This week's challenge is delivered by the seaside by a smiling Tim Gunn wearing...yes...flip-flops. The assignment is to create a "fun and fashionable surfwear look" and pair it with the perfect beachy hairstyle working with our friends at Garnier. It's also the first team challenge and the team leaders (Shirin, Logan, Johnny, Mitchell, Nicolas, Althea, and Qristyl) get to pick their co-workers. Shirin picks Carol Hannah, Logan takes Christopher, Johnny goes with Irina, Althea picks Louise, Nicolas picks Gordana, Qristyl picks Epperson, and Mitchell picks Ra'mon. Mitchell frankly tells the cameras that he picked Ra'mon because he wants to work with someone who can carry him. How is it Mitchell is even still around? Please remind me.
After a 20 minute caucus with some beach babes for inspiration, the groups are off to Mood for a 15 minute shopping trip. Ramon is now feeling like he has "a giant bullseye painted directly in the middle of my face." Qristyl and Epperson clash on every single thing starting with their entire design aesthetic. "Bright bright green, a color would have never used but I'm the assistant," sighs Epperson, "I need some Tylenol."
Between Q&E and R&M, this episode is chockablock with high drama. Mitchell tells Ra'mon "in our relationship I can't always tell you that you're perfect" which makes them sound like old lovers bickering instead of reality show contestants that came together merely through serendipity and Bunim/Murray.
Tim comes in to the workroom three hours before day's end to deliver a curveball from Heidi and the judges. They want each design team to also come up with a second, avant-garde look that corresponds to the original surfwear inspired design. One designer from each team will take a trip to Mood tomorrow to buy fabric for the second look.
As Ramon goes off to shop for fabrics the next morning, Mitchell sulks, "I have wonderful designs in my head but technically I'm in trouble." He seems to expect he's going to be trounced this week and even jokes, "Auf Weidersehen, bitches." Tim comes to see Carol Hannah to deliver some bad news; her model Erika has been cast in an TV commercial and can't be there for the fitting. Poof! She's gone and is replaced by Valerie, who had been sent home last week.
When Tim comes in to check on how things are going later that day he seems pleased with most of what's happening until he gets to Ra'mon and Mitchell. "I feel like I'm in a cartoon with a superhero and a Greek goddess. I fundamentally don't get it," he states. "Pull this together somehow." The third and final day, just prior to sending the models out for the runway, Ra'mon scraps the second look entirely and fashions an entirely new garment from neoprene, hand dying parts of the fabric in the bathroom and drying them with a hair dryer mere minutes before they have to dress the models.
This week's judges are Max Azria of BCBG, Rachel Bilson, and our beloved Nina Garcia. Johnny and Irina score big with their beautiful macramé look. The other team that make it into the top two are, incredibly, Mitchell and Ra'mon. Turns out the last minute neoprene garment is a big hit with the judges. The lowest scores are for Qristyl and Epperson and Nicolas and Gordana. The organza and lace streetwalker look that Nicolas came up with was a bit much for the panel. The bottom two designers are Qristyl and Mitchell.
Qristyl grouses that she was the team captain but Epperson took the lead on everything. The judges aren't having it. "If you are not a team player you cannot be a designer," Max Azria scolds. But Mitchell is the one to go (can I get a what what) back home to Georgia. "Mitchell, we're disappointed and confused. Never before in Project Runway history has a team member for a winning designer been eliminated," Heidi tells him. The real question is how did this guy get on the show in the first place, since he seems to have an extremely limited skillset. The winner is Ra'mon. That neoprene thing was cool especially since he did it last minute, but I would have chosen Johnny and Irina's outfits as the winning look. Especially since that flowing thing Mitchell did was a big snore. What do you think?
So let's recap the 15 minutes too-long and should-be-a-webisode spin off show Models of the Runway. As you'll no doubt recall, Fatma (Logan's stalker) said last week that she wanted to punch Vanessa and then demurred that it was just an expression. So they're not talking. And they were both in the same team this week, which makes things a tad difficile, n'est-ce pas? Vanessa, meanwhile, wasn't too pleased with Ra'mon's original wet suit look but was happy - naturally - to end up wearing the winning design. Meanwhile Fatma was all over Ra'mon kissing his ass so when Mitchell was sent home (as we all knew he would be) Ra'mon might keep her around. Are you confused yet?
Being a half hour, the format of this program seems even more transparently formulaic. The models watch the designers on the runway getting the winning and losing verdict, then some model drama, then some LA beauty shots, then more drama, then elimination. In the drama department, Fatma tries to apologize to Vanessa, who declares her apology to be phony and fake. The other girls are over it: "I had like Jerry Springer in my bedroom last night."
Fatma plans to get Logan back but doesn't realize that he thinks her too overbearing and is put off by her uncontrolled gushing over him. At elimination, he picks Kojii again for the second week in a row. Surprisingly, Louise picks Fatma ensuring that I will be watching the spin off again next week. Hmm... coincidence? Louise, I'm your girl! What the F?
What do you think of the show, who's winning and who's losing? Where's Michael Kors? Is he just too New York to continue on this season? Will Mitchell fail miserably back in Savannah? Will Fatma claw someone's eyes out? Will Louise Black win the next challenge (fingers crossed)? Will Qristyl be sent home? How cute is Ra'mon? Does Logan look like he should be an actor instead of a designer? Let's discuss.
Project Runway airs on Lifetime Television Thursday nights at 10pm, followed by Models of the Runway at 11pm.
Follow Holly Cara Price on Twitter: www.twitter.com/hollycara