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Project Runway Season 9, Ep. 1: Pajamas Aren't Just For Sleeping

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We're back! Yes, after a far too long hiatus, Project Runway is back in New York City for its ninth season. Heidi and the gang have all returned, along with twenty new designers. That's right, twenty. How the hell are we supposed to remember the names of twenty designers? Fortunately, Heidi and Tim inform us that we'll be checking out samples of each designer's work and then the judges will cut four more—narrowing it down to the final sixteen contestants. Wait, didn't we just see all their work on the casting special a few minutes ago?

The designers show their collections, and soon after, we bid "auf Wiedersehen" to Girl-with-the-Minnie Mouse-voice, Guy-whose-garments-all-look-alike, Young-guy-whose-evening-gown-has-taste-issues, and Girl-who-foolishly-postponed-her-wedding-to be on the show. Each insists that we haven't seen the last of them. We're guessing we have.

As the remaining sixteen designers head back to the Atlas apartments for the night. Tim warns them, "Unpack and settle in because you never know what is waiting for you on Project Runway." Of course they don't take heed. A few hours later, at 5 AM, the god of foreshadowing arrives and wakes the designers. Tim insists that they come with him immediately, dressed in whatever they've been sleeping in—all they are allowed to bring with them is one of the sheets off their bed. He then informs the unhappy designers that these items will be the only things they can use for fabric in the first challenge. Alas, this means we'll have to wait until next week to check in on Mood Fabrics' dog Swatch.

Beauty Queen Anya and Laura—who behaves more like a pageant girl than Anya—both sleep in long silk pajama outfits, so they've got a lot of fabric to work with. Others are less fortunate, having spent the night in the likes of gingham boxers, weird print pajama bottoms and a t-shirt with a cartoon clown vomiting a rainbow into a toilet. Anthony informs us that we're lucky he didn't sleep in the nude that night. Since he'd previously shared that he's missing one of his testicles, due to cancer, we won't argue the point.

Our judges are all back. Michael Kors and Nina Garcia join host/judge Heidi Klum, who is looking better than ever—to the point where we wonder if she has had work done, but can't spot any telltale signs. Joining the troika as guest judge is actress Christina Ricci, star of ABC's new series Pan Am, and quite possibly the thinnest famous person we've ever seen in person. Christina is a decent judge, for a celeb, making relevant critiques and standing by them. That said, here's hoping this season's judges will include lots of real fashion designers and not many actresses with vanity collections.

The episode's runway presentation is pretty good, especially considering what our designers were working with. Our top three include Anthony, who turns his striped tank top and shorts into a striped tank top and mini skirt—which is a lot more impressive than it sounds. Anya, who claims she has almost no sewing experience, but then miraculously creates a cute halter and pleated pants. Rounding out the top three is our winner, Bert, who impresses both us and the judges with a fabulous gingham and jersey wrapped mini dress. That said, we'd be even more impressed if half the collection he showed during the casting special hadn't featured the same wrap construction.

The bottom three include Julie, whose athletic pants cause one of the judges to simulate masturbating (see below), Mormon Josh C, whose ugly and ill-fitting shorts outfit causes us to make gagging noises at our television, and Rafael whose far too tight slacks and top, plus "Wilma Flintstone bib" horrify the judges. Heidi bids "auf Wiedersehen" to Rafael, which means God must be a Mormon.

And now for this week's Top Ten Moments of Project Runway Greatness...

10. Serena says she was to get married in Iceland, but postponed the wedding because "Project Runway is going to happen this one time," whereas "I can go to Iceland anytime." Unless of course their economy breaks down...or a volcano erupts...

9. Anthony is the first contestant in the history of the show to be color blind. Well, the first to admit it.

8. After Michael Kors critiques Julie's front pants pocket with, "It's a very 'I like myself' kind of pocket," and doesn't get a big laugh, he pantomimes a girl masturbating to try and sell the joke better.

7. Bert says he is 102 years old, but then admits, "Actually I'm 57." Of course 57 is 102 in Project Runway years.

6. When the designers arrive at the workroom, Rafael says," It's like a continuation of a legacy." Yes, the time honored legacy of being the first contestant auf'ed.

5. LDS church member Joshua C describes New York as being "A little off the beaten path for a Mormon." Obviously he missed the Tonys.

4. When Olivier speaks to his model in Italian, Laura says, "Are you speaking foreign?" Nope Laura, we don't know why everyone compares you to Barbie, either.

3. As Cecilia's model walks the runway in an obscenely short skirt, the designer says, "I could actually win this." Yes, if "this" was a competition to create a gown for gynecology patients, that prize would be yours.

2. After the designers do their dying, they have to blow dry their sheets, which must give a few of the men flashbacks to puberty.

1. We bet Anya has "Never made a pair of pants," in the same way that Michael Kors has never used self tanner.
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