Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Project Runway Season 8, Episode 11 - A Prelude

(For so many of these season 8 contestants, one day they were in, and the next, they were auf'ed.)

My girl Sassy is off on a trip to Rome. I'm so happy for her. I was actually on my own trip to Rome a year ago this weekend, so I know it's a lovely time to visit. I hope she has a fantastic time!! The Colosseo! The Pantheon! The Gelati! The wine! Omigosh, I wanna go back so badly.

But back to the task at hand. Roman Holidays are great, but the Project Runway season pauses for no world traveller, so I will be recapping this week's installment in Sassy's place. She does such a great job at HuffPo and I don't have the screenshot/photoshop abilities she possesses but I'll try to keep it entertaining. Since the show is 90 minutes long this season and recapping it always takes forever, I figured I'd take a moment right now to express my feelings about the season so far, so as not to get bogged down in it tomorrow night.

I like this season. I think it's the most successful season since the show moved to Lifetime. The challenges are a bit uninspired, the judging has been a little bizarre (and mean), and if it wasn't clear just watching that the producers don't have a clear vision of what they want to do, Tim Gunn's FB vlogs have filled in all the blanks regarding their ineptitude. Still, even with all that, I think they cast this season well. The 90 minute runtime broke the editors out of their rigid formula of only showing you footage from the top 3/bottom 3 designers making the outcome of each episode less predictable. Also, we got to see more personality from the designers away from their designs with the extra time. Casanova was an amazing diva. Ivy was a great bitch. Lots of others were chill and interesting. Gretchen has developed into an interesting quasi-villain, while Mondo went from being a quiet uncomfortable loner, to an extremely vibrant and enjoyable front runner to win the whole season. There's been arc for the designers this season which has been lacking the few previous times around. So hooray for all that.

Getting back to Mondo for a second, I was extremely moved by his admission last week that he was HIV+. For the record, I choose to believe that the producers did NOT know for sure about his HIV status until he disclosed it on the runway. Since all of Mondo's interviews took place in the same outfit, I believe he filmed all of them after the runway segment was filmed. Mondo is not the first HIV+ contestant in P.Runway history, and I don't think they would've put him in a situation where he felt pressured to publicly reveal a private medical condition like that just for drama. So here's what I believe happened: the producers wanted meaningful family stories connected to the designs, knowing they'd bring in the families to spur the waterworks. They expected the designers to supply the backstory for their textile images, and initially Mondo was evasive with them about what it was. They questioned the other designers about it, but they didn't know much either. This only made the producers more determined to find out and so they prolly urged the judges to get Mondo to talk about it since everyone had these big stories. and Mondo wasn't sharing. The judges were also probably expecting a story to help in their evaluation of the designs success in the challenge. So then once he revealed what it was, they shot interviews with him about everything to provide extra context for what was going on with him, and then cut those interviews into the footage before the revelation so that the audience was aware of what was going on the whole time.

And having said all that, regardless of when they knew or didn't know, Mondo's design clearly rocked and he rightly won for the third time in a row. It was overall a very lovely episode. This week I get handed the "Heidi is the Client" episode and nobody looks happy about having to deal with her as a customer. I don't really like when they include Heidi in the challenges, I think she should stay out of the workroom. So we'll see what happens. There seem to be allegations of cheating this week if the promos are to be believed (and they almost always should not be) so that should up the drama. My picks for Final 3 are Mondo, Gretchen and April so we'll see if the dream stays alive for Final 5.

See you after the runway, folks!

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