Should auld acquaintance be forgot?
Maybe if you are a contestant on Project Runway.
This week brought back all 16 contestants to face each other and themselves in some pretty telling clips from this season.
What’s sad in a show like this is all the people you forget. There were literally a few contestants I didn’t recognize, not because they had changed so much (although one person had lost about 100 pounds) but because they weren’t on the show long enough to really make an impression.
Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum hosted the gabfest set along the infamous runway.
The questions started with an update on what some of the designers have been doing since the show ended.
Southern belle Heidi Standridge said that someone had asked her to be head designer at a firm and that she had just done a charity auction. (Which brought lone applause from fellow contestant Guadalupe who looked a little stoned.) For those of you who don’t remember Heidi Standridge (I didn’t either), she was the first to be booted off the show.
Then the cameras turned to John Wade (the other person booted in episode 1). He was a bit more memorable. He was the chubby Jay lookalike. Only now he’s shed about 100 pounds. Shockingly, no one asked how he did it. That’s really the question we all wanted to know. Slimfast or Subway?
Nick revealed that he had been asked to design a red carpet dress for Brenda Strong of Desperate Housewives. She had seen the dress he designed for Nicky Hilton and asked him to make it for her. Nick said his family was glued to the TV set watching Project Runway including his little nieces and nephews who loved the Barbie episode.
Which prompted Heidi to say that the Barbies the designers dressed were very hard to find in the stores because they sold out so fast. “They went like bagels,” she said. She meant to say “hotcakes.” And Tim and the others all got a good chuckle out of it.
Up until this point the three finalists are still off stage. When Daniel V., Chloe, and Santino come out, they all get a warm welcome from the fellow designers.
But the warm fuzzy feeling is over pretty quickly when Tim questions Chloe about really having the drive to be the top designer and shows clips of the other designers who felt the same way.
This brought up the tiff between Chloe and Santino and the fact that he had called her a “good pattern maker” but not a “good designer” during the last runway challenge. Then everyone turns on Santino. Daniel Franco (from season 1 and season 2) was the first to put Santino on the spot and ask him why he does that “cutthroat thing.”
Santino explains his behavior all season this way: “There’s part of this competition that’s like a basketball game. It’s like ‘you suck’, ‘your momma’. I didn’t come on this show to make friends. I came on to win.”
(The whole time he is speaking the camera is solely on Zulema’s face. She must have a great PR person now. Because she showed no emotion at all and barely said a word the whole reunion show.)
Zulema may have learned her lesson. But I’m not so sure about Santino. Heidi and Tim show a montage of clips in which Santino just berates each and every one of his fellow designers in private interviews.
Heidi asks the group what they think of Santino after seeing that and Guadalupe blurts out, “I love Santino,” as if she were a Tourette’s patient. The other designers say they felt hurt by the things they heard. And while Santino says he didn’t regret anything he said, he adds that he does regret that it hurt people’s feelings.
Speaking of getting feelings hurt. It was on to the “talk back” montage where they showed clips of the designers giving hell to judges Nina and Micheal on the runway.
Then things really got good.
Tim reads a question from a viewer that is intended for Guadalupe, asking if she felt her elimination was fair. Here was her reply:
“I can only give him a personal critique no one would ever know unless they personally respond to me would know what my personal response is and that is of me and personally I believe you can’t like push the boundaries and like Johnnny Cash walk the line …”
Tim asks the question again: Do you think your elimination was fair, yes or no?
Her reply: “Understand that Marla has an aesthetic that I cannot duplicate but Marla has an aesthetic that she cannot duplicate and Arian on national television if you can get this you f—– rock because you believe in what is true … period.”
Tim is dumbfounded: “This is the biggest bunch of bullshit I think I’ve heard in weeks.”
Now on to a different kind of meltdown. Andrae’s crying jag on the runway. This time they play a version that has a little time stamp in the corner that shows just how long the breakdown lasted: More than 9 minutes on the runway. It was painful to watch.
Then they turn to the lighter side of Andrae and show clips of the fellow designers making fun of his speech patterns and facial expressions. I hadn’t really noticed how he goes in and out of an English accent before.
And of course the show wouldn’t be complete without a montage of Tim Gunn-isms, which lead into a series of clips of Santino doing his dead-on Tim Gunn impressions.
Then it’s time to turn the heat on Zulema or should I say Shatangi – Zulema’s alter ego. They show clips of Zulema calling on her alter ego whenever she got upset. Shatangi is a “tell it like it is black girl” (and Zulema isn’t?).
That leads into the clips of Zulema requesting a walk-off between three models and her eventually snatching Nick’s model away from him. The big surprise is when models Rachel and Tara walk out on the reunion stage and both say they hadn’t liked working with Zulema. For the first time the whole night Zulema started to get “Shatangi”.
And just when you think there wouldn’t be any more nasty clips to show, there is another montage with even the nicest of people cutting down their fellow designers. Andrae rips up Emmett. Chloe and Nick pick on Marla. Nick and Zulema pick on Guadalupe. Andrae, Chloe and Nick rip up Zulema. Chloe knocks on Daniel Franco. Raymundo questions whether Daniel Franco is really straight. You know, the usual stuff.
Asked if they had said things they regret, Andrae says he regrets calling Emmett selfish and Raymundo now does believe that Daniel Franco is straight. But doesn’t say why.
Marla (the older woman) is the most hurt of them all. She found it very painful to hear the other designers had spoken of her so badly.
Then there was a montage of candid shots of the designers singing and dancing and playing around the workroom.
This is followed by a question from a viewer who wants to know from Heidi why Daniel Franco was kicked off during the lingerie competition instead of Santino (who dressed his girls like deer). Heidi said it was because Santino took chances and had a point of view with his work. Funny. That’s the very thing he gets criticized for every week.
Tim tells Daniel Franco that maybe we’ll see him again in Season 3 … to which Daniel replies “you just might.” There’s a short pause and then he says “I love you Heidi.” Just like a lovesick stalker. It was so creepy, I wanted to call and get the restraining order for Heidi.
The gang seems pretty split on who will or should win the final competition. Some hope for Dan V. Some hope for Chloe. Santino even has some unexpected fans – like Nick who said he would like to see Santino “bring it on.”
We’ll find out soon enough. Next week is the first half of the finale.
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