I wouldn't call this week's episode of Project Runway
depressing but ... who am I kidding, it was as depressing as all get-out! It was like Dr. Phil and Oprah were the writers on this one and I didn't appreciate it one bit. Yes, there was a startling and emotional moment but that didn't save this one from the fast forward finger.
When the designers arrived in the workroom this week, it was obvious that someone had been telling tales behind their backs. Each of the computers was set up to display a montage of photos from their childhood. This, of course, led to an outpouring of stories about encouraging moms
and hardworking dads and divorce and estrangement and shame and then the
tears began to flow. Mine, and theirs.
They each had to design a fabric based on an important moment from their life and Mondo had them all beat. He drew out a fat plus sign and filled around it with beautiful purple ink. It was bright and cheery and then we find out that it represented him being HIV Positive, something he's lived with for ten years but has never admitted to his family. Now, you have to realize that his direct to camera interview was recorded after he decided to tell his story in front of the judges and frankly, I'm surprised they didn't just hold on to it until the end to stun us all. He certainly stunned the judges and his fellow designers and I imagine guest judge Rachel Roy felt a little mortified.
During the judging segment, Roy took Mondo to task for not fulfilling the challenge requirement because his design was too perfect and life isn't perfect. Yeah? Think again, lady.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Way back before the runway, the designers got a second kick in the gut when Tim opened the doors to reveal their moms. (Except for Christopher who got his life partner instead and Michael got to see his son.) More crying, more stories, more of me walking out of the room to get ice cream. It's not that I'm hard-hearted, quite the opposite. I tear up at diaper commercials, I can't handle it. I sob, then I can't breathe, then my husband insists on saying, 'what's wrong' over and over again. No. It's too much.
At some point, the designers got back to designing but it was pretty anticlimactical after that. Gretchen had a comment about what everyone was doing and poor Andy was lost. He never recovered from the visit and ended up turning out a garment that didn't reflect him or his talent.
I thought I was safe, but then Tim came into the workroom for his rounds and as he turned to go he choked up so badly he couldn't speak. He was red in the face and practically trembling in an effort to hold back the tears. I'm thinking he was wise to Mondo, maybe something happened that was cut? But again, I was reaching for the tissue box.
We'll take a closer look at the designs in my runway recap, but for now let's cut to the chase.
The judges weren't really excited about anyone's work. Mondo, Gretchen and April made the top three and Mondo took home another win. You could say it was the emotion talking but he deserved it on a creative level as well.
Christopher and Michael escaped with a stern warning from the judges and that left Andy and Valerie in danger. Andy was a complete miss but that's unusual for him. The final pin in Valerie's cushion was the fact that her design was almost exactly the same as the one she did in the party store challenge.
It's a little hard to see in the picture, but the top of the new outfit (left) has a sheer fabric down the middle that gives it the same shape as the top on the older outfit. The skirt on the new dress is made of layers of fabric folded napkin style, on the right, layers of actual folded napkins.
Valerie was cut loose, but in keeping with the theme of the night, she had touching, parting words for each of the remaining contestants. Now I must go watch the Big Bang Theory
over and over in order to cheer myself up.What did you think of this week's episode? Too much emotion or a nice, but tearful, change of pace?Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke / Lifetime Television