‘Project Runway’ Season 8 Episode 12 recap: Final five becomes four

| October 15, 2010 at 12:02 AM EST

There have been two kinds of “Project Runway” fans this season. There have been the ones that hate Michael C. and there have been the ones that hate Gretchen (and before you comment, everyone hated Ivy so she doesn’t count).

So there should be a lot of angry people right now. Michael C. and Gretchen have made it to the two-part finale and one or both of them will be among the three to actually compete for the title of Season 8 winner. From almost everything I’ve read and everyone I’ve talked to, it’s been “I just don’t want Michael to win” or “I hate Gretchen.” It’s never been “I hope Mondo wins!” or “I love Andy’s designs!” It’s been a very odd and interesting season for those reasons.

I really didn’t care about the outcome from Thursday’s episode. As long as Mondo got his shot I would be happy. And he did.

The only thing that threw me off was how much the judges loved Michael’s plain, draped black dress that was too literally inspired by the Statue of Liberty. Usually if someone makes something that safe they’re slammed for it. I’m not saying it should have sent him home (even though I kind of thought it should have) but the fact that Michael Kors called it a showstopper is mind blowing … I just have not understood the judging this season when it comes to Michael C.

But once again they loved his look (even guest judge Christian Siriano) and he was the first one to make it to the finale.

Rewind to the beginning of the episode. The designers are met on a rooftop by Tim Gunn and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who tells them about their final challenge. They are to make a look inspired by New York City. So basically, they can do anything they want and they have $500 to do it with.

Michael, as I’ve already said, decides to be inspired by the Statue of Liberty. Which is funny because as soon as I heard about the challenge I made fun of the fact that someone would be lazy and go for the Statue of Liberty. And as I said, he basically won the challenge. He’s in.

Mondo was Mondo. He was inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge. At first Mondo was struggling. He slept a lot of the night away, putting him behind on the challenge. Then he failed to work in any of his Mondo-like colors into the look. It was actually looking a little grim for my favorite designer. But he came through and even ended up looking like a risk-taker by proving he doesn’t use color as a crutch. He’s in.

Andy continued his prostitute/dominatrix/warrior woman theme and bored me. And it was supposedly inspired by Central Park. He’s good with frabrics and clearly understands a woman’s body, but he’s so redundant. He’s in.

Gretchen is not Gretchen. And by that, I mean she didn’t put knee-high boots on her model for the first time all season. Actually, what she did do was pretty terrible and the judges knew. She knew too. She’s just really warn down and ready for it all to be over. And it looked nothing like her Lower East Side inspiration.  She’s in.

Speaking of Gretchen, did you notice what she said to the other contestants after she made it through? “I’m just really relieved that they gave me the second chances that each of you got.” That translates into “you all sucked long before I did and you’re all still here, so it’s a damn good thing that they let me mess up once too.” I sometimes think she seriously doesn’t even know she’s a bitch.

April stays true to herself by making a black nightgown inspired by Brooklyn Bridge. Everything she’s made this season has resembled something a goth Dorothy Zbornak would sleep in. Heidi makes her cry and she’s out.

So next week is part one of the finale. The four designers will return with their collections and they’ll have to compete for the three spots. They’ll probably have to show a couple pieces and make a surprise look or something. And at this point I have no idea who will be out. I haven’t understood the judges this season at all, so I’m not even going to try.

Let’s just all cross our fingers that when they spring a surprise challenge on them Poison Ivy doesn’t return to be an assistant or something.

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‘Project Runway’ Season 8 Episode 12 preview: Who will make it to the finale?

| October 14, 2010 at 11:22 AM EST

Tonight’s “Project Runway” will include the final challenge before the two-part finale. Though we’ve learned to NEVER trust reality TV preview editing, it really appears Wretchen might be a victim of her own undoing, even saying “I’m just sick of the challenges.” If this is true, it could lead to Michael C. (everyone’s least favorite) making it to the finale. But so many people hate Wretchen that I don’t think that many will care about that. That is if it happens.

Oh, and would you like a guest judge spoiler? It’s Season 4 winner Christian Siriano.


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‘Top Chef Just Desserts’ Episode 4 recap: Tasty fashions, creepy fetishes

| October 14, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST

Why oh why did Seth have to flip out and leave last week? This week’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts” would’ve been the perfect time for an extreme meltdown. Seriously, imagine him having to complete the elimination challenge, which was making edible fashion. Oh well. I have that entire episode playing out in my imagination right now. And it’s hilarious.

