Episode 2 is where it really all begins, right?
We’ve got those first-episode jitters out of the way; Mr. and/or Ms. Redundant is but a distant memory (oh Rafael, we’ll forget you, but we’ll never forget your awesomely bad hair); and first impressions are either confirmed (Anya) or challenged (Bert).
The first episode is the prologue. And the second episode is Chapter 1.
But before I get into the nitty-gritty of things, can I just say how much it irks that Project Runway is trying to tell us which hashtags to use when identifying their precious little contestants on Twitter?
Perhaps instead of calling him #PR9Olivier, I want to call him #FauxEuroAccentOlivier? Or maybe instead of #PR9Bert, I want to call him #PhoningItinBert? Maybe instead of #PR9Anthony, I want to call him #OneBallWonder (too soon?).
Let me be the boss of my own hashtags, Project Runway! (By the way, if you’re not already following me @maxthegirl, what are waiting for?!? You can hashtag me up anyway you damn please).
So yeah, about Bert. I had totally planned to root for him this season—a story of redemption. A man who had come close to the top of the mountain, who had battled demons and overcome loss, who was now willing to supplicate himself to begin the long climb back up. (I mean, I could practically hear the theme to Chariots of Fire every time Bert was on camera.)
And then he farts out this poor excuse for a dress? Seriously, dude? I’ve seen better beach coverups at the Rite-Aid. If dresses came in Cracker Jack boxes, this is what they would look like.
But I’m ahead of myself.
Heidi informs the group that they’re going to “unleash their creativity” this week, so naturally Joshua M guesses it’s an “S&M challenge.”
Sorry Josh M, it’s not the common S&M leash she’s referring to, but the far less widely recognized dog leash! An understandable confusion. (One can only imagine what Joshua might’ve guessed if Heidi said they needed to “bone up on their designs.”)
Anyway, to Petland Discounts they go for the unconventional fabric challenge. Will they ever get to Mood, Anya wonders (and so does maxthegirl. . . but Swatch, the awesomely stylish Mood dog, actually wants Joshua M to stay as far the fuck away from Mood as possible.)
As always, Tim informs the designers that the idea of the unconventional fabric challenge is to use unconventional fabric (hey, sometimes you have to really spell things out for these people)—so tearing up a doggy sweater or a plush toy ain’t gonna cut it (*cough* Bert).
And then, someone—the voice was off-camera but I think it may have been #FromHerotoZeroBert—asks, and I quote: “I guess the animals are off-limit?” People, he was staring at a widdy-biddy bunny rabbit when he asked this question!! Oh, the humanity! Tim Gunn, who only drinks TrueBlood ™ and would never drain a living creature, is appropriately disgusted.
Lots of the designers are buying bulk bags of dog food, compelling me to wonder: Is craft services not feeding these kids? But turns out, they just want to use the bags as material.
Also, the password is: Wee-wee pads. Everyone’s usin’ them. They’re the new black.
Back in the studio, I form a few more iron-clad—and by “iron-clad,” I mean lasting at least until the next episode—opinions of the gang.
First off, I kinda love Joshua M now, despite the fact that he looks like he just finished a triumphant run as the Emcee in the Wünderhausen Dinner Theater production of Cabaret.
For starters, I love his motto: “If you feel like it’s too much, add something else.” I find it downright refreshing. That whole Coco Chanel “less is less” aesthetic is so overplayed.
Also, he seemed to be genuinely fond of the other designers—complimenting their outfits, even giving them helpful tips and pointers. I even liked the outfit he designed, although the dangling “roadie pass” thing was a bit odd.
On the other hand, I’m kind of over Olivier already. He’s as cute as a patoot, but I’m beginning to find him about as drab as his color palette. He just seems so very. . .meh. Also, what the hell, dude? You’re from Ohio. . .Enough with the “international man of mystery” accent.
Perhaps my new androgynous crush will be transferred to Fallene. I want to move to wherever the hell she’s from (just looked it up—Denver) and have clown-puke-pajama parties with her and have her style my hair into a charming pixie-esque bob much like her own. (Also—*small voice* —I didn’t think her dress was that atrocious.) But something tells me, I shouldn’t get too attached.
Then there’s the squeezable Mormon Josh C. I was informed last week that he claims to be straight. Really Josh C? Really?
As for Viktor Luna—soap opera villain name alert!—he’s already working my last nerve. I hate someone who has clearly been practicing their Project Runway catch phrases in the mirror since 2002.
“This is not fashion, it’s trashion!” he says at one point. (See what he did there?)
“It’s alright, it’s okay you’re going to pump my gas one day!” he sings. (Even in 2002 that cheer-sult would’ve been dated. . .) Also, it’s hard to take anyone seriously when they’re wearing a beanie with a pom-pom on top.
And then there’s Laura Kathleen, who hails from an “upper class” family—seriously? who says that? —and has been shopping at Neiman Marcus since she was “in single digits.” (Is that a reference to her IQ or her age?)
At least she has the common sense to jettison her Elizabethan dog collar skirt, which barely covers her model’s upper butt, in favor of a serviceable, if stiff, cardboard creation.
(True story: When Lifetime first began airing Project Runway, they tried to make the models happen. They had their own show, remember? Ha, now they don’t even get names!)
Runway time! Guest judge is Stacey Bendet of Alice+Olivia. (I always thought Alice+Olivia was designed by two besties named Alice and Olivia. #Dreamsshattered.)
Big improvement over last week. I like lots of the stuff. In fact, with the exception of Bryce’s powder blue wee-wee dress, Becky’s piñata, and Bert’s dime store cover-up, nothing is seriously revolting. (Once again, Anya stunned. And, much as it pains me to say it, I also liked Danielle’s woven boho creation.)
Bottom 3 are Bryce, Fallene, and Josh C (again, poor dear.)
But Bert, who has immunity, gets a stern warning from Heidi. He walks off proudly. Much like the Honey Badger, Bert don’t give a shit.
Top 3 are Anthony, with his dazzling bird seed creation; Olivier, with his dog bed hombre look; and Joshua M, with his AF (aquarium fabulous) get-up.
So the best part is when Heidi and Nina argue between Anthony and Olivier. Heidi is totally on Team Anthony. But Nina is on Team Olivier, as she thinks Anthony’s dress is too short and not quite as editorial. Michael Kors is pretty much just munching on popcorn throughout this whole debate—barely saying a word. (Oh and let me take this opportunity to congratulate MK on his recent engagement to his longtime boyfriend. Way to go, Your Orangeness! Would His and His liquid bronzers be too obvious a wedding gift?).
The designers are brought back on stage and Heidi is forced to say, “Olivier, you are the winner of this challenge.” But it’s like she has swallowed a cookie full of arsenic when she says it—it’s killing her. (Is this the first time in the history of PR that Heidi has NOT gotten her way?)
Anthony is declared safe—and, of course, Heidi has to tell him that he was HER favorite. Losing gracefully is not one of her more well-developed personality traits.
Joshua M is safe, too—but they want him to tone down the accessory explosions. (I say, Joshua, ignore the good taste police and get down with your rococo self.)
Miraculously, Bryce’s dress is safe (so Smurfs are cleaning up at the box office. . . and on the runway!). So it comes down to Josh and Fallene, which sucks, because I like them both.
And Josh is. . .out. Too bad, he made quite an impression in a mere two episodes.
And a few farewell hashtags for Josh, before he goes: