Someone quits, a reject returns, and the designers create clothes to throw on top of Heidi's sneakers

By Annie Barrett
Updated August 26, 2011 at 05:30 AM EDT
Project Runway
Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

You could tell something was off about Cecilia when she refused to come “look at the presents.” Or wear any clothes. Or get out of bed. Or even open her eyes! I was so relieved she quit within the first few minutes of this week’s episode, because by that point the whole Cecilia production was reeeeeeeeally painful to watch. Poor girl seemed to be in constant crisis — not really about whether to remain in the competition, but about whether she’d like to spend the next few seconds awake.

The only bright spot in the whole Cecilia tragedy — aside from the triumphant return of Josh Christensen — was that when she claimed she “tried her best to get out” of the competition during last week’s Nina Garcia challenge, Heidi thought maybe she just didn’t want to run a lap. Oh, and I also giggled when Bert asked Cecilia to clarify: “You’re not gonna stay in the comp?”


The contestants — sickened that they had become the answer to one of life’s eternal questions, “Who wears short shorts?” — gathered ’round Tim and his tie-dyed monster friend at the center of an indoor track to kick off a 90-minute-long commercial for New Balance. In order to determine the four team captains, these suckers would have to run. The task proved too much to handle for Olivier, who crumbled to the clay mid-lap as if this were a speed-skating or hurdles race instead of a wimpy turkey trot for fashion designers.

From the way Heidi delighted in inspecting Olivier’s skinned knees, I’m guessing she was the one responsible for the tragic (and hilarious, I’M SORRY) slow-motion replay of Olivier’s crash. But since she jumped in there and ran the last few meters with Bert in decidedly non-New Balance heels, Heidi can pretty much do whatever she wants. She then continued to torture Olivier about the fall — and his subsequent panic attack — later, warning Kimberly “We don’t want the paramedics to have to come again” after Kimberly executed a very impressive high kick on her way over to team captain Bryce.

NEXT: Bert and Becky get iced out Despite Danielle’s valiant efforts to haul ass, the top four runners were boys. Much to Bert’s lament, Joshua, Bryce, Anthony Ryan and Viktor got to pick teams junior high volleyball-style in order to attack this week’s athletic challenge: Create three looks incorporating leather and suede for Heidi’s New Balance sneakers.

Right away, gay Ryan Reynolds stuck to his original plan of using Becky for her sewing skills instead of her ideas and promptly shot down everything she had to say. Ruching? No. A big ‘N’ for New Balance? Oh hell no. (That one was a good call.) Leggings? NO LEGGINGS. “They are so honestly over,” said our bitchy bedazzler. Whatever, Joshua. I still wear leggings. I sometimes suspect I have a bit of a leggings problem. I will probably die while wearing leggings. So fine, maybe he’s right.

Joshua was such a tremendous beast to Becky in this episode, delivering low blows like “Your demographic is 40 to DEATH” and following them up with earnest non-truths like “That wasn’t meant as a bad thing!” Eventually, intern Becky began to cry, which led to Joshua having to compromise his entire belief system by entering the women’s restroom to pretend he cared about consoling her. I hope gay Ryan Reynolds wasn’t violated by “some sanitary things in here that are gross.” Yes I do! I’d love nothing more than to sneak a tampon into Joshua’s pile of fabric and watch him recoil as if it were an NYC subway rat.

Meanwhile, Anthony Ryan and Laura Kathleen iced out Bert, who had committed the terrible felony of having only one first name. Not that names even matter. Far be it for Bert to give a “f#@%ing hardball s#!&” what anyone’s name is. “There are some names I remember because I think they’re people worth remembering,” Bert explained after hesitantly sounding out a strange word he’d never heard before, “Anthony.”

After a Tim/Heidi visit teeming with disapproval and dread, Heidi bestowed upon the designers the great privilege of staying up ’til four o’clock in the morning. And they LOVED it!

The designers can sleep when they’re dead. And according to Joshua, that time is not too far off for poor Bert. I loved the needlessly vicious exchange between the two most contentious people in “the comp,” as Bert snarled at Joshua to “DROP DEAD” and Joshua shot back that Bert was much closer to death than he was. Bert casually replied “Death would be a blessing with you around.” Hmmm. Do I smell a bizarro version of On the Road With Austin and Santino that will surely result in murder?

NEXT: Another look at the best and worst designs JOSHUA (WINNER), ANYA, BECKY:

The judges ended up respecting Josh’s decision to ice out Becky. The look Heidi chose to sell on as part of her New Balance line was actually Anya’s maxi dress, but Joshua picked up the win, and immunity, for his leadership. That dress and the fringed vest, Heidi claimed, were “very salable.” Meanwhile, Becky’s T-shirt was about three inches too small and bore an unfortunate resemblance to a Speedo tank suit.


Viktor’s leather jacket was the judges’ favorite piece, whereas Olivier’s long skirt — as he predicted early on — was deemed “farm.” Michael Kors took this opportunity to bring up “pretzels in the bier garden,” which is always appreciated. Guest judge Erin Wasson, a model/designer whose “scary face” is so pretty that it ends up being EVEN SCARIER because aggggggggggggggghhhh!, liked the way Josh Christensen’s T-shirt made his model look like she was wearing a backpack. This is exactly what I hated about Josh Christensen’s T-shirt.

NEXT: The bottom two teams


Bryce’s dress (left) was my favorite look this week. “The shape is great on a million girls,” claimed Michael Kors, so if you are a girl, remember: gaping yet structured short sleeves plus a 10-inch hemline and you’re good to go. Aside from the out-of-place teal tank, I liked this collection best all-around. It might have just been because the sneakers they got to use were black…and therefore looked the least like sneakers. The black knit lining Danielle used for her chiffon top horrified Michael. “Danielle is a bit of a problem,” summed up Nina. “Very ambitious plans; can’t deliver.”


Anthony Ryan’s billowing yet tight shorts (center) were inexcusable. “She has a camel toe in big shorts,” Michael Kors realized. “You’ve achieved the impossible.” Oh, that poor model. I liked the way the judges “harmonized” when Michael asked her to spin around and they let out a collective, sing-songy “ohhhh” of disappointment. Surprisingly, the judges liked Bert’s look (left), which Anthony Ryan kept referring to as “cocktail waitressy,” the best. To really drive home his victory, Bert gave double fist pumps after Michael Kors, upon viewing the back of Laura’s look (right), said “Ugh, put the vest back on.”

Heidi wanted to auf Anthony Ryan for his single heinous display, but the other judges overruled her and gave Danielle the boot for sticking to the same chiffon boringness week after week. So it’s goodbye to grown-up Abigail Breslin. Check back here for our chat with Danielle later today.

Be sure to use “pop color” as a noun over the weekend, and vote for the Best ‘Runway’ Stinkface of the Night over at PopWatch.

See you next Friday!

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