Our final three -- Chloe, Daniel Vosovic, and Santino -- are sent home to work on their Fashion Week collections. Tim Gunn visits them to check on their progress. He's kind of a proxy therapist for them, as we are treated to stories of struggle for each of the designers.
And Santino? He has a really touching story. Dude's been through a lot. Thank God for male semi-supermodel of the nineties, Tony Ward. That was Tony Ward, right? Madonna's ex-boyfriend Tony Ward? Like, one of the mermen from the Cherish video and Justify My Love video Tony Ward? I've only watched it three times and he was bearded, but I'm pretty sure that Tony Ward is Santino's best friend and helped him out during some pretty rough times. His generosity guarantees Project Runway stripping from another show the title of "Gayest Show Ever."
Once in New York, Tim's responses to the designers' collection leads us to believe that Santino is the frontrunner (and that Daniel is toast). Then, a post-pregnant and drop-dead Heidi joins Tim to tell the designers that they have another challenge. They have to design one more dress that will be a part of their runway show. To help them, they are allowed to choose one of the eliminated designers as an assistant. Daniel chooses Nick, Santino chooses Andrae, and (warming my heart) Chloe chooses Diana. Andâ¦scene.
This is it, folks. Well, this is the first half of it. The finale is split into two separate episodes this season, which is probably a pretty smart move on the part of Bravo. Finding out who the winner of Project Runway is won't seem any less like an event just because it won't be revealed in a two-hour episode.
The action begins at the runway. Santino, Daniel V., and Chloe are sitting together when Heidi comes out. I know it's redundant for me to say it, but she looks really gorgeous. She's wearing a burgundy satin-y top and just looks the absolute picture of healthy. I know she's working this whole cloverleaf jewelry thing, but I feel like she should front a maternity wear line. At least be the spokesperson for whoever's designs she has been wearing. At this point, to me, she almost seems synonymous with super-chic maternity clothes. The fashion industry is a bitch, though. She probably knows better.
Heidi tells them that the hard part has just begun. It's about time; they seem like they've been bored out of their minds. Finally, some rigor! They will each be designing a twelve-piece line for Fashion Week. Twelve-piece. Mmm, KFC. I don't even think that's funny. I have no idea why I wrote that. Each of them will be given eight thousand dollars and "the next few months" to complete their collections.
It's time for model-choosing, and let's just cut to the chase -- bye, Eden! You were great. Rebecca is going to Fashion Week for Daniel. Chloe has got Grace, and Santino has the lovely Heather. Backstage, Eden gets a hug from Rebecca.
At the Atlas apartments, on the roof, Tim pops a bottle of champs and tells the kids that "this is your last reprieve." He wants them to look at the New York skyline and "take it in." Heidi joins in with some cider. Heidi and Tim agree that the remaining designers are "a good bunch."
Next, we hear Santino say "Later" and close the door of 35D for, presumably, the last time. Daniel, who is buttoning his shirt and has hair in his eyes, responds with a smile and a shake of his head. Santino interviews with glee, "I made it! I wanna blow out eardrums with how loud I can scream! Woo!" Then, he holds three fingers up to the camera and bends one ("Daniel") and another ("Chloe"). What remains outstretched is his middle finger, remarkably unblurred. I guess his little trick of making it look like a countdown got past the censors. He points at his flipping bird and says, "Santino!"