Above: Terri's losing dress, a sad loss
Things are not going my way. First I go to my doctor because my heartbeat feels weird, and without warning he rushes me off to a cardiologist because he thinks I might be having a cardiac episode. And worse, TERRI GETS ELIMINATED THIS WEEK.
I wasn't having a cardiac episode at all, it turns out. But as I write this I am still hooked up to a 24-hour heart monitor. It sucks. Can't shower, can't sleep lying down, can't do much but sit here and look at the little timer box attached to a cord attached to wires attached to sticky pads attached to my chest. It's going to feel Kelly Clarkson amazing when they all get yanked off later today. I suppose if the monitor finds out I need a new blood-pumping organ I can get a mechanical one or a baboon heart like Christian Slater did in that movie that one time.
But meanwhile, TERRI GETS ELIMINATED THIS WEEK. There's no baboon heart that can fix that. Stupid Project Runway. I get to watch Suede and Jerell and Joe gallivant around next week? And maybe the week after that? And maybe all the way to Bryant Park? That's swell. I was hoping for more of those clowns.
Cut to Terri opening this week's episode and being a cold, hard bitch about Stella, singing "Witch is dead, witch is dead" and then, on interview cam, saying, "Will I miss Stella? No. That's one less person to worry about." She must not be here to make friends, huh? Cut to Suede and Blayne blathering on and on about their previous night's dreams. Those dreams involved Pop-Tarts, claims Suede. But I doubt it. It plays like a bit they concocted for the camera's sake. And also cut to my friend Dennis, sitting on my couch, calling Terri names and mocking her "wig."
"That doesn't have to be a wig," I say. "Oprah's hair is her own."
"Uh-huh," he says.
But I believe in Terri's hair. I believe in her talent. I believe she's cooler than all of these knuckleheads put together. And I'm right. So what if she's out for number one? It's a competition.
They all meet up at the runway to see Heidi for 90 seconds. She's in black, pulled-back hair, serious face: "Before we talk about your next challenge," she begins ...
"It's time for the most boring part of the show," announces friend Gary in his best Heidi voice. He's also sitting on the couch. I'm not. I'm across the room with my heart monitor ticking away like a suicide bomb. And that most boring part of the show, where they nod to the malnourished, underpresented, weird, and pointless also-ran competition involving the models whose names we never learn unless they're steeped in some kind of controversy, takes place while Dennis, Gary, Xtreem Aaron, and Dennis's partner, Terence, all talk about how Terence used to work at Calvin Klein during the Carolyn Bessette years. He had only excellent things to say about her too, in case you were wondering, like how she would flip her hair around really well and make you feel like you were the only person who mattered to her while she was talking to you. I suppose I should have paid attention to what just happened with the models, but the C.B. story was better. And I'm not rewinding. TERRI GOT ELIMINATED, THAT'S WHY.
Heidi announces that some specials guests are about to come out. "Oh, good, Keenan and Kel," says Xtreem Aaron.
But it's not. It's all the losing designers who've been kept sequestered in hotel rooms for the duration of the shoot while the rest of them keep playing the game. This is where, if the other blogs and gossip sites are correct, where the auf'd Wesley and Daniel have spent their time getting to know each other a LOT better. "Who's the Asian guy?" asks Gary. "I don't remember him at all."
"Jerry," I say. "First to be kicked off. Is already a reasonably successful designer outside of this and probably didn't need the show in the first place."
"Oh, shower curtain raincoat guy," says Gary.
Challenge: Work in teams with a previously discarded designer to create an "avant-garde" look. I love it when the show throws the words "avant-garde" around. I also love it when the designers who wouldn't know "avant-garde" if it peed on them suddenly think they're capable of doing it. Cut to Jerell saying, "I can pull something avant-garde out of my ass all by myself." So your dumps are avant-garde, then, Jerell? Like it comes out in the shape of Frank Gehry's Disney Concert Hall or Meret Oppenheim's fur-lined teacup? Because if you can do that, then I'll watch it happen and I'll stop writing in these recaps that your designs are in fact the actual turds on display here.
