Christopher acknowledges that much like Balloon Boy, he started strong and then deflated into a sad story done, perhaps, for the publicity. Now he is going to take charge and try not to scare the judges. And am I the only one who noticed the similarity between Balloon Boy's flying machine and Christopher's last dress?
Heidi drags the eight designers left on to the runway and gives them some veiled threats about no more immunity and a clue for the next challenge. They are then escorted to meet fashion legend Bob Mackie a.k.a. the Sultan of Sequins. How does one get such a fabulous moniker? By working with Christina Aguilera. For their challenge, the designers must create an extravagant stage look. Bob warns them that this is NOT fashion and I whole-heartedly agree. I also really wish Chris March, the fabulously gay costume designer, was here because he would knock this out of the park. The designers need to wow (wow, I say!) Mr. Mackie and Christina and the judges. They have two days to design the look and goddammit they had better fire up their beadazzlers.
Nicolas is pretty confident that his theatre design background and ability to work a crystal will help him (also he has a shrine to Bob Mackie and offers up a daily sacrifice of J.Crew separates). But Nicolas isn't the only one who knows how to rock a sequin -- the designers all gravitate like birds and babies to the bright and shiny and feathery and zebra printy.
Christopher's concept is '80s punk prom, which sounds fabulous, right? Except it's Christopher and it won't be. Tim thinks it looks like a 1990 costume department ice-skating Halloween outfit. He wants more slut! More sexy slut! More hot sexxxxy slut! (Tim's words, not mine). Carol Hannah is a little worried because she doesn't do things over the top except her mascara. Logan is from Seattle and hasn't left grunge behind and so doesn't really follow Christina Aguilera, but hopes she is good with a little fur and a zebra print. Gordana is glad that she has immunity since she is already struggling. By day two she has chucked out her first outfit and started over. Shirin is crafting a chiffon concoction that reads more prom dress than Christina Aguilera. Or in Tim's words -“Guinevere meets Vampira”. Shirin's shortcomings buoy up Carol Hannah's spirits though, which is a silver lining adding to her confidence is Tim's love of the dress. Tim doesn't like Althea's dress, calls Gordana's dress "matronly," and thinks Nicolas is being lazy and re-packaging his sci-fi dress.
Irina continues to play the bitch in this dramedy and disses Shirin's dress (perhaps rightly) and tells her model that Carol Hannah is a really mediocre designer with no personality. Okay, maybe she's not "playing."
So Michael Kors is gone, but Nina Garcia is back! Bob Mackey and Christina Aguilera round out the Panel of Doom. Kudos to Heidi for wearing a short belted black dress, which is basically the anti-Mackey dress.
Runway time: Althea shows a long silver shiny long flowing dress with feather jacket. Which looks good and you could definitely see from the cheap seats. Logan offers a pretty lame silver and black shiny zebra print mini dress with a little cropped black fur vest and some cute little chains. Shirin's long black dress has not improved much from Tim's critique. Christopher obviously thinks his dress is a show piece. It's not. It's short and black and is a dress and then it is a jacket and silver shiny hot pants and black bustier sort of top. Nicolas has shortened his dress and there are beads on the top and lots of feathers on the bottom. Gordana's dress is long and white and looks like a wedding dress you could buy at Big Lots. Irina offers up a tame short n' shiny black dress with black coat. Carol Hannah steals the show with her long strapless black dress with interplaying matte and shine and discreet feathering. It's fabulous.
Judgment: Irina is the only one safe based on her score and leaves the runway. Then Heidi tells Gordana she should be grateful she has immunity because she probably would have been the one going home. Carol Hannah wins because her dress was far and away the best. Althea and Nicolas round out the top two. That leaves Logan, Christopher, and Shirin loitering in the basement. Shirin's "upscale witch dress" is ridiculed; Christopher's outfit is too Lady Marmalade, if that's possible; Christina thinks Logan's dress is fit for a cavewoman. In the end Logan is safe, Christopher is left to suffer, and Shirin goes home.
Christopher is on Project Runway for one reason and one reason only: to get out of his parents' finished basement. He also wants to make it to Fashion Week. He seems to think he is alone in this dream, and not merely a little salmon swimming upstream with seven other little salmon all equally desperate to survive that steep swim uphill through rocky waters with hungry bears, and dams (hydro-electric, even!) blocking their path as they fight with their last breath to survive and lay their eggs in the rocky waters of Bryant Park. Christopher is self-aware enough to realize that he started strong, but like a rock tied to a deflating balloon he has slowly sunk to the bottom. After last week's saggy tinfoil balloon dress (or as Michael Kors called it "a cinched up metallic Hefty bag"), he knows he has to stand up and go huge! But not too huge to scare the judges. Christopher, I am impressed. Last week you were delusional enough to think that your Jiffy Pop frock was going to win and this week you realize that you frightened the judges. Should I write a thank you not to Merck? Meanwhile Shirin is a dog. Downward facing, that is. After her near-victory last week she is feeling pretty good about herself. Wait... what's that sound? It's the bells tolling her death knell. Whatever, she deserves for so obviously flaunting the rules of good mojo. She didn't knock on wood or anything after saying that. Carol Hannah opines that she's never been in the bottom, so perhaps slow and steady will win the race. I suppose that would make her a tortoise to Christopher's hare.
Over at ye olde arte institute, the designers are arranged in front of the runway waiting for the precious moment when they get to ogle Heidi. Heidi marches onto the runway wearing an outfit obviously inspired by '80s punk. The pants are skintight, low riders in a reptilian-patterned bright red fabric with zippered pockets. She has paired it with a leather studded belt and a black blouse. The pants could have walked off of St. Mark's Place, but, frankly, Heidi could never pass as punk rock. She might be able to kick your ass, but I can't really see her in the center of a mosh pit or bumming a hand-rolled smoke off a guy with ear stretchers and a foot-high mohawk that he keeps erect with Elmer's glue and Dippity Do. Also? No punk wears a "blouse." Heidi gives the designers a hint about their next challenge, but as per usual the clue is more perplexing than useful. Something about outshining and upstaging. She then kicks Nicolas in the head, throws a bottle at Althea, yells "Nevermind the Bollocks!" and crowd surfs off the stage.