"Project Accessory" returns with its second episode this week to kind of charm us with its limp handshake version of its predecessor, "Project Runway." Last week we saw tears, awkward come-ons, and some awesome creations from a junk heap. This week's episode revolves around Swarovski crystals, which I KNOW can be found in tons of cool jewelry, but for some reason when I hear the name I can only picture those little crystal animals my great-aunt used to collect.
Okay guys, can we talk about how ridiculous the credits to this show are? I mean, It's the usual contestants-preen-in-front-of-a-green screen thing, but still. "ACCESSORIZE ME!" Nina says as if she's asking the doctor for a colonoscopy. Nicolina does the duck face as she thrusts some goofy-looking necklaces into the camera lens. Molly Sims talks like a cardboard potato. I just.... ugh.
After the B-roll New York apartment shots, Nicolina alleges the judges were "smoking crack" because they liked Brian's belt, which is totally PC. I think Nicolina might be getting the villain edit, you guys. I bet they'll show her making her next necklace out of fossilized puppy tears.
Molly tells the crew that this week's challenge entails jazzing up a little black dress, and that they're going to have a "magical shopping experience" at 499 Broadway, which to my calculations is about Soho-ish? OH IT IS, IT'S SWAROVSKI. Where are the tiny duck statues? The ones with little black beady crystals for eyes? Did anyone else's great-aunt have those?
The challenge, explained by designer Richard Chai, who's standing at Swarovski with Eva "Tim Gunn" Jeanbart-Lorenzotti: using one Swarovski accessory as inspiration, the contestants are to create one piece of jewelry and one pair of shoes. Whoa! How the eff do you make shoes from scratch? That's bananas. The team darts around the store in a frenzy, trying to select their pieces.
XXXJames knows what he wants: he wants "jewel tones." THE HEART WANTS WHAT IT WANTS. Kelly chooses a necklace that reminds her of a "Grecian goddess." Brian loves the inspiration ring he got so much that he's going to buy it for his wife when he goes home. Aww! He's also making his own wedge mold for his shoes.
Back in the studio, the designers see about making it work.™ I'M NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS, says Nicolina. She is the worst. Beard Guy tries to explain how to make shoes using masking tape, and I have no idea what he's talking about. There's the usual montage of people freaking out about their creations, which each competitive reality show must have in order to both genuinely foreshadow the people who will suck, and to make kraaaazy fake-outs so you're worried the all-stars will be packing their bags, but in the end they're fine.
But Kelly is especially panicked, and I think for good reason, because it looks like she's making the heel of her shoes out of stacked saltine crackers. Eva makes Adrian rip some black felt-looking thing off the back of his earrings, and I think for the better. Nicolina is crying, obvi.
Commercial interlude: How bad does this new Adam Sandler movie look? SO BAD.
We're back for JUDGMENT TIME, and Dante ascends from the underworld to assign the designer to different layers of hell depending on how badly they've effed up their statement necklaces. Okay, not really. But the judges (the usuals plus Nadja Swarovski, gee, I wonder where she works) look about as enthused as if they're waiting on line for the ATM behind some person who's depositing like 6 checks individually.
Time for the runway. Highlights! Beard Guy made some cool-looking green pieces. Nina made Miami-esque tie sandals, and Diego's necklace is like Twizzlers with a huge diamond dangling from it. Adrian sewed his crystals onto his dress. Shea and Christina KILLED IT. Brian made his own wedge mold. Bam! He made one earring for his model. Kapow! He is winning at life.
The lowlights: David apparently took a bloated metallic shoelace and subbed it for his necklace, and then gives some long narrative about his model. It looks a little craft fair in Muncie to me. His gladiator cuff and ring are kind of gilded overkill, and UGH, THOSE SHOES. They look like a hungover J-Woww designed them for Payless. David is going to get yanked out of the room with a giant Swarovski-studded cane.
Also sucking: Kelly's neon yellow shoes are wobbling more than Mitt Romney's healthcare policies on the runway. Yikes.
The judges speak. Horndog James' cuff looks like Strongbad from Homestar Runner (Ariel calls it a "distraction" and then throws a fit about the rest, although everyone else seems to love it). All Adrian made was his shoes. He forgot his earrings! Oh shiz. The judges heart his crystal dress though, so I think he's safe. David is being ridic.
Verdict! JamesXXX wins with his colorful collection, even though Ariel hated it.
"The shoes ADDED to the necklace," Molly says. "They did not take away." Thank you for the explanation, Captain Obvious! He struts back into the studio like the proverbial cat who killed the accessory canary.
Who's out? It's Kelly, with her wobbly yellow fugstrosity, even though Adrian DIDN'T EVEN FINISH. We'll miss you, Kelly! I hope you don't wobble your way into obscurity.
Follow Jessica Misener on Twitter at twitter.com/jessmisener.