‘Project Runway’ Finale Part 1 recap: Four become three
“Project Runway” revealed Thursday the final three who will compete at Fashion Week and, I must say, there was a bit of a surprise.
The judges picked Mondo Guerra, Gretchen Jones and Andy South, sending Michael Costello packing. I made predictions earlier Thursday that said Andy would go home instead of Michael. I was wrong and I thought I’d be happy about that, but I’m not. I was actually more impressed by Michael’s work than Andy’s. Go figure. The one time I think Michael deserves to be there the judges don’t. Typical.
Rewind to the beginning of the episode, Tim Gunn heads off to Hawaii to visit with Andy and check in on his collection. Andy scares Tim with his catfish farm and with the fact that’s he’s made basically none of his collection despite having only two weeks left. Andy’s visit is pretty boring, so Tim leaves.
Tim’s next stop is Palm Springs to check in with Michael. We get to meet Michael’s partner Richard (who looks just like him — creepy) and see his son again. He also get to see his collection. It seems he’s, as usual, making too many pieces. Tim throws around some advice and they have dinner. During dinner, we find out a lot about Michael’s life.
It turns out his parents are impossible to please, are anti-gay, have forced him into marriage and parenthood once and believe he’s destined to fail. I felt pretty bad for Michael. I had wondered how someone so gay could have such a young son (in this day and age anyway). It all makes more sense now, but it’s time for Michael to stand up to his family and live his own life. Hopefully this show helps him achieve that.
In Denver, Tim stops by Mondo’s. He’s as cute as ever and he’s clearly poised to make it to the finale. Tim (I REALLY hope) talks him into tossing out a hideous pink top then joins his family for dinner. We get to see (but not meet) Mondo’s boyfriend Ben. And we also hear that Mondo was unfairly raised liked most gay boys by being forced to play baseball in order to play the piano.
Tim’s final stop was at Gretchen’s in Portland, Oregon. She’s in the middle of a major life change, which includes a move, the end of a relationship and allegedly no money in her bank account. Tim tells an interesting story about how he was in a relationship that ended, which was the driving force behind his big move to New York.
Then we get to take a peek at Gretchen’s collection. And whoa. That collection. I’m stunned at how much I hate it. More on that later.
Days before Fashion Week, the designers are back in New York and Tim is quick to throw a typical “Project Runway” curve ball. So the judges can pick the final three, the designers have to compete one last time. They have to create another look to present with two pieces from their collection.
Mondo struggles. Michael drapes. Andy pleats a lot. Gretchen makes another fugly romper. And they’re ready for the runway.
Andy: His three looks are very underwhelming. I’m not sure that he realized what this was. This was the time to show the judges three AMAZING reasons why you should compete at fashion week. He sends down a silver evening short onesy, a bikini that looks like underwear and his new piece, another evening look only in green and with pleats. Snore fest. And to make things worse, they’re all wearing these alien/antenna-looking things on their heads.
Michael: His first look is his new look and it’s actually really nice. It’s beautifully draped. His second piece is a boxy cocktail dress with feathers. Blah. Then he does a Michael C. first: he sends down separates! And nice ones. His sequined pants might have a sense of tackiness, but they were very well-made. And a top that’s so innovative I can’t even describe it. Well done. But. There’s a but. It’s clear Michael doesn’t get cohesion. All the pieces are the same color and there’s no story there. He says he has other colors in his collection, but, like Andy, he failed to show the judges.
Gretchen: Oh Gretchen. I hated your collection during Tim’s visit and I hate it more now. Even your new look, which comes down the runway first. It’s green, linen and frumpy. Then we see this terrible pair of pants and a top followed by a weird leather jacket and a pair of panties. I have no idea what those last two looks were. Then all together, it looked like a hippie safari. I really expected Michael Kors to call her collection that. But he didn’t. So copyright me on that.
Mondo: As soon as we see two completely different patterns singing in harmony, we know it’s Mondo. That look is perfectly done, but it’s pretty predictable for him. His second look, which is the new one, brings back in some Mondo color. But it’s his third dress that’s really a standout. It’s a long evening dress, which is something we haven’t seen from him. The dress can only be described as high-class Mondo.
The judges do their thing. They pretend to like and hate everyone equally. Then they play with us some more and finally tell Mondo and Gretchen that they’re in. No surprise there. I know everyone hates Gretchen, but there was never a doubt in my mind that she would make it.
So Andy or Michael? Or both? I thought both. Mostly because Lifetime aired a really stupid preview of next week’s episode which clearly revealed Mondo in the top three, but also showed a shot of Andy and Michael. They totally spoiled Mondo’s spot in the finale but tricked me on the other two. So Andy is in and Michael is out.
Michael has pretty much the worst breakdown in the show’s history when he learns he’s not going to fashion week. The story we heard earlier about his parents is backed up with his reaction. There’s no way someone who wasn’t emotionally abused their entire life would react that way. My heart goes out to Michael.
So what’s normally a pretty boring episode before the finale, turned out to be a pretty good one. What did you think? Who do you think will take it all home next week? I’m sticking with Mondo.
Oh, and one more thing. I know you’re never supposed to ask a woman this question, but is Nina Garcia pregnant? She really looked pregnant.