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Project Runway 4, Episode 9 Unbuttoned: Deconstructing Christianby Jenn Brasler -- 01/28/2008
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I’ve known from the first episode that Christian would not be one of my favorite designers this season. Almost everything he says grates on my nerves. I don’t understand half his clothes, and the ones I do understand, I don’t like. Considering how much I disliked Jeffrey last season, I won’t be surprised if Christian wins this one. I will not, to borrow his favorite phrase, feel very fierce.
Rami was exactly right when he said that “Christian is like a cartoon character.” He’s so over the top that you just can’t believe someone like him actually exists. I’d be interested to know what Christian is really like, because I highly doubt this is the real him. To me, everything he says and does seems to be for either dramatic purposes or to get attention (sometimes both, of course). No matter how often the other designers tease him for being the youngest of the group, I guarantee he loves it because he’s getting attention from them. I bet he loves it when they fight with him because it means he’s causing trouble, and drama queens love causing trouble.
Because that’s what Christian is - a drama queen. He thrives on conflict. That’s why he’s the perfect reality-show contestant. If he’s not causing the drama, he’s making catty remarks about it, which makes for terrific sound bites. This is why I think it’s all an act. You don’t go on a reality show to hide in the background, you go to make it on camera and get your 15 minutes of fame. Christian is putting on an act because he knows it will get him screen time. I’m sure he relishes the fact that no one else is considered the drama queen on the season, so even if he comes across as a villain, he’s getting noticed.
I laughed out loud when Christian said he was sure Chris was talking to himself while alone in the workroom. Just minutes earlier Rami had complained in an interview about how much Christian talks, and how it makes him want to pull out the hair he doesn’t have. Chris talks to himself to help him through the creative process, while Christian talks all the time to get attention. I love that Chris’ talking bugs Christian while Christian’s talking bugs everyone - and he doesn’t seem to realize it.
Speaking of Chris, has he never seen this show before? I know he’s dealt with Tim Gunn for eight previous episodes now, so why hasn’t he realized by now that you should always listen to Tim, no matter what? If you tell Tim you’re keeping something the way it is because you like it, and Tim says, “Really?” and gives you that typical Tim look over the top of his glass, it means you should change it. No matter how much you love it, change it. Your love for whatever it is will not trump the judges’ decisions on the runway. Tim’s “really?” is like when you were younger and your mom said, “You’re wearing that?” It’s code for, “Go change your clothes. Right now. I mean it.”
Jillian is another designer who should have learned from the past by now. Last week she and Victorya had a horrible time with time management, and though things worked out very well for them in the end, Jillian should have remembered how difficult it is to finish challenges on time. Last week Jillian and Victorya had a hard enough time finishing four pieces with two people working on them; why couldn’t Jillian finish one piece on her own? She didn’t even have Victorya to butt heads with this week. If this keeps up, pretty soon she’ll be sending a handful of beads down the runway.
I’m hoping that my dislike for Rami last week was a fluke, because this week I didn’t mind him that much. I especially liked how he and Sweet P encouraged Jillian when she was stressing over finishing in time. They don’t benefit at all from Jillian staying in the competition; in fact, they benefit from any designer screwing up so much that even if they themselves screw up, it doesn’t matter. If Jillian hadn’t finished, Sweet P and Rami would have been pretty much guaranteed to be in. I think it says a lot about the people they are that they tried to help her calm down. They don’t want her eliminated because she’s panicking, they want to beat the best and prove themselves. That makes them both true competitors and kind people.
Speaking of Sweet P, she’s learned very well how to edit. (And how to listen to Tim!) Tim didn’t like her original design, and she herself realized that it wasn’t something she wanted to send down the runway. She took off the bottom of the dress and made it into something really nice. Instead of worrying over changing her original design too much, as some designers do, Sweet P realized that she had to change things to make it appeal to the judges, but she didn’t do so much that it wouldn’t still be her vision. Thanks to her editing, she was praised for her work and she gets to stick around for another week.
Victorya’s elimination this week showed us how impossible it is to gauge the standings. She was in the top two three times, including last week, and just one bad week did her in. It just goes to show that no matter how well you’re doing in the competition, if the judges dislike one of your designs that much, you could be out. The designers need to be doing their best every week, not just working not to be out. You never know what decision the judges will make.
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 she’s a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. Jenn is sad that Kit’s model, Marie, was eliminated because she was one of the best of the group.
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