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Project Runway 5, Episode 12 – Flower Power


Leanne tells the judges that she had been inspired by a lavender plant and wanted to recreate the structure. Nina likes the structure and was pleasantly surprised by Leanne’s decision to make something soft. Georgina likes the bodice, but Michael doesn’t like the color. The dress is harmonious and feminine, but there are problems with the details, like the bustle and its short train.

Korto tells the judges about the flower that had inspired her, and the judges think her dress is very well-constructed. Unfortunately, Michael doesn’t think it’s sophisticated; he says it looks like something from a beauty pageant. Nina thinks Korto may have tried too hard to impress the judges.

Jerrell tells the judges that he’d been inspired by a cluster of roses. Heidi just wants to pull up the dress in front, while Nina thinks it is messy, but also the most youthful-looking of the group. The judges agree the dress is elegant, but messy, and Jerrell blames the latter on time constraints. He assures the judges, that with more time, he could clean up the gown. Michael notes that Jerrell has had trouble with time before.

Kenley tells the judges about the plant with the scaly-looking leaves that had inspired her. Nina thinks the dress looks reptilian and creepy, while Heidi doesn’t think the petals look organic. Heidi says that it’s not elegant, and Kenley retorts that it’s not supposed to be elegant. The judges get annoyed with her attitude and Michael asks if she really gives a damn. He tells her she’s been kept around because they are fans of her and they want her to be fabulous.

Then the judges ask each designer why they deserve to go to Bryant Park and which two designers should accompany him/her. Jerrell tells the judges that it is his dream to show at Bryant Park, and that he’s shown his point of view consistently. He says Korto and Leanne should go with him, because Kenley is a one-trick pony who only does retro 50′s stuff. Kenley starts to protest, but Jerrell shuts her up and tells her that she’ll get her chance to speak.

Leanne promises the judges that her collection would not be boring. She wants to take Korto and Jerrell, because she thinks they are more creative than Kenley.

Korto points out that she’s the oldest contestant, and is also married with a child. Nonetheless, she still has a dream and the judges will get to see who she really is at Fashion Week. On the one hand, I’d say the judges have had weeks to learn that, but on the other hand, it will certainly make a difference if Korto makes a collection without the constraints of the previous challenges, as in the small budget and ridiculously short time frame. She wants Leanne and Jerrell to come with her.

Kenley vows to do a great job, so she should go to Fashion Week. She claims she has always had to fight through life, and if that’s a problem so be it. She says Jerrell and Leanne should go with her, as Korto wouldn’t put on a show.

Backstage, Kenley and Korto get into a fight. Korto claims that whenever Kenley feels the need to defend herself, she does so by attacking Korto. Kenley responds that the judges forced her to do so. She apologizes, but not very convincingly. Kenley also claims she has been through more than Korto, which completely disgusts me. Unless her tugboat captain father starved and beat her or the like, there is no way Kenley could have endured as much as the survivor of a civil war — and Korto is just that.

Meanwhile, the judges agree that this competition was not the designers’ best, as there were construction and taste problems. Nina did like seeing Leanne’s softer side, and praises her choice of fabric. Georgina says she would want to see more of Leanne’s clothes. Michael and Heidi both find Leanne to be somber.

Georgina finds Jerrell intriguing and wants to see more of his work. Heidi says Jerrell has an edgy elegance, but Michael and Nina say he needs to provide polished finishes. Michael calls Korto’s gown a cliche, but says she knows how to construct clothes beautifully, and Nina notes that she loves color.

Kenley has shown she can mix fabrics, but showed a complete loss of taste in the challenge. Michael notes that Kenley’s attitude will hurt in her dealings with clients. He half-humorously suggests that if a client criticizes her work, Kenley might stab them. She’s defensive and rude. Heidi admits that she’s curious to see what Kenley would do at Fashion Week, and Michael admits her clothes are entertaining. She just had an off day during this challenge.

The judges agree that this was a difficult challenge. Nina had expected more creativity, while Michael says that Korto and Kenley both tried to show different sides of themselves — and basically fell on their faces. All of the designers are so distinct that the judges agree that all of them would put on good interesting shows at Fashion Week, which makes choosing between them hard.

The judges make their decision and call the designers back in. Heidi tells them that this was the hardest and closest decision ever. Three designers will move on to Fashion Week, while the fourth will go home. She then tells them that Leanne and Jerrell have the highest scores, while Korto and Kenely have the lowest scores. Jerrell is the overall winner. He thanks the judges, crying from joy and relief. Those emotions prove short lived, however, as Heidi continues. The judges couldn’t pick a loser. Everybody will go home and make collections for Fashion Week. The judges will make their final decision when the designers return with their collections — and everybody is on the line. Anybody could be cut.

WHAT THE HELL?! A run-off between Korto and Kenley would have been fine; they did the same thing last season. But Jerrell and Leanne had won their spots, fair and square. They shouldn’t have to re-compete in a run-off, just because somebody wants to increase Kenley’s chances of winning. That isn’t fair to them. Nor do I understand why the judges like Kenley’s designs so, when a lot of them are 50′s retreads. As far as I’m concerned, the other three designers are at least as skilled and creative as she is.

Booting Suede last week, even though he had had the better design than Kenley did, admittedly made some sense, as he had generally been the weaker contender. But Jerrell and Leanne have generally been stronger competitors than Kenley; they’ve both won twice. They should go to Bryant Park, and that should be that. Korto has also generally outperformed Kenley, too, but she was in the bottom this week, so there is somewhat more justification for a run-off between her and Kenley.

The previews for next week show Tim visiting the designers. Somebody is sent home.


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