Project Runway All-Stars 2: Disco Designers

Last week on Project Runway: All-Stars 2, thirteen designers returned to New York City seeking the prize that had eluded them the first time around:  victory.  These returnees quickly had to prove their mettle in a team challenge.  Each designer had to make an outfit that would be a part of a cohesive mini-collection.  Anthony Ryan won and Peach was sent home.

The following morning, the designers go to the Nine West Shoeroom, where they are surrounded by shoes.  Lots and lots of fancy shoes.  There they are introduced to Stefani Greenfield, the Chief Creative Officer of the Jones Group.  She issues this week’s challenge:  Make a party outfit inspired by disco.  Wendy is delighted to hear this.  She had actually lived through the disco era and thus believes she has an advantage over the younger designers.

To help the designers get into the mood for the challenge, Stefani shows them a bunch of colorful shoes.  Many of them are platform shoes and others have heels made of cork.  Most have colors that could just about make one’s eyes bleed:  silver, magenta, turquoise, etc.  Each designer will get a pair and their outfit will, of course, have to go with the shoes.  As the winner of the previous challenge, Anthony Ryan gets first pick.

After making their choices, the designers are then given the traditional thirty minutes to sketch.  They also learn that there’s a prize on the line:  The winning designer’s outfit will be featured in Nine West’s fall ad campaign.  As they sketch, Andrae decides to make skinny pants and a voluminous coat, while Casanova considers a spider-web look.  Later on, at Mood, Ivy buys emerald green fabric for a jump suit, while Wendy looks for silver chains.  Uli picks out white fabric, as she believes that a white dress will stand out against a sea of colorful outfits.  The designers have to stay within a $200.00 budget.

The designers then quickly get to work, since they have only a day to complete the challenge.  Wendy and Suede do take some time to get to know each other, and Laura notices their growing friendship.  Kayne works on a bronze outfit, and he regrets getting chevron-striped fabric for his pants as he realizes the judges will eat him alive if the stripes don’t match up perfectly along the seams.  Making sure they match will, of course, eat up precious time.

Suede tells us that he was in the bottom last week and thus vows to do better.  He plans to take the judges’ advice to heart.  Wendy notices that Suede is wearing chains and decides to incorporate that in her look.  I’m not sure if that’s such a good idea as Suede’s dress sense seems to be inspired more by punk than by disco.  Casanova is working on a magenta dress and worries that it will be too simple.  He needs to think of a way to spice it up.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds and she starts with Kayne, who says his look is inspired by Donna Summer.  Joanna isn’t impressed by Uli’s white dress.  She thinks Ivy’s look may be a little plain, and Ivy responds that her idea had been to “make the shoe the leading lady.”  Joanna is baffled by Andrae’s decision to make an organza coat, and she declares that she’s never seen a coat in a disco.  She calls Wendy’s look “Halloweeny” and tells Emilio that the 70’s were the “decade that taste forgot.”  Finally, she stops by Casanova, who tells her that he’s making something a woman can comfortably dance in, since that’s what people used to do at discos.  She seems pleased with his thinking.

Afterwards, the models come in for their fitting, and Andrae realizes that he’s behind again.  After the models leave, Kayne suggests a disco dance-off.  Somebody thoughtfully provided a disco ball and Wendy and Joshua dance under it.  Back at the hotel, the designers find a letter from Carolyn urging them to play a video.  It turns out to be a message from the designer Karl Lagerfeld.  He wishes them luck and the designers treat themselves to some champagne.

The next morning, it’s the day of the runway show so the designers get back to work.  Andrae has trouble with his organza and he’s worried he won’t finish in time.  The models come in for their final fitting, and then go to hair and make-up.  Wendy asks a hair stylist to give her model a “Bianca Jagger look.”  Ivy gets Casanova to help her add some embellishments to her look, which prompts Anthony Ryan to cry foul.  Since it’s All-Stars, he doesn’t think people should be helping each other.

On the runway, Carolyn introduces the guest judge, Rafe Totengo, the creative director for Nine West handbags.  Then it’s time to start the show.

Emilio made a draped sleeveless chartreuse dress with a very long skirt.  The top is a halter with wide raspberry-colored straps, and Emilio added a sash of the same color.  He used pale gold sandals.

Wendy made skinny black pants with a snakeskin pattern on them and paired them with a black, white and red halter-top.  The halter-top is held in place and trimmed by a silver chain with large round links.  Two lengths of the chain are also attached to the left side of the pants.  Wendy used back and white sandals.

Anthony Ryan made a sparkly black and gold shoulderless mini-dress.  He paired it with black sandals that have cork platforms.  Casanova made a hot pink mini-dress with long sleeves but bare shoulders.  He cut out a “spider-web” design in the back.  His shoes were silver sandals with extremely high heels.  Suede made a sleeveless draped gown out of a sparkly gold fabric.  He used red sandals.

Andrae made a purple skirt and a sleeveless magenta top.  He added a purple jacket with billowing sleeves that was made of some gauzy, see-through material.  He used black and red sandals.

Ivy made an emerald green sleeveless dress with a see-through skirt plus dark hot pants.  She used gold fabric for the shoulders and decorated the front with beads.  Her shoes were high-heeled sparkly gold sandals.

Uli made a sleeveless white mini-dress out of a sequined fabric.  It’s decorated with black and tan embroidered geometric patterns and boast white fringe.  It’s paired with a set of yellow sandals.

Joshua made a turquoise jumpsuit that matched his sandals.  Laura made a sleeveless striped cream and gray jumpsuit with billowing pants.  She added a sparkling gold jacket.  She had tan sandals.

Althea made what looks like a basic red mini-skirt that’s been paired with a snug, sleeveless top apparently made of strips of magenta fabric.  She also used brown high-heeled sandals.    Kayne made billowing tan pants with a chevron pattern and a bronze sequined halter top.  His shoes were red platform shoes.

After the show, Carolyn calls Anthony Ryan, Emilio, Althea, Kathleen, Joshua, and Suede.  They are all safe, and it’s the other six who will have to face the judges.  They start with Ivy, who had wanted to do a modern take on the 70’s jumpsuit.  Georgina loves it and Carolyn likes the colors.  Isaac wishes she had embellished the back as well as the front.

Wendy’s look prompts Carolyn to ask, “Are we in Spanish Harlem?” Rafe thinks the look has too much going on, with the chains and the print shirt.  Isaac thinks it looks “theme park,” which is presumably another way of saying it looks like a costume.  The judges agree that it looks too junior and too much like an outfit that could be found at a mall.

Kayne’s look reminds Isaac of J.Lo, and when Kayne starts to thank him, Isaac responds, “It wasn’t a compliment.”  Georgina is impressed with how well he’d lined up the chevron stripes on his palazzo pants.  Carolyn likes the silhouette of his look, but dismisses the top as “boring” and “cheap.”

Uli tells the judges she wanted a fun, flirty, but not slutty look.  Georgina says that she was smart to choose a simple shape, given the time constraints.  Doing so let her create a polished look.  The judges also think the dress looks futuristic and somewhat Native American.  Georgina worries it might not be 70’s enough.  (With both fringe and an apparent Native American influence?  Is she kidding?)

Casanova wanted to make something that a woman could comfortably dance in.  This apparently helped him reign in some of his tackier impulses as he noted a dancing woman doesn’t want to worry about certain body parts being exposed.  Isaac thinks the dress is sexy.  Georgina loves the color but wished he’d made it a tad longer.  The judges applaud the “spider-web” detail in the back.

Last up is Andrae, and the judges don’t like his jacket at all.  They’re annoyed because they think it’s too similar to last week’s design.  His top and skirt are okay, and Georgina  likes his styling.

Afterwards, the judges chat.  Both Uli and Ivy made great dresses.  Casanova chose a great color, but his dress is similar to what can be found in a mall.  As for the designers they didn’t like, Kayne had done a good job with his pants, but his top looked cheap.  Wendy and Andreae’s looks were… “interesting.”

Carolyn then announces the judges’ decision.  Casanova is safe and Uli is the winner.  Ivy and Kayne are both safe, leaving Andrae and Wendy in the bottom.  Andrae is in and Wendy is out, much to Suede’s distress.

Amazing Race 21 – Episode 5 – Bamboo In The Face Is Always Funny

Before I start, two things.

First, the lateness of this column is due to one thing and one thing only. Sandy. Granted, I am often late with things anyway, but this time…well…I’ve been very distracted. I am copying a piece of my Survivor article here now – While we poke fun and tease in columns such as this, we have to always remember that they are all real people, not scripted characters. In a related note, this column went up a couple of days late – not an uncommon occurrence for me with my other columns, but not often for Survivor. I am a Maryland resident, but I will always be a New Yorker at heart and this week has certainly struck close to home. Literally, figuratively and emotionally. If you have the ability to do so – please show some love to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and any of the other states that faced damages from North Carolina all the way up the coast to New England. And maybe, just maybe, when the last body is found, the last neighborhood given power, and the rebuild begins in earnest, maybe we can have a real grown-up national discussion about climate change.

The second thing is to reiterate that the personalities we see are show personalities. They may be a reflection of the people in real life – character sometimes shows or vanishes in crisis situations – but they are just edited snippets of real people. I ripped the Blondes a new one a couple of weeks ago in this column. Brittany did respond to me via Twitter – somewhat sarcastically – but she took the time to comment on some stranger’s insults to her. She could have gone a totally different direction.

In addition, the Twins and Apprentice have also responded to me via Twitter – both have been very good-natured. Of course, I have defended Apprentice, and so it isn’t really a giant leap to be nice back. The Twins have taken all of the ribbing with very good-natured. They may be crazy and annoying to watch, but they know they are watching a cartoon version of themselves on screen. Self-awareness goes a long way in life – and it is really important on reality shows.

Anyway, at this point there is no real need to hide any spoilers. This was a non-elimination leg and the Goats managed to survive as a result. They had an especially lackluster leg and got very, very lucky this didn’t result in their ouster.

What’s Hot on TV Friday and Saturday – The First of the Christmas Movies

It's the first oft the Christmas movies. I haven't started listening to Christmas music yet, and I haven't started shopping, but I admit to starting a list of what I will be shopping for. This first movie, Christmas Song on Hallmark Channel premiering on Saturday night, is going to help us all to start getting in the holiday mood. Catch up with your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

Friday

1. Undercover Boss. Season premiere. The CEO of Modell's Sporting Goods goes undercover in his own company. 7:00 PM CT CBS

2. Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together. Matt Lauer hosts, and Christina Aguilera, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting perform to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief. 7:00 PM CT NBC, USA, E!, Bravo

3. Last Man Standing. Season premiere. Mike tries to convince Mandy to vote for Romney, but Kristin and Ryan, who are Obama supporters, disagree with his way of going about it. 7:00 PM CT ABC

4. America's Next Top Model. The aspiring models don bikinis designed by the daughter of Bob Marley, and Tyra shoots pics of the models posing under a waterfall dressed as warrior princesses. 7:00 PM CT CW

5. Kitchen Nightmares. Season premiere. Part 2 of Ramsey tries to help the owners of La Galleria 33 in Boston turn the restaurant around. 7:00 PM CT Fox

6. Monsters Inside Me. Doctors try to figure out why an Oregonian has been suffering from constant coughing and insomnia for two years. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

7. NBA Basketball. Miami Heat at New York Knicks. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

8. Malibu Country. Reba leaves her cheating husband behind and moves with her kids to her mother's place in California to pursue a music career she set aside long ago. 7:30 PM CT ABC

9. CSI: NY. It appears to be a twisted fairy tale when a woman in a ball gown is found at the bottom of a Central Park pond. 8:00 PM CT CBS

10. Grimm. After a brutal vigilante homicide, Portland's wesen community gets frenzied, and Captain Renard offers comfort to Juliette. 8:00 PM CT NBC

11. Shark Tank. Business ideas include Seth MacFarlane showing support for a new fly trap, a multi-functional child cover, a food storage container, and a followup on a manicure system. 8:00 PM CT ABC

12. Nikita. Nikita wants to know why Division continues to run Percy's old missions, Alex is shot when Sean and Nikita try to stop a terrorist attack, and Sonia and Birkhoff continue to fight. 8:00 PM CT CW

13. Fringe. The team responds to devastating events, and one of their own makes an important, yet shocking, move. 8:00 PM CT Fox

14. Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. In the first half hour, Monte takes over the bridesmaids department, One bride disagrees with her mom who wants her bridesmaids to look like ballerinas, and another bride lets her bridesmaids pick their own dresses. In the second half hour, Miss American 2010 selects her bridesmaid dresses for her wedding. 8:00 PM CT TLC

15. Ghost Adventures. In this special episode, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin showcase the most disturbing prisons and detention centers from around the country. Featured locations include the Moundsville Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV; Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise, ID; Preston Castle in Ione, CA; Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA; Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, OH; Old Charleston Jail in Charleston, SC; and Central Unit Prison in Sugar Lands, TX. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

16. Blue Bloods. Erin asks for protection from Danny for her key witness after a nearly fatal hit-and-run, and Vinny and Jamie go after a drug operation. 9:00 PM CT CBS

17. Dateline NBC. A look at the effects of Hurricane Sandy and relief efforts. 9:00 PM CT NBC

18. 20/20. Stories tonight include the heroes who helped out during Hurricane Sandy, Pvt. Channing Moss in Afghanistan being saved by his platoon members, and the code of bravery. 9:00 PM CT ABC

19. Haven Audrey and Duke go after a lead on the Colorado Kid, and Nathan and Tommy investigate a series of resurrections. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

20. Brides of Beverly Hills. In the first half hour, Linda Hogan searches for a wedding dress while holding back on an important detail of the wedding. In the second half hour, a bride sells breasts, while another bride has trouble leaving her parents' home. 9:00 PM CT TLC

21. The Dead Files: Dead Files Revisited. Steve DiSchiavi and Amy Allan investigate reports of paranormal activity at a newlywed couple's home in Garrett, Indiana. As he questions family members and local historians, DiSchiavi unearths the tragic history of the former property owner – including a shocking family secret. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

22. Teen Trouble. A 16-year-old's adoptive parents look for help to deal with her heroin addiction. 9:00 PM CT Lifetime

23. Real Time with Bill Maher. Panelists include Margaret Hoover, former Rep. Rick Lazio, Rob Reiner, Matthew Segal, and James Balog 9:00 PM CT HBO

24. Hunted. Sam believes a man from her past might be connected with the attempt on her life. 9:00 PM CT Cinemax

25. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight are Jason Sudeikis, Michael Che, and Ultraista 10:35 PM CT CBS

Saturday

1. College Football. Oklahoma at Iowa State. 11:00 AM CT ABC

2. College Football. Texas A&M at Mississippi State 11:00 AM CT ESPN

3. College Football. Missouri at Florida. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

4. College Football. Stanford at Colorado. 1:00 PM CT FX

5. College Football. Texas Christian at West Virginia 2:00 PM CT Fox

6. College Football. Mississippi at Georgia. 2:30 PM CT CBS

7. College Football. Pittsburgh at Notre Dame. 2:30 PM CT NBC

8. College Football. Nebraska at Michigan State. 2:30 PM CT ABC

9. College Football. Clemson at Duke. 6:00 PM CT ESPN 2

10. NASCAR Racing: Nationwide Series. O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge from Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX. 6:30 PM CT ESPN

11. 2012 World Series. Oregon at USC. 6:00 PM CT Fox

12. College Football. Alabama at LSU 7:00 PM CT CBS

13. Horse Racing. Breeders' Cup from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA. 7:00 PM CT NBC

14. College Football. Oklahoma State at Kansas State. 7:00 PM CT ABC

15. Christmas Song. Music teachers Diana Deason and Ken Stoddard are forced to compete for a single music department position by entering dueling musical acts in a televised Christmas song competition. The success of either group will determine the fate of the music department and will determine who will get the job as the school’s only music director, but sparks begin to fly between Diana and Ken; romantic and otherwise. 7:00 PM CT Hallmark

16. College Football. Michigan at Nebraska. 7:00 PM CT ESPN 2

17. College Football. Mississippi State at Alabama. 7:30 PM CT ESPN

18. Welcome to Sweetie Pie's. Miss Robbie's health is questioned, Tim sends staff to assist at Upper Crust, and Charles may have found his calling. 8:00 PM CT OWN

19. Dateline: Real Life Mysteries. In the first hour, four gunshots are fired after Rusty Sneiderman drops off his child at school, and he's left for dead. In the second hour, three are arrested in Michigan for Dar Foley's murder. 8:00 PM CT OWN

20. My Fair Wedding: Unveiled. The mother of the bride goes head-to-head with the bride and groom, and a Casablanca theme. 8:00 PM CT WE

21. 21 Jump Street. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star in this movie based on the Fox series, They're young cops who get sent undercover in high school to bring down a drug ring. 8:00 PM CT Starz

22. Iyanla, Fix My Life. Single women face the truth about their dating patterns and let go of the lies holding them back. 9:00 PM CT OWN

23. Pit Bulls and Parolees. Tia heads to Nashville with Tania and a new parolee to save a dog from death row, a storm could flood Villalobos, and a rescued puppy might be getting a permanent home. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet

24. College Football. Arizona State at Oregon State. 9:30 PM CT ESPN 2

25. Saturday Night Live. Louis C.K. hosts, and Fun is the musical guest. 9:30 PM CT NBC