Anyway. Back to the actual, Seth-less episode. For the Quick Fire Challenge, the cheftestants had to make a souffle. Snore. Yigit wins.

Then Goddess Gail unveils that the elimination challenge is making edible fashion inspired by a pair of shoes. And it’s worth $20,000. Each chef chooses a pair of shoes to inspire them. Oh, and they all have to make two couture petit fours as accessories. Those, unlike the actual dresses, will actually be eaten.

Just when I think Team Diva (Zac, Yigit and Heather H.) might be the focus of this episode, Morgan reveals that he’s pretty much bats**t crazy. He’s clearly horny and has a thing for women’s shoes. He gets really creepy with it, even claiming later that he’s going to spend the evening alone with his dressform. Yikes.

Morgan does actually do a great job. His dress is a little basic, but well-done. But it’s his petit four accessories that are really en pointe. He made an amazing ruby ring and an earring (shown below).Also doing well were Yigit and Zac. Yigit’s Bjork-inspired dress looked like actual fashion. And Zac’s warrior piece was pretty flawless. And then there were his accessories, which included a hilarious nipple pasty.

Doing not-so-good were Danielle and Heather C. Remember Heather C. was the contestant brought back after Seth’s meltdown. For some reason, both of them used vegetables to make their clothes. Like head judge 1957 said it’s Top Chef: Just Desserts, not Top Chef: Just Vegetables. Hey, it wasn’t clever, but it made the point.

So the top three were Morgan, Yigit and Zac. Morgan wins. And even though he’s incredibly creepy and scary, his win seemed well-deserved. He’ll probably spend the $20,000 on women’s shoes (or a dungeon for the student nurses I imagine he kidnaps and tortures). The bottom three were Danielle, Heather C. and Eric. Heather C. goes home again. It really must suck to be eliminated from the same reality show twice.

So there wasn’t any crying or fighting this episode. Heather H. continued to be bitchy and Morgan completely went off his rocker, but it was one of the more mild episodes. It looks like the crazy might return next week. Sweet.

Oh, and I’ve learned that Heather C.’s weird forehead injury actually happened on the “Top Chef” set. Apparently a camera fell and hit her on the head.

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‘The Biggest Loser’ Season 10 Episode 4 recap: Cup cakes and Bob’s house

| October 13, 2010 at 12:20 AM EST

Tuesday’s “Biggest Loser” started off with Sami Brady telling the contestants that not only would there be that annoying yellow line in the middle of the board, but there would also be a red line at the bottom. That means two people would be going home. Gasp!

Then the future skinnies are faced with their first temptation. If they accept the challenge, they have to torture/treat themselves by eating cupcakes while trying to find the ONE that has  a one-pound advantage. Sami throws in another incentive. Whoever wins the one-pound advantage can hold on to it for as long as they want and for every week they keep it, another pound is added to it.

So people eat cupcakes and Adam wins. Then Brendan, who thinks he’s on “Big Brother,” gets snarky and says Adam has a target on his back and will do everything he can to get him out of the house. What is up with this season? There are obvious alliances, backstabbing and threats. That never happens on this show. I’m almost intrigued by it.

Curtis Stone, who is basically becoming a show staple, shows up and shows everyone how to make a 100 calorie cupcake. Sami even had a bite of one of Curtis’ cupcakes. But then she went off screen where she probably spit it out. And per usual, there are female contestants fawning over Curtis.

Bob and Jillian show up and reveal that they’ve either been replaced with pod people or are just tired of doing this show. Because they don’t even care when they hear how many cupcakes everyone ate during the temptation.

Then there’s some of that sweaty, whiny gym stuff followed by the weigh-in.

More girls fall below the yellow line. Frado wins the weigh-in. Sophia loses the least percentage of weight and goes home immediately.

So next, the almost- losers have to do a challenge to not be up for elimination. But first, Bob does something insane and invites them to his house for dinner. Like, his real house. I get excited because I expect to see Bob’s “special roommate” or pets or servants. All we got was a quick shot of a dog and a disgustingly good shot of his view from the Hollywood hills. They eat vegan food and yada yada.

Later, Creepy Biggest Loser Doctor tells Burgundy she won’t be able to compete because of a leg thing, which leads to her automatically being up for elimination.

