Project Runway

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Dirt, Air, Fire and Nice

Emilio, whose element is earth, reminds us that Monique, his model, is a woman of color. He's going to create a strapless gown that compliments her skin tone. Anthony is worried that this challenge may spell doom for him, because he wants to include a lot of elements into his design. As he has told us before, failure is not an option. For her design, Maya thought about water, which made her think of Sirens: Vixens of the Water. She's going with that. Jonathan uses a lot of words. He says that he's going to do a very "Jonathan" thing and create his own textile. He's going to do a lot of cross-cutting of combined fabrics to create the feel of opacity, thus giving his look the impression of a swirl of laughter. Sold. Dat boy sure makes dem words sound mighty pretty. Mmm hmm, french fried potaters.

Tim enters to drag everyone to Mood. Jay, who apparently gives air a lot more latitude for personal expression than does Seth Aaron, believes that he will try to create something to emulate a tornado. He tries to find fabric with a lot of movement. Seth Aaron is running all around. Tim asks Anthony about a gray palette that he sees -- he mentions that this is a departure for our colorful pageant-ready Anthony. Anthony explains in an interview that he doesn't think of red when he thinks of fire. Someone deliberately burnt down the home of his pastor, so he thinks of the color of ashes. That's horrible. As Anthony is rushing around Mood, he says to Tim that he's trying to think outside of the box. Tim says that he should remain himself though.

That brings me to a point that bothers me. Has anyone else noticed that Tim just...doesn't seem like Tim this season? I've found his advice to be fairly rote, to the point of redundant. And speaking of opacity, Tim is the chief purveyor of the advice that doesn't really have substance. "Be yourself." "Use your time wisely." Even, "Make it work" is starting to ring hollow. There used to be real content to his criticisms, but now they almost seem to do more harm than good. They seem designed to shake the designers confidence almost, which I still don't believe that Tim would really do. I've mentioned before that Tim often seems afraid of this crowd, so maybe it's just a matter of bad chemistry. I don't think it's entirely that though. Jonathan, for instance, seems like a fairly classic contestant to me. He's got mad construction skills and untapped potential as a creative mind. To me, those are the people that really benefit from this setting. But, Jonathan seems like he's just been lost in the crowd for the most part. He's showing signs of just throwing caution to the wind and I imagine that's what you'd have to do in the real world anyway, but this isn't the real world. The pressure cooker aspects of the program are fun, but so are the greenhouse parts. I mean, Anthony seems like the designer who has gone through the most change so far and that's merely from restraining his instincts. That's somewhat satisfying, but I like to see someone's talent explode as well. It's fun to watch someone grow. I don't know what the problem is, but I'm seeing a lot of examples of it in Tim's mentorship this season. I feel like I just spit on my uncle.

Everyone scrambles intently around Mood getting what they need. As Seth Aaron checks out, we see that he made it 72 CENTS under budget. Nice shopping!

Back at the workroom, Seth Aaron tells us that he has decided to be inspired by midnight air in New York City. That's pretty interesting. He says it's black with stars and he can do whatever he wants, so now he's happy. Amy, who has fire, wants to build a structure with an explosion happening within it. Tim enters to tell everyone that they will have until midnight to finish the design, with a little time the next day. Maya interviews that everyone is starting to get nervous. With fewer people, you have to do something better than you did before. She says that even Anthony has been quiet for a change. Mila says that the concepts have been vague, which makes everyone feel unsettled. I'm not sure if she means for this particular challenge or is including recent challenges.

In the sewing room, Jonathan mentions to Amy that she's being awfully quiet. She responds that it's because she's doing something really annoying. She interviews that time management is becoming a real issue in the competition (so maybe that advice of Tim's has substance?). Ben says to Jonathan that he realizes that he's taking a big risk by trying to create a suit in a day. Jonathan asks him if he's as tired of being safe as he himself is. Jonathan interviews that being safe is "a big ol' question mark." He wonders what the judges are waiting to see from him. He mentions to Ben that the week he was like, "I'm taking a chance. I will be in the top or bottom!" he was in the bottom. He interviews that it's getting to the point in the competition where he doesn't believe that the other designers consider him a threat. Do you remember when I was all, "Jonathan's gonna be DRAMA!" I was wrong. He's funny and smart. I like him almost as much as I like making snap judgments of people. He adds that the other designers are just blind to the fact that he's going to win this whole contest.

