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Project Runway season premiere recap: Sustain-a-BULL

Timothy Westbrook steals the premiere with his questionable “sustainability” philosophies. Plus: a new twist that means more Tim Gunn

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Project Runway 12 Timothy Westbrook

Project Runway

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

As we open this season of Project Runway on a quiet airfield, we’re treated to a barrage of predictable first-episode-of-a-reality-competition posturing from the new crop of designers, the usual “People will love me or hate me,” “It’s not my fault if people are intimidated by me,” “I’m definitely going to rub people the wrong way,” “I’m not a team player,” etc. By now, we all know what this translates to: “I’M INCREDIBLY INSECURE!!!!” Also, don’t you want people to vote for you for fan favorite? Well, it turns out Project Runway fans like to reward bitchiness, because…

Heidi and Tim gathered the 15 designers on the landing strip to tell them that Kate from season 11 would be returning, back by popular demand! A lot of the others are unhappy about this turn of events because Kate is a “total bitch.” Another development: A sign language interpreter will be on hand because one of the contestants, Justin LeBlanc, is deaf. (I’m really excited about this interpreter. I hope she becomes an integral part of the season, like Marlee Matlin’s interpreter Jack Jason, who was the indisputable breakout star of Celebrity Apprentice). Justin explained that some people think he’s foreign because of the way he talks, but I thought he was foreign because of his Angela’s Ashes wardrobe.

Suddenly, the drone of planes sounded overhead, and skydivers rained from the sky. Timothy exclaimed, “Look, toy soldiers! No, they’re puppies! Oh, they’re people!” It felt like a desperate attempt to come across cute, and it kind of worked. One of the parachutes swiped a jumpy Heidi in the face. I thought maybe the contestants would have to design a dress while strapped to a plane — ANTM probably already did it — but instead, they were tasked with fashioning an outfit using the grass-stained parachutes as part of this season’s Unconventional Materials challenge. I’m sorry, but that’s not unconventional enough for me. What happened to making a corset out of dog biscuits? Parachutes are made of undesirable fabric, but they’re still fabric-y.

But it posed a daunting enough task to intimidate tatted bad-ass Helen, who claimed she could deal with blood and s— and snakes and feces, but parachutes freak her out. As they sprinted toward the color parachute of their desires, Timothy full-on body-slammed Kate to the ground, or at least that’s what it looked like. Is the sweet little-boy act really an act? Time will tell.

NEXT: Timothy brings an inconvenient truth …