Project Runway: My Day At The Season 5 Finale
There's nothing quite like being at the Project Runway finale, especially being a fan of the show.  My first experience at Fashion Week came in February of this year, when I attended the taping of the season 4 finale.  It was so overwhelming and I was so starstruck when standing 5 feet away from Heidi Klum, that I must've looked like a deer caught in headlights.  No worries.  When it was time for the season 5 finale, I was prepared and ready to go!  With camera and digital recorder in hand, I made my way into Bryant Park to watch the taping and then grab as many interviews and pictures as I could.  Though the taping itself is very organized, it's total chaos once the lights come up.  Here's a rundown of my day this past Friday in New York City with Project Runway!

5:00am Get up, get showered, get my best looking outfit on for Fashion Week, and get out the door!

8:44am Arrive at Bryant Park in Manhattan. Bravo didn't want anybody checking in later than 8:45am. Just made it!

9:04am The show was supposed to start 4 minutes ago but people are still trickling in. Paparazzi stand outside the doors to the tent, hoping to catch some celebrities. Michelle Trachtenberg sneaks right past them 10 minutes later.  Way to pay attention, guys.

9:21am Just got shoved over by an angry Bravo employee who saw someone trying to sit in a reserved seat.  He yelled at them, then went to grab his supervisor.  Note to self: sit where you're told to.  It's really hot in there and instead of feeling smooshed in, I grab some space on the floor at the end of the runway.

9:30am The show finally gets underway, with Heidi Klum greeting the crowd. J-Lo won't be today's guest judge. She hurt her foot and cancelled late the night before. Tim Gunn is judging instead! The place goes crazy for him and nobody seems to be complaining. He promises to be fair in his judging. I believe him.

9:40am All 6 finalists present in the following order: Jerell, Suede, Joe, Kenley, Korto, and Leanne. I try to spot well known models in the show but I can only pick out Bianca Golden from America's Next Top Model.

10:19am Show's over and now it's time to start the Project Runway hustle. It's a free for all on the runway floor with celebrities everywhere (Michelle Trachtenberg, Judith Light, Rebecca Budig, and more). Reporters, cameras, and microphones are everywhere and I have to elbow my way through to find people. On each chair are the names of people who sat there and I see everyone from Padma Lakshmi to Harvey Weinstein.

10:25am Finally get over to Ronnie Kroell, runner up on Make Me A Supermodel. He just moved to Brooklyn and is pursuing his modeling career. He's super nice and takes a quick picture with me before someone else grabs him.

10:47am I've now made my way to season 5 designers Terri, Blayne, Wesley, Daniel, and Stella. I keep trying to talk to them at the same time a reporter from The Boston Globe is interviewing them. I don't care - I'm getting my pictures!

10:53am I listen in as MTV, Bravo, and E! interview several designers. Everybody seems to think that Leanne has the competition in the bag.

10:58am They're about to close the runway and everybody has to head back into the lobby but before I'm out, I catch up with season 4 finalists Rami Kashou and Chris March. Season 1 winner Jay McCarroll grabs a picture with me too and remembers our fun photo shoot together in the lobby after last season's runway show.

11:04am There's commotion in front of me as I walk into the lobby. I look up and Tim Gunn is standing right in front of me! I ask him to take a picture with me and he happily agrees. He's extremely nice and hangs around for at least 20 minutes, talking to reporters and fans alike.

11:12am Grab pictures with All My Children's Rebecca Budig, who's there covering Fashion Week for SoapNet as well as season 3 designer Malan Breton and season 2 designer Nick Verreos.

11:15am Spot season 5 designer Keith networking with season 2 finalist Santino Rice. I fight off the urge to ask him for his Tim Gunn impression but grab a picture with Keith. MInutes later, I spot season 5 designer Kelli in the crowd and take a pic with her as well.

11:23am There's talk of Ralph Lauren being there but I'm too tired to look for him, the next runway show is about to get underway, and the Project Runway crowd is starting to thin. My day at Bryant Park is done, complete with celebrity run-ins, pictures, and interviews. Season 5 finale: Success!

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer