I watched the new 90-minute version of Project Runway last night. I wasn't all that excited by the previous seasons so basically watched this one out of habit. While I liked that it started at 9:00 PM, I thought that adding on the additional 30 minutes was a waste of my time. Not as big a waste as Brokeback Hoedown with Austin & Santino that came on afterwards, but almost.
From what I could tell, the majority of the extra 30 minutes involved hearing all 17 of the dubiously-talented designers talk about their look as it came down the runway. "I'm really confident about my look. I think I did a good job. I fulfilled the challenge perfectly. Go me!" SEVENTEEN TIMES.
Oh, and this week there was plenty more time wasted "meeting" the designers as they "met" each other in obviously staged scenarios. Isn't it amazing how three of them ended up at the same airport baggage claim at the same time despite coming in from different parts of the country on different planes? And wow, what a coincidence that so many of them would be at Grand Central at the same time and recognize each other as fellow competitors? (Must have been the camera crew and lights.)
Another ridiculous element. Heidi tells the designers that the first challenge will be an extension of their audition process. Pray tell, how is that true in any way? The only difference between this first challenge and the first challenges of the previous 7 seasons is that: 1) they did not meet on a rooftop and toast with champagne beforehand; 2) they only had 5 hours to work. It was merely dialog to fill the additional time and to create a false sense of excitement.
At least the first challenge wasn't the same "make a pretty dress" challenge we've seen endlessly over the past two seasons. It was "destroy your neighbor's garment and make something wearable," at which few actually succeeded.
The high point of the show came when Heidi implied that more than one designer would be eliminated. Six of them were on the bottom, and by my calculations, getting rid of that many designers this week would leave exactly the right amount of them left to have 3 or 4 presenting at Fashion Week in September. But nooooo, the bitch lied. They eliminated only one designer, the anorexic hippy McKell. And they probably tossed her more for the wafting patchouli emanating from her than for her actual design. (Is it a coincidence that the first chef tossed this season on Top Chef also sported dreadlocks?)
McKell's wasn't the worst design by a longshot. Jason, a guy in a bowler hat which he wore to seem intimidating (because hats are intimidating - just ask Laurel and Hardy), turned a kimono inside-out and stapled it shut, but he was allowed to stay. Clearly Michael Kors and Nina Garcia were intimidated. Casanova, a big-faced Latino with language issues turned a blouse into a costume for a "pole dancer in Dubai," but he got to stay. I think both of them scream "drama" "ego" and "pizazz" but McKell exuded more, "zzzzz."
Next week's preview offers more of Heidi promising to eliminate more than one designer. This time I'm not believing her. That is, if I bother to watch.