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And now comedy writer Bonnie Datt brings us The Top Ten Moments of Greatness from the season finale of Project Runway.
Our favorite photo returns! Heidi and Tim introduce the contestants
It's the event we've all been waiting for: week fourteen and the season finale of Project Runway. We finally get to see the collections (well, see them on TV; we saw them live at Fashion Week) and find out who the winning designer is. We just wish we were more excited. Like we used to be. When the show was on Bravo.
This episode picks up where last week's left off; Carol Hannah is sick and the clock is ticking. She and her fellow designers, Althea and Irina, spend the episode rushing about, stressing, crying and bossing around the three auffed designers who are assisting them. The designers have to finish the details on their original twelve outfits, complete their last minute assignment—the thirteenth outfit—and do fittings and choose make-up for their models.
Finally, after countless hours of work and very little sleep, it's time for the show. Judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia have both decided to honor us with their presence. Joining them is guest judge Suzy Menkes, the fashion editor of The International Tribune. A respected editor as a judge? Has the world run out of Spice Girls?
Just like in previous seasons, we see each designer come out and introduce her collection. But wait! Last year, when this was filmed, the designers were kept hidden so that their identities wouldn't leak out. Thanks to Google and about twenty seconds of sleuthing, we found a recent interview in which Tim Gunn explains that the designers were filmed on the runway before the audience entered. This footage was then edited to give the illusion that the designers participated like they always have. Not since learning about Santa Claus and Andre Agassi's wig have we been this disappointed.
Even if we hadn't been told which designer made each collection, we would have discerned it quickly. Althea sends out lots of separates, including some uniquely shaped slacks. Much of her collection looks sloppy. The only real surprise is that Althea's models have less runway jiggle than usual. Carol Hannah sends out beautiful gowns and whimsical separates, while Irina shows black edgy ensembles. Interestingly, Irina's models wear riding style hats, which made a big impression on us...in Season Four when Jillian made them. Perhaps Irina should have been a little less vocal in accusing Althea of "copying."
The judges think Carol Hannah's beautiful collection is not cohesive enough, and she is the first designer eliminated. We cry foul. Her clothing looked much better than Althea's. The judges, however, think Althea is in touch with the cutting edge style of the streets. And perhaps she is, next to a designer like Eileen Fisher. But despite their praise, they don't give Althea the win either. In a move surprising no one, they anoint their season-long favorite, Irina, as the winner.
Our final "As Tears Go By" count is an impressive one. Carol Hannah cries three times: Twice because she is sick and once at the joy of being on the runway. Althea cries once, when the stress level of the work room gets to great for her. When Irina wins, she sheds her first tears of the season, as does her model and her previously unsupportive father. The sight of all these tears sets Nina off on a jag of her own. Adding these eight crying jags to our previous three, brings us to a Bunim Murray-worthy grand total of thirty one crying jags for the season. Congratulations to all the sobbers!
And now, this week's Top Ten Moments of Project Runway Greatness...
10). Carol Hannah recovers after throwing up. Aren't the models the ones who are supposed to vomit?
9). In a thick accent, Gordana says, "Irina is under so much stress...she's not one hundred percent cruel as she usually is." Okay, Gordana might have said "cool," but we're sticking with "cruel."
8). Fashion designer Mark Bouwer describes the final three designers as "the strongest group ever." We're shocked until we realize that he never said the strongest group of what.
7). Suzy Menkes is rocking her usual hairstyle, an enormous pompadour which appears to be set using the "hair gel" from Something about Mary.
6). Michael Kors wears sunglasses to watch the collections. The glare from black clothing can be so blinding.
5). Irina's chauvinistic father cries after she is announced the winner. He was probably upset that a woman won.
4). Nina and Michael think Althea has "a sense of coolness and is really plugged into the street." Which street? Sesame Street?
3). Two of the models are shown in just their bras and panties. We're never taking off our clothing again.
2). Carol Hannah is praised for her "execution" and "meticulousness." This is like being dubbed "Miss Congeniality."
1). Michael says that Carol Hannah didn't play with colors enough and Nina chimes in in unison on the word "enough." Now if we could just get Heidi to harmonize "enough" as well, they'd sound like The Three Stooges of fashion.