Season 14 of Project Runway comes to a close on Thursday, and at least one person is thrilled to say goodbye. “I’m telling you — and I haven’t said this very much — I hated season 14,” Tim Gunn tells EW. “I hated it. I felt that other than a couple of designers, they weren’t working up to their potential. The whole thing was lackluster.”
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After 14 seasons, Gunn has become the face of the series — even more so than host Heidi Klum — and is beloved by fans for his frank but kind delivery of critiques. He’s known for having a warm relationship with contestants, but admits that this season is the first time he’s felt less than impressed. “I have a theory about it, which is that they just weren’t hungry,” he says. “Their audition videos from home, you know, they’re sitting by a pool, they’re taking us into their closet with all their designer clothes, and I just thought, they’re not hungry! Most of them. And I think that was largely the issue. I wasn’t at the auditions [this] season for the first time ever, and I blame myself, because I wouldn’t have put up with a lot of it.”
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In addition to the contestants, Gunn would have also liked to see the judges step up their game — an air of competition has developed between them, he says, and it impacted their ability to offer valuable feedback this cycle. “One says it’s black, the other says it’s white, and they don’t really listen and they don’t really look,” he says. “It makes me so cross and pissed off, frankly.” Here’s hoping they can make it work in the finale.