The challenge, which is unrolling giant rugs, is pretty easy looking and Elizabeth loses, so she and Burgundy will be up for elimination. Burgundy goes home, dashing my hopes that she’d end up being a fantastic villain. But the show isn’t over yet. Remember how two people went home tonight? Yeah, you guessed it. It was because they are going to bring somebody else into the show. It’s going to be one of the people who never made it past the original challenge to make the show. Should be interesting.

The Sophia and Burgundy updates were inspiring. Both women have done well at home and look fantastic.

BONUS: Find Curtis Stone dessert recipes (including a similar cupcake recipe) and keep an eye out for the recipe showcased on Tuesday’s episode here.

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‘Hoarders – Dawn & Linda’ recap: More family members hate each other

| October 12, 2010 at 1:04 AM EST

Monday’s “Hoarders” started out kind of disappointing for me. There was no Dr. Robin Zasio. No Standolyn Robertson. No Geralin Thomas.

Then I realized that the two hoarders this week are so insane that I didn’t even need my favorite doctors and organizers. And Matt, the organizer is there and I love him around the really crazy hoarders. He gets frustrated and tells them exactly what they need to hear. So things are looking up. Majorly.

Dawn

So Dawn’s big issue is collecting 9/11 memorabilia. You know, that stuff they sell on TV at 3 am or in the back of a TV Guide. There’s usually a tacky plate with an American flag and an eagle flying over ghost images of the World Trade Center. Those things are geared at vulnerable hoarders. And Dawn has responded as such.

Her obsession stems from a legitimate source. She lost a cousin in the twin towers. He was a firefighter and lost his life that day along with too many others. So she’s memorializing him and everyone else who lost their lives that day.

And per usual, there’s more than just those collectibles. There’s garbage. Rotten food. The whole works. And as I mentioned earlier, it started out slower than even a typical episode. But then someone threw away a Mr. Potato Head. And all hell broke loose.

Seriously. A Mr. Potato Head. Granted, it was a Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head, but a Mr. Potato Head nonetheless. Nothing to really freak out over, right? Well try telling Dawn that. Out of control. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, someone accidentally throws away a fake plant! Dawn cusses like a sailor and basically throws a fit that would make a 4-year-old in a toy aisle look weak.

She pulls the typical, “just take it all!” and “I can’t have anything!” crying game and manipulation that every hoarder does. But I think Dawn realizes her kids will eventually hate her and if her marriage is going to fail, she’d rather it fail in a clean house. So she cooperates.

But just as her segment is over and I was ready to breathe again, she discovers someone broke a cheesy glass sculpture of the twin towers. And of course it was like 9/11 all over again. Luckily even the producers had had enough and didn’t spend much time on the final meltdown.

Linda

Dawn’s story could be called a complete success when compared to Linda’s. First of all, Linda was a tricky, sneaky little one. I thought, “aww,” she’s quiet and sweet. She’s here to clean up her house and her life so her poor sick husband doesn’t die upstairs like a prisoner. But then she reveals herself. She might not be as much as a baby as Dawn, but she’s just as intense. Because her emotions fall on the opposite side of the spectrum as Dawn’s. Meaning there are none.

Even when Matt (who tells it like it is) asks her if she’d rather save her plants or her husband’s life, she can’t even answer. He also calls her a very good hoarder, a master manipulator. She places the blame on everyone but herself and has her three daughters at war with each other just to get herself of the hook.

Linda spends most of her segment arguing with her daughters over a pile of junk in the back yard. This is after she threatened to leave because the 1-800-Got Junk trucks pull up outside where her neighbors can see. Have I ever mentioned how much a LOVE those trucks? I love that they just spell it out. If the cognitive therapy that goes on inside the house doesn’t do the trick, maybe the embarrassing trucks with all your crap in the back outside will.

It soon becomes clear that Linda’s family probably doesn’t really care that she’s hoarding. They just like to fight. And even though they pretend like they’ve come together, we learn in the follow up at the end that that wasn’t true (see follow up below).

Dawn’s follow up

“Hoarders” tells us that Linda’s relationship with her daughters have improved and they’re enjoying their own rooms. We also learn that her marriage is still under strain. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that when she was asked to compliment her husband, she couldn’t do it without calling him an asshole. Why more people don’t get divorced is beyond me.

Linda’s Follow up

“Hoarders” tells us that Linda’s husband hates that he was moved downstairs (which was the whole point of the episode) because he doesn’t have privacy. Well there you go. What a way to thank all those who helped you. We’re also told that Linda’s daughter says she’s starting hoarding again. Lovely.

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