This week Marjorie was reprogrammed and sent to 1991 to protect John Connor, so you're stuck with me for a second time. Let's do it!
The AV Club posted a discussion on worn-out entertainment welcomes today (successful shows like the Simpsons or X-Files that lost their charm by not knowing when to quit) and I couldn't help but think of Project Runway. Imagine how legendary PR would be if they'd called it quits after season two or three! It's not that the show has lost the magic completely, but even a diehard like me will admit that, seven seasons in, nothing about it really feels fresh anymore.
The show hasn't lost all the old magic, though, as last night proved. We saw cattiness, tears, inspired outfits and total trainwrecks A.K.A. everything that makes Project Runway awesome. This week's challenge - create a look inspired by the circus - seemed like a deliberate attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff. There's no in-between when creating a "high-end runway look" inspired by the fucking circus; you're either going to pull it off or fail hard.
Seth Aaron, IMHO, failed hard, but he managed to fail upwards. After a season of solid work with a clear viewpoint there was no way he was going home tonight. He could have painted a greasepaint dress on his model and still survived. What Seth did do is simultaneously more impressive than that and much sillier. From his sketchbook and handmade top hat idea, it seemed that the circus through Seth Aaron's eyes is basically Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, but what he ended up with is... indescribable. A prepubescent mime playing dress-up? Even the model looks at a loss for what she's supposed to convey.
Winners and losers after the jump
But Seth's not going anywhere; he packed his tote full of zippers and studs a long time ago. Emilio really pulled it out this week, too, to the surprise of nobody, including Emilio. The oldest guy in the competition has been pretty quiet until this week when he decided to let his ego off it's leash. "Ok fabric, talk to daddy," he cooed before announcing, "I'm the showstopper!" By rebuffing Tim, having a garment viewing party (for himself and the ever-sympathetic Anthony) and strutting around like an old, gay peacock, Emilio put me in a weird position: agreeing with Mila. Mila is pretty full of herself, but at least she doesn't talk to Tim Gunn like she's King Dick of Dick Mountain. That said, Emilio did totally kill it this week. Kors said this was his favorite look of the season and... I have to agree.
As for the rest, Anthony's 13th hour was clearly up even before Michael Kors called his dress a "big, blue condom" (that's not fair, but it is pretty funny). Anthony's been struggling all season to "push the envelope" and I honestly think that this is as wild as he gets. When he's not draping silk or being generally delightful, he seems kind of out of his depth. At the end of the day Mila's and Jay's were both more interesting.
And what about Mila and Jay? I wasn't shocked that they're doing a tiebreaker this next week. Project Runway's done that before and it would have honestly been more surprising if they eliminated two people at once. Jay gave us a Bubbles-era Michael Jackson bandleader coat over a shirt and slacks. The judges were right that it became boring when the coat was removed, but at least it was kind of chic and wearable. Mila's raver-goth nightmare on the other hand was, well... this:
- "The beautiful people, the beautiful people..."
My predictions: next week Jay goes home. Mila trots on to Bryant Park but the judges get tired of her one trick. I'm still betting on almost-hometown hero Seth Aaron to pull it out, but Emilio is a little more Middle of the Road, which isn't a bad thing. He knows what the judges want and gives it to them, so we'll see. What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree?