The next leg of the auditions is in Houston, Texas, home of the bitter Vanessa Riley. Wendy Pepper is going to help judge. She goes out to speak to the hopefuls. This is what she says to do that: "I have this aura around me, and that's what you need to bring in the door." They all just want to get back to their game of Uno. Wendy interviews that she is in "a really happy place." She says that after the "turmoil" of the show, her family "rallied" around her. I'm not going to get into it, because this isn't her fucking season, but isn't it just PERFECT that even after the show aired, even after seeing her own bad behavior and how unnecessary it was for the most part, even after witnessing the illumination of her own lack of design acumen -- she thinks of herself as the victim? Love you, baby. Don't ever change. There's more footage of Wendy with the hopefuls, asking if anyone knows her from the show. I guess it's just matter-of-fact to ask if the people have seen the show, since they are auditioning for its new season. Why, though, does it remind me of Sally Field in Soapdish? In her interview, Wendy says she wants to hear one of the auditioning designers to say, "The future of American design lies with me." Then, we see her asking a lot of questions. Typical questions, like, "What's the aesthetic?" One guy kind of wigs and says, "You're so tough. You're just like on the show." Tim Gunn pats her on the back and says, "That's our Wendy." Way to encourage her, Tim. I have to say, though, her questions actually seemed pretty basic.
A young lady walks in with several designs. Since the auditions that we see are pretty much squarely divided between the insane and the semifinalists, I'm assuming on sight that she is going to the next level. I'm positive when she starts describing her designs. One black spaghetti strap number with beading at the waistline she declares that she brought with her to show that "[she] can do silk charmeuse and beading combined 'cause that's actually to me certain [sic] skills a lot of people don't know about." Give her a break. She's nervous, I'm sure. The point of the sentence was really impressive. She also tells the panel of judges that she likes to display her talent for mixing casual and more formal fabrics. Wendy asks her what she wants to get out of the show and she says that she really wants to participate in Fashion Week. Wendy asks her what she thinks it takes to get to the final three and the girl adorably says, "You have to love this, because it doesn't pay you at first." I'm liking her. Tim tells her that she is indeed a semifinalist.
Her name is Chloe Dao and she is thirty-three and a fashion boutique owner. She is from Houston. She tells us that her store is doing well and Project Runway is a way to reach a wider audience.