Tim comes back to the workroom with Philip Carreon. He takes them all to the Garnier Salon for consultations. I'm sure the designers are LOVING taking time out of their work schedule for this. We get a minute ad for Garnier exhibiting how their products can do anything any of these designers could want. Ever.

Back in the workroom, Tim enters for consultations. Jonathan explains to Tim that he's doing the laughter idea, which Tim seems to think is pretty clever. He tells Tim that cutaways in his textile will reveal different colors. Tim sees that the textile really was created by Jonathan and tells him to get back to work and that it's stunning. Tim tells Seth Aaron that his concept is true to himself, pushes the envelope, and is believable. Amy explains to Tim that, for her fire idea, she wants to portray a controlled chaos. She says that she's considering having the model's hair fill this bowl of a neckline that she's creating. Tim tells her that it's a very interesting idea. His advice? To let it "distill" within her and see where it takes her. I don't know. That doesn't seem that helpful to me. Ben explains his shark suit idea. Tim says that he's worried about Ben because the subtleties of his work don't seem to make an impact on the judges, to which Ben says that's why he's making a suit. Tim says that the concept practically demands it. Does he just mean the shark part demands a suit? I no know.

Mila explains her concept -- she's going with a mineral inspiration. A bunch of shiny grays. She's making a vest, turtleneck and slacks. Tim tells her that she should make adjustments as she continues. Maya explains her idea and says she wants it to be glamorous and sophisticated. Tim just says that he has faith in her and walks away. OK, when a super young person uses adjectives like that, they're often talking about something with which they aren't completely familiar and they end up risking being derivative.

Tim leaves and the models enter for a fitting. Everybody seems to get what they want out of the experience. Jonathan tells his girl Cerri that she is part of his inspiration, because he responds to pale people. OK, confession time. Though I said I wouldn't do it, I've caught a few (read: almost every one) of the episodes of the model show. It's pretty irrelevant, except Cerri is a total badass. I want her to do my taxes and shit, that's how much I trust her badassness. Do Irish girls have a rep for being tough? I've never heard of that, but she's so naturally imposing that I have to believe that Irish girls can kick ass. I mean, seriously, Cerri does NOT do drama. And, she doesn't even need a weapon. Not even her fists. She can just stare at you. And, this is all a very good thing. Jonathan's a little worried that the judges will think he's being too literal, but he reminds us all that he's inspired by laughter, not air.

Emilio's fitting goes well and he interviews that he's enjoying the spirit of the competition. Mila gives us some bad news: Ben's work isn't going well. She says that she can see that it began with a great idea, but the pants that he has made look awful. They do nothing for the model's crotch. What a horrible statement. Yuck. Ben says that he's nervous. This is the first time that he has made pants. Ever? That would be the most wrongheaded thing! At least make a skirt with the suit or something. His model is being very positive and he's thankful for that. Amy's still mulling around the hair idea.

The models leave and Anthony interviews that he's happy with the direction of his dress. He takes issue with being characterized as someone who doesn't use dark colors. He says that black is "beautiful and officially presidential." I need to have lunch with Anthony. Mila notices that there is some "color blocking the pain" going on in Anthony's design and he says that he's liking it. She asks if he's doing air, which of course worries Anthony. Jonathan interviews that the other designers have taken interpretive liberties with this challenge. He's seeing a lot of dark opaque designs. Amy steps in and points out that Anthony's design resembles smoke or steam, which actually makes both Anthony and Mila correct.

With 2 hours remaining, the designers are feeling a lot of pressure. Mila points out that it appears that everyone is behind schedule. Maya, who is behind, says that it makes her feel better that everyone else is behind as well. As

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