September 27, 2006

"Project Runway."

Michael, who we all think is the nicest contestant, says "I'm going to kill you." Wow. Michael. But he had his reason. Uli got to pick her model before he did, and she took his Nasri. His unniceness is understandable. Nasri is the one model who has stood out all season. (She's the only one whose name I learned.) Her eye is all puffed up today for some reason, but still... She's Nasri. And Uli took her from Michael... our sweetheart... the kindest, gentlest fashion designer ever. Bad Uli. "You have to grab everything which maybe makes your outfit more stunning on the runway," she explains.

The challenge is... anything. And write three words. "Tell a story." "Show your point of view." The usual clich├ęs.

Tension! Michael's stuck. But Uli's relaxed. She's going to be flowy. Laura draws precisely what she wants. Jeffrey's going bizarro, doing the opposite of what they expect. It will be "romantic." The sketch looks awful.

Finally, Michael gets an idea, but he's shot down soon enough by Tim, who says, "You can't just make a pretty dress." But he's hard on them all. To Uli: "Don't. Bore. Nina."

Uli's is the best, and not just because of Nasri. She's completely remade it after the first day. Now, it's not flowy at all. It's short, with a high neck band, and a thin slit down the center. Laura comes in second. Then it seems that either Jeffrey or Michael will go, and both deserve to go based on that challenge. Then, for some crazy reason, they decide to keep them both and eliminate no one. Considering the hard choice that was made cutting the fourth place person in the previous two seasons, it's outrageous that they refused to decide between Jeffrey and Michael when neither had a good claim on the third spot. And Michael's three words were just awful: Sexiness, sensuality, sultry. The all mean the same thing. They all begin with "s." Really, it was Michael who deserved to leave, but Jeffrey was pretty bad too, so they kept them both. Wrong!


Adam said...

On the basis of the whole season, you couldn't eliminate Michael here. But they had to make a choice: Laura was the obvious one to eliminate -- I just don't see anything that she does that's particularly original to her.

Ann Althouse said...

I strongly disagree. Look at Austin in Season 1. I think they totally caved to niceness.

Fenrisulven said...

I couldn't pick a loser out of this batch. Maybe Jeff if you judge him by this challenge alone. I would not have picked Uli to win - she was rewarded merely for overcoming her own mediocrity. I knew Micheal was safe b/c we saw him at Fashion Week on the preview for another show. I'm still rooting for Red, but she's got to get more original.

OT: Studio 60
Sorkin makes a "courageous" statement about charging a "coward's fee" to all the advertisers who want back in after fleeing the show b/c of those ignorant intolerant redneck evangelical protesters.

I wish I had his email. I'd like to ask when he'll write an episode mocking Muslims. Hypocrite. Coward.

Jason said...

Laura's dress was a remake of the same dreadful thing she's made the entire season. (I remain curious why she uses models with no breasts. The look borders on the bizarre.)

Unlike previous seasons, I'm actually rather unimpressed with the lot of them. I do think Michael has the greatest potential to be commercially successful.

(Regarding Studio 60--I'm giving it one more week. So far its preachy, overwritten, crap. Sorkin at his normal.)

Jim Hu said...

I think the decision to keep four was probably made before the season even started based on what happened last year.

From coverage of this fall's fashion week (WARNING possible spoilers in the link):

Even though the episodes leading up to Fashion Week were taped weeks earlier, the television audience has only seen the number of hopeful designers trimmed to four.

Last season, that ended up being a huge boon to fourth-place finisher Kara Janx. Although her presentation at Fashion Week didn't make it on the show, her line drew more praise than the three official finalists', and a piece from her current collection was featured in InStyle magazine.

I didn't like any of the designs this week. I thought Uli's winning dress looked like a print garment bag. Michael and Laura had way too much skin in front, and Jeffrey's was worse than the critique, IMHO. It was worse than what he did to Angela's mother. The high waist with the edge on top combined with the constricted hemline made it look like his model was bursting out of a flour sack.

Ann Althouse said...

None of them were that good this season, and so keeping four this season when they cut Kara and Austin in the other seasons made no sense other than as their own cowardice. You know damned well that if Uli had been at the bottom, they'd have cut her. So she was playing by different rules than applied to the others. That makes it not a real competition.

After all this time of saying, in fashion, one week, you're in, the next week, you're out, they were afraid to live by their own scary dictum. So Michael was good in other episodes, but he was bad here, so he should be out. (Or Jeffrey should.) The rules were fake. Ugh! It was painful when Austin was auf'd, but that doesn't provide a reason to relent from the competitive structure, and neither Michael nor Jeffrey was as deserving as Austin.

me said...

Laura or Jeffrey should have been kicked off, if anyone had to go. But aside from Uli, the other three did very poorly. So it made complete sense to keep all four. It's a reality t.v. show. It is staged. There are no "rules" in a staged competition.

Ann Althouse said...

me: In other words, the show sucks.

You've got to explain why in a season where the designers were worse, more got to hang on. If there's no good explanation for that, the show sucks.

And all of you who love Michael, remember the decision to keep him was already made when they edited the episodes, so your love for him was manipulated from day 1, as was any loathing for Uli.

tcd said...

Totally agree with Ann here. If Uli hadn't made a kick-ass dress and won this last challenge, she would have been auf'd. The show totally pussied on this one.
Also, agree this season DID NOT have the strongest set of designers either. Jay McCarroll from Season 1 still is the most original designer and Chloe Dao from Season 2 still has the best construction.

knox said...

[ Nina was wearing shorts! ]

I don't think this year is any weaker than last year. I certainly don't consider Chloe or Daniel V. any stronger than Michael; neither of their collections were particularly stellar at Fashion Week.

Jay is definitely the best of any designer from the show, with Kara Saun a strong second. Kara Janx's collection kicked ass, but her performance in the challenges was not too great.

As for last night, I think Jeffrey should have been out. He has gotten through only because he does that same "I'm a provocative and innovative bad-boy" thing that's every bit as predictable as Laura's, and he's done a lot of stuff that just doesn't look as good as hers. I think the judges have a weakness for that tortured artist-rebel crap. See Santino. And it seemed to me they were prepared to crown Keith before he turned out to be a cheater, just by virtue of being the biggest pompous ass.

Fenrisulven said...

Yup, Jeffrey plays the Drama Queen to compensate for any lack of talent. Good point about his bad boy front being as predictable as Red's cocktail designs. He knows the producers will keep him around if he makes for "interesting" television. Watch the closing credits and look for the disclaimer that the producers have a say in the vote.

Adam said...

Look at Austin in Season 1. I think they totally caved to niceness.

No, what happened in season one is that they screwed themselves over with the structure -- the final four challenge's winner was decided by an outsider, Nancy O'Dell -- meaning that they had to eliminate one of Austin/Jay/Kara. One has to believe that had any of the other three won, Pepper would have been poop.

Also, the designers overall were better this season than last, and none of season two's finalists had a runway show on the level of the first group's. Better construction, deeper talent pool. Had the final four been Malan/Allison/Keith/Angela, it'd have been quality.

In terms of keeping people who are "interesting" television around, well, Malan went awfully fast.

Joan said...

Malan went so fast because he made such an egregious error that even the producers couldn't save him: that gown was too short, and there was literally no excuse for that.

It was too bad, though. And too bad they had to boot Keith because he cheated, because he did seem to have a vision.

I thought Jeffrey's dress last night was just hideous. The top and cumberbund were OK, but the skirt was completely unattractive. What woman would want to wear what looks like a belted antique pillowcase for a skirt?

Michael's dress, to me, was unfinished. The sketch he started from had a lot more detail going on at the neckline, and less keyhole. He ran out of time. And what was with the fatal hair styling for his runway model? The long hair obscured all the most interesting details of the gown! Idiotic.

Laura... I was disappointed that she did her same thing, again. But she does it well. Tim Gunn in his podcast called it a "masterpiece of construction" but I'm sick of this particular vision, even though I honestly loved that dress and would wear it if I ever had an occasion to wear it to. (Fortunately or unfortunately, I have the body type for that kind of deep-V top: I don't have to worry about anything falling out...)

Uli's was beautiful, finally not SDDS (same dress, different show), and yet still Uli. I was glad to see her finally win.

I was hoping that they would off both Jeffrey and Michael, but I knew they wouldn't, because I knew all 4 had gone to Fashion Week. I thought that one was a "decoy", and had already been auf'd -- it is somewhat delicious to know, now, that all four were very much still in it at that point.

Tim's podcast mentions that the reunion show is (and I believe this is the word he used) a "doozy". Whether or not that's something to look forward to, I don't know.