Hey, we’re getting better at this: For the second season in a row, we correctly divined the winner of Project Runway — although, to be honest, this season it was about as difficult to predict as announcing that it might snow while you are in the middle of a blizzard. Even with her nonexistent color palette, Irina’s collection was so much better from a technical standpoint that giving the win to the others would’ve felt a bit like handing a painting prize to a fifth-grader instead of Monet, just because, hey, what the kid was going for MIGHT have been interesting if he’d just been a better artist. Herewith, our complete thoughts on the finale (The Cut’s official recap will follow shortly).
Heather: So Irina takes home the big prize. But judging by the judges’ behavior, I’m guessing we weren’t the only ones a bit underwhelmed by this season.
Jessica: I know. Michael Kors wasn’t as orange as usual, which I took to be a sign of ennui.
Heather: Michael Kors usually talks faster than that if he’s into something, doesn’t he? This time he was speaking SO slowly and SO deliberately, like he was afraid he was going to vomit out some honesty if he wasn’t careful. That felt like a big tell. That, and looking like he wanted to stab someone.
Jessica: I thought it was very telling that nearly every comment the judges made was prefaced with the phrase, “I have to say … ” as though the sentence prior was something like, “Although I found this collection completely lackluster … “
Heather: The debate felt like they’d all discussed earlier how to spin each collection so that they didn’t accidentally say, “Well, we blew it with you three, sorry,” and then weep for the future.
Jessica: Don’t you think that during breaks in filming, Kors and Nina sneaked off to the bathroom to try to figure out who the heck was who, again? This must have felt like the final for a class they barely attended.
Heather: Hey, y’all, this is what you get when you blow off judging.
Jessica: In fairness, there’s no way I would have been able to work up any enthusiasm for any of those collections either. I mean, Irina was the clear winner, but that’s not saying much.
Heather: Every compliment felt vague. When deliberations started, all Nina really said was that it looked like they all spent time on their collections. It reminded me of if someone says, “It’s so nice to see you,” and you reply, “And you … are also here!”
Jessica: I suspect they’re relieved this season is finally OVER.
Heather: At least the right person won — when it got down to Althea and Irina, I was like, “REALLY? No. They wouldn’t. Would they?”
Jessica: I know. Althea and Carol Hannah’s looked, as Tim Gunn would say, like student work.
Heather: Which is essentially what they still are — they may end up being fine designers someday; I just think they’re a tad too raw to be finalists on this show. Rami was probably at home going, “What, I couldn’t have been on this season instead?” and drying his eyes on napkins he made out of his old collection.
Jessica: Totally. Oh, and speaking of Tim, I did enjoy when he got all shirty. It was kind of thrilling.
Heather: It was easily the best moment of the entire season. It’s about time he let them have it. I also enjoyed Kors talking about how Althea is plugged into “the street.” It sounded like when Regis Philbin talks about how you should go to “the ABC.com.”
Jessica: It was like he learned that part of his commentary phonetically.
Heather: I’m surprised they lauded that about Althea, too — it makes sense to a point, but they kept talking about how she can take what’s happening on the street and put it on the runway, but isn’t that backwards? If it’s already on the street, isn’t it already passé in fashion terms? She should look forward, not be reactive.
Jessica: I think honestly they just didn’t have anything else to say about her. Like, it was that or, “Wow, those are some headbands there.”
Heather: Or, “Are those Jessica Simpson–brand extensions you’re wearing?” Was the talent level this awkward all season? Or did it just become apparent late in the game?
Jessica: I think it was always awkward, but in a normal season, the awkwardness would have been weeded out eventually. Whereas in this case, awkwardness was all there was.
Heather: That’s exactly it. I kept thinking, “Oh, good, they’ve almost sorted out the chaff,” and then … more chaff. It was chafftacular. I hope they can rebound.
Jessica: With any luck, next season will be more satisfying. At least they’re back in NYC, so we’ll get our weekly recommended allowance of Michael and Nina. Honestly, I’m way more interested in hearing all the backbiting and bitching about this season that is going to kick off in about fifteen minutes from, I suspect, everyone involved.
Heather: Starting with the judges being like, “Okay, when I said that was ‘great,’ what I meant was, ‘It grated.’”
Jessica: And then all the past contestants will start ragging on this season.
Heather: And then Jay McCarroll will announce that he thinks it’s all Tim Gunn’s fault.
Jessica: And then Irina will get arrested for intellectual-property theft.
Heather: And she can redesign prison jumpsuits, and then she can judge a future season challenge where they all have to make even NEWER slammer pants out of license plates.
Jessica: This is going to be great! Lifetime, you can make the check out to the Fug Girls.
For more of the Fug Girls, check out Go Fug Yourself.