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Project Runway Recap: "Sew Much Pressure"

project Runway  I sometimes feel the need during shows like Top Chef or Biggest Loser to confess to all the crappy and unhealthy food I tend to eat while watching. So in a similar trend toward honesty: I'm wearing some too-big saggy-ass jeans and a shirt that was cute three summers ago. I used my Bluefly Accessories Wall non-existently. Also, I am eating popcorn. THIS. Is Project Runway.

Previously: WHO CARES! Tonight is the night that someone WALKS AWAY! For the first time in ProjRun history! Except for Jack, who left for HIV-related health reasons in season four! Maybe we are only talking about Lifetime-era ProjRun history! Anyway! An eliminated contestant will return! They're like zombies, in a way.

The guys lament the loss of Anthony, because he was fun and everybody genuinely liked him. Aw, Miss Poodle. 

The challenge is to create a look for a "difficult" celebrity. I am suspicious as hell of those quotes, which Heidi uses AUDIBLY.

And my suspicion was warranted. Because. Oh. Look. It's Heidi. Again. For the second time this season. 

This time, instead of an attention-grabbing-yet-safe magazine cover look, it needs to be an attention-grabbing-yet-safe red-carpet look. TOTALLY DIFFERENT. THIS TIME YOU NEED A HEM. Heidi makes sure to note that she will not have a bump at the time.

Everyone gets down to sketching. Jonathan is so confused by the judges' hatred of his aesthetic and thinks he needs to design something "ugly" to win. 

There's an ominous shot of Maya's empty table. And then another.

And here it is. She's just flat-out quitting. She doesn't think she's ready to put herself out there. 

And...okay. I admit that I'm still unsure what to think about this. My initial reaction was a desire to shake her for walking away from such a huge opportunity, particularly since she's doing SO WELL and has already come SO FAR. You don't quit! You follow through! You go down swinging! And stuff!

Then I wondered if actually, this wasn't a hugely mature decision on her part. At 21, to know that you have a lot more to learn and to rethink defining yourself on a national stage is a far cry from your usual reality show fameballs and pretty damn admirable.

Then I wondered what the hell we weren't being shown, because there HAD to be more going on that we weren't being shown, right? Where in the world did this come from? Maya's been calm and collected and cool as a cucumber week after week. I'm sure her perpetual runners-up position was frustrating, but she HAD to know she was doing better than folks like Mila and Anthony and Jonathan and Jay -- who maybe had wins under their belts but were wildly inconsistent. For a 21-year-old girl, she very likely could have held her own in an Emilio/Seth Aaron/Maya final three. 

I'm sure she's freed up to do interviews now, so hopefully we'll find out more. Either way, it's a bummer and I'll miss her. As will the other designers, who are absolutely gobsmacked and didn't see this coming either.

Tim gunn oh noes 

(Included for no other reason than being absolutely mesmerizing.)

(Seth Aaron interviews to anyone at home judging Maya for quitting: Fuck off. You have no clue, don't judge, you come here and try it.)

Everyone is reeling, so yay! Let's go to Mood, you guys! 

Tim comes back in and announces TEH GREAT RETURN. Which...is not nearly as exciting as the previews hinted at, with the wild cardness of Jesse and Ping thrown in as teases. Duh. It's Anthony. The last-eliminated designer, which is fair, but kind of boring. I was hoping they'd bring all three back and make them battle it out in a crazy side challenge. Like...design a really big hat to go with your red carpet look. Or a coordinating onesie for Heidi's baby.

Seth Aaron finds out that his model has accepted a job with Donna Karen on Runway Day, so he gets Jonathan's rejected model Cerri. (Who vehemently defended his look on the runway last week, and was rewarded with getting the boot. Nice one, Jonathan.) Much stress over a vaguely different sample size ensues. The models are shocked to hear about Maya's about-face. 

Tim is joined by Heidi in the workroom, just for maximum fucking-with of the designers. She likes Emilio and Anthony's looks so far. She's worried that Jay is going to make her butt look big and orders him to, you know, not do that. She also pulls down her shirt to explain how boobs look. She absolutely hates Jonathan's custom-made fabric but encourages him to stick with the drapey bodice. He absolutely hates that idea and does not have time for that, and isn't very good at draping anyway, but goes with her idea and starts over with a new design at 11:30 pm. Always a good choice. Something tells me we're going to end up with some stapled neoprene dyed in the toilet again. 

Mila feels sort-of bad for Jonathan, but not, because if she's in the bottom with THAT, she won't be the worst fuck-up on the runway. DREAM BIG!

Our guest judge is Jessica Alba. or Jessica OMG Alba, if you're Jonathan. She's...lame and laughs at all her own jokes. 

The Vast Middle of Skating Through is gone. Everybody must face the judges' wrath.

Picture 69 

Unless you're Anthony, who completely wows the judges with this incredibly simple dress that I could not in a million years see on Heidi Klum. Don't get me wrong: It's really pretty. It's also completely forgettable, which I guess is the state of the red carpet these days. When it was shown up-close on the runway the top of that white fabric looked AWFULLY unfinished, but I don't think the judges could see it. The skirt moved beautifully and Anthony is super thrilled that he performed so well after coming back from elimination. (When it came down the runway, he gave the highest compliment he knows: "She looks expensive!" Oh, sweetie. Try rephrasing that a little.)

