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Project Runway 4, Episode 10 Unbuttoned: I Get So Emotional, Babyby Jenn Brasler -- 02/11/2008
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It’s hard to be shocked by anything on reality TV anymore. I’m not sure if it’s because most people who’ve been watching reality shows for a while are jaded, or if there just isn’t much left that we haven’t seen. But on the most recent episode of Project Runway, I was genuinely shocked by something: Ricky didn’t cry when he was eliminated.
Perhaps our little Ricky was just all out of tears. (And yes, I can completely imagine Santino, in full-on Tim Gunn impersonation mode, telling the other designers to “look out for our little Ricky, our little lamb.”) Or maybe he’s just grown over the past few weeks and realized that crying that much just isn’t productive. I fear we’ll never know. But I for one was dry-eyed to see him go, because I felt he’d overstayed his welcome. The fact that he outlasted both Kevin and Kit didn’t sit well with me.
The way Sweet P has been acting, I think we may have another crier on our hands. She’s cried a few times over the season, and now that the pressure is building more and more with each challenge, I’m not sure she’ll be able to handle it. She’s already been perilously close to elimination a number of times. There’s only so much a person can take. If she doesn’t start really shining in challenges, she’s going to be crying a lot more. Though I have to say I’m glad she wasn’t eliminated this week because her outfit wasn’t, as Heidi said, sex-kittenish enough.
Speaking of Sweet P, she was absolutely right about the catch-22 the designers have to face in every challenge. They often have to design for a “customer,” which means they have to keep in mind both what the customer wants and what their own point of view will bring into the design. (So far it seems Christian has done the best with this.) However, if the customer is unhappy with what you’re working on, what do you do? If you change your design to suit the customer’s desires, but you know that it won’t fit your point of view and/or be something the judges will like, it’s hard to make the changes. But if you don’t, the judges might call you out for that on the runway. There are a lot of elements that have to work together to make a design perfect, and the balance is very delicate.
The balance was especially hard to find in this challenge. At one point Chris said that Ricky’s outfit was cheesy and not what the challenge was about. Well, what was the challenge about, exactly? Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re going too far overboard. I mean, wrestling women aren’t going to be wearing couture ball gowns in the ring. There’s obviously a little cheese involved.
There was also a lot of cleavage involved. Isn’t it ironic that they had the women baring almost everything for the designers when there wasn’t one person in that room who cared what they were showing? Though I’m sure if Kevin had been there, he would have given an interview saying something along the lines of, “Boobs! Hot! I love women! I’m not gay. Really. Boobs!”
I love that even though the competition is nearing the end, the designers are still having fun both with the challenges and with each other. I think Chris and Christian are helping that along - Chris because he just has that fun, entertaining personality and Christian because he’s fun to alternately laugh with and laugh at. In past seasons there’s usually a lot of tension at this point, not least because there’s always one designer left who the others don’t think is worthy of still being around, or because there’s one designer left who rubs everyone the wrong way. This season, though, even if people don’t like someone (that someone would be Christian, apparently), they’re still enjoying each other’s company. I think they’re taking the competition seriously but not so seriously that they’re not still enjoying it.
Historically I’ve never liked when eliminated contestants are allowed to return to reality shows (I think I mentioned this when Chris originally returned), but this time around, I’m so happy Chris is back. Not only is he entertaining to the other designers, but he’s entertaining to the audience as well. He’s the perfect reality show contestant.
The main reason I’ve never liked to see eliminated contestants return is because they get a second chance at winning. Years ago I recapped a show called Wickedly Perfect for RealityNewsOnline; it was basically a search for the next Martha Stewart. In one challenge a number of eliminated contestants returned, and one of them was given the opportunity to return to the competition. That contestant, Kimberly, went on to win. I never thought that was fair - why should she be considered the best when there was obviously something not so “wickedly perfect” about her, leading to her original elimination?
Chris has made me rethink that. I would absolutely love to see him win. I never thought his elimination was warranted, and he’s proven himself to be better than a lot of the designers he originally couldn’t outlast. He’s had three top-three placements and one win since he’s been back. I’m not sure if he could win, but why not? All of the remaining designers have had their ups and downs. Stranger things have happened…
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent articles on RealityNewsOnline:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Jenn is debating starting a drinking game for the use of the word “fierce,” but she fears it will just lead to alcohol poisoning.
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