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"Go Go Go on
Those Brother Sewing Machines" 

"Go Go Go on
Those Brother Sewing Machines" 


It's almost the end of Project Runway. Don't act like you're too cool to care ...

Those Brother Sewing Machines"  " >

The Kenley haters are out for blood. Like in a way that kind of freaks me out. Why so upset, Anti-Kens? As my favorite commenter of the week -- a guy named Mike -- said, "So Kenley's snotty. Just like every famous fashionista and victim and blog poster."

That's so true. And I believe it's not worth expending a lot of emotional energy on her. Kenley is the product of many external forces: tugboating, Brooklyn, the "unique and precious snowflake" child-rearing method, easy Internet access to retro nostalgia, and the population at large's generalized seething resentment over not being a fame phenomenon by age 25. Except now she is, and she could sweep this thing. So ready yourselves for the possibility that the season's "villain" could win it all.

And on a personal note, I know that Mike wasn't talking about me at all when he mentioned famous blog posters being snotty because of how (a) I'm not famous and also because of how (b) I'm not snotty. I am a serious and cerebral journalist whose serious and cerebral journalism beat is totally important reality TV coverage. I have a lot of stinging, probing cultural insights on this show and how it's a microcosm of society at large and the Iraq and such as. If you keep on reading, I'm going to get all Joan Didion-ish and explode your view, make you see how we are, all of us, on a Project Runway of the soul. The parallels are significant, spiritual, and profound.

Speaking of spirituality, WHY IS THERE NO FUCKIN' REUNION SHOW? (Notice how I dropped that "g" there? I want it known that, as a Texan, I was talkin' and writin' like a hick way before that gross hockey mom Republican knucklehead -- whose real name could even possibly be "Paling" for all we know -- ruined lazy, not exactly grammatical English for all of us. I'm takin' it back, all 1991 Queer Nation-style.) Anyway, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BRAVO TO GIVE ME A REUNION SHOW. The "Tim Gunn getting to know you in his Saturn" episode is only 50% of my penultimate pleasure when a season winds down. I need rehashed controversies about Angela's mom and wasted Johnny Cash-themed ramblings. I NEED them. Bravo hates my needs. It would probably kick me in the wiener area if it could.

OK, so the show and what happens: The bloopy model-picking music is the first thing we hear because the episode opens with everyone seated at the runway and Heidi walking out in a hot sheer black minidress. She's here to send the final four packing back to whatever shit-boring town they live in to create their 10-piece collection. When they return to New York they will be judged, Heidi will be pregnant again with a new Seal-fetus, and one of them will be out. They get a budget of $8,000 and two months to make it happen. Oh, and one more thing: Since they all mostly sucked a moose on the final evening gown challenge, now they have to include a wedding gown in their final collection.


Korto starts right in with some interview-cam complaining. She's irked because "I thought we were gonna be freeeee! But I'ma still bring it and work it." And nip it and twerk it. Then Tim Gunn comes out, double-cheek-busses Heidi, and tells them all that he'll be traveling around the country to visit them before they "compete on the fashion industry's biggest stage." Then Heidi barks "AMAZE US!" before prancing back behind the scrim with Tim so they can fake air-kiss in silhouette. Why has no one ever made the shark or bunny hand sign when they get behind that thing?

Still burning with anger and hatred, the four leave Atlas. Kenley bolts out without any goodbyes, practically racing through the lobby. "She's just late for a Reverend Horton Heat show," says Xtreem Aaron, lying on the living room rug. I guess I forgot to mention who's watching with me tonight: XA, the husband/partner/whatever, and XA's ex-boyfriend Gary, who brought a giant chocolate Heath Bar cake over for all of us to eat. Today was Gary's last day working on a TV show on another network, so they gave him a cake that no one on the set wanted to eat. That always blows my mind, cake refusal. I mean, I know, like, three people who simply don't like the taste or texture or sweetness of cake. But leaving them out of the discussion, what kind of otherwise cake-enjoying person, what sort of inhuman monster, doesn't want to eat cake any time it's offered to them? I don't expect an immediate answer. But it's just more evidence that Los Angeles can ruin you if you're not strong and vigilant.

