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'Project Runway': The Girls Rule the Runway

'Project Runway': The Girls Rule the Runway

When Project Runway moved to Lifetime for the new season, it seemed like a great opportunity to infuse the show with a fresh jolt of energy. Honestly, is it me, or have the designers this season degraded into a bunch of back-stabbing, whiny five-year-olds? I blame it on the elimination of all the fun gay boys (Christopher doesn't count). At least when they bitched constantly about the other designers, it was actually entertaining!

When Project Runway moved to Lifetime for the new season, it seemed like a great opportunity to infuse the show with a fresh jolt of energy. Unfortunately, as the season progresses, each episode feels progressively more tired and yawn-inspiring. Between the absence of some of the show's favorite judges and the lack of creativity in the challenges, Runway is dragging. The true sin this season, however, is the judges' failure to boot off contestants who obviously should have been cut ages ago - a sin they commit once again this week.

The Challenge: For this week's challenge, the contestants are asked to create a 'companion' look to one of their previous winning designs. Which is something maybe your instructor at fashion school might ask you to do, but seems a rather lame challenge for Project Runway. Given no harder task than creating a look to go with an already winning design feels way too much like a 'gimme' challenge to the designers. Too bad even this lame challenge proved way too hard for half the contestants. What happened to all that passion and awesome design skills the contestants were throwing around at the start of the season?

Well, maybe the problem is the judges keep knocking out the semi-decent designers in favor of people who suck. But that's just my opinion.

The Sticky Part: There really isn't much of a sticky part to this week's challenge. The designers are granted a decent amount of funds to buy materials and a day to design their outfit. A one day challenge is always more difficult, but seriously, this challenge should be a cake walk.

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The Drama Quotient: Irina once again stepped forward as the bitch of the week this episode, as usual. After Carol Hannah complains about Logan copying her zipper collar from a previous outfit, Irina steps up the drama further by accusing Carol Hannah of stealing from her Aspen outfit in making the over-sized sweater for her dress. Probably neither Carol Hannah or Logan actually intentionally copied anything, as guest judge Nick Verreos later notes. When you're stuffed in a room with people for weeks on end, you're bound to accidently acquire some ideas from others via osmosis

Meanwhile, Althea bad-mouthed Carol Hanna for being a one-trick pony and Logan said Gordana had less taste than his grandmother. Honestly, is it me, or have the designers this season degraded into a bunch of back-stabbing, whiny five-year-olds? I blame it on the elimination of all the fun gay boys (Christopher doesn't count). At least when they bitched constantly about the other designers, it was actually entertaining!

Judging Panel: Once again, Michael Kors is missing in action. Lifetime should really take a clue from the serious ratings drop they've taken for Project Runway since the season began. One of the biggest complaints out there is how frequently fan favorite judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia have been MIA this season.

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In Kors' place, this week we have former Project Runway contestant Nick Verreos. Now, I love Verreos personally, but he's hardly a household name like Kors and he came in FIFTH on his season of Runway. Not the most impressive of replacement judges. Nina Garcia was thankfully present this time around, lending at least a little weight and attitude to the judging panel. The second guest judge, Kerry Washington, she was so unmemorable I don't even remember who the hell she is and don't care.

The Middle of the Pack: Carol Hannah was given the "safe" pass this week for her cute, black dress, which caused the female judges to squeal because of its pockets. Really, pockets are that cool? Although it is rather hilarious when two of the female judges say "we could ALL" wear that dress - apparently including Nick Verreos as one of the girls who would look good in it.

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The Winners: Irina impresses the judges with her winning Aspen outfit knockoff. Actually, the outfit is nice, although you'd have to be a supermodel to pull of that dress. What annoys me about Irina is you want her to lose because she's such an asshole, but you can't help but applaud her for definitely being one of the best designers.

Even though Irina accused her - on the runway no less - of copying her sweater design, it's Althea who takes the win this week. Frankly, Irina needed a bit of humbling, even if I did think Althea's pants looked like something out of depressed clown school.

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The Losers: Christopher exceeds his requisite nine lives on the catwalk by sliding through yet again with his hideous bed curtain bottomed dress. Unlike the judges, I also thought the top of the dress was ill-fitting and boring as hell. I'm starting to be convinced Christopher is sleeping with someone on the show, because no one deserves this many chances; certainly not someone with taste as bad as his.

Gordana fails to thrill with her gray suit jacket and plain skirt and deserves to be in the bottom - again. The true crime though was making her gorgeous model look like an old school marm. Gordana is one of the designers that has been given a second chance way too many times. And, once again, the judges give her another one. What gives with the judges this season?

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Then again, Logan deserves his spot in the bottom two with his sci-fi, zipper-collared dress. The problem with Logan is that he doesn't want to design for "everyone" so he ends up designing for "no one." Still, I thought his silly outfit showed more creativity than Christopher or Gordana. No, Logan has never won a challenge, but he's always tried to be original and innovative, even if he fails at it a lot. Sadly, the judges do not agree and send Logan packing.

Final Weigh-In: Only one guy is left on this season of Project Runway and it's Christopher, who seems to have no chance in hell of winning. Which just leads me to wonder if the judges have been stacking the cards to ensure a female win this year for some reason. Maybe because it's Lifetime and the majority of viewers are women over the age of 40? Okay, so it's kind of a lame conspiracy theory, but otherwise I'm just at a loss to why Christopher and Gordana are still in this competition with only five designers left to go.

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Laura Vess