Picture 70 

Also in the top: Emilio. And please, this dress is drop-dead sexy. As it walked down the runway I pointed at the TV and told Jason that I wanted to wear it to Sparklecorn this year. Though I better put down the popcorn. Now all I have to do is steal it from Heidi or OH WAIT, maybe my good pal Cate Blanchett could lend me hers:


I hope Maya watched this episode from home and screamed NOW WHO'S REFERENTIAL, BITCH? at Nina. Cate's dress is by Armani. From three years ago. A copy? Eh. I think the silhouette is just so basic that the fabric choice makes it seem more similar than it is -- same deal with the strap that's somewhat the same shape as Emilio's non-strap embellishment, but yeah. Nobody was reinventing the red carpet wheel this week, that's for damn sure.

Anthony and Emilio are awarded a double win, because Heidi wants Emilio's dress and Jessica Alba wants Anthony's. I think Emilio was really the true winner, but Anthony probably got the better celebrity and therefore, the better prize.

Picture 75

Finally! A challenge where Seth Aaron absolutely could not produce another jacket/skinny pant combo! Surprise! His entry is aggressively mediocre and the judges are greatly displeased.. From reading other sites' coverage of this show I'm painfully aware that he seems to be everybody's favorite and nobody else cares as much about his repetition as I do. And really, he's GOOD. I know that. He's really good. I cannot foresee any circumstance at this point that would deny him a spot in the top two. Hell, he's probably going to win, and probably deserves it. And yet...he reached outside his comfort zone and produced an ugly, dowdy black gown with a bodice that unfortunately resembles dominatrix bondage gear. 

Picture 74 

For all of Mila's talk about her age and experience: Honey, YOU are not ready for the national stage. Oh my God, why is she still there? Nina thinks this dress looks like something from "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" which is awesome for so many reasons, the whole Bravo/Lifetime hullabaloo being one of them. And also because it's true: This is a terrible, ugly and sad little D-lister dress.

Picture 71

More sighing. When Jay is good, he's really good. And when he's not, he's...this. Even after Heidi warned him about the big-butt silhouette, he admits that he just likes accentuating that region on teh ladiez. He did a shit-ton of awesome technical work on that bodice...but did it in fabrics that completely blend together so you can't tell from more than six inches away from it. And that skirt is Miley Cyrus at the Kids' Choice Awards ridiculous.

Picture 72 

And lastly, Jonathan. Who admits that this is his third version of his dress, basically whipped up two hours before the show and after he'd already started to run out of fabric and his self-doubt and frustration level had exploded all over the place. Much is made of the back of the dress for not being COMPLETELY awful, unlike Mila's and Jay's whose are both 360 degrees of ass:

Picture 73 

It does seem like this faint praise will be enough to save him, but alas, no. All-around nice-guy Jonathan is sent home while Mila lives to irritate us all for another week or two. Tops. I promise. I mean, right?

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Parentopia Devra

I did not understand Jonathan's dress. The base color was unflattering for almost any skin tone and anyone wearing it, would have to have excellent posture. I mean slouch in that thing and risk having one's ass hanging out. Ick.

Jay's dress lacked the appropriate boning to maintain it's shape around that poor models boobs. Mila's dress made her model look like she was hiding a pregnancy. The fit was terrible.

I also noticed Anthony's dress had a jagged edge up top. And Seth Aaron's parachute dress brought flashbacks of "Break Dancing The Movie" into my head. Which is most disturbing.

Emilio's dress was a knockoff as you pointed out, I knew I had seen it before and now that you've posted the pic of Cate, I won't have to stay up until 3AM trying to recall where I had seen it. THANK YOU!

I think Maya showed maturity in her decision to leave, I fully expected Anthony to return, only because they showed everyone missing him in the beginning of the episode. Kind of like how they show the sweet footage of a contestant calling home and then that person winds up eliminated in the episode.

What I do wonder week after week is "Why did someone name their daughter after a Jewish university?"


Mila needs to go. Now. I'm sick of her designs and her face. Ugh. Judging last night annoyed me. Because Mila is still there.

Major Bedhead

I cannot stand Mila. Every time I see her purse up her over-lipsticked, thin gob, I want to smack her. Every. Time. Jonathan, I think, was channeling Ping last night. It's too bad because he really did make some nice things, but last night's dress was horrible. Really horrible. I liked the two winning dresses but I didn't think either of them were amazing. They were sexy and pretty but not oh-mah-gawd-that's-gawjus.

Suzy Q

Emilio's was lovely. Anthony's was meh.

Mila's reminded me of something from the '70s. And not a good something.


My biggest question this week is how does "Cerri"=Carry? I was really thrown by that. What language is that?

Anyway the only two dresses that were remotely red carpet were Emilio and Anthony. Emilio's was a total rip off and Anthony's was kind of meh. The other four should have been sent home.

I have hated Mila since day one and her face when Tim announced someone was coming back was priceless.


@funda62 - It's Gaelic; you can tell she's Irish just from that skin and hair but when she talks the accent is unmistakable. Gaelic pronunciations are very weird. For another example Siobhan is pronounced Sha-von.


I wish Mila would go home already. At least be in the bottom two and get the crap scared out of her.


Jaysus, Amy, were you hiding in our living room while we watched this episode? I pretty much had the same damn reaction - particularly to Anthony's dress, which was just a LOT of fabric but nothing else terribly remarkable.

The real kicker this week? Cerri got eliminated AGAIN - "sorry, your ass is probably still bruised from the door smacking it last week; perhaps you should exit sideways this time".


Thanks Kate. She is a really lovely girl. Too bad Jonathan kept making her look like crap.

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