The noneliminated designers are all annoyed. You can see it on their faces. None of them want to get dragged down. But it's going to happen. And it's going to be awesome. They get into the workroom and Tim Gunn tells them that the challenge also involves the Zodiac. Right on! Best serial killer ever! It's about time this show got a little edgier. Maybe it will inspire some avant-garde shit -- and I'm talking about real avant-garde shit, not the kind Jerell produces with his butt -- after all. Joe says, "I'm happy to have an inspiration." Then he says he could just take a sock and put it over his head and call it avant-garde. And that's correct. He could. I hope it's a really tight sock too. "Joe is so 'design staff,'" says Terence. Which is actually a bigger insult than me hoping for a tight sock. I thank Terence for this remark. Do I sound fed up? I am. Since I already know Terri's going home I'm a little irritated. It's like seeing Carly get kicked off American Idol all over again.
Above: Blayne's losing dress, a sad loss
Tim Gunn picks names out of the betassled Crown Royal black velvet selecting bag. I get the feeling he thinks this challenge is silly. Like some Bravo intern thought it up and got promoted to "VP of Challenges and Fetching Andy Cohen's Sigg Bottle" for it. Also? It's disappointingly about the actual zodiac, the Lucky Charms cereal-based religion for people who think other religions lack substance. Personally, I'm a Gemini. And I think it's bullshit, Creationism for liberals. Except for when people praise me for stuff that Geminis are allegedly good at being or doing. Then I nod my head and go, "I know! It's awesome that I, a Gemini, am so naturally inclined to be this amazing."
Also, I had to ask model pal and weekly co-commentator Elyse what she thinks about astrology. Her response: "You know how some days everyone around you seems to be oblivious, even more than usual, and crazy and aggressive and undesirable, and you yourself are snarlier and surlier, and then you read your LiveJournal friends list and every other entry is talking about what a bad day the author is having? Sometimes, when that happens, I find myself wondering for just a second if astrology could be real: Maybe the heavens are causing the mass lunacy (and by the way, I know about the full moon; when I got my EMT license in college, I found out that the ambulance services in Albuquerque make sure that their staff are aware of the lunar cycles because there are always way more ridiculous emergencies when the moon is full. This is not the same as astrology). But then I realize that I disdain astrology and think it's a load of bollocks; furthermore, I find nothing more annoying than someone who asks what my sign is then nods sagely, as if my behavior has now been explained. That's SO Gemini!
"Interesting side note: Athens, Greece, is a minor modeling market. Girls who've worked there have told me that all Greek clients ask the models for their star signs when they meet them on castings. No word on whether this astrological information affects a model's booking chances, but what a weird idiosyncrasy, eh?"
The pairs: Korto (Aquarius) and Kelli (Cancer), Kenley (Aquarius) and Wesley (Scorpio), Joe (Aries) and Daniel (Sagittarius), Leanne (Libra) and Emily (Scorpio), Blayne (Libra) and Stella (Scorpio), Terri (Sagittarius) and Keith (Leo), Jerell (Sagittarius) and Jennifer (Taurus), Suede (Sagittarius) and Jerry (Libra).
Which person in the bunch will turn out to be the most annoying, know-it-all-ish Astrology Believer in the workroom? Oh, good, it's already leaning in the direction of Jerell, as he notes that his sign traits include being "carefree [and] fun-loving." His commentary regarding this discovery, on interview cam, "Hey! I'm me! What can I say?"
They go to Mood, where Kenley bosses Wesley around and he just obeys. Like he cares. There's nothing in this for him anyway: no chance at a Chris March-like resurrection, no prize of any sort, just more camera time. And really, camera time is dumb and overrated, especially when you could be back at that hotel having even more sex with your new boyfriend. If he could slip off for a clandestine make-out session behind the faux fur, you know he would. Then my cable goes out for like 15 seconds just when Terri and Keith are having their first bit of friction. Oh, well. There'll be more. They finish at Mood, and back at the workroom the bottom of the screen says "10 HOURS UNTIL END OF DAY." In audience-needs-entertainment speak, this means, "10 HOURS OF FIGHTING BEGINS NOW. PLEASE ENJOY. WE KNOW WE'VE SKIMPED ON IT FOR A LONG TIME ON THIS SHOW, LIKE ALL OF LAST SEASON AND MOST OF THIS ONE. BUT JUST SIT BACK BECAUSE THE SHIT IS ABOUT TO GET CRAZY, YO."
In fact, the only interesting thing going on in this too-many-things-at-once challenge is the fighting. So I'm going to bleep over the boring bits and detail all of that instead.
Round 1: Terri versus Keith.
She tells interview cam that his skill level is not the same as hers. We see her actually take his drawing away from him as his arm raises up to get out of her way while she muscles in. His pen cap goes right back on. He's already opting out. Then he says he'll sew everything and that she doesn't have to touch a sewing machine. Her response: "Oh, I'm gonna touch a sewing machine."
