October 11, 2006

"Project Runway," the finale, part 1.

Had you already picked a favorite, or did you, like me, bond with someone just tonight, as we saw each contestant at home? I loved Laura's loft living space and her exuberance with her four, soon to be five, boys and nice husband. But it was Uli who touched me. How odd that for the first time we hear that she's from East Germany, as if they only now decided to let us sympathize with her. Her attachment to Miami and to America felt beautiful, in fact, it made me dream of transplanting myself to some new place that would inspire me in some new way. (But where?)

Laura love dropped sharply as we traveled the narrative arc of tonight's show. She saw how Tim praised Jeffrey's collection, saw that he was going to win, so she made the one move that was available: She accused him of receiving outside help. She had absolutely no evidence other than the fact that his work was well done. At the end of tonight's show, we saw previews of next week, and it was cut to make us guess that Jeffrey would be disqualified. Tim says "Unfortunately..." and then we see Jeffrey collapsing in Uli's arms. I'm willing to bet that Tim said something like "Unfortunately, there is no way that the accusation could be substantiated," and Jeffrey collapses in relief.


Fenrisulven said...

I don't think Laura's complaint was made it bad faith. Even Micheal agreed. Interesting that he had the balls to step up and support Laura when Jeff was challenged, when he could have easily stayed out of it and left the burden of accusation solely with Laura.

Now, the burden of proof? Unless Jeff's line doesn't match up with his credit card rcpts, he stays on. But I don't think he will win the finals now, I think the judges will put a black mark next to his name. Not enough proof to kick him off the show, but too suspicious to vote as winner.

Joe said...

Remember, remember, remember; this show is edited after the results are already known. ANYTHING that will make it more dramatic is going to be emphasized. Furthermore, the editing will likely be done to elicit a strong emotional response. Based solely on this, Michael is likely the winnner. (But, then again, a good editor will know this prediction.)

Joan said...

I was struck by a few things in this episode.

First, I was also completely charmed by Uli. I have always thought her to be, on the surface, very sweet, but a stone bitch underneath. This is the first time I've warmed up to her, even while loving a few of her designs.

The other two things had to do with Jeffrey. First, the editing of this episode was a complete Jeffrey PR-rehab. He went from being an "obnoxious peanut" (so dubbed on a one of PR blogs, I can't remember which one) to someone we're supposed to admire for his commitment to his sobriety and family. While that was all very nice and I'm sure sincere, it was, well, too nice after the way they have edited Jeffrey in the past. It was too abrupt a shift.

The other oddity that struck both my husband and me was Jeffrey's reaction to Laura's accusation. If that had been me, and my work, I would've told Laura to f*ck off. My response would've been anger, not fear. It's the fear (which again could be editing) that makes me wonder WTF is going on with Jeffrey.

IMO it was odd to see him sitting on his ass all day while the other designers were busting theirs.

knoxgirl said...

The thing that got me was how they said Jeffrey's work had a new level of craftsmanship they'd never seen before. In school we had portfolio reviews where everyone would tweak, clean up, and display all their work from the previous semester. I know I'd be pretty suspicious if someone turned up with a bunch of work that was that much better than what'd I'd been seeing for months and months.

The real kicker though, was his stuttering and unconvincing denial. He seemed more depressed after--not outraged llike he should have been.

KAWyle said...

I found Jeffrey's initial reaction quite convincing. He looked dumbfounded by an unexpected attack. If he was more anxious than angry, that could have a lot to do with his history. He's probably been regarded with suspicion and distrust many times, often with good reason, during his years of drug addiction etc. He would tend to assume that an accusation this serious would have devastating consequences.

Joe said...

How does anyone know the reaction shot of Jeffrey was actually the reaction shot? It could be a reaction shot from earlier in the day or a shot taken after he blew up. It's even conceivable this is an entirely artificial controversy scripted by the producers.

The gullibility of the reality show viewing audience still kills me.

knoxgirl said...

It's even conceivable this is an entirely artificial controversy scripted by the producers.

The gullibility of the reality show viewing audience still kills me.

I think at this point the vast majority of people realize reality shows aren't Reality, and watch them like they do soap operas.

Anyway it's hardly news--or interesting commentary--to say "everything is manufactured/edited." Just suspend disbelief and enjoy the show.

Dawn said...

I agree with Ann; hearing about Uli's past, plus her statement about moving here and making the most of the opportunities available here, showed her in a new light to me; now I understand her love of vibrant color and prints!

As for Laura, why is everyone so surprised about her accusation? She's been gunning for the top prize since day one, and I'm sorry, but her clothes do nothing for me. Yes, she can sew great, and boy can that girl sew on sequins, but otherwise she's a one trick pony - would it kill her to use some color sometime?

Once she found out how impressed Tim was with Jeffrey's collection, she figured out that she didn't have the lock on the win anymore, and decided to sabotage him. At least that's my take.

I loved what Jeffrey did, and it doesn't suprise me that his OFW collection was sewn so much better than his challenge pieces - he had 2 months, rather than 24 hours to complete them, plus, hello he's a professional clothier, not a wannabe like Mrs. Park Avenue.

I've seen all their collections from OFW, and off the four Jeffrey and Uli impressed me that most. I would be happy if either of them won the big prize, but let's face it, the exposure all four of them are getting is what they're really there for.

Pogo said...

Whether you love or hate Jeffrey or Uli or Michael's work (or Jeffrey personally), this cast is demostrative of the persistence of the American Dream, already achieved by Laura.

An immigrant from a former communist regime, a nice and ambitious young black man from a strong family, a former drug addict who nearly died in the streets, all yearned for more, and they work hard. And they're good at what they do. And they have a chance to Be Somebody.

How wonderful.