Jerell, on interview-cam, claims that he will be "constructing pure magic" with his 8K. And because I no longer detest Jerell, I want him to be right. And it'd be nice to see some pure magic for once this season. Cuz it ain't happened yet. And do you know why that is? That's right, because they kicked off Terri.

Tim Gunn hits Little Rock in a Saturn SUV and knocks on Korto's door. "Who is it?" asks Korto, her huge quantity of hair somehow tamed underneath a black scarf attached somewhat tightly to her skull.

"You're wearing a microphone pack, lady. You know who it is," says Gary, who has all sorts of stories about TV production now that he works in the business.

So Korto shows Tim Gunn her "My Name Is Peaches" collection, which is in Korto's words, "ethnic but not too ethnic." And this is a fact. It's not done yet, but it looks exactly like you want Korto's clothes to look like, like a really chic lady ambassador from Chad is coming over for a fancy dinner. Except for the dress with the vagina exclamation point panel on the front. That's kind of weird. "Judy Chicago approves this message," says the husband/partner/whatever. And did Tim Gunn just comment on the dress as a "snatch shot?" I keep rewinding the TiVo to replay his words, and I swear that's what he's saying. Do any of you have closed captioning out there? I can't seem to make mine work. And it blows my mind that we might hear somewhat naughty talk like that from Tim Gunn.

Next Korto takes him to her home to meet her husband, her child, her family and friends. She wants to give him "a little bit of Arkansas, a little bit of Africa." And, naturally, Korto has the cutest daughter ever, adorable little Afro-puffs on her head. Korto also introduces Tim Gunn to someone named Star, to which he responds, "There's only one star in this household!"

And it took me a second, but he was just totally referencing Valley of the Dolls, the part where Susan Hayward gets all territorial about her star status in the show. Actually, it was the husband/partner/whatever who got it and told me that. He's kind of into Valley. Like so into it that he was on one of the documentary features that they put on the DVD, like he's one of the talking head "experts" they called in to discuss the movie. So if you want to see him up close, then go check that out.

Korto introduces her drumming friend, this guy in a leopard-print smock and a multicolored headband who introduces himself as -- and again, my hearing is shot thanks to too many bands in too many clubs and not enough earplugs, including last week's My Bloody Valentine show at the Santa Monica Civic Center and that band's 22-minute noise-attack version of "You Made Me Realise," plus, like I said earlier, I've got no subtitles -- "Ginseng." Sorry if that's not your right name, Drumming Guy. As Korto and Ginseng pound out the rhythms, Xtreem Aaron starts doing his Tim Gunn impersonation, a stuffy gay voice intoning, "Come on, ride the train! Ride it! Oh, the places my Saturn takes me!"

Next Tim Gunn goes to Portland to visit Leanne and her boyfriend, who we all guess is either a university librarian or the keyboardist for the Decemberists. When you look like Cat Power, this is definitely the kind of boyfriend you pick. Then you hope and pray that he's not one of those sensitive "let's not have sex, let's just cuddle" boyfriends, because then you wind up spending months wondering if he's just a limpdick or if, in fact, you're going to be his last girlfriend before he finally comes out. You hear me, indie-rock boys? Don't let down your women. Tim Gunn looks at Leanne's clothes. They're pleaty and Leanne-y. Then a be-helmeted Tim Gunn gets on the back of her tandem bike -- of COURSE she has a tandem bike -- and they ride off to somewhere in Portland. I hope they go to Voodoo Donuts. Well, darn -- they just go to some dumb park with stupid trees that don't make doughnuts.

Next stop: Los Angeles to see what Jerell's been up to and -- HOLY BALLS, JERELL'S CLOTHES LOOK LIKE SHIT! The prevailing aesthetic seems to be "fancy." One of the pieces is extremely weblike and vulgar and droopy and freaked out. I expect a man with an alias like "Diamante Von Hoftenpoot-Carrington" to walk out of the Abbey wearing it.

