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Ep. 13: Part One of the Finale

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Remember how angry we were after seeing the live taping of September's Project Runway Fashion Week finale and learning that the finalists only got six measly weeks to create their final collections? Well, we'd like to publicly apologize. We had it wrong. It turns out that the designers didn't get six weeks to make their final collections. They got five.

Welcome to Week Thirteen of Project Runway, part one of the finale and the episode where Project Runway wounds its own brand and those of its designers. The show kicks off with Heidi informing the remaining four that they'll all be going home to make final collections—but only the three best will present at Fashion Week. It's kind of like in Season Four when Rami competed against Chris March for the final slot—only with less talented designers. Heidi informs this season's designers that they'll each get $9,000 to create ten looks. Then she breaks the news about the five-weeks part. Yes, five weeks to create a collection which the world will remember them by. We feel sorry for all the designers, even Joshua.

Cut to a mere three weeks later, and Tim Gunn is off for his home visits. What can each designer get done in three weeks? Kimberly can go off to Maryland and create a few mediocre pieces for her Brooklyn-inspired collection. Joshua can go off to Sunnyside Queens and make a lot of blindingly garish pieces, which Tim hates so much, that Joshua ends up trashing all but two of them. Anya can go off to what looks like a wealthy home in Trinidad and go scuba diving and pick out some fabrics. What she can't do is make a single garment or even draw a design for one. And Viktor can go a few blocks from Parsons, finish most of his collection, write the great American novel and build a pyramid.

Two weeks later, the designers return to New York City to an ugly penthouse suite at the Hudson Hotel. Tim then takes them to their new work room and informs them that they'll each be showing a mini collection of three of their garments to the judges. The one who has the worst mini collection will be aufed, and the final three will show during Fashion Week. There is a lot of competition—for whose clothing is the worst.

Tim gives all the designers critiques and Anya's is particularly rough. Tim says she's reverted back to her early style. Which makes sense—when a designer puts all their work off until the last two weeks, and they don't have Bert helping them sew, the possibility of them making a lot of sleeveless quickie gowns increases dramatically. Anya informs us that it was easy being creative when she was sequestered in the womb of the show, but now she's somewhat paralyzed because she's too aware that everyone is counting on her: her friends, her family and her country. Yes, one of the designers says their country is counting on them, and surprisingly, it's not Joshua.

Our judges this week are just Nina, Michael and Heidi, and they find plenty to criticize. Viktor is told he has too many good pieces layered with too many other good pieces. Hmmm, we wonder if he'll make it through. His mini collection includes the white leather jacket with pearls which we raved about during Fashion Week. The cameras don't even begin to do it justice, but it's gorgeous enough in person that Heidi actually asks to try it on. The judges find some faults with Joshua's brightly colored Neoprene and black collection, although surprisingly it's not with the colors, the Neoprene or even the styling. Although the judges are initially complimentary of Kimberly's brightly colored urban-inspired collection, they then say they loath its styling, color palette and "bubble-butt" skirt—so we're not sure what they actually like about it. Anya gets the worst critique. The judges hate two of her outfits, a wool bathing suit—yes wool—and a cheap looking gold satin evening gown. They do rave over her third piece, a brown print dress which we'd best describe as "acceptable."

Finally the judges announce the big news. The three designers to make it through to fashion week are Joshua, Viktor and much to our surprise...Kimberly. This of course means that Heidi bids "auf Wiedersehen" to Anya. Or it would, if the producers hadn't preordained Anya as their favorite. So surprise, Anya goes to the finals too. Her pieces are so bad that we're guessing they decided that the only way she could make it to the finals is if they let all four designers go through. Déjà vu Anya—have you met Season Three's Mychael Knight?

When Joshua learns that all four of the designers will continue forward to the finale, he's furious. Joshua realizes that he is no closer to winning than he was before this mini collection fashion show charade. And as toxic and narcissistic as we sometimes find him, we have to agree with Joshua on this point. If none of the designers were going to be sent home, then what the hell was the point of this episode? Aside from showing a lot of ugly clothing.

And now for the Top Ten Moments of Project Runway Greatness.

10. In describing his vision, Joshua explains, "The voice is in the clothing." Unfortunately, it's just as affected as the one in his throat.

9. Anya's brother says that after the Miss Universe pageant he kept hearing, "Your sister is so beautiful." But now that she's been on Project Runway he hears, "Your sister is so talented." We suspect it's about to go back to "Your sister is so beautiful."

8. Each and every designer pulls out an, "I'm doing it for a dead relative" card, which thankfully negates all the "I'm doing it for a dead relative" cards.

7. During his home visit, Tim describes one of Joshua's pieces as looking like the "The Farmer in the Dell." We don't remember a verse where the farmer wears Body Glove.

6. Nina says Kimberly's pink bubble butt skirt "looks like a cartoon." We disagree. Cartoons are cute.

5. Unfortunately, the gift shops in the Caribbean don't sell T-shirts which say, "I went to Trinidad for a home visit and all I saw were some lousy fabrics."

4. Joshua describes the designs he shows the judges as, "The DNA of my collection." We're guessing his collection has at least one extra chromosome.

3. Heidi wears a top which looks like it has the face of one of the escaped animals from Ohio on it.

2. Anya is told that the shoes on one of her models looks like something a bad newscaster would wear. When do we ever see newscasters' shoes?

1. Initially, Heidi thinks the belt on Joshua's jacket looks like the cheap buckle on her kids' car seat. Then Michael Kors says he likes it and suddenly she does too.
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