Him: "Either way ... just be gentle with me right now, OK? I'm kinda fragile ... I'm just trying to think of how you'll get the most work out of having me here."
Her, to interview cam: "Maybe he can count the pins that fall on the floor."
Winner of Round 1: Terri. That's how you stomp on someone when they're down. Also? YOU'RE FRAGILE? YOU ANNOUNCE THIS TO THE WORLD? THERE'S A CAMERA ON YOU RIGHT NOW, MAN! FUCK! Now I hope Terri is wearing a wig because I want her to rip it off her own head and start beating him with it. Because this challenge really means nothing to Keith on any real outcomes level. His job was to be submissive and tell her, "I'm here to do what you tell me and to shut up." But Keith can't shut up. He has to pretend this is a collaboration. Take a cue from Daniel and Wesley, gay. Stop caring so much. Live your life. Let Terri live hers. And Terri, though she has the upper hand, is, I think, screwing herself by not simply using her superpowers to make him into her sewing slave boy.
Commercial Time: The Rachel Zoe Project is starting to look kind of fun. She makes gays cry a lot, it seems. And that's something I can easily get behind. The other thing is that at the end of the spot, she does this listless little kick for no reason. It's her "Hey. I'm fun," gesture to the audience. What got edited out is that she's actually helping Terri kick Keith around as he lies helpless and fragile on the ground.
Above: Jerrel's big winner
Round 2: Leanne versus Kenley.
Kenley is seen being loud and excited about how "fierce" her design is going to be. She holds up some trim as proof. Leanne, working at the next table, rolls her eyes. On interview cam, Leanne says, "Kenley is insanely overconfident about her design." Cut to Kenley doing a little prancing, giggly move: "I don't care, I love it!" Then you see Leanne at her table talking to Emily, saying something mumbly about how Kenley "never shuts off." At least that's what it sounds like. But Kenley heard it because, after all, she's about four feet away. Cut to Kenley and Daniel as Kenley says, "I hate when people talk shit right in front of me."
What I like most about this moment is that Daniel, like Wesley, appears not to give one single flying fuck. Not even one third of one single flying fuck. He stands there bunching some little fabric bits together, checking his watch, like, "When do I get more sex?"
"I can see Leanne and Emily rolling their eyes and sort of just acting like, 'Ugh, I'm sick of her and blah blah blah blah,'" says Kenley, on interview cam. Cut back to workroom where she says, "Mmm-hmm. I see it." Her parting shot: "I'm just having fun. And some girls don't like that."
Winner of Round 2: Kenley. Cuter hair, that's why.
Round 3: Blayne versus Blayne's own design sense versus Tim Gunn
Blayne tries to explain his impending nonsense garment to Tim Gunn, who is baffled. Blayne explains the superfluous leather straps he plans to use as involving the concept of being tied down to rules. That this doesn't have anything to do with anyone's astrological sign is for shortsighted nonvisionaries to chew on for infinity.
Winner of Round 3: Fight canceled due to lack of interest in participating on the part of Tim Gunn
Round 4: Jerell versus Tim Gunn
Jerell is skating on the whole-lotta-look ice. A floor-length houndstooth skirt with hip flaps. Tim Gunn uses the word "schoolmarm," which must sting for Jennifer, who's standing right there. Jerell defends his creation. Tim Gunn says it's either going to win or it's going to crash and burn.
Winner of Round 4: Tim Gunn, who is always right. And who, I just learned, is going to replace Jennifer Lopez as the judge on the season finale. Mrs. Anthony hurt her foot or ankle or something like that. That sort of injury really does get in the way of sitting down in a chair and looking at clothes, I know. But whatever. Tim Gunn is better than Jennifer Lopez. She was a fine American Idolmentor. Was very good at popping a squat. But she's way too fond of Roberto Cavalli rich-slut clothes to judge this kind of thing.
Round 5: Terri versus Keith versus Tim Gunn
Actually it's just Tim Gunn watching them bicker about who said and did what and when did they say it or do it. Keith: "Darlin', come on."
Terri: "Don't call me 'Darlin'."
Winner of Round 5: No one. Tim Gunn backs away slowly. Keith's last words in this round: "What a f[bleep]n' nightmare."
