'Project Runway' exit Q&A: Blayne Walsh
The tan-licious designer talks about his future plans, his odd friendship with Stella, and what went wrong in his final episode. Then, see what Terri Stevens, also eliminated on yesterday's show, had to say
Putting together an outfit that judge Michael Kors said made the model look like she was ”pooping fabric,” Blayne Walsh bit the dust last night on Project Runway. What’s on his mind now that he’s freed from the grasp of Heidi and Tim? Keep on reading to find out about who he thinks could win the whole show, his weird friendship with former contestant Stella, and his future plans.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First, let’s talk a little bit about last night. Did you expect that you would go home? I mean, you probably never think that, but what do you think went wrong?
BLAYNE WALSH: I wasn’t expecting to go home. It was a thing where we knew there were two people going home, so we wouldn’t be super safe. But I didn’t think that based off the challenge criteria, I was gonna go versus Suede, because his critique was ”You didn’t meet the challenge. It was boring.” And then mine was like ”Too over-the-top,” you know? I met the challenge, and I went above it, but I’m still going home? I think that was the biggest thing. That was shocking for me. But, you know, in the end, you can’t really do anything about it.
If you did have the chance to go back, would you change what you did?
I would have stayed with what I did but maybe used a different material for the nude part. That was all spandex, and it was definitely hard to work with, so I would’ve chosen a woven material and just kind of done a little bit different. I mean, my critique with the judges, they were like, ”It looks a bit off balance.” That’s kind of ironic because that was my zodiac sign [Libra]. I loved my design. I thought it really captured the challenge. So I don’t have any regrets, but it was just different. It was a difficult challenge.
Yeah, the zodiac thing seems like a hard thing to use as inspiration. Do you think it would have been easier if they would have just told you to make something avant-garde?
Well, I think, maybe 50 percent. Because for them to say just, ”Do avant-garde,” you’re like, ”Well, where do I go from there?” But it’s hard because as an artist, it’s in your head and it’s hard to put that point across.
NEXT PAGE: Stella!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you got paired with Stella, you seemed pretty excited. It seems like you two have a strong connection. What’s behind that?
BLAYNE WALSH: I adore Stella. She is incredible. And I actually really wanted to be paired with her, so the fact that I was, I was stoked. And we just work really well together, even though we’re polar opposites. We’re so much alike, and we just click so well with our personalities. And she was so amazing, just how much she helped me and the amount of work she put into it and just her support and everything. So I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this challenge.
What do you think about the way the producers portrayed you on the show? We see this guy talking about tanning all the time and saying, ”Holla atcha boy!” and that sort of thing. Is there something else to Blayne, or is that an accurate depiction?
No, I mean, that’s a good depiction, but they’re showing 45 minutes of 24 hours, so it’s kind of a hyper-view of what we’re doing. They’re not going to air us quiet and focused and stuff. You wouldn’t have a good show. I mean, I’m definitely a dramatic person, and fun and crazy, but I don’t take myself too seriously.
Did some of the other designers take themselves too seriously?
Yeah, like, Suede — in his interview, he’s all crazy, but I would never hear from him in the workroom. Like, I didn’t even know he was in there. There was definitely a side of the room that was a lot louder, a lot more fun, and them enjoying themselves, versus the others — once they got the challenges, they focus and they don’t talk.
Did you find Kenley annoying? I’ve been interviewing the designers every week, and some of them have said that she was kind of a pain to deal with. What’s your take on that?
Um, I like Kenley. You know, loud people deal with loud people? It was actually a sigh of relief, you know, because she’s always laughing but focused, and she has a great personality. So I personally enjoyed having her in the workroom because it just made everything that much more fun and lighthearted and we clicked really well. So I don’t have a problem with Kenley. I adore her.
If you had to make a prediction, who do you think is going to win?
Um, I can tell you who I like. I really like Leanne. I think she’s a brilliant designer, and getting to know her just over the time we were together, she’s so kindhearted, she’s so real, she’s not trying to be anything that she’s not, and I just really think she’s going to go far. Also, Jerell. We really made a connection, and he’s an incredible designer, so I think they have a really good chance at going far.
NEXT PAGE: ”It’s very vulnerable to be standing up there.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Were you surprised that Terri went home with you last night too? I was really shocked; I thought she was going to be one of the ones who made it to Bryant Park.
BLAYNE WALSH: Yeah, to be honest, you don’t know what to expect on the show, because you’re getting thrown different things and you don’t know how the judges are feeling that day. I didn’t expect Terri to go home. Once you make your garment and you’re on the judging block, that’s all that’s there. Everything is up to them now. So it’s a very weird process. It’s very vulnerable to just be standing up there and getting arrows flung at you, so you have to kind of keep your head up high and be confident, and even though you’re eliminated, that doesn’t mean that someone’s better than you or you suck as a designer. It wasn’t your challenge.
Tell me, where are we going to find you, going forward?
Well, I do a lot of menswear; that’s what I want to focus on. And I can do women’s wear, but I looove menswear.
What do you mean by menswear? Dressy, casual, what?
Oh, no, very…Well, you know my style on the show? Very urban and bright colored and fun, and I really want to introduce that to menswear and America and say, like, ”Listen, this is okay to do and be confident.” So I’m working on a lot of stuff, and I have a couple shows coming up. People can go on my MySpace and be more informed and stuff like that. But yeah, I have some fun stuff going around, and I’m doing a lot of promoting. So, as much of a designer as I am, I’m also a socialite, so I’m definitely out and about. I’m meeting people. I’m going to a lot of clubs and stuff, doing a lot of club appearances, and just kind of hanging out and meeting people. I definitely want to remain approachable as a designer and not like, this TV person and ”I can’t go up to him.” I have a lot of stuff coming up, so people need to watch out.
One last question: Are people coming up to you in the street now and going, ”Holla atcha boy?”
Oh yeah, it’s nonstop. [Laughs.] All the time.
Do you love it?
Yeah, I do love it. I love people, and people are really respectful and encouraging and supportive, and I’m thankful, I’m blessed for that.
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