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'Project Runway' 9: Wake Me Up For The Next Team Challenge

Becky Broderick Becky Broderick
September 2nd, 2011 9:13am EDT

This week's "Project Runway" began with Anthony and Bert getting over their issues from last week and calling a truce. Bert didn't want to be a jerk anymore. Anthony didn't want to be angry anymore. Everyone just wanted to get along. Well, that's great. But someone should have told the designers that "peaceful" doesn't have to mean "boring." And boring they were. Even the designers who kept their claws at the ready seemed pretty lackluster this week. Viktor trash talked everyone's fabrics in a bid for more screen time. Yadda yadda. Laura revealed that she's never liked Becky but didn't bother to give any reasons why. *Yawn.*

Project Runway designers

When the designers gathered at the Harlem School of the Arts and Tim dropped the bomb that they would all be working with teen and tween art students, I assumed the kids would drive everyone crazy enough to create some entertaining moments. But no. The kids were all pretty nice and, aside from Viktor's chatterbox partner, none of them stood out in a good or bad way.

The challenge was to collaborate with the students to create original pieces of art, which would, in turn, inspire the designers' avant-garde runway looks. Because the judges wanted the contestants to be as ambitious as possible, they gave everyone $300 and two days to design. And at Mood, something interesting finally happened: Tim adorably chased Swatch around the aisles!

Back in the workroom, many of the designers seemed to have trouble deciding exactly what avant-garde meant. Some, like Josh C. and Olivier, didn't push their looks far enough while others, like Bert and Becky, just kept gluing bits and pieces to their designs in the hopes that they would eventually fit the bill.

For a two-day challenge, not much really happened. Most of the designers' time was spent second-guessing their looks and wrinkling their noses at their competitors' garments.

Apparently, Nina knew that this episode was going to be Dullsville, so she called off and sent Marie Claire's Zanna Roberts Rassi in her place. Kenneth Cole also joined the panel to rate the runway.

Kimberly and Anya's designs
My favorites: Kimberly and Anya's designs

After choosing who were ostensibly the Top and Bottom 3, judging got a bit confusing. While Joshua's crazy tree dress was universally loved and Josh C.'s wolf-in-hooker's clothing was universally hated, the judges didn't seem to particularly love or hate any of the remaining four looks.

When it came to the rest of the Top 3, the judges had mostly nice things to say about Anthony's "brush-stroke" dress, although Kors pointed out that the hem was unfinished and Kenneth had a problem with the garment's execution overall. Kors and Heidi could barely muster up praise for Laura's Beauty and the Beast ball gown, which made me wonder how it scored higher than Kimberly's rock 'n' roll eagle dress or Anya's...well, whatever it was that Anya made. (That sounds like an insult, but it's really not. Anya's design was crazy in a good way.)

Top 3 and Bottom 3 designs
Left side: Anthony, Joshua and Laura's designs; Right side: Bert, Olivier and Josh C.'s designs

Josh C.'s fellow bottom-dwellers were Bert and Olivier. Aside from a few top-shelf insults from Kors (Bert's outfit looked like "something a Teletubby would wear to a party"; Olivier specialized in "Valium fashion"), neither of their designs provoked any strong negative reactions from the judges. In fact, Heidi actually liked Bert's arts-and-craftsy clown jumpsuit and nearly everyone agreed that the top portion of Olivier's dress was beautifully constructed.

Even more confusing was the decision to give Anthony the challenge win, when all of the judges seemed way more jazzed about Joshua's design. Even Joshua himself looked surprised. There was definitely a "bitch, please" on the tip of his tongue just waiting to jump off.

When it came down to Olivier's snooze-dress and Josh C.'s Halloween Adventure slut-in-a-bag costume, it was no surprise that Josh's was deemed the most offensive. And so, after only being back for two weeks, Josh C. was re-auf'd.

For the next challenge, the reality TV gods are answering my prayers by making the designers work in two groups of five! What? That's WAY too many egos per group! THEY'LL ALL KILL EACH OTHER! Hooray!

Auf wiedersehen - see you next week!

Photo Credits: Barbara Nitke © 2011 Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC


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