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Project Runway Review: When the Party Goes Bad

Last week on Project Runway, Jason learned that a bowler hat does not a designer make. He and his silly black hat were sent home. Unfortunately fellow designer Nicholas was given his “adieu” in a surprising double elimination. This week the designers party it up with an “Unconventional Challenge” that forces them to find inspiration (and materials) in a party store. Some designers find genius, some lose their minds, but for one of them the party’s over.

The episode starts off with Gretchen talking lovingly about the other designers. At the same time, most of the designers are trash talking Gretchen. Christopher, Peach, and April go on about Gretchen’s general arrogance, her growing ego, and their general disdain for the girl. But in Gretchen’s defense, if I had won 2 out of 2 challenges, I’d think I’m the -ish too; which it is clear Gretchen thinks that she is as she constantly predicts herself in the upcoming top three once again. She is in her own words “a force to be reckoned with.” Okay, yes; she is getting annoying.

For their “Unconventional Challenge,” Tim takes the designers to a party store from which the designers must create their next designs. So, there’s going to be no fabric this trip, only the materials found in the store and Tim cautions the designers against using tablecloths or fabric-like materials. Some of the designers are freaked. Ivy doesn’t know what to do and neither does Andy. Casanova expresses complete disdain for the challenge and just buys anything that looks close to fabric; the complete opposite of Tim’s suggestion. While at first AJ felt comfortable with this challenge (he’s used to doing this kind of stuff), pretty soon he’s explaining to anyone who will listen that he’s struggling worse than everyone else. What with everyone’s expectations and all that blah, blah, blah.

While they are designing the group gets a bit of unwanted critique…from Gretchen who has taken it upon herself to go around the room and tell the designers how they can make their clothes better. No kidding, she walks around with a notepad going over the other designers’ work. Ivy thinks that Kristen doesn’t deserve to be in the competition. And since personal opinions are the only basis for attributing worth, I think that Ivy is egotistical without merit and is probably a horrible human being and therefore should be turned into a small gerbil. This is just to illustrate a point; I don’t actually want her turned into a gerbil. And even though Kristen ANNOYS ME ON SIGHT (!!), I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Tim comes in to access the designers’ work. He loves Valerie’s napkin dress, is brought to giggles by Kristin’s woolly balls, and thinks Peach needs to pull the coal out of her butt. Honestly, there is not much to be seen at this point as most of the designers seem to be struggling with time/design. Peach’s outfit looks trash-tastic.  How you can hope to be subtle with zebra-print is beyond me. Andy is doing some intricate ribbon work, which has not translated into an actual dress just yet. Sarah is trying to de-construct a palm tree fashionably… that’s not going so well.

On the Runway, Betsey Johnson serves as guest judge.

The designers managed to pull themselves together in the final minutes. Michael’s dress looked amazing, red with a mermaid tail. Ivy’s looked gorgeous, but it didn’t manage to make the top three. That honor went to Valerie, Gretchen, and Andy. But just when you think history is about to repeat itself, Andy pulls out a well deserved win.

In the bottom three are Casanova, Sarah, and AJ. The judges called AJ’s design silly, while Nina said it was a hot mess. Even so, he’s safe this week. Michael said Casanova’s dress looked like a “transvestite flamenco {dancer} at a funeral.” Even still it was Sarah and her cut out palm dress that left the judges feeling cold. They felt that she didn’t do anything with the challenge, so she was sent home.

At the end of the episode, drama ensued as Ivy passed out and was sent to the hospital…

Season 8, Episode 3: It’s a Party (originally aired August 12, 2010)

For more on Project Runway, click here. You can follow Poptimal on Twitter @poptimal.

Thursdays at 10pm EST on Lifetime

Photographs courtesy of Lifetime.

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