Speaking of crap, let us now turn to Elisa Jimenez, whose body-hugging turquoise ”mythical gown,” with a schizophrenic jumble of a train (wreck), inspired Heidi to remark, ”Her model looked like she was pooing fabric.” It didn’t take long to determine that Elisa will be this season’s resident kook — a yoga-practicing, marionette-making ”multimedia artist” who rubs silk charmeuse on the ground to ”imbue it with a natural element” (translation: she smears it with grass stains). She is, in Christian’s words, ”a rain-goddess woman,” the kind of gal who’ll gleefully hack her material to shreds — and then sew herself into it. The look of confusion and horror on Nina Garcia’s face as Elisa blah-blahed on the runway about her vision was almost as priceless as Jimenez’s nutty explanation itself: ”I wanted something that would be sylph-like, you know, aerial, water, air….Going for, like, a haiku of a cut — just very simple, but beautiful, like schllootuk! Then this cascade of, like, fwa! coming out the back.” (Seriously, water sound effects and ”a haiku of a cut”?) This after her model barely made it down the runway without falling on her ass. ”I don’t know anyone in their right mind who would wear the dress the way it is,” remarked guest judge Monique Lhuillier. Well, duh!
Apparently, though, that wasn’t enough to earn Elisa Heidi’s auf Wiedersehen. If we’ve learned anything from three seasons of PR, wackiness, especially in the early stages of the competition, isn’t necessarily fatal. On the contrary, it makes for great TV. (I give you: Santino Rice!) But dull and poorly constructed? That’s the death knell. And so it was mousy Simone LeBlanc who got the boot for her outfit, a forgettable, sloppily sewn dress and jacket ensemble so mismatched that Michael Kors described it as ”dressing in the dark.” Oh, Mr. Perma-Tan! How I’ve missed your ability to deliver a critique with that deliciously disdainful snarl!
What I haven’t missed is the overuse of ”Make it work!” I’ll always be a Tim Gunn fan, but it’s time to send that line to the cemetery of retired catchphrases. Not that Tim himself abused the line in this episode. It was all the work of the blackboard-and-chalk-happy contestants.
And with that, I’ll turn it over to you, TV Watchers. Do you agree with the judges’ decision? Who do you have your eye on this season? Are you looking forward to more of the Rain Goddess’ pronouncements from outer space? (I am!) And what’s with the ominous-sounding ”discussion” that Tim Gunn and Jack Mackenroth were having in the previews for upcoming episodes? Oh, the drama that awaits us!
See why Simone LeBlanc feels she ”definitely should have stayed” past episode 1 of Project Runway in her EW.com Exit Q&A.