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It's Week Five of Project Runway, and if you like chaos, tears and back pedaling liars, then this is the episode for you! Things start out normally enough, with Heidi explaining that the designers will be split into two teams of six, who will then work together to create mini collections of six outfits on trend for Fall 2010. With last week's winner, Michael C getting the first pick, his team ends up having all the designers who've won in the past: Gretchen and Andy, as well as Christopher, AJ and Ivy. The the other team is described by Valerie as "The Bad News Bears." With no former winners, Valerie, Peach, Casanova, April, Mondo and Michael D are bound to lose to their greater opponents?or are they?
Each team has to pick a style from a list of current design trends and a type of fabric that is also a mainstay in Fall 2010 collections. The Bad News Bears choose Military Style and Lace and are then brilliantly dubbed "Military and Lace" by the show's creative producers. The other team, which control freak Gretchen immediately takes charge of, chooses Menswear for Women and Camel and decide to call themselves "Team Luxe" since they plan to make their outfits very luxurious. If "luxurious" is defined as "ugly and baggy," then they achieve their goal—but let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Military and Lace team work together fairly well, and each comes up with a design concept which compliments those of their fellow teammates. Whereas the Luxe team, more accurately known as Gretchen, has each designer work to their strengths, making components for more than one outfit. The only designers who aren't part of this manufacturing process are AJ, who only manages one shirt dress and Ivy who makes a complete outfit with a long vest that even Maude Findlay would disdain.
Although Heidi initially introduces the designers to Garnier stylist, Peter Butler who talks about Fall 2010 hair styles in a manner reminiscent of Lincoln in Disney's Hall of Presidents, he is not our guest judge. Instead, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia are joined this week by the returning Georgina Chapman of Marchesa. You may wonder what a designer of flouncy red carpet gowns has to do with judging ready to wear collections. Let's just say it pays to be married to the boss...
Instead of a top and a bottom three designers this week, the initial judging is of whole teams. Surprise! Our winners are the underdogs, Team Military and Lace! Even more shocking, the winning designer from the team is Casanova, who, despite spending a good chunk of the episode breaking down over Tim Gunn's criticism, wows the judges and his fellow contestants with a sexy black lace blouse and flattering tight white trousers. In another surprise, the work of his co-perennial bottom feeder, Peach, is also highly praised. This is particularly nice for the designer who was the last one picked when they chose teams, giving us uncomfortable flashbacks to gym class.
Our losing team, Team Sux, er, Luxe, form a pact, at Gretchen's suggestion, that they won't tell the judges who made which items. And initially, they don't. But then Captain Gretchen, realizing that the Titanic is sinking, jumps into the lifeboat first, and tells the judges which are her pieces. Gretchen ends up in the bottom two, primarily because she talks too much, quickly switching from praising the collection, to saying it's trash, to try distance herself from it. This is a switch that the judges are extremely aware of. Joining her in the bottom two is AJ, who only crafts one piece, the ugly white shirt dress, which he says is not representative of his work. Sadly, Heidi bids "auf Wiedersehen" to AJ as millions of viewers loudly curse their televisions at the thought of the horrible Gretchen surviving for another week. (We base this on our husband&'s reaction).
And in our As Tears Go By count, it's the weepiest episode ever, with ten different crying jags. Casanova cries after Tim picks on his work. Ivy tears up when the judges announce that her team is the bottom one. Gretchen, Michael, Ivy and AJ all start crying as the judges harshly critique their collection. Casanova cries a second time, this time from joy, after he wins. Michael C cries a second time, not from joy, after being attacked by his fellow designers on the runway. Gretchen cries again because Tim Gunn calls her "manipulative." And finally, April breaks into tears when she learns her friend AJ is leaving the show. This brings our number of crying jags for the season to sixteen! Forget Piperlime, Kleenex should be the show's sponsor.
And now for this week's Top Ten Moments of Project Runway Greatness...
10). At the top of the show Michael C complains that the other designers didn't praise him for his previous win. By the end, he's just relieved the catty turncoats didn't physically pelt him with rocks and garbage.
9). When Mondo uses the term "Runway wars" surprisingly he is referring to the military designs and not the interactions of the other team's designers.
8). When the designers leave Mood, Tim says "Bye Swatch," which surprisingly is not product placement, but rather acknowledgement of the store's very cute Boston Terrier.
7). Valerie compares Team Luxe's method of producing pieces to, "When you have diarrhea and vomiting at the same time." Remind us not to try on her clothes.
6). After the teams are picked, April says, "Michael C's such a dumbass for choosing Gretchen. Do you want to hire Hitler, seriously?" This is just wrong. Gretchen is actually Mussolini with some Vichy French thrown in.
5). When Tim finds out what team Military and Lace will be using for trim, he suggestively responds, "The Zippers and the chains? Alright talk to me!" What does Tim wear under those proper suits?
4) Gretchen said that the blending of styles of a whole collection was a Project Runway first. The real first, was Tim getting so fed up with a designer that he trashes her interactions with the rest of the contestants in front of the whole group
3). After Tim criticizes Casanova's garment, the designer has a dramatically breaks down about how wrong he is for the show, which builds up to his most serious complaint,"I'm even getting fat!"
2). We bet that Gretchen ran for class president. And secretary. And treasurer. All at the same time.
1). In discussing his team's choice of design themes, Casanova says "I loves military and I love lace, so I feel like I am a fish in water."