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Project Runway 4, Episode 4 Unbuttoned: A Failure to Communicateby Jenn Brasler -- 12/10/2007
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Iím so sad Chris is gone. I canít believe Ricky was kept around over him. Maybe Ricky is being set up as the seasonís villain now that Christian has toned it down a little? Or maybe the judges once again canít decide whatís more important - boringness over poor construction. Because to me, Rickyís outfit was much worse than Chrisí. It looked like it was slapped together at the last minute, and the top part looks completely out of place. Plus, Ricky was supposed to update neon, and Iím not sure how he did so.
Chrisí outfit was at least in keeping with the theme. His jacket may have been ďcostumeyĒ but at least it took on his assignment of updating shoulder pads. And the jacket and the dress were both well constructed, which I think should be pretty darn important in a competition about making well-made clothing. Itís too bad the judges donít take track records into consideration - Chris has done very well in the past three challenges, while Ricky has been in the bottom three 75 percent of the time now. Why would you keep someone around who is doing so poorly and doesnít seem to get the hint that he needs to find a way to improve?
To be fair, Iím also sad because I liked Chris as a person so much more than Ricky. Ricky amused me in the first episode, but since then heís started to annoy me. And that crying! He really needs to pull it together. Emotional people always have trouble on reality shows because theyíre thrust into high-pressure situations and canít deal with them well. Their emotions become the focus of the challenges because they canít see past what theyíre feeling to get their work done. If Ricky keeps this up, heís going to have a meltdown and bury himself.
I was interested to see how the four teams chose each other. The idea to have the trios pick each other was great - if your team doesnít work well together, itís your own fault, and youíll know better next time. However, thereís always the possibility that youíll get along with each other but you wonít be able to work together well. Kit, Christian, and Jack wanted to work together because they like each other as people. In just a few short weeks in the competition, Iím sure theyíve gotten an idea of each otherís styles, but they still couldnít be sure they would do well together as a team. They took a gamble by picking each other based on personality, but it worked out well for them.
Sweet P, Steven, and Chris thought more about how they would work together, and chose each other accordingly. While they did think about the fact that they like each other and get along, they wanted to make sure they were successful in the challenge. Thatís the whole point - pick people you will work well with. That might mean working with people you wouldnít want to spend time with otherwise. Sometimes you shouldnít mix business with pleasure. In this teamís circumstances, they were able to work well together, but they still did poorly in the challenge. They probably should have chosen their team differently.
Victorya, though difficult to work with in a team setting, went about choosing her partners in the best way - her trend was underwear as outerwear, and she wanted teammates with trends that would fit with hers. Thatís why she went for Ricky (neon) and Elisa (cutouts). She was focused on doing well, not getting along with her teammates. As it turned out, she should have been a little more concerned with how she and her partners would work together, but she was sure to keep the challenge in the front of her mind. Sheís playing to win.
Speaking of Victorya, her team had some of the biggest problems during this challenge, and they mostly stemmed from communication. Ricky was chosen as the leader of his team, but Victorya had a hard time letting him be in charge. This didnít surprise me - she strikes me as the sort of person who wants to have complete control over whatever sheís going to be putting her name on. Thereís nothing wrong with that; why should she let people get by with what she thinks is less than best effort if itís going to affect her? If sheís going to be eliminated, it should be because of her own actions, not someone elseís.
But when Victorya didnít volunteer to be her teamís leader, she needed to realize that that meant she was giving up a measure of control. If she wanted to be in charge, she should have taken the responsibility. I agree with what Ricky said about the situation - she probably did want to be in charge, but she didnít have the guts. And who knows if this was the case, but maybe Victorya thought that if she let Ricky be in charge and then something went wrong, she could just blame him. Weíve seen it many times on reality shows, especially The Apprentice. If youíre not the team leader, you can say you were just following orders. (And we know how well that works out in the real world.)
Jillian and Kevin had some similar troubles on their team, but at least they went about fixing those problems in a better fashion. Victorya and Ricky spent most of their time sniping at each other, while Kevin and Jillian took the effort to try to talk things out. They also seemed to respect each other a little more, not having childish arguments when they could have been working (especially since their main problem was Kevinís lack of time management). As much as I donít really like Jillian, she did whip her team into shape, and they came away with the win mostly because of her.
Not that Iím happy about that. I thought Christian, Kit, and Jackís designs were much stronger than Jillian, Kevin, and Ramiís, and Christianís team should have won the challenge. And to be completely honest, Iím not a fan of Jillian at all. Her clothes are fine, but she has no personality! I feel like Iím falling asleep every time she starts talking.
Now that Chris is gone, I hope that Steven lets his personality shine even more. He cracks me up almost every time he gives an interview. Sweet P is also becoming one of my favorite designers - sheís like a fun aunt, and I want her to be my fun aunt. I hope sheís able to get herself out of whatever rut she seems to be in so she can stop landing in the bottom three.
Jenn Brasler is an Associate Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, Virginia. By day she works for a court reporting firm, and by night sheís a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. Now that Chris is gone, Jenn will be rooting for Kit and Sweet P.
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