Tim Gunn's first words: "Alllll riiiiiight." Then he asks what Jerell's point of view was for the collection. Now, if you've been working with Tim Gunn for an entire season of challenges and he's asking you what your point of view is for your final collection, then you are doomed. Jerell receives blunt words, the TG equivalent of "stop fucking up." Then they go off to Fountain Avenue to meet Jerell's family and friends. Except I bet he doesn't live on Fountain, because they showed very similar shots of that sign last season when Tim Gunn visited Rami. And when they walked out of Rami's place they were back on Santa Monica Boulevard across the street from a bar where I sometimes DJ. So there. You can't fool me, show. Well, not all the time.

Jerell, we learn, grew up in south-central Los Angeles. Then we see a photo of him as a toddler, sitting in one of those wheeled walker things people put little kids in. And that wheeled walker is on the hood of a car. Quick, snap that picture before the kid rolls off and splits his head open. Apparently Jerell's dad was a truck driver and never home. And we don't see him around today, either. Then we're treated to pictures of the L.A. riots, with some guy jumping up and down next to a burning building, all excited to be setting things ablaze and looting shit. You have to wonder where that guy is today, like if he's watching this show and shouting to his girlfriend in the kitchen, "Hey, look, I'm on TV again!"

Finally, the Saturn takes us to Kenley's dumpy railroad-car apartment in Brooklyn. It seems slightly larger than the closet Christian lived in last season, but that's how you do the dream in NYC. Kenley's inspiration was Alice in Wonderland and tugboat ropes, as one dress has a knotty choker around the neck. "So does it come with its own suicide note?" asks Gary, right on cue, just as Tim Gunn expresses concern that it will make people think of hanging themselves. Then Kenley shows him her awesome feather-explosion wedding dress and he calls it spectacular. Her response is to cry and wipe snot from her nostril. See what I said? She could win. Hate it or love it.

OK, second half of the show:

Everyone makes their way back to New York. Korto first. Then Leanne. When they see that they're the first to enter the apartment they express relief and hug. Oh, hello! Don't you hate Kenley? Yes! Yes! I do too!

Then Jerell shows up. Leanne and Korto have dumped him into the bedroom where Kenley will be. He'll be rooming with her. As Kenley wheels her bags to their suite, she sort of sloughs off an apology, "Sorry for being a bitch. I just wanna be cool with everyone, you know?"

And that, it would seem, is that. No hugs, no tears, no talking it out endlessly. Just "sorry I was awful or whatever." And no one seems to be too stressed. We'll see. Champagne is opened. AWESOME! DRUNKEN CONFESSIONS! EMBARRASSING TRUTH GAMES! MAYBE MORE FIGHTING! SAYING THINGS WE'LL REGRET! LOTS OF...

Nothing. Just toasting and wishing each other the best. Ho-hum.

The next day they're in the new studio to finish up their stuff. And Tim Gunn asks them to "gather round," which could mean it's time for an "I'm so proud of you" moment or for something more treacherous. So when Tim says they have one more challenge, you know it's the latter. They have to make a bridesmaid dress to go with their wedding gown. They have one day and $150. Here's a quick breakdown of what happens next:

1. Mood

2. Jerell wears a gray tank top with a black pre-tied necktie attached to a chain. "Oh, that. I hate that," says the husband/partner/whatever. "They do that on Noah's Arc all the fucking time. It's dumber than dumb." I'm going to take his word on that. I watch The L Word. It's all the gay-cable narrative I can put up with.

3. Tim Gunn delivers previously vacationing catchphrase and product placement obligation in one breath: "Go go go on those Brother sewing machines! Just make it work!"

