After Tim Gunn’s epic outburst last week, there was no way that this episode could possibly measure up. Really, what’s the point in even watching the show anymore? Never before and never again in Project Runway history will there be a Tim-sponsored takedown of such monumental proportions. It’s as if the reality-TV heavens parted, and a clip so juicy, and filled with such hot rage that not even JWOWW smacking Sammi in the face a few networks away, could dilute its unadulterated genius.
But okay, we’re over it. This week’s challenge was one of the dreaded “real model” challenges — you know, the kind where all of the designers stare aghast, as if they’ve just been asked to sew a bikini for an army tanker with one hand tied behind their backs. The specific challenge is to create a fashionable look from an unfashionable bridesmaid’s dress. And out comes the parade of blush, periwinkle, and fuchsia monstrosities, all blinding satin and titanic bows. Casanova, who is but a footnote in this episode, gets to pick his model first, and goes for a “tall, skinny, stylish” girl, because, obviously, he wants to challenge himself. The rest of the designers divvy up their girls, and then it’s off to Mood. April’s model is turning out to be fussy and demanding, but she’s had it up to here and starts mouthing back. (Where do they find these volunteers anyway? We’d like to think that if we were getting a free dress made on Project Runway, we’d wear a garbage bag with glee.) Michael D., meanwhile, is being goaded by the PR producers and other contestants to make an issue out of his girl’s size (what, a 10/12? Please). Being the total gentleman, Michael D. refuses to engage them, saying only “I think she has a wicked-curvaceous body” and leaving it at that.
Of course, the moment we’re all really waiting for is the Gretchen-Tim rematch when the silver fox makes his workroom rounds. Gretchen has already had a heart-to-heart with her mom/BFF and concluded that “life’s more than fashion.” Epiphany realized, she takes a bygones-be-bygones attitude and their workroom encounter is totally devoid of fireworks (but bravo to Lifetime for the melodramatic musical score). Tim, for his part, probably feels a little bad about what happened; certainly Hot Christopher does, defending Gretchen’s honor: “There’s not a malicious bone in her body.” We’re inclined to believe whatever comes out of his beautiful lips, so, fine, truce.
After Tim finishes the critiques, he announces a little surprise: The runway judging is being pushed back a day so that the designers, their designs, and their models can attend a fashion showcase — open to the public! Here, the models stand on little stages like Dutch prostitutes, and the designers are encouraged to really work the crowd. Amazingly, it’s shy, awkward Mondo FTW. (Makes sense — who doesn’t dream about folding the little guy in half and putting him in their back pocket?) Naturally, this is a good opportunity for some catty backstabbing: Rumors start to circulate that Michael C. is shit-talking Ivy — telling all the guests that she’s “the bitch of the show.” (Wait, we thought that was Gretchen?) And yet there is no empirical proof — unlike on, say, Jersey Shore, when Snooks and JWOWW write an “anonymous letter” to Sammi like they’re not being filmed on NATIONAL TELEVISION. Viewers at home never actually see or hear Michael C. sabotaging anyone; quite the contrary, he seems to spend most of his screen time as the show’s de facto whipping boy, sniffling into his blankies and having the nerve to tell only the cameramen what he should’ve been telling all the other contestants: “Bleep you, bleep you, bleep you!” Ivy, on the other hand, calls Michael C.’s construction “horrible.” Such petty drama! But alas, none so sweet as an enraged Tim Gunn. Now onto the runway!