The designers return. Kara is "in." She grabs Daniel's arm and whispers something as she's leaving the runway. Chloe is "in." She hugs and kisses Daniel before she leaves. Santino is nodding to himself, which is a little scary. Nick is "in." He pats Santino on the arm before he leaves. Now, Santino is smiling and it's really freaky. Emmett is "in." I really wanted to see Santino's immediate reaction to that, but they just showed Emmett walking off of the runway. Backstage, Nick and Emmett hug. Also, Kara and Chloe hug. Heidi tells Daniel that they respect his talent and that he stands by his vision, but his collection was "too safe." She tells Santino that they respect his creativity, but "none of [them] liked [his] collection." That's simple enough, huh? She also points out that it "was cowardly to blame Emmett." Santino does not agree with that part, or so says the shaking of his head and pursing of his lips. Santino is "in." He just walks offstage. Daniel seems a little shocked. Heidi tells Daniel that she wishes he could stay longer. Daniel thanks everyone for the opportunity and walks offstage.
Backstage, Chloe is bawling. "You're such a good person," she says to Daniel. "And to me that's more important than being a great designer." I think she's really shocked that Daniel stuck his head out for them like he did. Because she's upset, her statement sounds a little like, "You're not a great designer, but that's all right because you're a good person." I think what she really means is, she's trying so hard to be a winner in this arena that she may have lost sight of other stuff. And however exciting it may be to see great design, it's always more overwhelming to be faced with great humanity. Daniel didn't save lives or anything, but, if anything, he has continually made it clear how important this opportunity, and fashion design in general, are to him. For him to not fight to stay because of principle must have been a pretty huge deal to him. Tim Gunn enters and says, "Daniel, you leave here with tremendous dignity and integrity. I have a lot of respect for that." Then, as everyone says "here, here" and applauds, Tim hugs Daniel. Honestly, it's all so sweet, I feel a bit misty-eyed. In a way, I could imagine this moment being more important for Daniel than any other in conjuncture with this experience. He has the respect of everyone in the room. Daniel interviews that he has no regrets and feels "a sense of redemption" for last year. He feels that he got to show everyone what he's "about." On his design that will rest in the Fashion Cemetery, above his name, he writes, "Follow your bliss, always…", does one last Daniel Franco Shuffle, and is gone.