4. Jocular ribbing between Kenley and Korto. Oh ha ha hee hee somewhat tense playfulness! We're friends now!

5. Tim Gunn calls Jerell's dress "sloppy." But that's OK because Jerell thinks it's OK for a bridesmaid to look ugly.

6. Tim Gunn weeps. He tells them he cares deeply about them all and that he really believes in them and loves them. Awwwww! TIM GUNN IS THE BEST SATURN-DRIVING, BROTHER SEWING MACHINE-ENDORSING GAY IN THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD.

Commercial Time: The new No on 8 spot. If you don't live in California, then you might not know what this is. Proposition 8 will take gay marriage away even though the state supreme court said that the last law they made prohibiting gay marriage was unconstitutional. So yeah, I don't get the way you can just flip-flop back and forth with laws like that, but I'm not a legislator. I assume this is how it's going to go until I'm an old man, married one year, annulled the next. But if you're reading this and you live in California and you can vote and you vote yes on Prop. 8, then fuck you. You're an asshole. You'll be voting for me to suffer. And if the day comes when I can vote on something to make you suffer in return, then I will. I hold a grudge.

Back to the show. It's Elimination Day, a.k.a. Jerell Crashes and Burns Day. Kenley's pissed off that Korto and Leanne have shortened their bridesmaid dresses like hers already was. Because, you know, Kenley invented above-the-knee. Models are fitted. Hair and makeup happens. Korto cries. Again. Time for the runway. Heidi comes out. "Hello, welcome back to my glow that you may bask in!" says Gary. "Check out my insane legs!"

The dresses, the judging, the chatting, the cutting:

Jerell's dresses resemble what happens when feral children are given hot-off-the-stove Jiffy Pop popcorn containers to dress themselves and flower pots to break over each other's heads.

Kenley's is for the marriage of Mrs. and Mrs. Cupcake Made of Feathers. (That's no typo, you right-wing fucks -- it's still legal for now, so suck it.)

Korto's is ... a lot of stuff. I would crack on it, but I don't even understand what she's done. I'll just be quiet.

Leanne's is this dream I had once where a snowlady made from folded ice decided to glide around gloating about her appearance and making other snowpeople feel like the cold, wet lumps they were. She could dress Tilda Swinton in any and all Narnia sequels. If anything trumps Kenley's it's this. And the bridesmaid dress is icy-cute too.

The judges love everything about Leanne's stuff. They hate Jerell's bejewelment. Nina tells him he didn't put a lot of thought into it. Jerell, holding back tears, tells her that that is not the case. Kors calls out Kenley on her wedding dress looking just like one Alexander McQueen did. Kenley, for her part, has already stated that she doesn't look at other collections. And on this one I have to join her. I hadn't seen the McQueen dress either.

However ...

They look exactly the same. I just checked it out online. Oops. But even so, Kors likes it, and Heidi calls it "crazy good."

They hate Korto's and call it "overworked." Korto cries, inching her way ever closer to Ricky territory.

And Jerell is out. You know he hates weddings now. He'll probably vote yes on Prop. 8 just for spite. Before exiting he throws some super-shade in Kors's direction. "From me you're gonna get heavily adorned and opulent ... that's what I'm about. If you want a basic white tee, you can just get one from Michael Kors. That's just not what I do. It is my goal to be one of the world's top designers. I see myself at 80 years old being invited to the Met for a retrospective of my life."

I'd go to that. I'll be like 100 or something, but I'd go. As long as there's chocolate Heath Bar cake.

And before I wrap this up, I decided to ask model pal Elyse to play judge and eliminate her least favorite designer(s) from the real-life fashion world. Just because. The show's almost over. We do as we please around here. Here's her e-mailed response: "Even across a vast ladies' department, even if I've never seen the pieces before, I can recognize garments from your brand because they are so exceptionally ugly and impractical. Your clothing is gimmicky and hideous and degrading. I'm sorry, DSquared2, but you're OUT.

Dave, that felt so good. God, grant me Heidi power!"

Those Brother Sewing Machines"  " data-page-title="

"Go Go Go on
Those Brother Sewing Machines" 

" >
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