Project Runway, Week 3: Couples Therapy

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Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 4 2009 9:50 AM

Project Runway, Week 3: Couples Therapy

After three weeks in Southern California, Project Runway finally took a trip to the beach.The challenge was to create a "fun and fashionable surf wear look,"along with a coordinating avant-garde design. And drama alert it was a teamchallenge. 

The producers ignored Logan and Christopher, Shirin and Carol Hannah, andAlthea and Louise, so it was clear they were safe. Meanwhile, Qristyl andEpperson squabbled all the way from sketching to judging, reminding viewers thatall unhappy couples are alike: awkward and no fun to be around.

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The train-wreck pairing was Mitchell and Ra'mon. Mitchell who had miraculouslyavoided elimination in both previous rounds seemed incompetent and lazy, a teamcaptain who left his partner to produce everything except a two-piece swim suitthat was hidden under other garments. Only 35 minutes before the models weredue down the runway, Ra'mon was in the bathroom dyeing fabric, but in ashocking "first time on Project Runway " twist, Ra'mon was named thewinner, while Mitchell got the boot.

The Contestants
Designer superpower: Is Johnny a living, breathing HairyGary facial hair toy ? Every time the camera pointed at him, he seemed tohave sprouted an entirely new beard/sideburn combination.

The Judges
Michael Kors was mysteriously absent for the second week in a row, but Max Azria sat in the"foreign-born designer who needs subtitles" chair. Rachel Bilson was theguest judge.

Tim Gunn's cattiest caution: "I feel like I'm in a cartoon with a superhero and aGreek goddess." (To his credit, Ra'mon immediately abandoned the offendinggarment.)

Heidi's biggest dilemma:
"On Project Runway , you actually have to design and create and sew. ... Idon't know how I'm supposed to judge someone if they don't actually doanything."

Stats
Number of timesTim Gunn said, "Make it work!": 2

Number of crying contestants:
Zero. This was a week for bickering, not blubbering.

The Results
Garment of the week: Altheaand Louise's avant-garde look , which featured a glittering bodice made fromzippers and pins with a beautifully executed cascade skirt. Unfortunately, itgot just 10 seconds of screen time.

Should Ra'mon have won?
Not on the basis of his hand-dyed off-the-shoulder neoprene dress , which was bold but very poorlyfinished. Still, he did the work of two, and the other design, a wave-inspiredblue, green, and brown beach look , was nice if a little gauzy for thesurf set. Johnny 'sand Irina 'soutfits, which both featured some form of macrame, were the only looks that seemedcoordinated.

Should Mitchell have been eliminated?
Hell, yes! As he said himself, "I didn't try hardenough," but after two weeks of playing the villain , heat least came across as a nice guy.

Bold prediction for who'll be
auf'd next: Qristyl. The judges haven't had a nice thing to say abouther since Day 1.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section.