This week’s Project Runway starts off with a little glimpse of the night’s upcoming drama. We see the designers backstage, presumably after a runway show, where Sandro and Ken and Helen are in a three-way battle of who can be bleeped the most. It culminates with Sandro storming off, taking down pieces of the set and production assistants in his wake.

36 Hours Earlier

Since Project Runway is now like a Tarantino movie, we don’t get to find out what actually caused all this (as Tim Gunn would say) sturm and drang right away. We’re whisked away back in time to the magical place of 36 hours earlier…

Unfortunately for Jeremy, he has some personal drama of his own. His grandmother, who he endearingly calls “gran” because he is British, passed away and he is not going to be able to leave the competition to go to the funeral. Sad face emoticon.

Tim Gunn brings the weirdly clean-shaven star of Modern Family, Jesse Tyler Ferguson to introduce the next challenge. The theme of the challenge is bow ties because JTF runs a charity called Tie the Knot that sells bow ties and the proceeds provide financial support for the marriage equality movement. The designers must incorporate at least one bow tie from Jesse’s collection in their look which they have one day to complete the task.

The conversation in the work room takes a left turn about the discussion of gay marriage. Bradon would love to be able to marry his partner of 18 years, and Sandro calls Bradon a “brouha” for correctly predicting that the challenge would be something gay the next day. Project Runway politics, everyone.

Bradon is working on weaving several different patterend bow ties into the bodice of his look. He wants to use the bow ties for the bottom too, but Tim talks him out of it, saying he can edit a little when it comes to the bow ties. He decides on a brown tweed pair of shorts and a jacket to compliment the bow tie bodice.

Dom was inspired by the equal sign of equality (her words) for her look so she decided to work with a black and white striped fabric along with several colorful striped bow ties. Tim suggests she uses her time to make all of the stripes on the panels align properly.

Sue spent more than twice the suggested budget of $200 and has basically completed two separate looks by the end of day one, and unfortunately for her, both are hideous. One is a garish red and the other is a boring black with paisley red ties draped around it like an octopus.

Sandro is getting worked up about how he can never please Zac Posen (join the club, buddy). Tim says not to worry so much about what the judges think but to just be true to himself as a designer. He also decides to call Tim, “Top Gunn” which is incredibly irritating, but Tim actually seems to like it. Maybe it makes him want to play beach volleyball with a bunch of other dudes.

Kate’s stepping out of her comfort zone to make an equestrian inspired look that includes a billowy maroon top and a sleek riding pant. Tim suggests a tuxedo stripe in the shape of a bow tie to make the pants more interesting.

Miranda is making the same look she’s made in every other challenge, except this time with hounds tooth. Tim warns her to keep it young and modern, and she translates this as cropping off the top so her model’s midriff is exposed. Good one.

Jeremy is trying to honor his gran with a red lace tuxedo top. The color is pretty, but he’s paired it with an ugly brown pant with a wide leg.

Batts, Ken, Alexandria, Alexander and Justin are barely even mentioned in this episode, except when they’re trash-talking other designers’ looks. I think it’s safe to say that these five have been floating along in the middle since the start and need to step up their games if they want more air time.

Bow Tie Standby

JTF is joining our normal judges tonight. I was kind of hoping that he grew at least a little ginger scruff from the day before but alas, no such luck. Heidi Klum and Zac Posen are there too, along with Nina Garcia and her beautiful Latina lion mane.

The judges announce the top and bottom, but before they dismiss the safe designers, they call out Helen, who has created a dress with the similar beige/brown/gray palette that landed her in the bottom a few weeks ago, but with a baby blue bow tie harness. They say that she would have surely been in the bottom this week if she didn’t have immunity and that it made them wonder if Kate was the real winner of last week’s challenge. Ouch.

But the fireworks don’t stop there. Sandro, who was deemed safe, demanded to hear a critique of his dress before he left the runway. Zac tells him the dress looked trashy, like his model had a one-night-stand and then glued her date’s tie to her dress. Sandro antagonizes him, picking a fight, and ZP does not back down. He asserts his authority and insists that none of the judges have any idea who he is as a designer.

Tempers rise back stage, as Helen is upset about the critique she got. Sandro is also worked up, not having gotten the response he apparently wanted. Helen accuses Sandro of being disrespectful to the judges and his fellow designers, and they start yelling at each other, at which point Ken steps in, sticking up for Helen, saying that it isn’t right for him to talk to her like that. He also agrees with her, saying that Sandro often crosses the line and is very inappropriate.

At this point, Sandro gives Ken the finger and storms out of the room and we’re back to the beginning of the episode. He knocks over pieces of the set, and pushes producers as he makes his escape from building. As the camera follows him onto the street, he threatens to punch the camera, and he does. Then he walks away. Yikes.

ANYWAY… back in Project Runway reality:


Dom- The judges loved the perfect fit and tailoring of the dress. They also thought it was very modern and Jesse especially loves that Dom made her model’s hair into a bow.

Bradon- Everyone loves the construction of the bodice with the weaving of the bow ties. Heidi thought it was a great use of the challenge material and Zac said it was a great mix of colors. Jesse called it a home run.

Kate- Everyone admires that she took a risk with the pants. They also thought it was a creative way to be inspired by the bow ties. Nina loves the pants, because like most women, she loves herself a good pair of pants.


Sue- Not surprisingly, the judges also noticed the “octopus” realness Sue was serving. Nina said her outfit looked alien and sloppy and Jesse said it looked like it was just a plain black jersey dressed covered in paisley kelp.

Jeremy- Poor Jeremy had to explain how his gran was the inspiration for his dress only to have it ripped to shreds. Although the judges said it was very well-made, it made his beautiful model look 40 years older than she was.

Miranda- None of the judges appreciated the bare midriff in Miranda’s look. Zac also said he was tired of seeing pencil skirts from her, and that she needs to show them that she can do more.

The judges decide that the winner is Bradon, who takes the opportunity on the runway to look straight into the camera and propose to his boyfriend, Josh. All of the judges are overcome with a case of the “awwwwwwwwwws.” As a bonus, we get to see Bradon video-chat with his BF a week later, where Josh excitedly tells him that Prop 8 has been repealed and wastes absolutely no time proposing to Bradon. So Bradon accepts and tells him that he technically beat him to the proposal, his boyfriend just didn’t know about it. All of the gay feels, you guys!

None of the designers in the bottom end up being eliminated because Sandro eliminated himself from the competition by not returning. Heidi said that even if he had returned, they wouldn’t have allowed him to continue after displaying that behavior. So Sue, Miranda or Jeremy just got a massive break.

Next week, ANOTHER team challenge and ANOTHER unconventional material challenge (some how involving hot peppers?). Something tells me that even with Sandro gone, we won’t be lacking for any drama.

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(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV