Friday, February 22, 2013

Project Runway: Week Five

Posted by on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Last night, I was rushing from a fancy event so I could get home in time to watch Project Runway so I could write about it for you fine folks. It was cold and raining but that is irrelevant. Anyway, as I was waiting in the valet line for my car, I was chatting with our photog Eric England about Amanda Valentine and how her team threw her under the bus last week.

"Yeah, that was totally uncool," one of the valet dudes said.

I kind of thought he was making fun of me, but then the other guys chimed in, agreeing that team Keeping It Real was way harsher on her than she deserved. We all engaged in a lively Amanda Valentine/PR discussion until my car arrived.

I love Nashville.

Anyway, so everyone on Team Valentine was eager to see how our girl redeemed herself from last week's episode. When Heidi and Tim announced that the upcoming challenge would not be a team challenge, and that the designers could choose a partner to work with, everyone seemed relieved.

Then they realized they had to work one-on-one with someone else. Eek.

As winner of the last challenge, Samantha got to pick first. She takes Moustache/Daniel because he likes shapes. The rest of the contestants' order is chosen at random via drawing from the fabled "Button Bag." Richard chooses Stanley because their energy is great together. Patricia chooses Layana, and Layana is not thrilled. I would not be thrilled either, because Patricia's got some judge-y energy going on.

Matthew picks Michelle. This appears to stress her out. Kate picks Tu just because he's nice to her, so I automatically feel sorry for Tu.

So, Amanda and Benjamin are the last two standing, which makes them automatic teammates. Benjamin seems a little worried because, as a Dream Team-er, he saw how her team threw her under the bus during the last challenge. I'm worried for Amanda because Benjamin has a tendency to melt down and spends most of the last challenge making a loom.

As the designers are having a pow-wow in their respective dwellings that evening, Amanda tells the girls that she's happy for the new challenge, because she was ready to get out of her team. She admits to feeling hurt, and that her confidence is low. GIRL. Come back swinging!!!

Benjamin is in his bedroom, just like the girls, talking to Richard, who was one of the first to throw Ms. Valentine under the bus last week. I kind of want to punch Richard because I agree with Amanda that the whole thing was over-dramatized. Sure, she struggled a bit during the last challenge, but she — in the immortal words of Tim Gunn — made it work and turned out a really cool dress on the runway. And it wasn't at the expense of anyone else on the team. Anyway, stepping off soapbox now ...

Benjamin says he wants to push Amanda to be more adventurous. OK, Benjamin, we can be on board with you. I have a feeling they will do great work together.

Side Note: In a previous post, I lamented having to watch so many awful commercials about some show called Double Divas that, from what I can tell, is some sort of reality show involving boobs. Tonight, the commercial that is making me want to hurl my coffee table towards the TV is the one for Jennifer Love Hewitt's new show. I really can't stand JLove. Even her name makes me cringe.

The group is led to a bar called Johnny Utah's, which appears to be NYC's version of a Nashville bar, where they are informed that they will be making two looks for Miranda Lambert.

Some of the designers seem really excited, and a couple of them seem to have no idea who Miranda Lambert is.

Personally, I'm really freaking excited. Not only do I adore Miranda Lambert, but I feel like the girl could use some help in the wardrobe department. No disrespect to her stylist (OK, maybe a little disrespect), but Miranda is a gorgeous girl with a phenomenal body, but nearly every time I see her on TV or in the pages of US Weekly, she is wearing something that is too short or too tight. (BTW, I would say this even if Miranda was a size -2 like most other women you see on TV or in the pages of US Weekly. Too short and too tight is never a good thing.) With a canvas that awesome, every dress she wears should make her body look as bangin' as it is. So I'm hopeful that the PR designers can do her awesomeness justice.

Of course, the producers zero in on Amanda, since she's a Nashville designer, and Amanda says she's looking forward to this because Miranda is "one of those cool country stars."

Each team has to make a performance look and a red carpet look for Miranda Lambert. They are instructed that the performance look should be a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, and that the red carpet look should be chic, young and fresh. They are also advised to remember that Ms. Lambert loves her curves.

Since Benjamin is all about making fancy dresses, he takes the red carpet look, and Amanda takes the performance look. Benjamin starts to realize that he has an advantage by having a rocking Nashville designer on his team. He even notes an outfit she wore previously as an inspiration for their performance look, so Amanda starts working on a hand-fringed skirt, which she changes to a fully fringed dress after a consultation with The Incredible and Amazing Tim Gunn. Tim likes where she's going with it because he's awesome.

Side Note #2: You know what's worse than Jennifer Love Hewitt? DANCE MOMS. I'm mortified to share a name with this Abby woman, who looks like the most awful human being on earth. Has anyone here actually watched that show??

Runway Time! Amanda's fun fringe dress kicks things off. Oh hell yes, our girl is BACK. Eat that, Team Keeping It Real.

Tu, who had originally been making something Gaga-esque because he thought that Miranda was like the Lady Gaga of country music, has made a dress that looks totally cheap. Uh oh. Am I turning into Nina??

Kate's dress ... OMG. You know that scene in Carrie when the blood is dripping down her face and body? Yeah. And Zac Posen totally scowled when he saw this, which makes me love him even more, if that's possible.

Moustache's dress is terrible. He was shredding it with a fork in the workroom, which kind of made me love him, but then it went downhill. I don't understand a slit up the front of a dress — it just always looks like an accident to me! But what do I know? What I do know is that there is nothing flattering about this dress.

Matthew's dress looks like something from Forever 21. That is not a compliment.

Patricia made a fringe-y dress too, but it looks like a roll of medical tape exploded everywhere. Nina is squinting at it, which spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Richard's dress is pretty hot. I decide that maybe I should stop being mad at him.

Stanley's dress is absolutely stunning, with a super deep plunge in the neckline and a super flattering cut. Hmm. This is actually a much better version of what Miranda wore on the Grammy red carpet last week. She should have scooped up this dress instead!

Judging time! Amanda and Benjamin are in the top, yay! Amanda admits she thought a lot about Nashville during this challenge, which made her homesick. She also makes a good point about Nashville fashion, how it's a dichotomy, that even when we're dressing up or pushing the envelope, there's an ease to the way we dress. Her fringe number exemplifies this perfectly. Amanda points out the practicality of this dress for a stage look: It's jersey, which means it will move nicely and be comfortable under stage lights, and the cut allows for a normal bra underneath. Anyone who has tried to run around the stage in a strapless bra can appreciate that.

Miranda says that she loves the piece, and that it's something she would really wear. Hey ladies, why don't you talk to each other next time you're both in town?

Zac loves that she created the look with jersey, and Nina loves the easiness and the ability to accessorize.

The ever gracious Ms. Valentine thanks the judges, telling them that she "needed this" after the last challenge.

The judges determine that Richard is the winner.

The bottom two are Moustache/Daniel and Matthew, who totally lost his way on this challenge and looks like he's totally given up.

Nina says that Moustache's dress looks inexpensive (when did she stop saying cheap? I love the way she says cheap!) and she hates the front seam too. Uh oh i am turning into Nina.

Matthew is out.

Next week's challenge hints at the silver sneakers crowd, with Joan Rivers as a guest judge. Oh boy. Viewing party at my house? This one is going to be fun!

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