Round 6: Terri versus Keith versus The Entire Mormon Religion
More sniping. Finally Keith leaves and goes to the lounge. He says he's not going to stand there and look like a fool. He can go sit down and do that.
Winner of Round 6: Keith. Loses nothing. Gets to chill and have a Coke. Mormons don't drink caffeine. This is Keith asserting his independence. STAND BACK, WORLD!
Round 7: Kenley versus Heidi
They're at the space/planetarium part of the Museum of Natural History. The designers are there with their models who are already wearing the half-finished outfits. Old Runway contestants are here, and they're going to judge the clothes and help pick the winner: Daniel V, Christian, Carmen Webber, Alison Kelly, Robert Plotkin, Jay McCarroll, and Kara Janx. Heidi takes this opportunity to tell Kenley that the boobs on her garment are in the wrong place. They must be higher! Kenley argues with Heidi, then says to interview cam: "If Heidi's talking nonsense, I'm going to step in and set her straight." This is what happens when Diane von Furstenberg praises you. You get cocky. Wesley steps aside and shuts up, looking for the darkest corner he can find, texting Daniel: "Meet me behind Uranus."
Winner of Round 7: Heidi. No one wins against Heidi. She's Godzilla and Gamera and Ultraman all rolled into one.
Round 8: Blayne vs Heidi
She tells him his garment looks like old women's underwear. And when Heidi says that you know she means old German women's underwear, so it's even more serious than you thought. Blayne tells her to think out of the box.
Winner of Round 8: See "Winner of Round 7" above.
Round 9: Keith versus Couch in Lounge
Terri works on retooling the outfit because Christian didn't like it. And he won, So you better listen to him. Keith takes a nap on the couch.
Winner of Round 9: Keith. That couch got napped on.
Hey, now it's time for the runway show. Here is it is. Click on this and watch it:
Trust me, what you just saw was better than the runway show. And besides, who needs my barely-making-sense descriptions of clothes when there are more fights to talk about...
Round 10: Nina's Face versus Terri versus Keith versus Kors
Terri and Keith, discussing their truly awful noncollaboration -- which I guess means that I have to admit that my favorite designer made something ungood -- begin arguing right on the runway, accusing each other of being awful. Nina's reaction is to say nothing and shake her head in disgust, slowly closing her eyes to shield them from the embarrassing display. Thought bubble: I have 19 stacks of whatever on my desk at Marie Claire. I don't need this bullshit. Meanwhile Kors goes on the attack, telling them they're both going to miss out on careers until they can learn to work with other people.
Winner of Round 10: A tie between Nina's face and Kors's mouth. Runner-up: Terri and Keith's model, who laughs and says "Oh, my God" when Kors bad-mouths the dress.
Round 11: Kenley versus Nina versus Kors versus Heidi's face
Nina can't figure out what Kenley's giant Mickey Mouse ear-shaped shoulder-having top is about but has the nerve to suggest to Kenley that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the zodiac. Kenley responds furiously, head and neck bobbing back and forth, hand in the air, declaring, "I was definitely inspired by the Aquarius. Rebellion, strength, strong, and PURPLE." She left out titless leather corset, puffy skirt made from beekeeper's hat, and a dollop of kookoo-bananas. Kors jumps in and tells her that the garment is not avant-garde, that he's seen it before. "Dolce & Gabbana on the bottom, Viktor & Rolf on the top." Heidi gets a disgusted look on her face now, as though she saw Nina's and wants to one-up her. Kenley's dismissive response to Kors: "I don't look at collections." Which you know is a total lie.
Winner of Round 11: Heidi's face.
Round 12: Kors versus Suede
Kors, in judge chat, talks about how Suede is delusional and talks about himself in the third person like he's a "grand couturier." Finally, the judges have had it with this crew. Thanks for catching up, judges. We've all been at home waiting for you guys to snap.
Winner of Round 12: Kors. Because Suede's not in the room. Not that that would matter much. Suede seems like he'd be easy to smack down.
Winner of challenge: Jerell. I'm stunned, but I have to admit that his was the best. He pulled it together. Tim Gunn was right again. Tim Gunn's always right.
Out: Blayne and Terri. Blayne didn't even get a standing smooch. He walks back and tells the crew he's out. "Why?! Why?!" cries Kenley. And if you wonder why she's asking why, remember that she said she didn't look at other collections.
Goodbye, Terri. I can feel my future baboon heart already breaking a little. Now who do I root for? First person to say Suede gets an Internet punch in the face.