setting him up the whole time.
Turns out, there was some sort of accusation about Michael C. using illegal fabric tape to make his Jackie Kennedy dress—and turns out, Ivy is convinced that Michael’s use of this fabric tape is the reason her designs sucked. Or something like that.
“How does it feel to be eliminated for crappy design?” says Michael C to Ivy.
It’s a definite “you go, boy!” moment, although it’s clear his heart is not in it.
“It’s a TV show,” says Ivy. “You can say what you want.”
To which Michael C responds. . .well, I don’t know WHAT he says. It involves a bad word. I can only assume it’s the c-word—that’s the only word that would piss me off that much—but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how he said it.
Here’s what I heard:
“So why are you [BLEEP] me for it?”
You go ahead and try to work the c-word into that sentence. Please report back.
This takes Ivy over the deep end. It’s as if Michael C had viciously attacked her for no apparent reason.
There she was, just sitting there, minding her own business, accusing him of cheating—and he suddenly, inexplicably, lashes out.
“The language that Michael C chose to use was completely low class,” Ivy says. “Just shows me what a despicable person he is.”
Anyway, this is the part of the show where Lifetime pulled a fast one on us. If you watched the previews last week, it seemed like somebody was going home, right? And that somebody was quite possibly Michael C, right?
“You will not be returning to the show,” Tim Gunn said in the promo.
In fact, it went down in a much less dramatic way.
Ivy made her accusation boldly in front of Tim and Tim was all like, “You lost, boo hoo. Get over it.” Again, not in so many words—if you must know, he used the word malfeasance—but it was implied.
Which is why I love Tim Gunn. (The Lifetime promotions team? Not so much.) (Again, if anyone remembers Tim Gunn uttering the phrase, “You will not be returning to the show,” please tell me the context.)
Runway time. Guest judge: Norma Kamali.
No Mondo’s Awesomely Mondolicious Look of the Day ™ this week—perhaps the events of last week were simply too draining for him to put forth the proper sartorial effort—but Andy does have a glorious, Sanjaya-esque faux hawk to almost make up for it.
Lots of really boring, flowy sportswear makes its way down the runway.
Out of everything, April had one dress I liked (the charcoal gray dress with the eggplant-colored bib detail and the cropped black jacket), but mostly it was just like a bad trip at a Curves health club for women.
In particular, Michael C’s stuff uses the colors of some hideous earthen wreath—lots of pumpkin and “turkey-feather brown” as Mondo put it. Gag.
Christopher’s stuff looks like relics from the Olivia Newton John "Let's Get Physical 2Today!" collection, as found on e-Bay.
Mondo, who totally switched over his looks, and introduced a fun circle, square, triangle concept into the equation.
Who had the aforementioned dress, and another semi cute one-shouldered cover-up with a cool armband, but also had a third look—a sheer black top over tiny boy shorts and a bandeau top—that looked like, well, every other thing April has made.
They also liked Andy’s adventures in geometry, although I found them gimmicky and ugly and loud. And did I mention ugly?
Christopher, Gretchen (who is shocked! shocked, I tell you!), and Michael C.
Gretchen tries to explain to Heidi that she was only trying to help.
Heidi will have none of it.
“It’s too . . . hoshkaposh?” she turns to Michael Kors, to make sure she has the word right.
“Hodgepodge,” says Michael Kors, somehow managing to keep a straight face.
The designers are dismissed and the judges have a little chat.
“She does have a bit of an ego,” says Nina, of Gretchen.
“Does she have an ego!” agrees Heidi.
“She tried to fix your collection,” says Nina. Heh.
So April is in. And it comes down to Mondo and Andy for the win. Could Mondo win for an unprecedented fourth time in a row?
“Andy—congratulations, you’re the winner,” says Heidi. (Yes, that is one of the winning garments pictured above. Winning, I said.)
Then Heidi goes on to say that, while the prize had originally been the honor of having just ONE of your looks produced by Heidi’s sweat shop workers—I mean, uh, seamstresses—she liked Andy’s looks so much, she was going to reproduce all three!
And, while she was at it, she would probably reproduce all 3 of April’s looks, 2 of Mondo’s looks plus the headbands, 2 of Gretchen’s, 1 of Michael C’s, and none of Christopher’s. (Again, she didn’t say it, but it was implied.)
So Gretchen is. . .safe, but not without a little smack from Heidi: “Let me give you some advice. Constructive criticism is not your enemy.”
Has one Project Runway contestant ever been dressed down as much as Gretchen? It’s . . .awesome!
Final two standing: Michael C and Christopher.
And. . . Christopher is out.
Which means Michael C has to skulk backstage and deal with the death stares as he reports that the beloved Christopher is gone and he, once again, is staying.
Somehow, and I’m not totally sure how, it’s all Michael C’s fault.
(Also, the economy, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the sudden rise to fame of Justin Bieber, and the cancellation of Lone Star. . .I'm still working out the exact details.)