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Ep. 7: The Nastiest Designer Behavior in Project Runway History

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Photo credit: HP PC

It's week seven of Project Runway and time for the HP Intel challenge—the one where the designers get to create textile designs from scratch. Normally, this is one of our favorite challenges. Two seasons ago Emilio did a killer Stephen Sprouse-like graffiti print, which we totally coveted. And last season, Mondo created his stunning purple and yellow plus sign pants, which led to him coming out of the closet about his HIV Positive status. That became the most memorable and moving episode in Project Runway history. This time around, the HP Intel print-design challenge also makes for a memorable episode—unfortunately, because it turns out to be one of the show's nastiest.

Heidi immediately splits the designers into two teams of five. Team Chaos, which should really be called Team Zen includes Anthony, Anya, Viktor, Olivier and Bryce. They love each other so much, they seem like Moonies. Our second team, Team Nuts and Bolts, which should really just be called Team Nuts, includes Josh M (who has taken to wearing his shirts open to the waist, disco-style), Laura, Becky, Kimberly and Bert. Josh hates half his team and they return his feelings.

Each team must design their own prints and then use them to create a collection of five outfits to present in a fashion show. The teams must also choose backing music—which we never hear—and make a video to show on the screen behind their collections.

Josh M, whose mother died two years ago, has an extremely delayed reaction to her death and attacks Bert. Josh is the nastiest anyone has ever been on this show, and that includes when Jeffrey Sebilia insulted Laura's mother back in Season Three. Becky is also attacked along the way, because Josh M is an equal opportunity shrew. At one point, Josh threatens to pull out of the challenge and forfeit the competition, which causes us to yell, "Do it!" to our television, but sadly, he does not hear us.

Eventually Josh apologizes, which still doesn't help his team's cohesiveness. Things remain tense until Tim Gunn eventually forces them to hold hands in a friendship circle and sing Kumbaya. Team Nuts and Bolts ends up with a hideous collection. Its theme has something to do with an urban woman rushing around—on the move. This is represented all too literally with clock printed on their fabrics. Perhaps team Nuts and Bolts should have gone with Josh's original suggestion of a feminized Village People.

The members of Team Chaos meanwhile, manage to deal with what we assume at some point in their lives, were deaths in their own families, without immolating any of their teammates. This results in a cohesive collection of fabulous ink blot prints in black and white.

Nina Garcia is back this week, judging with Michael Kors. Sadly, although the always entertaining Betsey Johnson makes an early appearance in the episode, she does not help with the judging. Instead we have guest judges designer Rachel Roy and actress Rose Byrnes. Lifetime, if you must subject us to useless actress judges each week, why not at least get ones who are interesting, and who might possibly raise your ratings?

Our winning team, to no one's surprise, is Team Chaos. The highlights of their collection include Viktor's mod backless evening gown, Anthony's adorable skirt outfit, Anya's print dress and Olivier's brilliantly tailored jacket. Yes, in other words, the highlights of the collection include everything but Bryce's shorts ensemble. Shocker! Despite the judges giving Olivier's jacket a tongue bath, Anya wins with her not as memorable cocktail dress. We haven't a clue as to why she wins, so we'll just blame it on Nina.

The losing team's low points are many, but the judges feel that the main one is that all of their prints are hideous—with Josh's being the worst. The bottom two designers are Josh, whose print, outfit and attitude are all ugly, and Becky, who despite sewing three different version of her skirt, would have made the members of our former eighth grade sewing class yawn at its dull simplicity. Heidi bids "auf Wiedersehen," to Becky, which means all the other designers will be showing their finale collections (or decoy collections) in the Fashion Week tents today.

Speaking of which, due to Fashion Week and Fashion's Night Out, there will not be a top ten list of greatness this week, just a top one. But check in throughout the weekend because we'll be having all kinds of insider Project Runway coverage: From a sneak peak at the finale collections, to a reunion of past seasons' designers.

And now for our top moment of Project Runway Greatness...

1. Regarding the graffiti print which Becky uses for her skirt, Michael Kors says, "Not a lot of women want to have 'cancelled' on their crotch."

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