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Sandra Bernhard, RuPaul, Others To Be Guest Judges On 'Project Runway'

July 14th, 2008 1:26pm EDT
Sandra BernhardBravo's highly-anticipated fifth season of the Peabody Award-winning and seven-time Emmy-nominated creative competition series "Project Runway" returns Wednesday, July 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

It's time to introduce the designers who will strut their work in front of host supermodel Heidi Klum and judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia with high hopes of avoiding the dreaded "auf Wiedersehen."

In what is sure to be the most talked-about season yet, some of the biggest names in movies, fashion, sports and music including Diane Von Furstenberg, Sandra Bernhard, Apolo Ohno, Brooke Shields, LL Cool J, RuPaul, Rachel Zoe, Cynthia Rowley and Francisco Costa will take to the panel as guest judges for season five of "Runway."

"I feel as though we set the bar higher every season," said Klum. "We've got some truly talented, innovative and deeply creative designers this year, and I think it's fair to say, the most diverse everyone from a rocker chick who mostly works with leather to a more bohemian, surfer boy and everything in between."

"Season after season the designers have amazed us," said Tim Gunn, mentor to the designers. "They have different DNA, different chemistry within each other and different views their creative aptitude is right on par but how to characterize them? That's up to the audience!"

The 16 "Project Runway" contestants will be whittled down to the finalists who will show their own line in front of an audience of fashion industry movers and shakers at New York Fashion Week. As part of the winner's prize package, an editorial feature on the winning designer will run in an issue of ELLE Magazine, the winner will walk away with a cash prize of $100,000 in seed money from TRESemm professional hair care to start their own line and will have the opportunity to sell a fashion line on Bluefly.com. Saturn will award the winning designer a brand new 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid.

Following are the 16 new "Project Runway" designers:

- Blayne, 23 - Hometown: Yakima, Wash.; Resides in Seattle, Wash.

- Daniel, 25 - Hometown: Great Barrington, Mass.; Resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.

- Emily, 27 - Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

- Jennifer, 27 - Hometown: East Syracuse, N.Y.; Resides in Pistoia, Italy

- Jerell, 28 - Hometown: Houston, Texas; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

- Jerry, 32 Hometown: Butte, Mont.; Resides in New York City

- Joe, 41 - Hometown/Resides in: Troy, Mich.

- Keith, 26 - Hometown/Resides in: Salt Lake City, Utah

- Kelli, 27 - Hometown/Resides in: Columbus, Ohio

- Kenley, 25 - Hometown: Pompano Beach, Fla.; Resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.

- Korto, 33 - Hometown: Liberia; Resides in Mabelvale, Ark.

- Leanne, 27 - Hometown: Yuta, Calif.; Resides in Portland, Ore.

- Stella, 42 Hometown: Astoria, N.Y.; Resides in New York City

- Suede, 37 - Hometown: Seven Hills, Ohio; Resides in Barryville, N.Y.

- Terri, 39 - Hometown: Chicago, Ill.; Resides in Columbus, Ohio

- Wesley, 23 Hometown: Blackstone, Mass.; Resides in New York City