Project Runway recap: Fit for a Queen
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When do you know you’re witnessing a good episode of Project Runway? When RuPaul is there, quoting Meryl Streep in an Aussie accent. ”Did a dingo eat your baby too, mate? You’ve got a lot of excuses,” the guest judge said to Keith after the designer tried defending his shredded mess of a garment on the runway. Love it! And I think I might just try that retort on my husband the next time he attempts to explain why he has failed, yet again, to place his dirty socks in the hamper, not near it. Whatis it with men and dirty socks?!
Anyway, after a number of weeks of so-so episodes, Bravo finally delivers one that’s fun enough to remind us of the good ole days ofRunway, before designers starting aping past contestants and arriving equipped with their own ready-made TV personas. The lesson learned this week? It takes a bevy of royal ladies in sequins, boas, and platform boots to amp up the excitement at this stage of the game. I disagree with you, Stella. These broads are classy!
After our beloved Chris March made a triumphant, sparkly return to the Parsons set — sporting Viking horns and gigantic, disco ball boobs, no less — the drag queens introduced themselves to the designers. They all had a snappy, quippy line to offer. When Sweetie proclaimed that she was known as ”New York City’s big-titted, honky soul mama,” the camera cut straight to a smiling Jerell. (Happenstance? I think not.) Also, Suede’s ”head of ocean”? Is that what that ridiculous stripe of blue fauxhawk is supposed to be?
Once the designers had each chosen their d.q., they headed back to the sewing room, where Tim encouraged them to ”be theatrical and over the top” when creating a look for their larger-than-life ladies. Terri seemed happier than anyone, explaining that this was the challenge she’d been waiting for. She loves her some drag queens — and as she later informed us, she also loves a ”wardrobe malfunction.” While Stella got busy with — what else? — her grommets, Daniel expounded on his high-end tastes (blah, blah, blah), and pretty much everyone bitched about Keith’s predilection for swatches.
In his corner, Joe looked about as comfortable as a cat in a bubble bath. He admitted he felt completely out of his element, adding that designing for drag queens reminded him of ”making a Halloween costume for my daughters.” This, of course, was meant to get us thinking that he was in t-r-o-u-b-l-e. But by the time he was strutting around the work room wearing Varla Jean Merman’s bountiful bra, it was clear this season’s R.S.G. (that’s Resident Straight Guy) was capable of getting his fabulous on. Ditto Korto, who, despite claiming she too was out of her comfort zone, managed to bust out what we now recognize as her characteristic magic at the sewing machine. Then there’s Blayne. In what has to be his most blatant Christian rip-off yet, he pranced around the room, proclaiming that if he were a drag queen he’d be ”Neonlicious.” Echoes of Ferocia Coutura much? To quote Leanne: ”barflicious.”
NEXT: Tim Gunn delivers the line we’ve been waiting for all season.
Eventually, Chris March and Tim Gunn made the rounds, commenting on the designers’ works in progress, and Tim finally delivered the line we’ve been waiting for all season. ”It looks like a pterodactyl out of a gay Jurassic Park,” he said while studying Blayne’s winged, pink and turquoise number. As my hamper-challenged husband choked on his pasta, I sat next to him on the couch, mulling over the reality that in this challenge, such a critique was, in fact, a positive one. Another bullet dodged by the human glow stick.
Suede, meanwhile, was still smarting from Hedda Lettuce’s remark that he had opted for gloves over sleeves out of laziness. (Terri: ”Oh no she dih-unt!”) But Tim and Chris had his back, encouraging him not to take any sass from the gal. As with much of the drama that gets drummed up onRunway, this incident amounted to much ado about nothing. Suede and Hedda made up at the sewing machines, and though the outfit was rather reminiscent of Godzilla, come runway time, Hedda worked it like a pro. Suede managed to make it into the safety zone once again, alongside Kenley, Leanne, Stella, and Blayne.
It’s my belief that at least part of what helped Suede pull through last night was that he heeded Tim’s advice. As we’ve learned time and again over the past four seasons, it always pays to listen to the mighty Gunn. Yet Daniel cared nothing for Tim’s warning about his uninspired yellow tie-dyed dress, which was about as outrageous as Banana Republic’s fall collection. Just as he had in the Olympics challenge, Daniel ignored the parameters of the task in favor of his own creative instincts — a major Project Runwayno-no. Yet, when the judges tried to convey their disappointment to him, he got defensive, resorting to his stand-by ”I’ve got high-end tastes” argument. The over-the-top drag queen look is simply too ”gaudy,” he said. Ooooh. Watch it, Daniel. If looks could kill, you’d be lying in a high-end coffin right now, courtesy of the razor-sharp daggers Nina threw your way. Instead, you merely got the boot. But hey, at least your auf’ing brought you closer to Wesley, right?
NEXT: ”Keith’s Wookie Onesie” gets a free pass. Barely.
Judging from a number of anti-Daniel comments posted here last week, many of you are no doubt hip-hip-hooraying that he’s gone. But last week’s winner also came dangerously close to getting the boot with his Big Bird Goes Gothic outfit, which Jerell and Blayne called ”Keith’s Wookie Onesie.” (They even provided uncanny Chewbacca sound effects that reminded me how much I want a Chewie t-shirt.) Even harsher comments awaited him on the runway, where Kors called it a ”sad chicken,” and Nina dinged him for sending out another ”messy” garment that ”looks like a puzzle.”
The judges didn’t have much kinder words for Jerell’s glittery green outfit, either. Kors likened it to something one of his aunts would wear to a bar mitzvah. Ouch. But for all the negative feedback, the panel clearly had a ball watching the d.q.’s parade up and down the runway. Not since last season’s wrestling challenge have we witnessed so many irrepressible smiles. I thought for sure they would finally give it up for Terri, whose scary samurai/geisha get-up RuPaul called a ”Gene Simmons-Diana Ross love child.” Staring covetously at Acid Betty’s footwear, Kors said, ”I think I need those boots.” The judges had equally high praise for Korto, whose fire engine red ensemble came complete with sequined flames. According to Kors, its flattering fit even gave Sweetie (a big mama if ever there was one) a ”Heidi Klum body.” Now that‘s a feat.
Alas, neither was slick enough to beat Joe’s Ann-Margret-on-the-Love Boat jumpsuit. RuPaul gave a special shout out to the strategically placed belt that hid Varla Jean’s ”candy.” (Nina loved that euphemism.) For a straight dude who claimed to know nada about drag queens (and who — ahem! — complained not too long ago that there were too many ”queens” on the show), Joe certainly proved a fast learner. I’m a big fan of Terri’s and hope she gets her due soon, but I’m down with Joe’s win. Besides, who doesn’t love pink on a redhead?
Now you. Were you thrilled to be reunited with Chris March, if only in short spurts? Did you bust a gut when one of the drag queens trilled, ”Tim, call me!” while exiting the workroom? Are you ready tobarflicious all over Blayne’s desperate attempts to become a star? And do you share my fears that Terri is becoming this season’s Rodney Dangerfield, a designer who can’t get no respect?