Project Runway: Episode 5.4 Predictions
Let the co-branding begin!

This week on Project Runway 5, there's an Olympic theme as 5-time medal winner Apollo Ohno is the guest judge. (In case this is the first thing you are reading after emerging from a long nap, Rip Van Winkle-style, Bravo's big sister station NBC will be airing the Olympics which start on August 8. But I'm sure the Olympic-themed episode is just a coincidence!)

While style is certainly not utterly absent from sports, from a competitive perspective, normally it's only ice skating and sometimes gymnastics or tennis where we see a lot of creativity in the fashions sported by the athletes. So could this half-hearted Project Runway season be recycling challenges again by having the contestants make an ice skating outfit?

Whatever the challenge, we've now had three episodes to assess the designers' overall efforts, so is it possible to start making more accurate predictions?

For those I'm thinking are most likely to end up on the bottom, I'm thinking Joe Faris has been awfully under the radar so far. In reality television, this is often not a good sign for early episodes, especially since his designs so far seem unlikely to wow, meaning it doesn't look promising that his screen time is going to ratchet up anytime soon. That said, he seems like his skills and experience keep him from making any major time management or construction issues, and his lack of conceptual risk-taking might mean he can ride safely in the middle for a while longer.

I think that it's possible Jerell Scott might hear the dreaded “taste level” critique from the judges sometime soon. Then again, so did Chris March, and see how far he got..

I have some doubts about Jennifer Diederich too. Her tendency to revert to the “Holly Golightly at a Salvador Dali exhibit” line could possibly be writing a check her actual concepts can't cash. As the judges noted, while surrealist artists have used elements that could be recalled in something like the lip prints on her first dress, the thing that made it exciting was the inspired way the unexpected elements elevated the artwork. Her work just hasn't demonstrated that some level of surprise and delight yet.

Her second dress was lovely, but also a bit restrained for a cocktail dress. I get the sense that sexiness is not an element she likes to bring to her work, and that can't go far in high fashion. I'm not saying she has to show a lot of skin or have tight clothing. But there needs to be some kind of tension there that she seems to be lacking. Some designers work in frump – some of Miuccia Prada's work comes to mind – but somehow even within the frumpiness or modesty, it's still sexy and exciting.

As to potential frontrunners for the top? I continue to be impressed with Kenley Collins, even when I don't love her offerings. Korto Momolu had a misstep with her second dress, and I think her black jumpsuit got lost in the dark color, but overall, she has a sophisticated eye. The fact that she did fail in the second episode shows that she takes risks, and that's exciting. After his first successful cup dress, Daniel Feld has been getting a quiet edit, like Joe Faris, but his work has a spark that I think means his story could be unfolding soon. These are the designers whose work is most exciting to me so far, and the ones I hope – even if they are not in the top – stick around for a while so I can see what they do.

And this isn't a win or a loss, but I have to say one thing I know for certain: Suede's third-person affectation, oddly-proportioned blue mo-faux-hawk and tendency to seem to be playacting The Sassy Gay Designer as opposed to simply organically being it (a la Christian Siriano) will get on my nerves. Sorry, I guess I should have put spoiler alert at the beginning of the article.

As to the rest of the designers, I just can't tell yet, so I am looking forward to getting another look at what they have to offer on this week's Project Runway 5.

-Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of BravoTV)