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'Project Runway' - 'Sew Much Pressure' Recap

by Michael Pascua, posted Apr 2nd 2010 3:03AM
Jonathan tries his best to sew on Project Runway
(S07E11) In a 'Project Runway' first, not only do we have one quitter, we have two. In the first fifteen minutes, Maya realized that she's still too young to be ready to show for the finale. I found it weird because the show likes putting a mix of designers together, including people right out of school like Daniel Vosovic or Jillian Lewis. While Maya may have been using other designs as influence during the show, she would have had several months to find inspiration before the finale show. With that being said, I respect her decision and wish her the best.

The second quitter comes from one of the models. Valeria gets a high end gig. As a model, that is probably the best decision. She had moderate exposure on a television show, and managed to get a gig from a high end clientele. Take the money and run.

There are two replacements. In all fairness, the last eliminated contestant, Anthony, gets a second chance. He was the one who won Heidi's Marie Claire challenge, so he probably had the knowledge of what Heidi wanted to begin with. The model replacement for Seth Aaron was Cerri.

The contestants were given $300 and 30 minutes of sketch time. Since Anthony was popped in a bit late, he had the same amount of time, but was given extra time later that night. The contestants make some very interesting fabric choices. I was very worried about Emilio's sequins, because its hovers the line between tacky and classy. Mila's fabric was not her. A black and white dress would have been stunning (see Anthony). I had trouble with Jonathan's fabric colors, as well.

Heidi accompanies Tim to critique, and she gives her own spin on things. She warns Jay about how women don't like big butts. Mila was reminded that she may have to look around the work room. Jonathan gets bashed for his original fabric choices by Heidi (she calls them "curtains"). While it does look like a curtain, it may have at least been an eye-opener.

With little time left, Emilio manages to perfect an inner structure while Jonathan ditches his first dress for a second and then for a third. No one really struggled with hem lines or any random oddities.

Along with our normal judges, the guest judge is Jessica Alba. As the models walked down, most of the dresses didn't scream red carpet at all. Going back to previous seasons where there was a red carpet theme, people understood that there was drama. This season, though, Jay's big butt fetish was odd, Mila's positioning of her stripes felt wrong, and Jonathan's looked like it was done in an hour. I would have liked Jonathan's if they continued the back design in the front. Jonathan was also at the biggest disadvantage because Brandise isn't a red carpet type of model.

All the contestants stayed up for critiques, and in all truthfulness, there were only two high scorers: Anthony (sexy, elegant) and Emilio (fit like a glove, impeccable). In a twist, both Emilio and Anthony win; Jessica picks Anthony's dress. The rest of the contestants had negative criticism: Jonathan (short, rushed), Mila (wide bust, cocktail), Seth Aaron (didn't fit client's tastes, not red carpet), and Jay (strong top corset, made fanny look huge). Jonathan was eliminated.

As much as I like Jonathan as a person and as a designer, he's been on a downward spiral from the judges. It makes me wonder if the judges would have appreciated having the detail work even if it looked like a curtain. The original cut-away dress might have gotten enough points for effort that Mila would have been sent home for having a too simplistic dress. Jay's top was strong, it was the bottom that was the problem. Did you agree with the elimination? Leave comments below.

[Find clips and episodes of 'Project Runway' at SlashControl.]

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People who go on reality competition shows (Maya) and then quit because they can't handle the pressure both anger and frustrate me. How many thousands of talented designers would have KILLLED for that opportunity, and Maya walks away from it because she's "not ready" yet? Well, why couldn't she have assessed her stress limit and come to that earth-shattering conclusion before she entered the competition????

April 02 2010 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll give Maya credit for being thoughtful and trying to see a bigger picture, but I do think her decision was a mistake.

Opportunities like this don't drop out of the sky every day. The chance to get critique from industry professionals of some caliber, the chance to receive mentoring from Tim Gunn, the chance to compete against experienced designers in an atmosphere that really pushes your skills and talent, all opportunities with considerable value. And while there were criticisms of her work for her to consider, her work was still being well received. I think she would have been better served by continuing to temper her mettle by staying.

That said, Anthony returning was a huge silver lining. His natural charm, humor and grace are a huge bonus. It was great to not only see him return, but return triumphantly. His skills are not really of the level to make the final three, but it was good to see him get at least one last moment in the limelight.

Emilio is a runaway train. He's not the best designer I've ever seen on the show, but his skills are impeccable and his vision solid (Hardware challenge aside. Everybody has their train wrecks). He easily deserved the win last night.

I actually liked Seth Aaron's dress. It was a bit dour, and the fit could have been a bit sleeker and slinkier, but overall I liked where he went with it. Of course there's no argument to be made if Heidi says it didn't suit her taste.

I thought Jay was gone for sure. He was warned not once, but twice about 'the backside thing' and one of the people giving him the warning was the client herself. Yet he consciously decided to ignore the warning and do exactly what he was cautioned not to do.

Jonathan. Hell hath no fury part II? I can't help but wonder if we were still seeing the reverberations from the contretemps last week. Added to that, Jonathan (again?) poisoned his own well, this time by living in his own head and instead of concentrating purely on a successful design, focused too much on some kind of head games/guessing games around what he thought was on the judges' minds. The results of both his lack of focus and soured attitude showed in the final product.

And my fiery, smart, loyal, beautiful Cerri. Collateral damage not once, but twice.

April 02 2010 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jay's and Mila's were worse for my money... but what can you do?

April 02 2010 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked Emilio's design this week the best, and I'm glad to see Anthony back, just for entertain reason. I applaud Maya for making the tough decision to leave because she didn't know herself well enough as a designer to stand behind a collection at Bryant Park. And I feel bad for Jonathan the judges never really liked what he did, I would have liked to see him stick with the first dress, cause at least he could have said it was his instead of a throw-away. I think the final 3 deserve to be Seth, Emilio and Jay.

April 02 2010 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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