Some of this season’s designers on Project Runway have really been struggling with their own vision versus what’s expected of them from the judges. Maybe there’s a way the designers can channel their own creativity that will please everyone. And this week’s paintball challenge seems like the perfect place to start.

Guns Out

Heidi and Tim greet the designers on the runway in their white jumpsuits with their paintball guns. And Heidi has something else too: The dreaded button bag.

Since Blake won the last challenge he gets to be a team captain and he gets to pick first. Team Blake ends up being all men plus Merline.

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Candice is the captain of the second team and her first choice is Amanda, despite the fact that Amanda has been on the bottom for three weeks in a row and Candice has already won a challenge with Ashley. Poor Ashley is bummed when Candice doesn’t pick her first. She’s even more bummed when she’s the last to be picked overall. Heidi mentions how surprising this is considering Ashley is such a strong designer with two wins under her belt.

The two teams go with Tim to the paintball range where they have to play Capture the Fabric. The Blue Team (the men and Merline) have to defend their fabric with paintball guns and grenades while the Red Team tries to steal it. Then they swap so both teams have time on offense and defense.

Both the teams have fun with it, except Blake, who refuses to participate and spends the whole challenge hiding so he doesn’t get shot. Edmond regrets not picking Ashley for his team when he sees how good she is with the gun.

Tim tells them that the fabric they’ll be using for this challenge isn’t the fabric they just captured, but the white jumpsuits that they’re wearing. They can use the other fabric, but not as the base of their design. They’ll also have access to paintballs and paint grenades to dye their fabric. Each team of six will be responsible for six looks that make up a cohesive collection.

Blue Team

The Blue Team gets off to a great start. From the moment they sit down and conference, they agree to go with Swapnil’s idea of making a collection made of designs inspired by 1950s glamour. Edmond comes up with the idea to use the jumpsuits inside-out for a better texture.

Jake works on creating a similar textile that they can all use for their own individual looks. He’s wants to make a Jackson Pollock inspired look that takes the paint to a more high-fashion level.

Merline is working on a great coat, Joseph is making a cropped jacket, and Swapnil is making a layered top with a box pleat skirt. Joseph loves their blue and yellow color palette. They all know they’re working well together and Tim gives them nothing but positive feedback for his critique.

The only real struggle they have is the monochromatic nature of their looks. They try to solve that by hand painting designs on their fabric but then they have to wait for it to dry before sewing, which becomes a problem as they run shorter on time.

Red Team

On the other hand, the Red Team is a hot mess. No one has a clear idea of what their overall concept is and someone suggests that they just paint their fabric today and work on their ideas for their silhouettes tomorrow. Ashley objects to that and thinks they need to have a plan, but she’s not comfortable taking a leadership position because she was the last one picked.

The next day, they realize that all of their painted fabric has way too much color and no one wants to use it. The only problem is they don’t have any other white fabric left because they painted it all. Ashley continues to have a problem, (with both the lack of organization and her own attitude), but she doesn’t offer any solutions.

Everyone is creating their own individual look and nothing looks like it belongs in the same collection. Tim says they should all be scared because the only thing their looks have in common is that they look like an Easter egg festival.

The ladies try to regroup and come up with a theme to their collection. They decide to use the purple supplemental fabric to try and tie everything together.

Amanda is mad because she feels like she has more to prove to the judges than the other members of her team and she feels like the rest of them are dragging her down. Amanda is really not so great at taking responsibility for her own issues, it seems. She even snaps at Laurie for not giving her her scissors while she’s using them. She accuses Laurie of not being a team player, which is ridiculous coming from Amanda.

Before the runway, Laurie tells Ashley that the other girls are planning on throwing Ashley under the bus if they’re on the bottom. Ashley’s upset, but she was already getting those kind of vibes from them. She’s not surprised that they’ve got each others’ backs because they’re a tight clique, but she doesn’t think that she deserves to go home.

Runway Rivals

Joining Heidi, Nina and Zac on the judging panel tonight are “fashion expert” Kelly Osbourne and clothing designer and artist, Lisa Perry. There will be a winning team and a losing team for this challenge. Someone from the winning team will be the winner and one person from the losing team will be out.

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Winners: Blue Team

Zac thinks that they really stepped it up and it’s so clear that they worked well together. Heidi likes how they created their own textiles. She especially likes Edmond’s ball gown and Swapnil’s dress. Nina thinks they all look sophisticated and polished. Lisa thinks someone could wear Edmond’s gown on the red carpet and Kelly says she’d like to be the one who wears it.

Losers: Red Team

Candice gives her planned speech about how they were designing for a woman in San Francisco. But Laurie calls her out, saying that was never the vision for their team because they never had a clear vision.

Ashley says her confidence was shaken after being chosen because she felt like it was a popularity contest. Laurie agrees and sticks up for Ashley. She says that there were too many voices talking over each other and not a cohesive plan.

Nina says that the collection is joyless. She especially hates Kelly’s harness top, saying it looks like a mistake. She also thinks Amanda’s dress looks like amateur maternity wear (that’s not even the first time she’s gotten that critique). Kelly Osbourne says Laurie’s look is not original and Ashley’s skirt looks like an afterthought.

Then things really hit the fan when Heidi asks who should be the one sent home. Kelly, Lindsey and Amanda all say Ashley, which is no surprise. Kelly Osbourne scolds them for making this a “bitch fest” and not taking responsibility for their own part in this mess. That’s enough of a warning for Candice to get off the “blame Ashley” train. She says that Laurie’s is her least favorite look, and Laurie and Ashley both say Amanda.

Ashley gets emotional backstage. Surprisingly, Blake is the one who stands up for her. He says that they were mean girls and that’s why they lost.


Edmond is the winner of the challenge, picking up his second win for yet another gown. The man knows his gowns.

Amanda and Candice are in the bottom two. Amanda runs out of chances and she’s sent home. Considering their track records, it’s the obvious choice, even though Candice’s overworked purple dress might have actually been worse. But Amanda goes out with a smile on her face. (Just kidding, she has a terrible attitude and blames her team for her elimination.)

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV