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Project Runway recap: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

One contestant’s concept gets the best of her as they tackle designs inspired by the elements

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Project Runway Amy
Lifetime Television

Project Runway

TV Show
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen
Current Status:
In Season

Project Runway has never given me nightmares before, but that may change after last night’s episode. And I’m not even talking about Ben’s outfit, which incorporated one of my all-time biggest fears. (Thanks a lot, Jaws.) No, I’m talking about that black thing of Amy’s that is now haunting my thoughts like only a Sasquatch bosom could. Talk about your Bearded Ladies.

Actually, the whole episode felt kinda off, what with the inevitable Garnier Fructis Let’s- Pretend-Hair-is-Anywhere-Near-as-Important-as-the-Clothes challenge failing to yield more than one memorable garment. That and the fact that there was no mystery whatsoever as to who was going home.

To kick things off, the designers sashayed on over to the Atlas roof, where Tim and Garnier hairdo-maker Philip Carreon told them that they’d be designing looks inspired not by a giant bottle of Garnier Fructis hair gel — hey, don’t laugh; it’s totally gonna happen someday on this brand-happy show — but by one of the four natural elements: earth, air, water, and fire.

It was shortly after the trip to Mood that a sketch began to appear as to who’d be pulling a Michael Phelps and who’d be treading water in iron sneakers. In the former category, Jonathan had me at ”enveloped in a swirl of uncontrollable laughter.” Seriously — laughter! As air! And what is the physical evidence of laughter but gobs of happy, hilarious air?

In the latter category, I give you Ben, who thought a woman’s suit evocative of a killer sea creature would be a cool idea. Yeah. Yet the shark design alone wasn’t what turned Ben into a moving target. Nay, it was his entire hour-long arc, which might as well have unfolded to John Williams’ Jaws score. First he tells us he’s tired of going unnoticed by the judges. (DUUUUUUUUHN-nuhn…) Then he shares his strange design concept. (DUHN-nuhn…) Then we get a sense, via Mila, that said design, in addition to being a tad — to quote Frau Klum — bizz-ah!, has high that-crotch-is-insane! potential. (Duhn-duhn! Duhn-Duhn!) And finally he makes the teary phone call to his husband (Duhn-duhn! Duhn-Duhn! Duhn-duhn! Duhn-Duhn!) and reveals how difficult it’s been being away from home all these weeks. (Duhn-duhn! Duhn-Duhn! Duhn-duhn! Duhn-Duhn! Duhn-duhn! Duhn-Duhn! AAAAAHHHHH!) It was the Runway equivalent of the underwater, legs-dangling-innocently-by-the-raft shot.

If all of that supremely unsubtle foreshadowing wasn’t enough to convince you that Ben Chmura was about to become chum in his own homage to Shark Week, there was also this telling moment, courtesy of Tim Gunn. Standing in the doorway, Tim called out to every designer that it was time to head to the runway — everyone except Sharky. ”Oh! Ben!” a surprised Tim exclaimed when the guy suddenly appeared in front of him. Even more revealing was Ben’s response: ”Yeah, I’m still here.” Sad when you have to remind your mentor that you’re still on the show.

NEXT: Jonathan steals the win