Runway Rundown: There is an "i" in TEAM

Project Runway, Season 8, Episode 5: There is an “i” in TEAM

* Don’t forget that you can watch all PR episodes on *

Wow, wow, wow. We knew a team challenge was going to be good. But I didn’t know it would be GREAT. What a glorious final 15 minutes! Reality TV at it’s best.

In the words of April: Michael C is such a dumb-a** for putting Gretchen on his team. Seriously? Do you want to hire Hitler?

Everyone worked in two teams of 6. And each team had to create a cohesive fashion collection, on-trend for 2010. There was not supposed to be a team leader. But of course, the Mother Hen oversaw everything her team was doing and at one point said, I kind of feel like I’m in every (look) even if I’m not the one sewing. Uh, you said it sister.

It was so much fun to watch how differently the two teams worked together. Team Luxe (the Gretchen group) was so confident with their ideas and processes, throwing out phrases like, You guys, I’m so proud of us. We’re working so well together it’s blowing my mind! They each made separate items for the whole collection, rather than creating their own outfits to showcase individual style. Team Military and Lace, however, was smart to tackle individual outfits that showed personality but were cohesive as a whole. And seriously….lace and military? I love it. It’s like salty and sweet; a Frosty and fries, chocolate and pretzels. Totally worked.

Okay, I can’t say that I felt strongly about the clothing as a whole. I liked a few items and I was really happy with Team Military and Lace as a whole, but it wasn’t one of those episodes that wowed me with designs. But it did WOW me with the runway drama. And seriously, I was biting my nails at the end there, truly wondering if Gretchen was going to go home! What an upset that would have been!!

But there were some beautiful, happy moments in there. So let’s look at the Good and the Bad.

Hooray for Casanova! Yes, he’s a drama queen but I’m happy he finally made something to be proud of. In fact when he showed Tim his shirt in the work room, I thought, “oh, that’s actually cute!” So I can see why he was surprised by Tim’s criticism. I’m glad he worked it all out. He made something non Senior-citizeny or slutty. Way to go.

and on that note….hooray for the other underdog: Peach! You did it!
LEFT: It’s not really something I would wear but the top is just lovely and the pop of blue was a nice touch. It spiced up the whole collection without awkwardly standing out. Welcome to 2010 Peach! We’re happy to have you.
RIGHT: I thought April did some interesting stuff. The front was too much for my flavor but I liked the back.

LEFT: How, how how did Ivy NOT go home? That outfit is hideous. It looks like a cheap stage costume for an 8th grade renaissance play. Her outfit was by far the worst in the group for me.
MIDDLE: the photo looks straight out of a McCall’s pattern book from the 80s, including the hair.
RIGHT: this outfit wasn’t as bad as the others but it just emphasizes the problem with the whole collection: it looks cheap. That camel fabric with the white accents was such an odd choice. It looks very low-quality. Everything they did looked homemade, rather than polished and professional. I did not get it at all. And apparently the judges didn’t either since the entire collection was on the bottom….and made for some really good TV.

So, while the judges talk to the winning team, Team Luxe waits in the holding area and decides to form an alliance “we won’t point fingers at anyone. We will stand behind our clothing as a whole” (paraphrased). We are a team; we are one.

Team Luxe then faces the judges and oh, let the fabulousness begin! Gretchen gives her final grand speech before being burned at the stake; Ivy accuses the judges of saying her newborn baby (er, boring clothing) is ugly. Then we cut away to Michael C. peering up at Gretchen with puppy-dog teary eyes. Everyone is crying, supporting each other, and acting like they’re upholding human rights or something. They proclaim to the judges that they worked really hard and really well together. And that they stand united! (hold hands, embrace)

fast forward 5 minutes….
Everyone is back-peddling, admitting that their clothing was horrible. Gretchen whines, “We don’t know who to pick (as the weakest link) because no body was on their game. It’s like, everybody sucked”. And then they all throw Michael C. under the bus (which was deserved).


And the judges didn’t buy any of it. They saw through everything and eventually sent home A.J. I’m not sure he should have been the loser. And I don’t think Gretchen should have gone home either, since she really is a talented designer. But it’s true what Michael Kors said, “do you guys know how this competition works? It’s not about past performance”. Very true. And I need to remember that sometimes. The winner and loser should be based ONLY on their performance for the week. But I’m pretty sure the judges are guilty of letting past weeks influence their opinions too. Just sayin.
Of course the real topper of the show was the final minute when Tim Gunn walked in and told Team Luxe to sit down and listen! He reprimanded them for their charade before the judges and asked how they could let Gretchen bully and manipulate them?! Wow! Bold and spot on. So even though Michael C. was feeling bad that everyone tore him to shreds, Gretchen got the last ax to the gut. I would hate to hear Tim saying something like that about me.

And I finally decided what bugs about Gretchen. I think it’s just her personality and I can’t totally fault her for that. In fact, it’s probably mean to point that out. But seriously…..
Gretchen high-fiving? Annoying
Gretchen screaming for Michael C. in the store “Miiiiiichael? Where are you??” (and then smirking)? Annoying
Gretchen trying to be funny? really Annoying.

But….I’ll leave her alone and remember the happy moments.
Casanova found a way to show his softener side. And did you notice Andy’s cool neck-tie/measuring tape in his interview pieces? Totally cool.

And that’s a runway wrap!
Check out Under the Gunn (below)
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this week!

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