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Project Runway 9, Episode 4 – Team Drama and Team Disasters


Last week on Project Runway, the contestants had to design something for Nina Garcia, who proved to be a very demanding client. Kimberly won, by making Nina the pants she’d wanted, while Julie was sent home after a string of defeats.

The following morning, the designers wake up to find boxes with their names on them. When they open their boxes, they find sneakers and t-shirts inside, which, naturally leads many of them to guess that they’re making athletic gear for the next challenge. Cecilia, meanwhile, is upset that Julie was sent home instead of her. The designers then find a note from Heidi instructing them to meet her and Tim at the New Balance Armory, which boasts a track and field area.

There, Heidi and Tim explain the challenge. Heidi has been working with New Balance lately, and she wants the designers to make outfits that could be worn with New Balance’s sneakers. She tells them that they can make anything, up to and including dresses, so long as they use denim and suede in their looks. They aren’t restricted to athletic gear. (I suspect, though, the designers would be restricted to casual clothing. Dresses and sneakers don’t go together, in my opinion.) The winner not only gets immunity, but will be able to sell their look on Amazon.com.

The designers will also be working in teams of three– and their teams will have captains. They will have to run a foot-race to determine who the captains will be. Can we get anymore grade-school? Somehow, I don’t think designers in the real world use athletic competitions to determine who’s in charge of a project. What the footrace will probably do is identify the most competitive (and probably dumber) guys. I say that, because being the team leader is a two-edged sword: If your team wins, you get the credit and immunity, but if your team loses, you usually get the blame– and a trip home.)

Cecilia obviously wants no part of any of this, and tells Tim she wants to go home. In other words, she’s quitting. She doesn’t want to take a spot that should have gone to somebody else– and she obviously thinks the judges made a mistake in keeping her over Julie. Somewhere out there, Serena and Amanda are livid that they didn’t make the cut, while Cecilia did.

On with the race– and sure enough the first four are all guys: Joshua, Bryce, Anthony, and Viktor. Olivier trips, falls, and hurts his knee. He then has a panic attack and seems to pass out, but he soon recovers. Bert, being the oldest, finishes dead last and Heidi jogs alongside him to keep him to keep him company. After finishing and learning who the team captains are, Bert tells us that he doesn’t want to be on Viktor or Joshua’s teams.

Afterwards, there’s a schoolyard pick-em in which the captains make their selections: Joshua chooses Anya and Becky; Bryce picks Kimberly and Danielle; Anthony takes Laura and Bert, while Viktor picks Olivier. Bert, for the record, was the last person to be placed on a team. Heidi notes that Viktor and Olivier are at a disadvantage since they only have two people. Traditionally, when a designer left unexpectedly, their spot was given to the most recently eliminated designer. In this case, that would be Julie. This time, though, Heidi gives Team Viktor the option of picking the eliminated designer themselves, and they chose Joshua C.

Heidi and Tim then tell the teams they each have to make three cohesive looks that go with New Balance sneakers. The designers are then told to “caucus” and sketch for the next 30 minutes. It quickly becomes obvious that Joshua M. has gotten into the same Jackass Pills that Viktor and Bert had both taken during the last team challenge, as he snottily shoots down all of Becky’s suggestions. “Leggings are over,” he sneers at one point. When the designers shop at Mood, he again dismisses her suggestions. Since Anya goes along with this — at least at first — Becky feels like the odd man out.

Back at the workroom, Joshua C. gets a warm reception from his fellow designers, and tells everybody that he’s delighted to be back. Danielle DR’s that she and Bryce are the underdogs since they’ve both been on the bottom before. Team Viktor discusses who will make what, while Becky is still trying to get Joshua M. To acknowledge her skills as a designer, pointing out that she’s worked with knitwear before. Joshua M. sneers he only wants Becky to sew, not think or design. I’m already sure that I want Becky to get further than Joshua M. Meanwhile, Anthony is finding Bert difficult to work with, and Bert admits that he has trouble remembering people’s names — but dismissively adds that he sees most of his competitors as “insignificant.”

Tim and Heidi come in to make some rounds, and they start with Team Bryce, who show them a cowled hoodie. Heidi asks if they would really consider this cool or fashion-forward, and Bryce admits the answer is probably no. Heidi also dislikes their dress, and Kimberly notes that it’s back to the drawing board– but they don’t have a lot of time.

Next up is Team Viktor, and Tim dislikes their long skirt, saying it reminds him of Auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz. He and Heidi do like the denim jacket, although they aren’t sure how it goes with the skirt. The jacket looks like something a biker would wear, while the long skirt looks like something a farmer’s wife might wear. Tim advises them to “edit.”

Tim and Heidi then check in with Team Anthony, who present a suede jacket and a tank top, a bodice, and a jump suit. Heidi reminds then that the piece have to be worn with sneakers, and singles out one garment as “too dressy.”


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