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Why must designers and singers always "stretch"?

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Rami_l

Rami_lDuring this week’s Project Runway Great Drape Debate — was Rami wrong to design yet another Grecian dress for the judges? — I resurrected an internal debate of my own. Should contestants on talent-based reality series be forced to do something that in no way represents what she or he will do in real life, post-show? I haven’t looked at the photos from last week’s Project Runway finale fashion show in Bryant Park because I don’t want the spoilers, but it’d be a shame if Rami designed his entire collection — an opportunity to establish his identity in the industry — without his signature look just to make Nina Garcia happy. Before you slap me, know that I, too, was bored by Rami’s dress this week. I just think there had to have been a way for him to stay in the Greek and Roman gallery and still wow the panel like he did with his first Runway dress (pictured, left).

Of course, I get that shows need drama for good TV, and most often, that involves pushing people outside their comfort zone. But sometimes it seems wrong to force them there, then turn around and say, “You suck.” It bothers me infinitely more on American Idol, when I have to sit through a rocker singing a standard or a country song poorly, and then listen to Simon and co. say that it wasn’t his best night. Really? You could argue that true artists find a way to make any genre their own, and I can buy that. But these are not established artists we’re seeing. Occasionally, couldn’t they have the chance to perfect something, instead of being forced to try everything? What do you think?