Well, so, how real is "Project Jay" anyway? We see him getting a call from "Project Runway's" Heidi Klum asking him to make her a red dress to wear to the Emmys, and this sets off a flurry of activity with him rushing around trying to complete an assigned task that isn't really what he wants to do -- just like on "Project Runway." The task takes him out to Los Angeles, where he seeks out Kara Saun (from Season 1) to help him and where Heidi inflicts extra surprises on him to create tension: he didn't have her correct measurements (and expresses on-camera amazement at the immensity of her breasts), so he must remake the dress (with some weird old guy sent in to do the actual work), and then she rejects it anyway (making him cry). I smell phony, phony, phony.
And how about the scene where he just happens to be shopping at Mood (the fabric store incessantly featured on "Project Runway") and -- ooh, look! -- there's Austin Scarlett! (Another Season 1 contestant, in case you don't know.) Austin just happens to have a fashion show soon! What a coincidence! Then Jay goes to Austin's show, and Wendy is there. (If you don't know why that's ridiculous.... just get the Season 1 DVDs and get up to speed, please.)
Okay, all of this is just too absurdly set up! And how about the beginning, where he's back in rural Pennsylvania living with his parents and whining about how isolated he is? But the cameras are there making a reality show about him! Are we supposed to be idiots, or is this a spoof of a reality show?
Well, maybe the tip off is "The Comeback." We're supposed to laugh and enjoy our inside knowledge of the phoniness of reality shows. It's deliberately over-the-top phony, right?
I found this interview with Jay, which kind of hints at the real situation. He has some sort of contractual dispute with the "Project Runway" people, where I think maybe they all hate each other but still want to use each other. He refused the two main prizes he won, and, in the interview, says he can't talk about it but "use your imagination." Apparently, they wanted to own too much of him. I'll bet the Season 2 contracts lock the contestants into the deal beforehand.
TIME OUT NEW YORK: Who do you think will win the new season?Some very hard feelings there. We also learn that "Project Jay" was originally an 8 episode series, but that it got edited down to that one hour we saw. Okay, so I no longer think it was some "Comeback"-like spoof of a reality show. I think it was a crazy manifestation of contractual hostilities and commercial exploitation.
JM: I would love Santino to win. He’s edgy and I’m sick of this one-trick-pony thing that the judges keep telling him. That’s his style. That’s why Calvin Klein makes f**king tunics and why Betsey Johnson makes f**king floral chiffons. Mixing shit up is what he does. He’s arrogant as f**k and people will put him in his place along the way but, once again, he’s covering up for his insecurity. Look at him! He is a gigantic weirdo, six foot five, voice like the devil, looks like Lurch. Would I want to see more of Chloe? Probably not. Would I want to see more of Daniel V.? Probably not.
TONY: Will it be weird for you when there’s another winner?
JM: Let it move on. I’m trying to distance myself from the show and to establish Jay McCarroll. Am I supposed to be more thankful for the process? I feel like I’ve given so much. You saw ten weeks of me. I showed you my family, my collection, my thought process, I cried, I laughed. And I didn’t receive a penny.
Oh, the things that can entertain us these days!