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Project Runway Top Ten: When Tim Comes to Call

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And now comedy writer Bonnie Datt brings us The Top Ten Moments of Greatness from this week's Project Runway


Image via Lifetime

It's week thirteen of Project Runway and part one of of the season finale. Our three remaining designers, Althea, Irina and Carol Hannah are sent off to prepare their collections for fashion week. We're not told exactly how much time they'll have, just that it will be "a few months." Thanks to network lawsuits, it's going to be a year before the results will actually be broadcast. This season should have been dubbed "The Island of Lost Designers."

The women go off on their own to create their collections, but of course Tim Gunn will come by to check up on their progress. Our dapper don's first visit is to Carol Hannah, who is staying at a friend's large home in Huntington, New York. Her collection is based on the nightime lighting of the buildings of Duke University, which she finds "ethereal" and "whimsical." When we think of Duke, we just think of sports teams and rice diets, so we suspect Carol Hannah could find the whimsy in a meat packing plant in Pittsburgh.

Not surprisingly, Carol Hannah's designs are very pretty. Tim praises her for branching out and making separates, but recommends that she do some editing to keep the collection sophisticated. Then he helps her family bake biscuits, protecting his suit and tie with a lovely flowered apron. Fortunately, he doesn't add pearls.

Leaving the suburban wonderland of Huntington, Tim heads to Irina's relatively grungy walk up on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Irina tells Tim that her family moved from The Republic of Georgia to Coney Island, where she spent her formative years. Irina has decided to make that amusement park the theme of her collection. We were hoping this meant mermaid tails and giant Nathan's hot dog suits, but instead her idea is to incorporate T-shirts from Coney Island into her otherwise all black collection.

Unfortunately, ten weeks before Bryant Park, Irina is told she must dump the shirts because she doesn't have the rights to the graphics printed on them. She ends up making her own shirts with sayings about why she loves New York. We know she cites the return of Madonna, and hopefully includes the firefighters of 9-11, despite the bagginess of their uniforms.

For Tim's final stop, he heads to Dayton, Ohio to visit Althea in her workshop and parents' home. Althea says that she chose to work in Dayton because she has a support system there and can avoid working with bitchy designers like Irina. Only she doesn't use those exact words. Althea's collection is supposedly inspired by science fiction, but sadly, we see nothing resembling the Mod styled outfits of the original Star Trek.

Eventually, it's time to head to head to New York. Althea and Irina greet each other warily at their hotel. Memories of Irina's runway accusations dancing in each of their heads. Carol Hannah is initially absent. She has a contagious stomach virus, which judging from Tim Gunn's description, is worse than leprosy. The designer eventually shows up, but is still in poor health. Foolishly, she does not cough germs into either of her competitors' drinking cups.

Tim gives the designers more feedback on their collections and then tells them it's time to cast their models. Then Michael and Nina show up, disproving our theory that you never see the two of them together anymore, because they are the same person. The two judges answer the designers' questions about staging a collection, in what may be the only truly interesting moment of the episode. Or possibly, of the season.

The show ends with a less than shocking cliffhanger -- the designers are told that they must create a thirteenth runway look. Yawn. Of course they'll be assisted by the last three aufed designers. Irina picks Gordana, Althea chooses Logan and Carol Hannah is stuck with Christopher. In a mildly interesting new twist, the designers "muse models" will pick out their thirteenth models.

Sadly, for our as Tears Go By countdown, none of the designers tear up this week, so the number of crying jags for the season remains stagnant at twenty three.

And now, for this week's Top Ten Moments of Project Runway Greatness:

10). We see the shadows of Tim and Heidi dancing awkwardly behind the runway screen. Somewhere Tucker Carlson is wishing they'd competed on his season of Dancing With the Stars.

9). Irina owns a small poodle named "Princess." We wonder if she bites too.

8). Tim tells Carol Hannah that her cape looks "matronly" and has aged her model "thirty years." Her model is a headless mannequin.

7). Irina ignores Nina's advice about not having an all black collection. In a horror movie, Irina would go down to the basement alone.

6). Althea says her collection is inspired by women in sci-fi films. We guess she thinks Irina's sweaters look like they're from the future.

5). Michael explains the order of a fashion show: "The first look out has to wow us. Wake me up, but then let us take a breath. Down, up. Down, up." -- Um, we need a cigarette.

4). Irina tells Gordana, "Come to Mama." Around the world, snakes start to uncoil.

3). When Tim announces that Carol Hannah is absent with a terrible stomach virus, Althea and Irina say they feel badly they for her, and only cackle a little.

2). Tim says, "No matter what the outcome is, Irina is already a winner." Carol Hannah isn't the only one throwing up.

1). Tim Gunn has Tim Gunn bobble heads in his office!

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