Yeah, I know... I skipped last week's episode. I was saddened by Chris's elimination. And then I had to go Christmas shopping. I'll put it up later this weekend in case anyone is dying to read it.
It’s the day after the cruel, sad elimination of Chris. Everyone seems pretty bummed out, because he was by far the most fun-loving designer of the bunch and the only antidote to Crying Ricky. Sweet P in particular seems to be hurting over Chris’s departure.
Jack is hurting too, but in a different way. Something strange is happening to his upper lip – it seems to be swelling, like the lips of a C-list starlet after a bad collagen injection. But he troops off to Parson’s with the remaining designers, to find out what horrors await them in the next challenge.
Heidi comes out on the runway carrying The Velvet Bag ™ and wearing a hideous hound’s-tooth skirt that makes her hips look a mile wide. (I saw a jacket at Macy’s today that looked a lot like that, in the Michael Kors section. Hmm…)
It’s model-picking time. But wait! Who are these women filing onto the runway wearing ill-fitting clothes? Mothers and sisters again? Been there done that. The designers are shocked and awed to find out that these women have recently lost weight – a LOT of weight. The amounts range from 48 to 160 lbs. Heidi presents the challenge – take the women’s favorite large clothing and remake it into an everyday outfit for their new, slimmer figures.
Some of the designers embrace the challenge and some start to freak - especially Steven, who by luck of the button, has to rework a wedding dress (which he refers to as “death on a stick” – I wonder what that looks like? I couldn’t find death on a stick, but I found some in a tin.)
After everyone has been assigned to their new models, they head back to the workroom to talk to Tim. There they find a touching note left by Chris, and Sweet P gets weepy again. Dry it up, Sweet P, your clients are coming in! The designers get a half-hour to talk with the ladies. Christian, who was not looking forward to this challenge at all (it’s anti-fierce I guess) gets the client who hates: pattern, texture, skirts, dresses, and anything that’s not black or denim. Steven is completely dumbfounded by the wedding dress. (I understand the sentimental attachment to wedding dresses – I loved mine but it’s been in my mother’s closet since my honeymoon – you're telling us that this lady had no other item of clothing that she liked??)
The designers get a whopping $10 to spend at Mood. Steven walks around the entire trip looking like he’s about to puke. Jillian decides that she’s not even going to use the shirt the lady brought, but she’ll get the same color fabric and make a beautiful dress that will make the judges forget that she didn’t actually follow the challenge.
Back at Parson’s, poor Jack’s face is getting worse. His upper lip is now roughly the size of a hot dog, so he calls his doctor. He assures us that while he is HIV-positive, the skin infection he’s gotten has nothing to do with it and can happen to anybody. I think it looks painful, and also highly embarrassing, to have your lip swell up like that on national television. After talking with Tim, Jack makes the agonizing but prudent decision to leave the show and go to the hospital. Everyone likes Jack (except Ricky, because Jack took his model last week) and the news that he is sick and also leaving hits everyone hard. Pretty much everybody cries but Ricky, which is a new development for him. (I am also wondering how Christian is going to make it into the workroom every day without Jack to carry him.)
The mood in the room has switched from panicked to bummed and people are having a hard time concentrating on their sewing. Ricky tries to lighten things up by trying on his client’s jeans inside out and slipping on a kicky pair of gold heels. Tim comes back in after a while for another announcement, and the designers are wondering what other horrible bombshell he’s going to drop on them.
But… SURPRISE! Who should walk through the door but CHRIS! (Woo hoo! I’ve got goosebumps!) The lights on people’s faces could illuminate Times Square. Tim says that they’ve asked Chris back to “keep the level of competition high” which translates to “next week is a group challenge and we need an even number” but I don’t care because CHRIS IS BACK! (Don’t mess up, Chris. I don’t know if I can survive you being auf’d two weeks in a row.) Since he’s getting such a late start, the producers are kindly letting him stay up all night to catch up. Chris looks completely thrilled. Not.
The clients come back in to see how things are going. Luckily, the lady Chris will be working for has another favorite outfit that he can cut up. (I’m assuming he also gets to go to Mood at some point but they don’t show that.) Christian is making a short-sleeved version of the same jacket he’s made all season. His client must have made an off-camera comment about the way the pants fit because Christian quips “I can’t make you have an ass!” (Actually he can - she’s got him, doesn't she?) Victorya’s dress is looking weird – one long sleeve and one no sleeve. I’m hoping that’s not the design and she’s only had time to put on one of them, because that looks really crappy.
Tim comes around to check things out after the clients leave again. He actually uses the word fierce (guess who he’s talking to). He’s concerned about Elisa because it looks like she’s making a maternity outfit. Steven only has a sketch to show Tim, and he’s hardly using any of the wedding dress in his design. Tim says he’s “courageous” and I can’t tell if he really means that or if he’s being Tim-nice.
Oh no! Chris is heading down the path to costume again. It’s kind of sailor-themed. Past a certain age (which is six), women should not wear sailor-themed ANYTHING, unless they are drunk and at a Margaritaville restaurant. Tim advises Chris to make important design decisions now, while he’s still awake, instead of waiting until the middle of the night. He then makes one of the funniest un-Timlike comments ever – “I've made more bad decisions at three o'clock in the morning than I can list!” This of course cracks everyone up and Tim blushes.
Everyone sews frantically until midnight, when they all get to trudge back to their apartments and sleep. Except Chris, that is, who works for five or six more hours and then crashes on the couch in the lounge. The other designers find him there the next morning, snoring away, and everyone coos at how cute he is. He’s gotten about two hours of sleep and has to be running on fumes at this point. I fear for his safety on the runway.
Kit and Christian are becoming good friends – so good, in fact, that they can now communicate entirely by humming. (I also found this amusing shot on Bravo.com of them doing fake karaoke in the lounge – why are we not seeing this stuff on the show??)
Two hours ‘til runway! The clients come back to get dressed. Kevin’s outfit looks awesome, and he feels confident that he could win this challenge. Chris’s doesn’t look too sailorish, but for some reason he’s sewn pleats on the bodice that makes it look like there are two giant handprints on the lady’s breasts. Ricky’s client tells him how amazing she feels and that she wants him to do well, and I want to yell, “Don’t!! You’ll make him cry again!” But too late, he does.
Steven is in serious trouble. The basic black dress he’s made is mostly finished, but he has to glue the hem down, and three other people come over to help him finish attaching the cuffs and collar. (I guess that shows how well-liked he is among the other designers, so that’s good!) Victorya is literally sewing the collar on as they walk out of the room to go to the runway.
Heidi appears in a dress that has an obscenely short skirt and is kind of see-through, and she has 1960’s Cher hair. (Heidi, nobody looks good with Cher hair, not even Cher.) Somebody needs to slap the hairstylist around a bit. She introduces the usual judges and the guest, who is the head designer for Gap. Gap? Really?? Why??? (And when did they drop the “The” from their name?)
The runway show is quite amusing, as the non-models attempt to act like they think models act and use huge arm-gestures and exaggerated poses. A couple of them can walk fairly well (better than some of the actual show models).
The 'safe' designers:
- Sweet P: In any other color this would look cute. Who deliberately buys something that is baby-poop green? But the color isn’t her fault.
- Ricky: I'm sorry, but his client looks like she belongs on The Real Housewives of Orange County.
- Victorya: She didn’t give her newly-svelte client much of a waist. And the top doesn't seem to fit very well. But I can see why the original dress was the lady's favorite - that green looks good with her red hair.
- Kit: The hot coral with the black and white print is nice, and it’s a cute dress, but kind of basic.
- Rami: Again, basic sleeveless shirt and pencil skirt, accentuates the lady’s waist but nothing too special.
And who’s left on the runway?
- Jillian: I can’t believe the judges didn’t blast her for not using any of the original shirt. The only part of the outfit she used was the black piping which came from the pants. Yes, the dress is nice, and the placement of the black gives more of an hourglass figure, but she didn’t follow the challenge and should be in the bottom three, in my opinion. Did she get immunity winning last week? Maybe that’s why she wasn’t out.
- Chris: This is okay… I question the red he chose. I get why it needed a pop of color, but the blue and the red reminds me of 3-D glasses and it's giving me a headache. If he’d picked another color, maybe it would have worked better. And lose the ribbon around the neck, because it makes her neck look fat. (I see they took it off for the picture and it looks much better.) The judges like his shirt, but overall they feel that the look was too "Parisian hooker" and also “forced,” whatever the heck that means.
- Christian: He has an advantage in the fact that his client looks the most model-like. The detailing on the jacket is nice – again, he’s a very good sewer – but it’s the same kind of thing he’s been doing every week. (I think he is banking on the fact that if he keeps making the same thing week after week, eventually the judges will wear down and he will win.) The Gap guy likes it (of course) and MK merrily refers to it as “super commercial.” Wait. I thought that was a BAD thing! I’m confused. (Also, on a more personal level, Christian needs to quit stuffing his pants and raiding Napoleon Dynamite’s shoe rack.)
- Elisa: Her model reminds me of Caroline Rhea, the comedian. I question the choice of the boots – they make the poor lady’s legs look chunkier than they are. Heels would have been better. The judges don’t like the way the layers chop the lady’s body, and the navy and black are too close together, color-wise. Nina goes on and on about this outfit looking too much like Elisa and not enough like the client’s personality – but does she actually know this lady? No. The client seemed to like it just fine.
- Kevin: This one should win. It’s beautiful, and you can tell the model feels really great in it. Unfortunately he put it with leggings, and the judges are sick to death of leggings by now, so he won’t win.
- Steven: He has done the unthinkable – left MK at a loss for words. When he does find his voice again, the words “funeral” and “French maid” fall out. I don’t think it looks that bad, a bit too “lady who lunches” for me but it makes her look nicely curvy, and she likes it. They thought he should have used a different color and more of the wedding dress. The Gap guy even says women would like to have a wedding dress they can wear in the daytime. Really, we do?? I don’t see many wedding dresses in The Gap. Oh, excuse me, in Gap. (That sounds stupid, put the “The” back in there.)
In the end, Christian takes the win. Kevin is like “DAMN! I didn’t win again!!” But Heidi pats him on the head with a “good work” and sends him on his way. Jillian and Chris (yay!) are still in. That leaves Elisa and Steven. The judges play the boring card on Steven and he knows what’s coming. Sadly, he’s out. (Why are they getting rid of all the funny people and keeping Crying Ricky?) As far as the challenge is concerned, I really liked this one. This is the way to do an "everyday woman" challenge. Bravo, Bravo! (I also hope they let the ladies keep their outfits if they wanted. That would be kind of mean otherwise.)
Next episode: The designers take a field trip, everything falls off Jillian’s outfit, Elisa uses baked potatoes as sleeves, and The Attack of Christian’s Ego!
Bonus! Because I always thought Steven looked like Tommy Smothers, here is one of my favorite Smothers Brothers routines.