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Project Runway User's Guide: Always a Bridesmaid

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[Images via Bravo]

It's the second-to-the-final episode folks, and that means Tim gets let off his leash to visit the designers in their natural habitats as they compile their Bryant Park collections. Being this close to Fashion Week and with one last designer about to be eliminated, emotions run high and tear ducts runneth over. In their raw states, each designer's collection looks a little iffy to us, but thankfully Tim is there to reassure and question hemlines.

Back in New York, Kenley apologizes and the group bunkers down at the Presidential Suite of the Westin Times Square only to discover that they have a final challenge to complete: design a bridesmaid dress to accompany their final look wedding gowns. No guest judge this week means it's business time and someone is dutifully sent packing. Here, the nitty-gritty:

Feud of the week: Kenley versus the world. Despite an apology for her earlier rude behavior, Kenley's latent contempt and suspicions surface to the camera later, when she spots Leanne and Korto's short dresses and responds thus: "Leanne and Korto knocked me off! It pissed me off!" The TV-watching public is equally over her attitude, as the commercial break poll resulted in 55% of viewers deeming Kenley unworthy of Bryant Park.

Most annoying contestant: Of course Kenley, but we've had festering issues with Leanne. Girl needs a new hairstyle; Project Runway couldn't take a second to get her a free appointment at Bumble & Bumble? And what's up with the deer-in-headlights freaky eyes all the time? Leanne also happens to be the least quotable of all the designers.

Best smackdown: We were really feeling the criticism this week; it's a 3-way tie. From Tim, on Kenley's use of rope at the neckline: "I just think about people hanging themselves; did that ever cross your mind?" From Korto: "Jerell seems to think the bridesmaid needs to be butt-ugly ... there's nothing wrong with your bridesmaids being cute, ladies." And from Jerell, after the judges thought his designs too garish: "If you want a basic white tee, you can get one from Michael Kors. That's not what I do."

This week's loser/biggest surprise: Poor Jerell, to have lost the war after winning so many little battles. About the wedding gown, Michael Kors had this to say: "... jewels on the boobs, jewels under the boobs, flowers growing out of her head. It's a little garish." Jerell's crinkly gray and sheen-tastic dresses proved that he had gone a little too hog-wild with the collection.

This week's winner: Leanne and Kenley, although Kenley barely squeaked by with a wedding dress almost mirroring pieces from Alexander McQueen's Fall/Winter 2008 collection. Korto will continue on to Bryant Park as well, but had to face off with Jerell for possible elimination due to her overworked design.

Designers who cried: Everyone cried once, including stolid Tim when he admits to caring about all of them and wishing that all could go to Bryant Park. He even throws in an "I love you" as he exits the room. Jerell and Kenley cry as the describe their hardworking families, Leanne gets misty when Tim shares his goodwill and Korto chokes up and utters the unthinkable: "I love everybody in that room, even Kenley."

Designers who were robbed: Decisions are clearer as the designers mature with the first collections, thus we don't believe anyone was robbed. Jerell's dresses were sloppy and over-embellished while Korto's wedding dress did not strike us as being her aesthetic at all. We just hope Kenley has an attitude adjustment before more than 55% of America hates her and her pouffe dresses.